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Vegan for the Holidays

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Vegetarians in Paradise
Ask Aunt Nettie

We're delighted to share our Aunt Nettie with you. She's agreed to answer any questions you might ask about food, its preparation, and even clean-up tips. But we have to prepare you. She just might want to come right over to your house and help you fix dinner.

To send any questions to Ask Aunt Nettie an/or get her cooking advice, .

Editor's Note: Instead of Aunt Nettie answering individual questions, she has decided to address a number of requests from people who want to save money on the food budget and still enjoy healthy dining. This is one of a series of money-saving tips and recipes designed to stretch those slim dollars.

As an example of Aunt Nettie's impressive, penny-pinching ability to save, she still has some depression glass dishes and bowls in the cupboard--they're the real thing and she still treasures them.

In future issues of Vegetarians in Paradise, Aunt Nettie and her niece Zel will offer more money-saving recipes for the most extreme skinflints along with suggestions to help bargain-hunter foodies seek out cheap fare that still brings good cheer to the table.


Sixty-sixth in a series of articles


Howdy there Darlin's,

Well, now, I dern near fergot 'bout them fat l'il ole rutabagas hidin' at the back o' my vegetable bin 'tll I lifted up the great big bunch o' beets 'an what did I find? Why, there they was-- them purty round ruties hidin' under them big ole leaves o' beet greens.

I must say I was happy as a lark when I found 'em 'cause I had rutabagas on my mind all week long. There's a heap o' reasons I cotton ta these golden root vegetables. Why, you jes cain't find a vegetable that's such a keeper like rutabagas. You kin see I done fergot about 'em hidin' beneath the beet greens--why they must've been there at least two weeks or so an' they's still nice an' firm--no, not a wrinkle ta be found.

'Nother reason they's one o' my fav'rites, is 'cause you kin roast 'em, fry 'em, boil 'em, bake 'em, steam 'em, an' mash 'em. Why, there's no end ta what you kin make with 'em.

Here's more reasons ta love 'em. Rutabagas is mighty tasty in soup or all mashed up like 'taters. They's mighty fine cut inter slices or sticks, brushed with a l'il oil, an' roasted up with carrots or other root vegetables like parsnips, beets, or turnips.

There's plenty vegetables you cain't find at the grocers any time o' year, but you sure kin find rutabagas. 'An that's mighty nice when y'all git ta hankerin'.

Now here's my speshul fixin's recipe that makes them rutabagas look like a purty sunset with all them golden colors. 'An you'll git ta see how purty they looks in the bowl! Bet you'll cotton to 'em, too!

Yer ever lovin' Aunt Nettie

How wonderful it is to have a repertoire of tasty and satisfying vegetable dishes that are easy and trouble-free to prepare! It's a host's dream when you can have the combination of easy and delicious in one dish, especially when assembling a special meal for guests. Rutabagas are the lesser-known vegetables of the root family, yet they're available year round and are prized for their rich flavor reminiscent of turnips and cabbages. Combined with yams, kale, and raisins, this dish makes an inviting appearance when brought to the table. It's even delicious served cold or room temperature.

Golden Rutabagas


Yield: 5 to 6 servings

    1 large rutabaga, about 3/4 pound/340g, peeled and coarsely shredded
    1 medium yam, about 1/2 pound/226g, peeled and coarsely shredded
    1 medium onion, sliced vertically into half moons
    1 large leaf kale, rib discarded, chopped into bite size pieces or 2 small bulbs baby bok choy, chopped
    1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
    1/2 cup (120 ml) water

    1/2 cup (120 ml) raisins
    Pinch cayenne
    Salt and pepper

    2 tablespoons chopped green onions
    1 sprig fresh herbs (parsley, cilantro, basil)

  1. Combine the rutabaga, yam, onion, and kale in a large deep skillet. Add the water and cook and stir over high heat for 4 to 7 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Add 1 or more tablespoons of water as needed to cook the vegetables and prevent burning.
  2. Add the raisins and cayenne, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to an attractive serving bowl or platter and garnish with the green onions and herbs.

If You Haven't Met Aunt Nettie. . .

Our Aunt Nettie has a head like a hard disk. It's filled with gigabytes of information about food and cooking. And she's just itchin' to share her learnin' with city folk who live in mortal fear of the stovetop.

Aunt Nettie grew up on the farm. She did not eat out of a can or reach into the freezer. There was no microwave to pop her food into. Everything she made was from scratch. All the food she ate was natural, without pesticides. It was grown right there on the family farm, and she had to cook to survive. At eighty-three years young she still leaps and bounds around the kitchen and can shake, rattle, and roll those pots and pans with the best of them.

Nowadays, Aunt Nettie just shakes her head and complains, "Nobody cooks anymore. They have no idea about puttin' a meal together." She's on a mission. She wants to help those younguns eat better so they can grow up healthy like her own eight kids.

Click here for past Ask Aunt Nettie Columns

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