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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-ninth in a series of articles


Howdy there Darlin's,

Well, ta be purfectly honest, it's jes too bloomin' hot ta cook up a heap o' fixin's over a hot stove. An' I surely don't fancy turnin' on the oven--why, I'd surely melt away in the kitchen an' end up a heap o' salty an' lumpy sauce--I'm sure of that.

I figgered it was a good day ta' take them frozen peas out o' the freezer, put 'bout half the package in a dish an' let it thaw.

I put on my thinkin' cap an' decided it was gonna be a nice l'il ole salad with a speshul dressin' fer today's supper. I took myself out to the garden in the late afternoon when the sun weren't so hot an' picked some nice lettuces. Why they was lookin' perkier than I was 'cause they was growin' under a tad o' shade all this time.

I washed up them green leaves, then chopped up some radishes, green onions, sliced carrots, an' cukes. an' tossed 'em inter the salad along with some cooked cauliflower an' some o' them l'il roasted taters no bigger 'n my finger I made yesterday. Inter that bowl went some nice fresh mint leaves I chopped up. Then, in went them nice green peas.

Now, darlin's, what do you think I oughter put on that salad fer dressin'? Well, never you mind, I jes thought 'bout this nice Coconut Dressin' I put together last week and it's purrrfect fer this nice hearty salad.

I surely hopes y'all like this deeeelicious summer supper as much as I do.

Yer ever lovin' Aunt Nettie

This tasty dressing is one of those very happy flavor blends that make any salad an enjoyable treat. Coconut milk varies in flavor intensity with the differences in fat content and from brand to brand with the same fat content. You may have to experiment to find the variety you like best.

Coconut Salad Dressing


Yield: about 2 1/2 cups (600 ml)

    1 (13.5 ounce/383g) can of low to medium fat coconut milk (about 5 to 9 grams of fat)
    1/3 cup (80 ml) lime juice
    1 tablespoon minced ginger
    1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
    1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce or Tamari
    1 garlic clove
    1 1/2 teaspoons organic sugar
    1 teaspoon salt
    3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
    1/8 teaspoon cayenne

Combine all the ingredients in the blender and blend on high speed for a full minute, or until smooth and creamy. Pour into a narrow-neck bottle for easy serving. Use immediately or chill and serve later. Shake well before using. Refrigerated, the dressing will keep for up to 5 days.

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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