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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. Since 2009 Aunt Nettie has known people were struggling to stretch their dollars during the recession. So she focused her tasty recipes on low-cost ingredients that would still offer delicious, healthy, stick-to-the-ribs foods, yet were affordable.

With the economy improving and more people back at work, Aunt Nettie felt the time was right to ease up a bit on strict bargain-bin shopping and gussy up the menu with a few small splurges.

Aunt Nettie is still happy to answer questions that come her way, but what she loves most is offering seasonal fixin's that inspire her while shopping at the farm stand.

Howdy there darlin's,

Don't know 'bout y'all, but I tell ya true I'm jes lovin' them nice hot sunny days. Must admit, though, sometimes it gits purty dern hot, but I don't mind it one bit. I do hear lots o' belly-achin' 'bout the weather, though. I jes laugh an' tell them folks, "It's summer--it's s'posed ta be hot."

One o' the best ways ta keep nice 'n cool is ta eat lots o' veggies an' fruits that helps yer body ta stay cool as kin be. That's 'cause fruits an' veggies has lots o' water in 'em, so's ya don't git dehydrated. Are y'all drinkin' plenty o' water--that's 'nother way ta keep cool.

I see it's mango season now and my oh my I'm so happy ta share this mighty delicious recipe fer a purty salad that's heaped with lots o' sweet an' juicy mangos.

Here's a l'il ole kitchen suggestion fer ya--buy yer mangos 'about 3 or 4 days b'fore yer gonna use 'em. They're gonna be kinda firm when y'all bring 'em home from the market. Set 'em aside on the counter an' give 'em a gentle squeeze ever' day. 'Bout that third or fourth day, why they oughter be nice an' soft an' ready fer the salad.

That's when yer gonna do some choppin' an' mixin' an b'fore ya know it, why that salad comes together mighty quick. Now if'n yer wantin' ta make this salad a tad heartier, why jes add some beans, or tofu an' yer all set.

Happy mango season, y'all!

Yer ever lovin' Aunt Nettie

Not the ordinary coleslaw, and not just a tossed salad, this unique blend of fresh vegetables comes to life with one of nature's most enchanting fruits, the mango. Accented with the crunch of macadamia nuts and dressed with ingredients that hint of the Far East, this tasty side salad is a welcome, refreshing treat. For the best flavors, prepare this slaw the same day you plan to serve it.

Mango Macadamia Slaw


Yield: 4 to 5 servings

    2 medium mangoes, chopped
    2 1/2 cups (600 ml) shredded green cabbage
    1 1/2 cups (360 ml) shredded purple cabbage
    3 leaves romaine lettuce, shredded
    1 large carrot, peeled and shredded
    1/3 cup (80 ml) raw macadamia nuts, chopped
    1/3 cup (80 ml) sliced black olives
    2 tablespoons sesame oil
    2 1/2 teaspoons lime juice
    1 teaspoon vegetarian fish sauce, or to taste
    1 clove garlic, finely minced
    3/4 teaspoon salt

    2 to 3 tablespoons minced parsley, for garnish
    3 tablespoons diced red bell pepper, for garnish

  1. Combine all the ingredients, except the parsley and red bell pepper, in a large bowl and toss well to distribute the flavors evenly.
  2. To garnish, sprinkle the parsley over the top and dot with the diced red bell pepper. If prepared a few hours ahead, cover and chill.

If You Haven't Met Aunt Nettie. . .

Our Aunt Nettie has a head like a hard disk. It's filled with megabytes 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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