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,

Well, now, I come inter the kitchen t'other day an' put on my thinkin' cap wonderin' how kin I make them folks that hate broccoli even want ta give it 'nother chance. So I thought an' thought an' pondered a spell.

I know very well how strong some folks feel about them l'il ole green veggies that remind me of itsy bitsy trees. Even them folks knows broccoli is good fer ya. I figgered if'n I kin make 'em taste so deeeeelicious, then they might-could jes take a fancy ta them l'il green trees.

I oughter say that I'm the sort that''s 'most always full o' optimism. I always feel folks will love them veggies much as I do, but I know fer sure they jes don't. So I figgered I would have ta put a spell on them l'il broccoli florets jes ta git past the tastin' part.

Then, it come ta me, if'n I was gonna roast up some broccoli, why not toss some cauliflower inter the oven, too, 'cause most folks knows what good friends broccoli an' cauliflower is--mighty good friends at that.

Well, now, I jes had ta dress 'em up a tad 'cause they won't git past the nose of some fussy folks.

A bit o' mixin' an' stirrin' an' purty soon I come up with a mighty fine way to put a tasty l'il ole jacket on them florets. Next, I put 'em in the oven fer a spell an' out they come all tender an' mighty deeeeelicious ta eat!

Funny thing is my family loves these veggies, so they's not a good family fer testin' my esperiment. Only thing I kin do is ask y'all ta make this easy recipe an' see what ya think.

Now, y'all let me know, won't ya?

Yer ever lovin' Aunt Nettie

Those who normally reject veggies like broccoli and cauliflower might easily be converted when served these tasty brassicas deliciously coated with a well-seasoned batter. Fussy diners might take a little extra coaxing into tasting just one little floret. Hopefully, magic will happen and they'll reach for another! Those of us who enjoy the brassica vegetables will love them twice as much with this easy, flavor-drenched recipe.

Battered Brassica


Yield: 5 to 6 servings

    1 large broccoli crown, cut into florets, large florets halved
    1 medium head cauliflower, cut into florets, large florets halved or quartered

    1 cup (240 ml) whole wheat pastry flour
    1/2 cup (120 ml) panko
    1 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
    2 teaspoons garlic powder
    1 1/2 teaspoons paprika or smoked paprika
    1 1/4 teaspoons salt or to taste
    1 teaspoon onion powder Pinch cayenne or to taste

    1/4 cup (60 ml) Follow Your Heart Vegan Egg Powder
    1 cup (240 ml) ice water
    1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. (Gas Mark 6) and line 1 or 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a gallon-size plastic bag, combine the flour, panko, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, paprika, onion powder, salt, and cayenne Shake well to distribute the seasonings evenly and blend with the flour.
  3. In a medium bowl combine the vegan egg powder and ice water. Use a small whisk to create a smooth, creamy mixture. Add the olive oil and mix well.
  4. Dip each of the florets into the vegan egg mixture, shake off excess, and transfer them to the bag with the seasoned flour. Shake well and transfer the battered florets to the prepared baking sheet.
  5. Bake the battered florets for 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter and enjoy delicious, hot Battered Brassica.

Gluten-free Batter
Substitute the whole wheat pastry flour and panko with the same amount of almond flour and ground pumpkin seeds.

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

Vegetarians in Paradise