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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, .

Howdy Darlin's,

This month I'm a-gonna tell y'all jes what I tole my niece, Zel. She's a young'un, but she listens ever' once 'n awhile. Now you don't have ta go fussin' about the kitchen an' spendin' half yer life a-cookin' an' a-cookin' all day long ta put up tasty vittles fer yer family. Jes' give a look-see down here a-piece fer a mighty good dinner dish I stirred up th' other day.

Mind y'eat yer vegetables now!

Yer ever lovin' Aunt Nettie


A quick meal, a family dinner, or a company dish, this surprisingly light fondue will quickly become a favorite. It also doubles well as a sauce for such varied dishes as grains, baked potatoes, steamed artichokes, baked tofu, and as a topping over vegetable casseroles. Serve this along with some whole grains and a salad to round out the meal.

1 C. (237 ml) raw pistachios, shelled

2 1/2 C.(598 ml) unsweetened soy milk
1 1/4 t. salt
2 T. nutritional yeast flakes
Freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper

  1. Grind pistachios in several batches in an electric coffee grinder, and set aside.
  2. Combine soy milk, salt, nutritional yeast flakes, black pepper, and cayenne pepper in a 2-quart (2 liter) saucepan. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, uncovered, watching carefully to prevent boil-over.
  3. Add ground pistachios to bubbling mixture a little at a time, stirring with a wire whip until thickened, about 2 minutes. If necessary, lower heat slightly to prevent burning.
  4. Allow fondue to rest about 15 to 20 minutes. Gently reheat if needed. Makes 3 to 4 servings.

NOTE: Leftovers store well in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Serve in small bowls and accompany with steamed vegetables for dipping, such as broccoli florets, cauliflower florets, thick zucchini slices, thick yellow crookneck squashes, button mushrooms, green beans, asparagus spears, or carrot sticks.

Extra firm tofu cut into cubes and browned in a little olive oil and Tamari also makes a tasty item to dip into the fondue. Steamed tempeh cubes can also be dipped.

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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