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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, .

Shirley Wilkes-Johnson, a vegan cooking instructor and one of Aunt Nettie's fans, described a tasty vegan sandwich she thought our readers might enjoy. Here's their email exchange and that special recipe for a "Love It or Leave It Vegemite Sandwich."

Shirley, you l'il rascal,

You done come up with a 100% rootin' tootin' tasty soundin' sandwich! I like yer creative l'il ideas. Is it OK if I share the fixin's with the kinfolk on our web site? It sounds mighty fine an' I'm sure lots o' folks would be makin' it if they could git their hands on that recipe.

Yer ever lovin' Aunt Nettie

Shirley wrote:

Aunt Nettie,

My Vegemite sandwich recipe is below. You might be surprised to know that Texas is an active vegetarian state. Of course the meat crazy people still outnumber us, but there are vegetarian societies in Austin, Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio. These groups all belong to the Lone Star Vegetarian Network, and this year will host the 14th Annual Lone Star Vegetarian Chili Cook-Off in Houston. I was the director of this group for 13 years and just stepped down to let some of the younger ones take over the job.

By the way, the students in my class on Saturday raved over this sandwich. They loved it!

Best Wishes!

Love It or Leave It Vegemite Sandwich

Vegemite is a yeast product rich in B vitamins and protein that was invented in Australia. It was packed into soldiers' K-rations in World War II and used in hospitals as a wellness nutrient for patients. It is said that Australian mothers put it into their babies' bottles. It is served in Australian restaurants in individual packets as ketchup or mustard is in America. This beloved salty product of Australia dumfounds westerners. Why would anyone like it? Open yourself to this Australian experience by taking the advice to spread it thinly -- very thinly -- on bread and pile the bread with delicious toppings as below. The saltiness of the Vegemite and the sweetness of the pineapple are a nice contrast.

For each sandwich:

2 slices really good quality bread *
1 teaspoon Vegemite
2 slices vegetarian ham
1 thin slice fresh pineapple
1/4 cup (59 ml) shredded carrot
1 tablespoon vegan mayonnaise such as Vegenaise

  1. Spread Vegemite thinly on one slice of bread.
  2. Layer on veggie ham, pineapple,and shredded carrot.
  3. Spread mayo on second slice of bread and top sandwich.
  4. Enjoy, mate!

* We use Food of Life Sprouted Grain Burger Buns Ezekiel 4:9. It is awesome bread! We spread a little Earth Balance margarine on it, and skillet toast it a little before adding the filling.

You could use lettuce and tomatoes instead of pineapple and carrots for a more traditional sandwich. A veggie burger patty would be good too.

This recipe will be included in Shirley's upcoming cookbook.

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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