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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 vegetarian 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, .

Dear Aunt Nettie,

My doctor says I'm supposed to increase my intake of fiber. Any suggestions?

Your friend,

Howdy there, Joyce,

Well, darlin,' that's no problem a'tall. Fiber is ever'where in fruits, vegetables, grains, an' beans. All's ya gotta do is eat 'em ever' day an' you'll be surprised at jes how good you'll start feelin.' Now, I'm gonna give y'all a recipe ta git ya started -- it's got beans an' grains put together, an' it tastes so good you'll be jumpin' up fer second helpin's.

Yer ever lovin' Aunt Nettie


    2 C. (480 ml) water
    1 t. salt
    1 C. (120 ml) buckwheat (raw or toasted)

Mushroom Gravy

    1/2 lb. (225g) white mushrooms, sliced
    2 1/2 C. (600 ml) water
    1 T. Tamari or soy sauce

    3 T. cornstarch
    3 T. water

    1 15-oz. (425g) can garbanzo beans, drained

  1. Put the water and salt in a 3-quart (3 liter) saucepan, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Add buckwheat, turn heat down to low, and steam 15 minutes.
  2. While buckwheat is cooking, combine mushrooms, water, and Tamari in a 2-quart (2 liter) saucepan, and cook over high heat until mushrooms are cooked, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Combine cornstarch and water in a small cup and stir until smooth. Add to bubbling mushroom liquid, stirring constantly until thickened, about 1 minute. Makes about 2 1/2 cups (600 ml).
  4. When buckwheat is cooked, add about half the Mushroom Gravy and the garbanzo beans. If mixture is too dry, add more of the gravy. Refrigerate the remaining gravy to use for another meal. Makes about 4 delicious servings.

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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