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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 husband keeps telling me I can't make a potato salad as good as his mom's. I'd like to take up the challenge--got any good ideas for a killer potato salad?


Howdy there Nancy,

Darlin', I cain't hardly wait ta hear yer husband's happy hummin' sounds when he gits hold of a few bites o' this Boy Howdy 'tater salad. This recipe gits some mighty powerful salty bacon flavor from tempeh bacon an' a tad o' sweetness from sweet potatoes an' land sakes it's good! Fer sure, yer gonna win this contest!

Yer ever lovin' Aunt Nettie

Aunt Nettie's Famous Bacon Potato Salad

    2 to 3 pounds potatoes (1 to 1 1/2 kg) scrubbed, cut into bite-size pieces
    1 pound (450 g) sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
    2 to 3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
    1/2 t. salt

    4 to 5 stalks celery, diced
    1 small sweet onion, chopped
    1 red bell pepper, chopped
    1/3 C. (80 ml) Brazil nuts, coarsely chopped
    1/2 C. 120 ml) Vegenaise (soy mayonnaise)
    1 T. red wine vinegar
    1 6-oz. (170 g) pkg. Fakin' Bacon by Lightlife
    Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Combine potatoes, sweet potatoes, garlic, and salt in a 4-quart (4 liter) saucepan. Fill with water to cover. Cover the pan and bring to a boil over high heat. Turn heat down to medium and simmer until potatoes are fork tender, about 7 to 8 minutes.
  2. While potatoes are cooking, assemble the celery, onion, bell pepper, Brazil nuts, Vegenaise, and vinegar in a large bowl. When potatoes are cooked, drain them into a colander and run cold water over them to cool. Drain completely and transfer them to the bowl with the vegetables.
  3. Cut the "bacon" strips in half and place them in a skillet. Cook them over medium-high heat in a dry, non-stick skillet until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Turn them and cook on the other side until browned. Cut them into 1-inch (2.5 cm) lengths and add to the potato salad.
  4. Season with salt and pepper and toss well to blend seasonings. Serves 6.

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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