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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,

I'm a new mom with a two-year old and a five-year old. I'm trying to keep my vegan kitchen going, but it gets really crazy around here sometimes. Do you have any hints for some really healthy meals that won't take hours to chop and cook? I'm looking for really really easy ideas.


Howdy there Ramona,

Well, darlin', I got a few ideas that jes might come in handy. There's a book called The Vegetarian 5-Ingredient Gourmet by Nava Atlas. It don't git much easier than that! An' the book only costs $15.95. The book has lots o' vegan recipes an' the ones that's got cheese or milk, why you know they kin be substituted with vegan cheese an' soy milk.

Veggie Burger Aside from the book, here's some o' what I been thinkin'. Fer dinner them Vegan Original Boca Burgers is mighty tasty in a whole wheat bun with some lettuce an tomato tucked inside. Now, there's a heap of different brands that makes them all vegan soy burgers, so ya don't have ta stay stuck on Boca.

Salads come in bags all ready fer eatin' and dressin's like Annie's is mostly vegan. Them dehydrated soups that come in cardboard cups only need some boilin' water poured over an' a 5 minute wait fer tasty eatin'.

If y'all cooks up a batch o' brown rice an' does a quick stir fry with tofu an' veggies, that's purty easy. An' you kin even find veggies all cut up an' ready fer cookin'.

Hummus makes a dern good snack along with whole wheat pita bread, an' that hummos comes all ready made in most grocery stores.

Now, there's nothin' like fresh fruit fer the little ones an' the big folks too--no one has ta do nothin' to it at all, 'cept wash it up an set it down. If there's time, why, you kin even cut up a fruit salad that's easier fer the little ones ta manage.

An' them little ole baby carrots that come already peeled can't be beat fer convenience an' they's mighty good fer ya too.

Soy yogurt comes in mighty handy too an' there's such nice flavors ta please the little ones. Them little cartons makes a dandy breakfast with some fruit an' it kin even be a snack.

Banana If y'all got bananas that are gittin too ripe, why you kin peel 'em an' cut 'em up an' put 'em in the freezer. Then quick as a wink you kin pop 'em in the blender with some soy milk or rice milk, some dates fer sweetenin', some cinnamon ta make the little ones happy, an' some vanilla extract if ya please. Then jes blend away an' there's mighty fine smoothie that come together purty quick. You kin even freeze other fruits fer them smoothies, too. Even frozen grapes mixed with bananas an' dates makes a deelilcious treat.

An' don't ferget 'bout natural peanut butter an' other nut butters like almond butter an' cashew butter. Jes make sure they's natural with jes nuts, maybe a little salt, but nuthin' else. That goes purty good on whole wheat bread, whole wheat pita, or whole grain rye crackers like Rye Crisp or Wasa. An' 'stead o' jelly, use a fruit spread or even sliced bananas that makes a satisfyin' sandwich an' it's healthy, too.

Well, darlin', that there is a good start on some easy fixin's fer yer busy little family. Now, I r'member when my little ones was young, why, they wanted ta help with the cookin' so I got 'em started mighty young with mixin' an stirrin' an spreadin' things like peanut butter. Git yer little ones started helpin' out--it's good fer you an' good fer them, too.

Yer ever lovin' Aunt Nettie

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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