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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,

The one thing I miss since going vegan is a nice spicy breakfast sausage. Is it possible to make something like it, but vegan?


Howdy there Adella,

'Course it's possible, darlin'. Ain't hardly nothin' we cain't make when we sets our mind to it.

Now, them fixin's fer somethin' like sausage starts with TVP. Then we toss in some flour an' a heap o' seasonin's with 'nuff spice ta git yer tongue waggin'. Don't fergit a tad o' molasses an' maple syrup to juice up the flavor, then jest fry up them patties in a touch of oil an' yer all set fer some mighty fine eats.

Now, darlin', in case yer wonderin' what ta do with them patties once they's made up, you kin serve 'em up at breakfast time. They goes just fine with buckwheat pancakes, or muffins, or even jest a nice purty fruit salad all dressed up with a squeeze o' orange juice. Hope ya like it.

Yer ever lovin' Aunt Nettie


    1/2 cup (120 ml) TVP (textured vegetable protein)
    1/2 cup (120 ml) boiling water

    1/2 cup (120 ml) whole wheat flour
    1/4 cup (60 ml) oat bran
    1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
    1 teaspoon garlic powder
    1/2 teaspoon crushed sage
    1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed in a mortar and pestle
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne

    1/4 cup (60 ml) water
    3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
    2 teaspoons maple syrup
    1/2 teaspoon black strap molasses

    Canola oil

  1. Put the TVP into a medium mixing bowl and pour the boiling water over it. Set aside for 5 minutes to allow the TVP to absorb the water.
  2. Add the whole wheat flour, oat bran, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, sage, fennel seeds, pepper, salt, and cayenne to the TVP and stir well.
  3. Stir in the water, tamari, maple syrup, and molasses and stir the patty mixture well.
  4. Lightly coat the bottom of a skillet with canola oil and warm over medium-high heat. Drop the mixture from a tablespoon to make patties 2 inches ((5 cm) in diameter and flatten them slightly so they will cook evenly. Fry 1 to 2 minutes on each side until nicely browned. Remove the patties to a dish lined with paper towels and fry the next batch. Makes 10 to 13 patties.

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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