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 holidays are really doing me in and I'm afraid putting on an extra few pounds. How do I start the day without a heavy, fatty meal?
Howdy there Patti,
Yer certainly not alone darlin'. They's lots o' folks worryin' 'bout the same thing. So I done come with a mighty fine, really low fat breakfast that's got no oil, margarine, or other fats, lots o'fiber, a heap o' good fruits, an' plenty o' whole grain.
Cornmeal is easy ta turn into polenta, an' dried fruits cooks up lickety split ta make a saucy toppin' that's gonna git yer heels a-clickin' with the first bite. Yer gonna love this dish so much you'll be sayin' why ole Aunt Nettie got a heap o' new-fangled ideas.
Yer ever lovin' Aunt Nettie
Polenta, which is made from cornmeal, is frequently served as a dinner dish, but rarely as a breakfast. Cornmeal mush, however, is a typical breakfast in parts of the U.S. and some European countries. This low-fat breakfast, a unique twist on humble cornmeal mush, morphs into an elegant polenta with a delectable topping. Because breakfast is often a rushed meal, prepare the polenta and the fruity topping the day before and warm them separately in the morning. For variety, substitute different dried fruits or even fresh fruits for the topping. Serve with a steaming cup of herbal tea.
TOP OF THE MORNING POLENTA
4 cups (1 liter) water
1/4 cup (60 ml) soymilk or rice milk
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (240 ml) whole-grain cornmeal
2 to 3 tablespoons cornstarch
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.