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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, click on Aunt Nettie below:

Aunt Nettie

Dear Aunt Nettie,

I really want my kids to eat more veggies, but they don't like all those crunchy things that take lots of chewing, and they're not too excited about plain old steamed vegetables like broccoli. What do I do?


Well Howdy there Anna,

I r'member when my little ones was young an' fussin' bout veggies so I kin understand yer facin' a mighty tough predicament. But I did find a l'il ole trick that worked purty nice.

I jes turned them veggies inter a soup an' they liked that jes fine. Most little ones like peas purty good so here's a deelicious pea soup with a fancy name.

I hope the soup will work fer yer family like it did fer mine.

Yer ever lovin' Aunt Nettie

With the kids back at school, schedules can become hectic with after-school and weekend activities, leaving little time for healthy eating. The key to maintaining the commitment to eating nourishing foods is to keep it simple, yet wholesome.

Peas have a favored spot on many dinner plates. Even young children find them appealing. But, puree them and warm them gently with the simplest of seasonings, and they bloom into an exquisite, gorgeously green, tantalizing soup.


Yield: 4 servings

    Peas 1 1/2 cups (360 ml) water
    1 pound (450g) shelled fresh or frozen peas (about 4 cups)
    1 large onion, chopped
    1 stalk celery, chopped
    3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

    1 cup (240 ml) unsweetened soymilk
    2 tablespoons lemon juice
    1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
    1 teaspoon salt
    2 dashes Tabasco Sauce
    Freshly ground black pepper

    Tofu Sour Cream

  1. Combine the water, peas, onions, celery, and garlic in a 6-quart (6 liter) saucepan, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Turn the heat down to medium and simmer about 5 to 8 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
  2. Transfer the cooked peas, liquid and all, to a blender and blend until thoroughly pureed. Return the soup to the saucepan and add the remaining ingredients.
  3. Cook 1 or 2 minutes longer to blend the flavors. Spoon into serving bowls, garnish with a dollop of Tofu Sour Cream, and serve with whole-grain crackers.

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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