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Vegetarians in Paradise
Ask Aunt Nettie

We're delighted to share our Aunt Nettie with you. Since 2009 Aunt Nettie has known people were struggling to stretch their dollars during the recession. So she focused her tasty recipes on low-cost ingredients that would still offer delicious, healthy, stick-to-the-ribs foods, yet were affordable.

With the economy improving and more people back at work, Aunt Nettie felt the time was right to ease up a bit on strict bargain-bin shopping and gussy up the menu with a few small splurges.

Aunt Nettie is still happy to answer questions that come her way, but what she loves most is offering seasonal fixin's that inspire her while shopping at the farm stand.

Howdy there darlin's,

Well now, with mornin's an' nighttimes feelin a tad chilly, it feels like summer's wavin' goodbye mighty quick. I'm feelin' a tad o' sadness--I loves summertime an' I jes feel sad them nice warm days an' nights is turnin' inter cooler times. But good times is ahead, too. Nice thing is that autumn is so dern purty with them leaves turnin' a hootnanny o' mighty fine colors.

An' now come along a season fer some changin' times in the kitchen, too. Ain't nothin' better than a nice warm curry dish ta fill the belly full o' goodness. An' it jes makes sense that hearty dish o' pasta with a heap o' deeeelicious cooked vegetables can make ya light up like a Christmas tree. Best thing is them curry spices makes it taste so fine.

I knows y'all jes cain't resist a second helpin'--an' that's OK with me--come on back an' I'll serve ya up 'nother heapin' spoonful. This here recipe makes plenty fer the whole family--an' I promise this dish can keep ya nice an' warm, too. It's them speshul spices that gives ya that nice feelin' of bein' warm all over from yer head all the ways down ta yer toes.

What's mighty nice 'bout this dish is that whatever is leftover tastes jes as good next day, so why not make a double recipe an' have plenty o' leftover fer 'nother nice supper.

I surely hopes y'all enjoy yer curried noodles as much as I do. Y'all let me know how ya likes it, ya hear?

Yer ever lovin' Aunt Nettie

This is a tasty, homey dish that's rich enough in curried flavor to curry favor. Consider it an ideal meal that offers a pleasing touch of warmth in the cooler weather that comes along this month. To make the dish come together quickly, prepare the vegetables in advance. Add a great big salad as a first course or serve it along with the curried noodles to make this a delicious, soul-satisfying meal.

Curried Noodles and Nuts


Yield: 5 to 6 servings

    1 cup (240 ml) almonds

    12-ounces (340g) penne-style pasta

    2 cups (480 ml) hot water
    2 cubes vegan chicken or beef bouillon

    2 tablespoons grapeseed oil

    2 large sweet onions, cut into half-moons
    1/2 medium cauliflower, chopped
    8 to 10 Brussels sprouts, quartered lengthwise
    8 to 10 cloves garlic, minced
    3/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
    3/4 teaspoon curry powder
    1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

    12 grape or cherry tomatoes, halved

    2 tablespoons cornstarch
    Juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon
    Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

  1. Put the almonds in a food processor and pulse-chop until the nuts become a coarse meal. Set aside and prepare the vegetables.
  2. Cook the pasta according to manufacturer's directions.
  3. Put the hot water in a deep bowl and add the bouillon cubes. Set aside to dissolve the cubes.
  4. While the pasta is cooking, put the grapeseed oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onions, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and garlic and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  5. Add the turmeric, curry powder, and cinnamon and cook until the vegetables are just tender. Add the tomatoes and cook 1 minute.
  6. When the pasta is tender, drain in a colander and add it to the vegetables. Put the cornstarch in a small bowl or cup and add 2 tablespoons of the bouillon liquid. Mix well to form a paste. Add the bouillon liquid to the vegetables and thicken with the paste.
  7. Season with the lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Add the coarsely ground almonds and mix well to distribute them evenly. Transfer the mixture to an attractive serving bowl and enjoy

If You Haven't Met Aunt Nettie. . .

Our Aunt Nettie has a head like a hard disk. It's filled with megabytes 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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