Tuesday, November 8, 2011

experimenting recipe--rosehips and beets (falafel next)

I am taking a quick break from my research and work to try experimenting. I decided to go sort of "out there" this time, with unexpected things, but don't know how it will turn out.

I was thinking that this is the first time I've used rose hips in a recipe but then it came back to me, I made tea all the time (potions) when I was a little girl. We had this great, creative babysitter who did fun things and then I was used to making peppermint and spearmint tea with Granny by picking fresh herbs from the garden.

Granny had about 6 different kinds of peppermint and spearmints.

And when I was little, I used to go outside in Moses Lake, to our garden, and pick a bunch of mint and rosehips and I'd add it all in a pot and boil it up, sweeten, and have tea. No one wanted to try my experiments though.

I made my own concoctions of tea, collecting different things and putting them together, and we always had coffee (mine with cream or cafe au lait), cocoa with marshmallows (marshmallows were the main thing I got into, bc we had no other sweets around, except for raisins, so I liked the large marshmallows and the tiny ones in cocoa), apple cider, Lipton tea and Rose Red tea and we had constant comment and some other herbal teas from the store, and Mexican chocolate (a hard block in an octogon kind of shape in a box). When I was in Portland living on my own I also bought Good Earth tea and liked this as well as Constant Comment for being a little spicy and warming on cold or cloudy days. I also later bought an expensive Chinese Gunpowder and Dragon green tea and chai tea. When I lived in Portland, I ended up buying a ton of herbal teas too--chamommile, orange, mint, licorice, lots of kinds, and earl grey (strong kind, not weak kind).

I think I made some kind of a beet spaghetti sauce ?. Still cooking. I used rosehips too. I had these beet stalks which I had separated from beets. I kept the beets in one place, the stalks cut into other storage, and the leafs separate. So 3 different products or parts. I have already steamed and eaten the beet leaves. So I had a huge bunch of slender beet stalks. I sauteed onion with black peppercorns in a little olive oil and then I added water over it, beet stalks, and then the rosehips. I was trying to decide on a spice with the rosehips and decided to use oregano. And I had added a little fresh lemon juice.

I think it's not the best combination ever. The rosehips and beet stalks compete or blend together too well, but the combination makes it heartier and when I taste it, it tastes like spaghetti sauce. No tomatoes but I think the citric acid of the beet stalks and rosehips sort of group. And I added a tsp of sugar and pinch of salt. We'll see, it still needs work. I think it might be best pureed after cooked. I think it would be better with beets, not the stalks, but I'll try it different ways.

I looked up rose hip and beet puree and found rose hip soup and the recipe purees it. I used whole rose hips and after soaking a little, took them out and got the seeds and hairs out. And I added some already shelled rose hips but I think I prefer doing it myself for the gel or jammy inside. TONS of seeds. It's like dealing with pomegranates.

I want to puree with the skins so I'll let it simmer for an hour more and then puree in my blender and figure out what to do with it next. I read, from the one recipe about pureeing the rose hips, that yogurt is added or cream on top. I had actually had my vegenaise come to mind before I read this, but I am also thinking fresh, finely minced jalapeno in a beet-rosehip soup (mmm, with yoghurt it would be good!), different idea with walnuts, different idea with making it into a real beet-rosehip marinara (portabella mushrooms could be easily added along with a few other spices for a good spagetti sauce), and also some ideas for more dessert stuff, and over salads...and I initially had the rose hips out and lentils out and then decided to get beet stalks too. Probably rhubarb and rosehips could be blended with strawberries for a good pie or cobbler. Yeah, I think I'd try rhubarb, rosehips, strawberries, with cinnamon, and a little vanilla ice cream to the side. Could totally do a straight rosehip cobbler (thought about it and checked and it's done). There is so much more when pairing with meats, poultry, game and cheeses and dairy, but taking these away sort of forces you to work with other ideas about complement.

Could use rose hips on pizza. Non-vegan...regular pizza crust and oh definitely,...like a cheese and veggie rose hip pizza or others would go for some kind of honey baked ham or lightly smoked ham with a rose hip syrup drizzled over it. I think definitely lightly smoked and crisped up and then this sticky rose hip syrup....with something green...basil? some green herb or leaf...with chicken, no syrup, more bulky pureed rosehips under the chicken but over the pizza crust...and then spinach. With the smoked and slightly burnt ham (wood fire pizza oven), some kind of other cheese too (gorgonzola came to mind but just sprinkled on top with moz below maybe), with the rosehips. But see how easy it is to think of good things when you throw in meat and cheese? Piece of cake, that. I think you could blend pine nuts and rose hips. Hmm. Not pesto and rose hips though. I don't think.

Beet and rosehips go together though. sort of blend but they go.

A little coriander, a little nan bread and a little vegenaise and make a gyro...dripping with the melted vegenaise and tomatoe and punched with a few other things...like those fried up balls...what are they called? the fried hummus balls. falafel! that's what they're called. I LOVE THEM. That would be a very healthful snack.

Seriously, this Vegenaise stuff really works great. I am almost through the whole jar. And I bought it on Friday. I fried tortillas in olive oil and then spread this thickly across my tortilla, stuck raw sliced jalapenos across my line, fresh cilantro, organic tomato, cabbage and a little carrots and lettuce, raw onion, and sauteed mushrooms. I had 3 tacos this way today. DELICIOUS. I never used mayo in tacos before until the last few weeks since I don't use cheese and using this Vegenaise gives it a little extra something. I got the Vegenaise Original (the one with canola oil) and they have one made with grapeseed oil. It tastes very much like some kind of dairy product. My tacos were sort of like fish tacos this way, but with mushroom instead of fish or meat.

I had some portabella mushrooms and I was going to use them in my wild rice as a kind of wild rice-portabella risotto but I ended up slicing them and eating them with sauteed onions and garlic and a little red pepper sometimes.

I wish my son were with me. He ate like a king with me. I gave him the very best of the best. I saved and sacrified to meet his nutritional-health and social and intellectual, physical needs, and spiritual as well. Money means nothing when you have time and brains and heart to invest and a lot of patience.

My child has been destroyed by the FBI.

Thanks FBI.

For nothing.

I just looked up falafel. I'm going to learn to make falafel. It's perfect. I need to learn to make falafel, tahini (not quite as important), and I've made hummus before but I need to make it again.

I was thinking about gyros today because of the way the Vegenaise dripped out of the tortilla tacos I made, and how it mixed with the fresh tomato juice. I will never give up Mexican food though. I go through tortillas, when I have them, like they're a box of chocolates.

I made a spinach curry a month ago and stained my blender top. I had so much tumeric in it. I carried saffron around with me in TN and it got rained on and spread yellow saffron all through my papers and bag.

The other day, when I was watching the movie "The Castle" (about the military prison), I had all my windows open and the door was propped open and it was evening and I was frying tortilla after tortilla, watching the movie and eating taco after taco, putting fresh salsa in it (onion, jalapeno and tomato), and slicing avocado and filling my tacos with good things, and I think I had 8. Seriously. I ate almost the entire bag of tortillas in one sitting. It was my first Vegan binge or something...I just craved these greasy veggie tacos, and I was frying them up, one side and the next, sometimes a torta, sometimes a soft greasy corn tortilla, and all of a sudden, this WILD cat came in. There are 2 cats. One is stand-offish but allows petting sometimes, on one specific porch. The other one, the "mama" cat, runs from everyone and on sort of bent up back legs. But she's fast and wild, and only comes onto the porch to eat when no one is around.

One night I saw her out in the lawn and said, "Kitty, here kitty-kitty-kitty!" and she didn't turn at all. Then I said, thinking about what I used to call the kitten my son and I had, I called that kitten "Cat", so I said, "Cat!" and she turned her head and looked at me. She didn't answer to "here kitty-kitty-kitty". She answered to "Cat." And I guess my eyes teared up bc I thought about how I used to call our kitten "Cat" and how it was tortured along with us. She just stared at me for the longest time after I called her "Cat".

So anyway, I was eating tortillas and had the door open while watching this movie and that wild cat poked her head around the corner. And then she CAME into my house. I could not believe it. She was looking for the tortillas. Or someone she had good memories of, who fried tortillas. So she was looking all around, and then ducked out. Then, a few minutes later, she was back. She came all the way into my house again and went up to the bedroom and looked around, and looked over at me and snooping. I couldn't believe it. THEN, she came back a third time, after going out, and did the same thing.

The entire place smelled like fried tortillas and it was pouring out of the house and out the door and windows and I thought, "She has good memories with someone who used to fry tortillas."

She remembered something about the smell of tortillas. I thought it was sort of interesting because it's the only time the wild cat came so close. So I was telling my Aunt Mary, "Some cats might like to be petted a little, but it's FOOD. I think food, and through the stomach is how to win these cats over."

It was really weird though. I kept wondering about this cat because she answered to "Cat!" and she's looking for someone who used to fry a lot of tortillas.

UPDATE 9:20 p.m. Verdict on Rosehip-Beet Stalk Sauce


I did not know how this was going to turn out and it's very good. I found a great use for beet stalks. I had it all simmering for about 2 hours or so and just pureed it and it is really, really good. It needs a few spices, a little more salt and you would hardly know it's not tomato marinara. If you made this without oregano as a base, you could do different things with it, but since I added a little oregano, it's like a rich spagetti sauce. I didn't measure anything, again, just dash here and dash there but I'll try to replicate to best of my ability or think of aproximates tomorrow maybe, and post here. The texture is like whipped cream. It's so soft and velvety and rich, it's like a kind of whipped cream. Not cool-whip texture, like homemade whipped cream that's beaten up to be served over fruit or compote or something.


I'm kind of so excited about it I don't know what to do with it. I never imagined this would end up being the texture of whipped cream but it is, like a dense, pourable whipped cream. The texture is so heavenly it feels like it should be a dessert. But then there is a little something extra to it, flavor-wise where you could combine with so many things. I wonder what it will be like the next day. If it will keep well and improve or not taste as good. It's sort of too divine for putting over regular spagetti, maybe angel hair or you could weight it up by adding something else to it, even a little more italian seasonings and then cream cheese or something, for weight, and could throw in sauteed portabella and a little finely minced something hot and spicy...or you could add rosemary and make it more of a poultry, game sort of thing.

The texture is what throws me off. Never tasted anything like it ever.

The thing that's weird is that it's flavorful and rich, but it just dissolves in your mouth like air, like whipped cream dissolves.

If you were eating cheese I would definitely say ricotta could be added to give it weight, if wanted. It's almost like, "How do you ground this? if it wanted to be brought back down to earth, how do we do that?"

I had this idea too, of a cream puff. I think you could use this and mix it with something else to keep it stiffer in the pastry, and make an oregano-proscuitto cream puff with this in the filling. Sort of non-dessert breakfast cream puffs of some kind. I can see why someone might not combine the idea because at one point, the broth I tasted, did not taste very good. Something was "off" but at the end, with mixing it up, it turned

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