Posts Tagged: beets

Edible Inspiration: Week 24

Images to explore from the week.

1)  Nature confetti.

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2)  Peeling beets, stained fingers and food prep.

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3)  This happened.  And yes, they were gluten-free, vegan, and soy-free.  And no, I didn’t eat them all. :p

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4) The copious amount of green onions we’ve had are slowing down, but these beauties made their way into some tacos.

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5)  First batch of homemade tortillas for the year! Best batch yet.

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Thanks for taking the time to look over this week’s Edible Inspiration.  I can’t wait so see some of your pics. #edibleinspiration  And remember…bite responsibly!

Healthy Regards,

RAM

Review: Spaghetti (sauce) and Beet Balls

Rachel Manning © 2012

Oh beets, how you constantly surprise me with your varietal flavors and textures.

Recently I tried out Susan Voisin’s recipe for gluten-free, soy-free, vegan ‘Beet Balls’ and they were fantastic.  I had a few of my own tweaks, but for the most part I stuck to the recipe at hand, which is saying a lot for me.  Click on the link above for a more ‘behind the scene’ look at the origin of this recipe.

What did I think? These things were completely marvy!  Everything about them was pleasurable from the savory, evenly seasoned flavor to the chunky yet doable texture.  I have tried them two different ways; once on top of pasta which I’ve shown, and once crumbled on a dish. Both times my experience was exceptional and satisfying.  Additionally, the reheat factor is a cinch; I just threw mine on a dry skillet at a low setting for about 10 minutes whilst rolling around to evenly heat.

Rachel Manning © 2012

I recommend using these ‘beet balls’ as just that or in a taco, on a pizza as Susan suggests, crumbled on top of a salad, or even mixed into a bowl of quinoa. You could even add them on top of lightly wilted beet greens in order to use the entire vegetable.

Here are a few of my recommendations and tweaks.  (All local produce).  First of all, I used baby bella mushrooms which have a very similar texture to porcini mushrooms and are easily accessible and less expensive.  To match the proportion, I used around 6 or 7 small to medium-sized mushrooms.  Additionally, I used a typical red beet, rather than a golden beet, so mine turned out a lovely crimson color.  Note that the red beets are a tad sweeter, but not by much.  I also used raw walnuts instead of pecans or almonds because I felt they would add a lovely flavor and texture that wouldn’t overpower everything else, and luckily for me, I was right! ^____^ I would recommend taking the balls out half way through the cooking process to turn them so they can brown evenly on both sides.

Rachel Manning © 2012

Thank you Susan for a fantastic and creative recipe that I will be making many more times.  In fact I have two medium-sized beets left, and I’ll be in beet ball city this weekend as I prepare them for the freezer.  There’s nothing better than homemade frozen dinners for when you’re in a time crunch. 😀

I knew I wanted to stick to an Italian theme when I prepared these, so I cooked some gluten-free spaghetti with a pasta sauce I had never tried before and I would like to share it with all of you.

Rachel Manning © 2012

Rising Moon Organics – Garlic & Merlot Pasta Sauce Breakdown:

  1. Cost:  1 jar is Net. Wt. of 14oz at a cost of $4.50-ish.
  2. Types:  There are five different varieties including; Garlic & Merlot (which is what I tried), Organic Port & Asiago, Garlic and basil, Olive and Asiago, and Garlic & Chanterelle Mushroom.
  3. Ingredients:  Three of the five have no animal products and are clearly marked as so and all are Organic.  There is no additional sugar added.  No real allergen specifications are marked.
  4. Packaging/Environment:  Glass jar, and lovely label that contains quotes and info about the co. and encourages recycling.
  5. Preparation:  Serve cold or hot (stove-top or microwave) on top of your desired dish.
  6. Nutritional Facts:  (basics) 1 serving = 40 Calories, 0 grams of fat, 190 mg of sodium, 2 grams of fiber, 4 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein

My First and Final Impressions and Reflections:

  1. Cost:  As I appraise the value of this product in comparison to its cost, I would say it is worth what you pay!  As drought’s have affected many farmers crops and considering organic products are sometimes a couple blinks higher than your average grocery store produce, this product is worth the price even in a smaller jar.
  2. Types:  Although I’ve only tried one of the three I choose to consume, the Garlic & Merlot was delectable and savory!  I am personally not a fan of  sweet pasta sauces and this one is certainly not.  It has a tinge of sweet that lingers from the tomato and a kick because of the Merlot.
  3. Ingredients:  Again, another company that commences their ingredient list with water, which instills the concept of true definition in their product.  There is no added sweetener, which is such a relief because most pre-made pasta sauces have some form of sugar added in by the third or fourth ingredient.  There are not added preservatives and yucky additives.  Everything is what it is.    The fact that the ingredients are organic is sigh of relief as well because tomatoes can harbor a lot of icktastic residues and pesticides that can  leak into their thin skin.  Who wants to eat that?
  4. Packaging/Environment/Company:  Cute small jar (I love jars because I repurpose them), and fun/informative label. This quote was on my jar and I think it speaks for itself in conjunction with what Rising Moon Organics stands for.   “Cooking is like love.  It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.” – Harriet Van Horne(famous journalist)

    Rachel Manning © 2012

  5. Preparation:  I served mine mixed in with pasta on the stove-top, but you could also liberally  (hee) pour it over your favorite pizza crust or cooked pasta.  I would even put in over steamed veggies or as a dip.
  6. Nutritional Facts:  I have stated this numerous times already, but I adore the fact that there is no added sugar.  I also appreciate the low sodium content because I would rather spread my sodium intake throughout the day than saturate it in one area like an overdosed sauce.  So many Italian inspired herbs that have tremendous cleansing properties make me very pleased.

Take Away:  I would most assuredly buy Rising Moon Organics pasta sauce again.  In fact as far as a quick sauce, they are #1 for me at this point.  Something I’d like to see them specify is allergens and perhaps more about the packaging of their materials.   This sauce was fantastic and I cannot wait to try the Garlic & Chanterelle Mushroom!

My full meal:  Susan Voisin’s recipe for beet balls on top of Tinkyada’s gluten-free spaghetti mixed with Rising Moon Organic’s Garlic & Merlot flavor pasta sauce.  Très magnifique!  (Pre-dinner bed of greens of course :p ).

I hope you all truly enjoy preparing this meal, I did.  I must admit, I have a hard time approaching any meal with abandon, but I’m working on relaxing a bit when it comes to food.  Although I’m a firm believer in being as connected as possible to what you’re eating, I am also keen to the fact that I can’t change everything and life can have a modicum of hedonism, right?

I’d love any feedback about fun ways you’ve incorporated beets into recipes and how you’ve utilized pasta sauces in creative ways.

And remember…bite responsibly.

 

Healthy and Warm Regards,

~RAM~