Sunday, January 29, 2012

Cashew-Basil Gravy w/ Vegies

A friend stopped over for a yak and some food. My friend has been interested in my unusual diet, especially as she a couple of years ago she was very ill with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). Actually when I first started trying to figure out what my problem was, CFS really caught my attention. CFS is basically when a person's vital energy is depleted and their adrenal glands are exhausted and deal with stress of any kind. That was one of the reasons I hit green vegies so hard when I became sick. Stress, stress, stress was in everything and I knew that vitamin Bs could help me deal with stress (doctors tried to laugh me out of the hospital on that one!), but on the days I ate green vegies, I did feel better. My friend is now doing all right, holding down a job, and has pretty much returned back to the normal way of eating ... oh that yummy Korean food with sesame seed oil, soy sauce, vinegar, spicy red pepper sauce and fermented soybean paste . But she's still so wants to eat to continue better health AND she's very curious about what I've found to help me with my health probs.

So, I put together a vegetable rich spread! For supper we had:
brown rice with chestnuts
cucumber salad with dill, lemon, olive oil, garlic, sea salt
baby bokchoy and tomato salad sprinkled with hemp seeds
cashew-basil gravy with zucchini and baby lima beans
almonds and walnuts (washed and dehydrated)
strawberries (3 little ones max for me)

Cashew-Basil Gravy w/ Vegies

1/2 cup cashews (soaked 4 hours, soak water tossed)
10-20 leaves fresh basil
2/3 zucchini, sliced
2/3 cup baby lima beans, frozen
1 medium onion
5-6 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 - 1 teaspoon turmeric
sea salt
4 stems parsley, chopped (more for garnish)
carrot shavings (garnish)
3-5 cups water (as necessary to adjust thickness)

In blender, blend the soaked cashews, fresh basil, onion, garlic, cumin, thyme, turmeric and 3 cups of water. In the fry pan, lightly saute the zucchini until soft adding baby lima beans gradually. Pour the blended gravy over the softened vegies. As the gravy is heated, it will thicked. Salt as needed. Stir occasionally and remove from heat after 10-15 minutes. Stir in the fresh chopped parsley, reserving some and the carrot shavings for garnish. Serve with rice or pasta.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Morgellons Disease and Diet?

Today on Yahoo was the posting "Study of freakish mystery illness finds no cause" with the disorder named Morgellons, as of 2002. This disorder is said by doctors to be psychological as they could find nothing wrong with 40 of the identified 115 people suffering from symptoms that could possibly be "Morgellons". That sufferers complain of fiber-like things growing out of their skin and have parasite-like sensations with bruising and discoloration to back up their complaints seems more than just a psychosomatic disorder ... and it's been my experience that when doctors just don't know they "blame" the patient with psychological problems. It seems to me that with visible display of symptoms the doctors might be more acknowledging of the disorder ... and yet the article says that sufferers are searching for a doctor that will consider their complaints as plausible and try to work with them.

There are many skin disorders - psoriasis, impetigo, eczema, cellulitis, shingles - and there are diets to help those problems. Candidiasis also results in skin disorders too for some, and candida also requires a specific diet for the return to "good" health. I would hazard that following a big diet change which includes high chlorophyll for transporting toxins out of the body, people with Morgellons would see a radical improvement. Perhaps following the candida diet? There are many levels to the candida diet; in fact, very very few are as strict as my diet ... thank goodness or we'd have a herd of two-legged cattle on this planet! But the chlorophyll-rich diet could help rid the build-up of toxins that come from the food we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink.

I recently saw the movie "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead" about an Australian bloke who had a rare skin-related autoimmune disease and he took to juicing for 60 days to clean out his GI track, which is where diseases typically begin (surprised?!?!). Joe Cross, the bloke, has an online diary describing some of the things he did to recover his health and personal well-being. I highly recommend the movie - very informative and supportive of what I'm also trying to do to clean the candida mold/fungus out of my body.

Another useful link with much more information on the disease and the strange fibers is at Natural Health Techniques.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Greenstar Juicer → Green Juice

I've been having strange symptoms lately again, and just can't figure out WHY I'm not getting better on my very strict, and I think, very nourishing diet. So in desparation I thought I should order a juicer than would juice vegetable leaves. Well, I still can't have carrots or apples or other fruit so I sold my simple centrifuge juicer to a friend and ordered the Greenstar, which is supposed to be a top-of-the-line wheatgrass juicer. And yeah, it came today!!!

Getting started took tons of time - to carefully wash all the parts free of factory toxins, and then to wash baskets of vegies in my teeny tiny kitchen, and then to juice only 2-3 leaves at a time. Well, I've figured out a way to be faster next time ... but this time, wow, the juice came out so fresh tasting and quite enervating! I've bought a couple glass jars to store the juice in (not good for maximum nutrients, but I'm not going through the washing hassel every day so for the next two days I'll just have reduced nutrition, which is better than no nutrition from not having the juice). A hint for anyone making juice though, storing fresh juice (particularly carrot juice as it interacts with oils) should not be done in plastic.

Korea has some wonderful rice cakes, which I absolutely love but shouldn't have because they're made with white rice, which is highly glycemic. Well, so I thought I'd try to make my own rice stick cakes with brown rice. This is my experimenting, but BLUK, the olive oil had a weird flavor (must get a better brand) and the rice cake came out to gummy-runny. The flavor aside from the weird olive oil wasn't too bad. I added a slice of fresh garlic every once in a while along with mugwort powder, a common additive in rice cakes, and together they created an overall flavor that I kind of liked. Definitely my own recipe .... but definitely needs adjusting for consistency and oil flavor. Actually it's almost embarrassing to show the results, but was talking with some Koreans about their recipes and nowadays rice powder is principally used. BLUK again! I want real rice in mine!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Almond "Milk"

Almond "Milk" is especially tasty in the evening with a book. I try not to eat or drink anything "solid" after 8pm as the digestion starts to shut down for the night, based on people's natural biorhythms. So this drink is for the pre-8pm hours.

To make Almond "Milk", either use previously washed and soaked nuts or soak the nuts 8-12 hours in advance, pouring off the liquid after at least 8 hours. This liquid is tasty, I know, but it is full of toxins and dust. My aunt who has acute celiac's disease even has to pick her own nuts (I think principally walnuts) as in the processing, the rollers are lightly dusted with flour, and you can bet that flour is the cheapest on the market, wheat aka gluten! So there might be trace amounts of many unwanted things on or in the tough skin that should be removed. And I'll testify that since I started cleaning nuts this way, I can eat nuts again. Before, they made the lining of my mouth swell or I had other reactions, probably based on the amount of mold and pesticides in the skins. Soaking takes time and pre-planning, so I keep a big bag of pre-washed and dehydrated nuts in the fridge for my little Almond "Milk" emergency fixes :)

In 3 cups of water, blend 2-3 handfuls of nuts. Add a little cinnamon and a dash of cloves. On special occasions I even indulge in a little non-alcoholic vanilla that has several vanilla beans shoved down in it to REALLY intensify the taste. Then in my BlendTec I blend the mixture once and sometimes twice on the "soup" cycle, which heats the liquid. When finished, I have a foamy, luxury hot drink to sip over a good book!

Sprinkling cinnamon, cloves, cardamon and/or coriander on top is totally optional.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Soaking and Washing Nuts

Soaking toxins and mold off of nuts before eating them is absolutely important for the person with candida (even cancer for that matter as the liver in both groups is compromised and too inundated with bacteria and cell waste. I've read that the liver cleanses well over a liter/quart a minute! That puts a lot of cleansing demand even on the healthy liver!!!)

Since I've been following the soak and wash method for all my nuts, wow, I have been able to enjoy them again [principally almonds and walnuts, brazil nuts sometimes, and rarely for a treat, cashews]. So I bought a dehydrator for my family back in the States so my dad and my bro, who has nearly identical problems as myself, can also enjoy the clean, crunchy taste. Hurrah! After dehydrating the first batch, my dad started really chowing down on nuts [they are crunchy clean but break up much easier against his old teeth and dentures - which he loves - but the flavor is intensified and clean, which is wildly "nuts" about! So, he munches on them now instead of other sweet "goodies" and feels oh, so much better! I think the high protein in nuts has really helped him manage his Parkinson's tremors better; and btw, he was the first to say that :)

So, here's the method. The nuts first have to be washed in water until the water is colorless or debrisless. Walnuts are the nastiest nuts to wash, and will take several full immersions and rinses (10-15 times) to get clean. Almonds will color the water some but usually submerging and rinsing them at least 5 times will be enough. By the way, the almonds pictured below are the cleanest almonds I've ever washed. Usually the water is more discolored, sometimes murky even - and to think I used to make such huge demands on my liver by eating moldy, pesticide-packed nuts! [Also, because I want to eat my nuts with the highest enzyme count, I don't wash my nuts in water that is over 118°F - less is better - and the same applies for dehydrating them. I dehydrate at 115°F for usually 2 days, or until completely dry.]

The suggested soak time is as follows. The principal of soaking is to neutralize enzyme inhibitors in the skin of the nuts, particularly true of harder nuts like almonds, and to neutralize the phytic acid, which inhibits the absorption of minerals. Soaking also breaks down gluten [I want to study more about this] and facilitates the body in absorbing the vitamins. The harder the nut, the longer the soak time, and so here are some suggested soak times. For more info, read the Raw Food Living article although this article focuses on soaking nuts for sprouting, not eating immediately or dehydrating.

almonds ........... 8 - 24 hours
brazil nuts ....... 1 - 3 hours
cashews ........... 2 - 3 hours
flax seeds ........ 30 min - 6 hours
pumpkin seeds ..... 4 - 6 hours
sunflower seeds ... 4 - 6 hours
walnuts ........... 2 - 4 hours

Oversoaking, especially the white skinned nuts like cashews, macadamias, Brazil nuts, walnuts, make the nuts mushy and gross. Also, pour off the polluted soak water if making food with the soaked nuts or seeds - yes, the water is tasty, esp almond water, but it's loaded with nasty toxins, so throw it out!

After soaking the nuts for the proper time, pour off the water and rinse the nuts until the water again comes off colorless. [Using the same process for beans to be cooked in a slow-cooker equally applies.] Then, put the nuts to dry on drying racks in a dehydrator. Dehydrating will take about 2 days on 115°F, but of course the amount of time depends on how many dryer racks are filled. Once dried, store nuts in fridge to prevent mold reappearing and to maintain their now fresh, crunchiness! If not oversoaking or drying at high temperatures, you should have nuts rich in their respective Omegas 3 - 6 - 9 and full of vitamins and minerals that the body can more easily absorb.

Here's a pretty good guide to help with knowing how long to soak the specific nuts:

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Nuts and the Importance of Omegas 3 & 6

Nuts have a lot of natural rich oils that are much better for the body than the "processed" oils marketed as being heart-friendly. Ah the marketing scams to make a buck, but at the expense of the populace who cannot be informed as research has been manipulated. Nuts in their pure state are very healthy and healing for the body. The pesticides and molds on the nuts are not healthy, and when people have certain diseases nuts could be very detrimental, but for the healthy individual nuts provide the natural oils the body needs and can fully utilize.

Nuts, however, became a big problem for me when I got sick. They made my mouth swell, caused strange pains in the body and sometimes made me feel ill until they had gone through me ... undigested. I quit eating them for several months but then began to worry about my low oil intake which I figured was causing my very, very dry throat.

The body needs a balanced ratio of essential fatty acids, Omega 3 and Omega 6, as the body cannot produce these two so having proper food sources is essential. The ideal ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 is 2:1 but in today's fast food, highly processed food world the average Joe Blow gets an out-of-whack ratio of 15:1. Just knowing I needed more oil in my diet, I started sipping olive oil. [For several months after disease onset I just kept getting tighter and tighter on my diet to control the symptoms and that meant using virtually no oils because there's so much media rap against oils and I was trying to be "healthy".] Unfortunately, it only helped a bit although olive oil is Omega 6. I hadn't started eating tons and tons of Omega 9-rich almonds and avocados yet but they as a whole food were more helpful.

Still, I needed Omega 3s and 6s. At some point I read about evening primrose oil (Omega 6) so bought some. I tried two gels a day - one in the a.m. and again in the p.m. but it was too much. [My dad with Parkinson's also came to the same conclusion.] But taking it once a day just before going to bed really really helped the eye inflammation that got worse in the hours after the sun set. Flax oil and grapeseed oil are also Omega 6 [ergh! Internet sites give conflicting info on the oils and which Omega each oil corresponds with!!! Sourcing the info correctly is important but I'm honestly confused on which Omega matches which oil - more research necessary for me!] I tried the grapeseed and flax oils, with good results, but much later.

Anyway, the following information is taken from quite a well condensed list of oils and their corresponding Omegas [there's discrepancies on this site with other sites so I'm not sure about the 100% accuracy of the info.]


Health Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acid

Research on the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acid have shown that it may be useful for supporting the following conditions.
Some Cancers
Skin Disorders
High Cholesterol
High Blood Pressure
Attention Disorders
Depressive Disorders
Macular Degeneration
Digestive Difficulties
(plus many more, including autoimmune diseases)

Omega-3 fatty acids are found naturally in:
Grains ** (avoid glutenous grains: wheat, oats, rye, barley, triticale, etc; eat other grains in small amounts as they are starchy)
Spirulina ***
Brazil Nuts ** (they should be clean)
Hempseed Oil ** (how processed?)
Mustard Seeds ?
Pumpkin Seeds ** (soak them first)
Chia Seed Oil ***
Wheat Germ Oil X (avoid all wheat/gluten)
Canola Oil (Rapeseed) X (depends on the source but many GMO)
Green Leafy Vegetables ***
Raw Walnuts & Walnut Oil ** (clean the nuts; how processed is the oil?)
Flaxseeds or Flaxseed Oil *** (how processed is the oil?)

Omega-6 fatty acids are also found naturally in:
Olive Oil *** (hot processed is the oil?)
Wheatgerm X (avoid all wheat/gluten)
Grapeseeds ?
Pistachios X (very moldy, like peanuts!)
Sesame Oil X (very inflammatory)
Hempseed Oil ** (how processed is the oil?)
Pumpkin Seeds *** (soak them first)
Chia Seed Oil ***
Safflower Oil X (highly processed during extraction)
Sunflower Oil X (highly processed during extraction)
Cottonseed Oil X (inflammatory)
Raw Nuts & Seeds ** (cleaned almonds, walnuts, some seeds listed above, but depends on the individual and the cleanliness of the nuts)

Omega-9 fatty acids are also found naturally in:
Avocados ** (somewhat glycemic fruit, so some react; rich in oils)
Pecans X
Cashews X (moldy ... although I occasionally soak some for a sauce)
Almonds *** (some react; clean them thoroughly first)
Hazelnuts ? (many sites say 'no')
Pistachios X (very moldly, like peanuts)
Macadamia Nuts ? (can be moldy; many sites say 'no')
Chia Seed Oil ***
Olives & Olive Oil ** (only fresh olives - canned have additives and a processed salty brine that usually has vinegar)

I do NOT advocate taking all of these Omega 3, 6 and 9 food sources if on a strict candida diet, so I've coded each of the above based on my own experiences and research about what is healthful and what isn't.
*** - Excellent
** - Good
? - Not Sure
X - avoid

An interesting site that discusses best and good oils to eat with explanations about their value (although not which Omega they are classed in) is Oils in Seeds.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

"Heavy on the Vegie" Supper

Some days I feel like I really need to eat more vegies and fewer carbs. The carbs really feed the candida or any bacteria I suppose, and so tonight I made a special "heavy on the vegie" supper. With a small portion of brown rice and an equally small portion of lentils, I have enough to maintain weight provided I eat three meals equivalent to this a day.

The vegies in this meal are really good for their low glycemic count and are joyfully listed among the foods best for weakening the grip of candida in the GI track, well, except for the tasty tomatoes. I think I'm eating a few too many of them as I tend to notice tomatoes appearing in many of my photos. I've only been enjoying them again since this past summer, but I guess I'm going overboard. Sigh. And they've been my favorite "vegetable" since I was a wee kid.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

"Mashed Potato" Balls

In Korean suppermarkets sometimes there is taste-testing of seaweed and seasoning mixtures. Oh, they're all sooo yummy but I'm convinced they're loaded with nasty flavor enhancers like citric acid and/or MSG because I really react. My taste buds love them and the rest of the body goes into rebellion ... and to think most people are governed by their taste buds, feel strange reactions but refuse to remedy their tastes to have a more active life. Not me! I so want to get well and lead a normal free-and-easy life again. But it's true, I have memories of those flavors and I love seaweed so I thought I would make my own seasoning blend.

Seaweed by itself is very healthy and has a lot of trace minerals from the sea; however, it's the preparation process for marketing that gets me in trouble. Thankfully Korea has a variety of seaweeds to choose from although the majority are the tastier seaweeds that have been oiled and salted, that is, oiled with corn oil (inflammatory) and sea salt (which frequently is heated at high temps which change the product and also is not solely sea salt but can include many other additives like potassium, potassium iodide, yellow prussiate of soda, among others - basically chemicals!) The unoiled seaweed lavers are bland in comparison but I can live with that.

So in a bowl I shredded several laver sheets, added some hemp seeds, sea salt, and garlic powder. Then I took chilled in the fridge garbanzo bean "mashed potatoes" and rolled scoops of it into balls, which I then rolled into the flavored seasoning.

The balls turned out pretty cute and would make nice appetizers for a party. But honestly, only 5 wee balls for my supper just wasn't going to happen. I was hungry! So after taking the picture and proving that I could make a suitable substitute for the seaweed seasoning in the store, I just dumped a couple big spoons of "mashed potatoes" in the seasoning bowl, mixed everything up, and enjoyed my meal without wasting a bunch of time appropriate only for party preparation.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Garbanzo Bean "Mashed Potatoes"

This is one of my favorite dishes, and is oh so easy to make. To make it easily, I use my crock pot and my high speed blender, a BlendTec, which is more powerful than a VitaMix, but then that's my opinion.

To prepare the beans, sort the beans and wash them, then soak them overnight in at least three times as much water. The water should be very clean because the beans will soak much of it up overnight. The next morning before going to work, throw off the excess water and wash the beans again. It seems almost invariably a slightly moldy bean shows up in the group - the overnight soaking makes the nasty beans easier to spot so molds don't get cooked in the food. Discard bad beans, and rinse the others until the run-off water is colorless. Then pour the beans in a crockpot and cover with about an inch of water. Start the beans on low if gone for several hours or on high if gone for 3-4 hours; then rush off to take care of your day business. [Cooking on the lower temp is more health conscience as 200°F of low and the 400°F of the high temp is quite different and makes a big difference in the nutrients left.]

Upon coming home (6-10 hours later), the aroma of freshly cooked beans will greet you at the door, and it's such a pleasurable smell. A hot supper is only minutes away (provided you already have a vegetable and/or salad made). To make the beans into "mashed potatoes", scoop about 3 cups of beans into the blender and include bean water to within an inch of the amount of beans. Slice in a wedge of onion and 3 medium garlic cloves. Add 3-4 tablespoons of coconut oil for a sweeter smoother flavor, but olive oil makes a good blend too though more paleo flavored. [If using coconut oil, the beans must be hot or at least room temperature; otherwise, the coconut oil will harden - it hardens at room temp of 76°F - and won't blend throughout.] Add 1/2 a teaspoon of sea salt and blend while the beans are still very hot. Beans that cool down too much or not including enough bean water is very taxing on the blender. I tend to pulse the beans, stir and pulse again to save stress on the motor.

Garbanzo Bean "Mashed Potatoes"

3 cups garbanzo beans, cooked and still very hot
cover the beans with bean broth
3-5 tablespoons coconut oil
1 wedge of onion
3 medium garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

When first blended, the beans might seem a bit runny but as they cool down - on the surface first very much like lava - they set in form and appear very much like "mashed potatoes".

The blend can be either a hummus or "mashed potatoes" or even a sauce or soup. They are high energy, very nourishing, and so easy to make and even easier to pack in a lunch!

In a previous posting, I used Garbanzo "Mashed Potatoes" as a side dish and it has made a great sauce for many of my vegan bibimbap (see Leftover "Bibimbap" for the recipe).

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Failed Diagnosis :(

Near the end of December I was talking with a doctor at the university hospital where I have done the majority of my testing to find my problem (for the past 2 1/2 years). The doctor I was speaking with was a listener - wow! - and I had met him a few times before. In fact, he made a very astute statement a couple years ago that was filled with truth, "With all your problems [heart, lungs, neck, neural, bone, female, muscle, etc] you really need all your treating doctors to get together to discuss what the problem is ... but you know that will never happen." So, in the course of our conversation I told the doctor the problem was systemic candida. He looked surprised and said, "Really? That is very rare." [Hmmm, from what I'm reading on the internet, diseases - especially autoimmune diseases - stem from bacterial invasions of the body, and those bacteria are linked to 'candida'. Hmmm, so maybe not as rare as is taught in medical dialogue!]

I just gave him a snippet about where I think the main problem lies - the esophagus in the mid-neck area - and supported it with diagnostic testing: For months I had gone to the ENTs with severe throat and later mouth problems, and on record are picts of the deep throat taken by a scope. The picts consistently show a foamy cottage cheese-like unknownness, and when I eat the wrong food, it would be larger and thicker and I would constantly be spitting up phlegm, and when I went on solid vegies for several days before returning for re-analysis, it had been greatly reduced. He listened and seemed to quite agree with what I said. And then he said, "Well, getting a bacterial test is very easy, but if the problem is viral, well, viruses just are hard to test for and pick up evidence about. But bacteria, easy!" Shocked that someone told me about such an easy test when I had mentioned to 3 doctors [ENT, gynecologist, and my dentist] that I thought the problem was candida (not candida albicans) when they all had poo-poohed the suggestion. So, I asked for the blood test.

The blood test was composed of aerobic and anaerobic blood samples, 10cc of blood for each. After 5 days of being in the lab, the outcome was ... nothing. All the wild symptoms (except 9 days of arm convulsions and a low-grade fever with slight dizziness a couple months after onset) fit perfectly to equate to systemic candida. Even my food sensitivities pointed to that, for example, when I had food reactions I would hit the internet with "tomatoes and candida" or "citric acid and candida" and sure enough, people with candida should NOT eat those items. So I was shocked that I still had no diagnosis!

Finally I went on-line and researched about blood readings for candida. The only thing I found that could relate is that when the blood registers bacteria overgrowth in it, then the body is seriously compromised and the bacteria is spreading throughout. Well, that seems to make sense. I have been on a strict systemic candida diet for 13 months and the symptoms are virtually gone .... AS LONG AS I STAY ON THE STRICTEST OF DIETS (perhaps a strawberry or a slice of apple, but that's rare). I've read in other places that candida is a shape-changer -- it's both bacteria and mold/fungus and can successfully "hide" from detection. Sigh ... whatever it is, it's very successfully hiding from the highly esteemed medical world.

Anyway, I'm still not 100% sure the problem is systemic candida, BUT I can say that the diet I am on is (1) almost completely controlling the symptoms, (2) has virtually eliminated the pain and inflammation, and (3) gives me loads of energy, bright eyes, and very healthy skin. When the nurse called me to tell me the test outcome, her dismissing statement really irritated me, "The test came back negative. You don't have candida, so don't worry about it anymore." Ooooh, I fight for every day of health in my kitchen, never eating out because restaurant food causes pain and return of symptoms, and she says "Don't worry about it anymore." I'm going to keep stating to everyone, "The prob is systemic candida" because NO ONE has ever found any answers but I have found one huge solution, THE SYSTEMIC CANDIDA DIET!!!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Rose-hip Chili (Vegan)

Hurray, another year of life! In the Far East, red is an auspicious color for the new year, albeit the color red is for the lunar new year and not today, the solar new year. Anyway, here is an auspiciously red dish for kicking off 2012, the Year of the Snake. And btw, this red dish in looks and flavor goes splendidly with black beans and brown rice with a huge green toss salad.

Some preparation and fore-thought is needed for this recipe, so plan ahead. In the a.m. before going to work, soak 1/2 cup of dehydrated organic rose-hips (the kind without seeds). Put them in at least twice to three times as much water to soak, and 8 hours later, they're rehydrated and ready to use.

Rose-hip Chili

1/2 cup organic rosehips, de-seeded
1 large onion, sliced
25 garlic stems, cut into short segments
1-2 big handfuls of greens (spinach, kale, turnip...)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2/3 teaspoon sea salt
1 - 2 teaspoons cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric

The cooking process: In a fry pan, saute a large onion and the 25 or so garlic stems (often available through Asian stores). Add water gradually but not too much as this is not soup but just a sauce (see pict for amount). When the vegies are tender and still bright in color, add in the greens, the seasonings and stir together till the greens are limp but still retain their color. Turn off the heat and pour the rehydrated rose-hips on top. The rose-hip syrup will be somewhat thick and sweet [hmm, I wonder about the glycemic count but have been unable to find any reference online, so this is just a treat]. The rose-hips might also contain some hard seeds or rose-hip tops, so remove them before stirring in. I usually let the vegies cool a few minutes because rose-hips are extremely high in vitamin C, which is killed by heat ... so the trade-off is a cooler sauce but with maximized vitamin C.

This particular sauce was made with some flat garlic stems I found at a local Vietnamese store while at home. Personally I think Korean garlic stems are much more pungent and certainly are firmer, but the ultimate flavor was relatively the same. And, natural lighting certainly made this dish gorgeous as all food should be!

And now with the rounder, firmer garlic stems in Korea.

Here is my final sauce. I served this particular batch up with black beans and brown rice and then mixed everything together. 'Twas good but I like a little more chili-like flavor so ended up sprinkling more cumin on top ... and then ... great vegan chili substitute!