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Pink Food

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I'm hosting a book club meeting. We try and make the snacks at the meetings go along with the theme of the book - this month it's the Grass Harp. The main character loves pink, so I thought I'd try and make pink food. Caveats: I'm vegetarian and really don't like the idea of using pink food coloring. I like the idea of pink peppercorns and I thought I might try and make a beet root dip of some sort, but beyond that I'm stumped. Any ideas?

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  1. Pink grapefruit salad
    Use 1/2 the amount of beet root powder to make a pink velvet cake or cupcakes
    Pink lemonade or pink sangria
    Cotton candy
    If you don't mind heading into a bit of red..there are a good deal more choices

    2 Replies
    1. re: HillJ

      Salmon!

      1. re: mariacarmen

        she's vegetarian...

    2. The little girl in the family I cook for loves the color pink. I use the juice from a can of red beets. A little bit goes along way,and doesn't have much of a taste. I use it on noodles, rice and eggs. Use it after the food is cooked, not in the cooking water. Hard boiled eggs (peeled) turn a nice shade of pink after soaking in beet juice for a while.Other than that, the only other pink food she likes is ham.
      Chrissy

      4 Replies
      1. re: ChrissyMc

        I wish they had a "like" button on chowhound because that is so cute Chrissy I want to like it! will share this with my 14 year old who loves to cook and add fun colors.

        1. re: ChrissyMc

          How fun.

          In addition to the great ideas so far, you can also use beet juice to turn tofu pink. Also, pink lemonade.

          I recently saw an episode of Private Chefs of Beverly Hills (a guilty pleasure of mine, sorry to say) and one of their clients insisted on an all-pink menu. Here are two of the the recipes:

          Mini Strawberry Cheesecake Bites
          http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/mi...

          Guava Reduction (they used it as a sauce over some protein, I can't recall...salmon maybe?
          )http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/gu...

          I also thought they used beet juice to dye noodles, but I can't find that recipe.

          Also, red cabbage, Chinese "beauty heart radishes" (if you can get them--honestly, I don't know when they are in season), red potato salad (leave skins on), watermelon, pink cauliflower if you can find it.

          Old chowhound post. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/2764...

          ~TDQ

          1. re: The Dairy Queen

            Now that I think about it, I think the guava reduction was served over lamb. I think the salmon was served over the pink noodles, in little chinese take-out boxes.

            ~TDQ

            1. re: The Dairy Queen

              Oh what great ideas. I would like to slip in pomegranates to this mix somewhere. They are so pretty and plentiful right now.

          2. Cooked shrimp
            Pickled ginger
            Red hot pepper jelly mixed with cream cheese
            Strawberry quick bread

            1. Maybe somehow utilize strawberry yogurt in a dessert or mini pie shell? Fresh guava is pink on the inside, as is bland watermelon. The juice of fresh strawberries is definitely pinkish too and can help you as a natural dye. Pink grapefruit is a good choice as someone mentioned upthread. I wanted to suggest pink popcorn with white chocolate, but you clearly mentioned no artificial food coloring.

              1. Cocktail with strawberries and pomegranate, with club soda and light rum or vodka (or no ETOH)
                Penne alla vodka
                Pink beans, cranberry beans, or light red kidney beans (I'm thinking cooked, cooled and drained, lightly tossed with not-too-sweet raspberry vinagrette, fresh tomatoes, carrot shreds)
                Borscht with cream

                1. I was searching for Christmas canapes on here yesterday and came across this thread:
                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5732...
                  and the recipe/directions for beetroot and goats cheese squares. They're layered together, pressed and cut into squares, and it seems the beet dyes the cheese bright pink...

                  1. Beets will turn a potato salad a lovely pink color. There is a Latino party salad that has beets in it. Sorry not to have the recipe but I've eaten it at office parties when I worked with a lot of South Americans. Delicious.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Berheenia

                      They call it Russian salad!

                      1. re: Berheenia

                        Along the same lines: Borscht with sour cream turns a wonderful magenta-pink color.

                      2. random thoughts

                        pickled radishes
                        watermelon
                        strawberry jam and cream cheese tea sandwiches
                        small amount of marinara stirred into alfredo sauce
                        Breyers strawberry ice cream ("all natural")
                        boil red cabbage in water then cook rice in the water to see if the color it absorbs is your desired hue
                        cream of potato soup and garnish with radishes or edible flowers

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: enbell

                          Braised radishes turn pink when cooked

                          1. re: scubadoo97

                            Good to know :) I also thought of adding a bit of pomegranate juice to cream and whipping it for a dessert topping or having it alongside berries. Also, would red wine or red wine vinegar be an option for marinating cauliflower, jicama or white asparagus?

                        2. Pink Strawberry Cloud Pie from 1970

                          2 quarts frozen strawberries, thawed
                          2 cups of juice drained from frozen strawberries
                          1/4 cup granulated sugar
                          4 teaspoons cornstarch
                          1 (9 oz) pkg Cool Whip Dessert Topping, thawed
                          1 baked 8-inch pie shell

                          Thaw strawberries in a collander and allow juice
                          to drain into a bowl below. Reserve 2 cups
                          of drained juice and place in a saucepan.

                          Mix sugar and cornstarch with the
                          2 cups of juice in saucepan. Slowly
                          bring to a boil and cook juice until
                          thickened, stirring constantly.

                          Allow the strawberries to continue to drain
                          as the juice in saucepan is cooked.

                          Cool juice thoroughly, then add all of the
                          well drained strawberries to the thickened
                          juice. Mix well.

                          Fold in all of the Cool Whip and then spoon
                          the strawberry / Cool Whip mixture into
                          an 8-inch baked pie shell.

                          Allow the pie to stand in the refrigerator
                          for an hour or two before serving.

                          Source: Gettysburg Times newspaper, Wednesday, Nov 6, 1970.

                          1. Penne with pink cream tomato sauce. Just add heavy cream and grated Parmesan to taste when your tomato sauce is finished, and simmer gently for just a few minutes until it gets to a nice pink color. It is a delicious, thicker, creamier sauce that seems appropriate for a festive occasion. This also works well with a vodka sauce variation.

                            1. Thanks for all these great ideas!

                              1. If this were my kind of book club, there would be cocktails.

                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/437998

                                1. I accidentally discovered that cooked purple cauliflour, marinated in storebought honey Dijon dressing, turns a quite pretty pink. I wonder if any acid would do the trick?
                                  A Greek deli near us makes a beautiful, tasty beet salad/dip. I think the other ingredients are akin to tzaziki.

                                  1. How about Taramasalata? I've made this recipe with good results:

                                    http://www.foodnetwork.ca/recipes/App...

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                      Oh, and if you feel like baking, these delightfully pink "Dipped Cherry Cookies" cookies are terrific and, look beautiful as well:

                                      Dipped Cherry Cookies:

                                      http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Di...

                                    2. Beet risotto with goat and parmesan cheese. it is delicious and beautiful. Purple horseradish will tint anything you usually make with horseradish a beautiful pink. I once did an all pink meal but the entrees were poached salmon and ham so that doesn't help you. We had many pink cocktails along with shrimp appetizers.

                                      1. Blend some yams with yogurt and you'll have yourself a nice pink sauce.

                                        If you're not careful, people will think you are serving them a nasty Pepto Bismo reduction. But color aside, it's a very tasty sauce -- sweet, tangy with a consistency that imparts the sensation of eating gazpacho.

                                        1. I like to see the spread at this snack table... all the 100 shades of pink.