My (self mandated) extra long weekend was made pleasant by loved ones and the adventurous diners that I got to break pita with. The Vegetable Chili that I made was delicious even though it would be more appropriately labeled as Vegetable Chili-Stew. Check it out under the recipes tab! We hit up Provincetown and walked for hours (even took a break from the heat in the shelter of the Public Library) and finally made it to our vegan restaurant destination- Karoo Kafe. Never having had South African food- it was very interesting even just to see all of the options they had available. I ordered a cup of the Peanut Curry Soup that they had on special (which was one of the two vegan soups that they had for the day) we all shared the Hummus, and for my meal I got the Tabbouleh Salad. The menu had clearly labeled vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free options which took the annoying guess-work right out of the equation. I even liked the style of the restaurant with the order-at-the-counter-and-they-bring-the-food-out-to-you-on-funky-paper-plates thing they have going on. Friendly staff made the experience that much more pleasurable. I am definitely glad that we stopped in! (See picture above for the view from the deck looking in)
In later news… my SoyaJoy G3 and 25 pounds of Soy Beans finally arrived late last week and although I didn’t have any time to use my new toy before I left for my mini-vaca I wasted no time upon my return! After soaking the soy beans for the allotted 8 hours (the waiting part is going to be the only challenging part of this whole thing) I was finally ready to get milkin’! The most shocking thing (shocking in a good way) is the amount of milk just a tiny bit of the soy beans yield. I had bought a bunch of mason jars to use for the milk and I was able to fill 2 up even though I had filled the water line up to the lower fill line just in case. When I fill it to the max fill line I should be getting around 6 cups of milk for only about 1/2 cup of dried soy beans. After the SoyaJoy had run through it’s cycle and it beeped out to me for attention, I strained out the Okara and voila! The milk is extremely hot when it first comes out (I have not tried the raw setting yet but that’s next- the beans and water are not heated up in the raw process so the milk will be room temperature. I couldn’t help but wonder how nice it’s going to be on a fall day when I put the warm milk right into a nice big bowl of granola hot off the press. The recipe book it came with promises many great treats to try and I look forward to the milks of my future.
But more about this Okara stuff that I was talking about. After being strained out, the stuff that’s left over (the Okara- literally meaning ‘honorable shell’) looks a lot like mashed potatoes and the texture is very similar also. I started thinking about what I could use this mystery substance that I had never encountered before for. In my research, I came across many histories, cheap staple recipes and then there are always those courageous bloggers forging their way through projects of their own. As I kept reading, I found out that all of this stuff left behind isn’t garbage, its (as Just Hungry put it very plainly) “a nutritional powerhouse, containing soluble and non-soluble fiber, protein, calcium and other minerals.” I learned that many bakers use it in their baked goods and even as a parmesan cheese substitution! At the time (and because it was getting late last night and I didn’t want to waste a single ounce of the stuff) I smeared it on a cookie sheet and left it in the oven for about 15 minutes re-smearing on the cookie sheet every now and then to ensure even drying. After it was crumbly I put it in the food processor and chopped away. The nutty smell and flavor was amazing and it even had a bread-crumby texture to it. Having said that, I’m sure that I could bread any number of things and have a tasty meal on my hands but I’m thinking I may need to make a few more batches of soy milk to create anything substantial (for now, it waits dried in my refrigerator in one of my fancy Mason jars until I figure it out). At any rate this should be a really nice adventure especially considering I know exactly what’s going into the milk and better yet what’s not. Cheers!