31 March 2008

island ice cream / island sugar cookies •

Every month The Leftover Queen hosts a fun challenge called the “Royal Foodie Joust”. You are given just three ingredients and with your creativity and imagination you are to come up with an original and (hopefully) tasty recipe. This month’s challenge featured these three: From the Sea, lemon or lime, and coconut. I really wanted to join in this month’s joust and also wanted the recipe to be compatible with my blog. I decided that I would use soy milk in the ice cream and make Island Sugar Cookies with okara to pair with it. Definitely a taste of Summer! I almost forgot to mention that the little darlings gobbled this up. They did not guess that it was made out of soy milk and not one drop of dairy!

Island Ice Cream •

1/3 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
1 medium ripe avocado
1 cup coconut milk (unsweetened)
1 cup sugar
5 cups vanilla soy milk
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup water
1 tablespoon Agar Agar flakes (sea vegetable flakes)

Cut avocado in half, discard seed. Scoop out the avocado flesh into a blender. Add juice, coconut milk, soy milk, sugar, salt and vanilla. Blend thoroughly. Prepare agar agar mixture; In a small saucepan, sprinkle Agar Agar flakes over the one cup water. Let the flakes soak for one minute. Bring the water to a boil, boil for one minute. Let cool for one minute. With blender running, slowly add the agar agar mixture to the blender. Immediately freeze according to your ice-cream maker’s instructions. 

Island Sugar Cookies •

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together until light and fluffy:

4 ounces butter, softened
1 cup sugar

Continuing to mix, beat in:

1 cup wet okara, drained and pressed as dry as possible (this is referring to the okara straight from your machine, not dried)
1/3 cup coconut milk (unsweetened)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon lime zest

In a medium mixing bowl combine:

2-1/4 cups white unbleached flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup coconut flakes

Add dry ingredients to creamed okara mixture on low speed until incorporated. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes (if you are rolling the dough by hand, this is an important step. I do not refrigerate my dough, but use a small stainless steel scoop made by Pampered Chef® to shape my cookies. If you use the scoop, gently drop cookie in sugar, turn cookie over, then proceed to place on baking sheet). Roll dough into 3/4-inch balls; roll balls in granulated sugar. Place cookies 2 to 3 inches apart on lightly greased baking sheet; flatten with bottom of a drinking glass. Bake about 12-15 minutes, until lightly golden brown around edges. Cool slightly, then remove to a rack to finish cooling. When completely cool, spread tops of cookies with glaze made of powdered sugar and lime juice and sprinkle with coconut flakes. Makes approximately three dozen.

17 March 2008

smokin’ okara chili •

Even though it was Palm Sunday yesterday, and Easter is next week, the temperatures here in the Dairy State aren’t climbing too high. I can still see inches of snow all around, it is melting, albeit very slow. So having chili right now isn’t so far-fetched. I long for Spring, but I am still wearing my woolens!

Smokin’ Okara Chili •

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped sweet red bell pepper
3 cloves garlic, finely minced

In a large dutch oven heat the oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and  bell pepper, saute for 6-8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 10-15 seconds. Add to the dutch oven:

3 quarts tomatoes (do not drain)
1 tablespoon cocoa
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons chopped chipolte pepper in adobo sauce
4 tablespoons chili powder
1 cup wet okara (this is referring to the okara straight from your machine, not drained or dried)
1 cup double strength brewed black coffee
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon coriander
2 teaspoons cumin powder
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 (16 ounce) cans dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

sour cream for garnish (optional)

Combine ingredients throughly. Simmer, covered, for 45 minutes to an hour. Uncover, and continue to simmer for another hour. If you eat dairy, a dollop of sour cream on top cuts the heat, and is delicious.

12 March 2008

okara skillet corn bread •

This corn bread is quick, and develops a nice crispy crust. I will usually bake it when we have Okara Chilli. It is a mild corn bread that would be at home at breakfast with a little honey, lunch or dinner.

Okara Skillet Corn Bread •

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Grease skillet (I use vegetable spray) and place in oven as is warms up.

In a large mixing bowl sift:

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup unbleached white flour
3/4 cup yellow corn meal
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sucanat (natural cane sugar) or other sweetener. If you use honey, adjust the amount of yogurt or okara to compensate for the extra moisture.

In a medium mixing bowl whisk together:

1 cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoons oil (canola, safflower, or light olive oil)
1 cup wet okara (this is referring to the okara straight from your machine)

Spread batter into the Very Hot skillet. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce oven to 375 degrees. Bake corn bread until browned and center tests done, approximately 20 - 25 minutes more.

11 March 2008

okara hummus •

When the darlings get home from school, they are STARVED! They remind me of this fact every day like it is something new. If I have my act together (sometimes it happens...) I will throw together this hummus. They gobble it up with okara thin bread or pita bread and lots of raw veggies. If they can’t eat much dinner, who cares? They have gotten plenty of nutrition from this snack.

Okara Hummus •

In your blender, puree the following:

1 cup wet okara (this is referring to the okara straight from your machine)
1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans (do not drain)
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons tahini
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/8 teaspoon salt

extra-virgin olive oil

Transfer to a covered container. Refrigerate hummus for a few hours for the best flavor. Right before serving, warm hummus and sprinkle with olive oil and paprika. Serve with pita bread or okara thin bread, and raw vegetables for dipping. 

09 March 2008

okara thin bread •

Way back in art school (okay—way, way back...*sigh* way, way, WAY back) I loved to bake bread from scratch. The mixing, kneading, rising and the smell of the bread when it baked—was very therapeutic for me. In the large city where I attended school it seemed like you rushed everywhere just to get there and wait. The hours (and muscles) needed to bake bread released my stress and it gave me the added benefit of actually eating something that was nutritious. The mother of a fellow art student gave me the original recipe for this thin, crispy bread. The addition of okara makes it a little chewier, but still delicious. You can serve this bread with dips, soups, or anything else that you would normally serve crackers with.

Okara Thin Bread •

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl whisk together:

1/2 cup warm water
1 (1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast (2-1/4 teaspoons)

Let this mixture rest for 5 minutes. Whisk the yeast mixture up and add:

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup wet okara, warmed (this is referring to the okara straight from your machine)
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons sucanat (natural cane sugar) or other sweetener
2 cups white unbleached flour

Beat until smooth, add:

1/2 cup to 1 cup whole wheat flour (add as needed to make a stiff dough)

Knead dough for 10 minutes. Place back in bowl and cover, let rise in a warm place until doubled in size. Punch dough down and divide into 4 pieces. Roll a piece into a rectangle roughly 10" x 14" in size. Place on a greased cookie sheet (I usually use vegetable spray) and bake for 20 - 25 minutes until brown. Move bread to a wire rack and cool completely. Once cooled, use your hands to break up bread into manageable pieces.

05 March 2008

okara cherry-almond muffins •

We like to have muffins on hand to be able to grab a quick breakfast. These muffins were rated a ten by the little darlings. Unfortunately, they didn’t last very long. Especially when tart red cherries are mom’s favorite fruit. I am lucky enough to be able to buy a gallon bucket of frozen cherries from Door County, Wisconsin at my local grocery store. It is especially handy when March rolls around, and we still have a foot of snow on the ground! A little bit of summer to keep us going until we can get some fresh ripe fruit...

Okara Cherry-Almond Muffins •

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium mixing bowl whisk together:

1/2 cup vanilla soymilk
1 cup wet okara (this is referring to the okara straight from your machine)
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
1/4 cup honey

In a large mixing bowl sift together:

2 cups unbleached white flour
1/4 cup ground flaxseed 
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup brown sugar, tightly packed
4 teaspoons baking powder

Add in 1/2 cup almonds, finely chopped
(Reserve 2 tablespoons for topping if desired)

Toss in 1 cup tart red cherries. If frozen, thaw, drain and pat dry and then add to dry ingredients. 
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, mixing until just incorporated. Line muffin tins with paper liners and fill 2/3 full. Top muffins with a mixture of 2 tablespoons finely chopped almonds and 2 tablespoons sugar. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown.

04 March 2008

okara pasta •

Okara is a great addition to a bread recipe, but I was curious to see how it would work with pasta. I experimented with making a pasta dough without egg and using the okara as a binder instead. I was content with the outcome. I have since made lasagne with the dough, and it was mighty tasty. 

Okara Pasta •

In a large mixing bowl combine:

3/4 cup unbleached white flour
3/4 cup semolina flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a small mixing bowl whisk together:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup wet okara (this is referring to the okara straight from your machine)
2 tablespoons water (optional; depending on how wet your okara is, you might not need it)

Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients, and pour wet ingredients into it. Mix to make a stiff dough. If the dough seems too dry, add the optional water. If it is too wet, add more flour, two tablespoons at a time. Knead for 10 minutes. Tuck a damp kitchen towel on top of the dough, and let it rest for 20 minutes. Roll out on lightly floured surface and cut into desired shapes. Or use your pasta maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. 

If you are using the dough for lasagne, DO NOT BOIL first, just add to your recipe as is. 

Fill a large pot with water, add 1/2 teaspoon oil, and bring to a boil. Add pasta and cook until “al dente”. Because the pasta is fresh, it will cook incredibly fast. When the pasta floats to the surface— test it, it is usually ready.