When we got up Wednesday morning we found a few inches of snow. So much for the predictions of the national weather service who said we would have rain overnight. You would think they would get it right a couple of hours before the “weather event”. Sometimes I have no idea why I check the weather forecast. Needless to say having snow on the ground in the morning made me especially happy that Dan had gone to Costco Tuesday night.
One of our Christmas presents from “the kids” was a book on tea. Aimee and Michael know how much we love our tea which is the reason for the book. It contains a lot of information about tea but most important to me is that it talks about the health benefits of many tea additions and gives recipes for tea blends. Reading about all blends in the book has me experimenting with blends of my own. My latest blend includes: sencha green tea, fresh lemon grass, cardamom, cinnamon, and clove. This was a good blend that even Dan liked. If you like experimenting with tea flavors give it a try. It is a good use for the dark green portions of lemon grass that you usually throw away. I used the lemon grass that I trimmed from my plant and had stored in the freezer.
Dan had a bowl of oatmeal with wild blueberries, ground flaxseeds, cinnamon, powdered ginger, ground cardamom a pinch of stevia and roughly chopped walnuts.
I had my breakfast after Dan has left for work and decided that I wanted to have leftover soup from last night. I was in the mood of something savory and since we had so much soup in the refrigerator that seemed like a good idea.
My lunch was okara and oat sliders with a little sesame, lemon, garlic and cumin sauce and salsa. These have become a new staple at our house. I have made them three times since this weekend. It is more of method than a recipe but that should tell you how easy it is. I measured but you will probably have different proportions. I will explain it below:
Okara and Oat Sliders
Makes 4 – 6 servings
okara from 1 cup of dry soybeans (what is leftover over from making soymilk)
2 cups oats, dry
2 tablespoon minced dehydrated onion
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 ½ teaspoons paprika
¼ teaspoon ground mustard
2 cloves garlic, grated or finely minced
freshly ground pepper, to taste
no-salt seasoning, to taste
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a half sheet pan with silpat, parchment paper or easy release aluminum foil and set aside.
Combine the okara and as much oatmeal as is necessary to firm up the mixture. I added it ½ cup at a time and stirred until it would hold its shape. How much oatmeal you need to add will be a function of how wet/dry your okara is. I used the dried minced onion to also help absorb the liquid in the okara. Now add seasonings that you like to taste. Be careful with salt as the burgers will become saltier as they dry out during baking.
Now use a small disher (in essence an ice cream scoop for cookies) so create equal size small balls. Roll the balls in your hands and press lightly so they are flat top and bottom or they will roll on the sheet tray. Form all the mixture into balls and place them on your sheet tray.
Bake the sliders until they are firm. Mine cooked for approximately 40 minutes but I didn’t check my oven temperature so that time could be off. I would suggest you check them after 25 minutes. Allow the sliders to cool for at least 15 minutes on the tray before trying to remove them. This will help them to stay together. They are less delicate when they have cooled just a little.
I omitted the nutritional information since the nutrition stats on okara would just be a WAG (wild a.. guess) on my part. The servings are given as a range 4 for an entrée size and 6 for a lunch size.
Dan has declared this the best use of okara yet. It is ridiculously easy and very easy to change or adapt to suit any cuisine. I have made in with Indian flavors, Italian and Mexican now and they all worked. They also freeze and reheat well in the microwave. When they come out of the oven they are more “crunchy” and are softer when reheated in the microwave. If you want them to be a little "lighter" you can add a little baking soda to the mixture.
For dipping sauces I have used the sesame and lemon sauce that follows, salsa and a combination of salsa and bbq sauce. These little things are very versatile because of the mild character of the okara.
Sesame and Lemon Dipping Sauce
Serves 4 (approximately 2 ounce servings)
¼ cup raw sesame seeds
½ cup water
1 lemon, juiced
2 cloves garlic
¼ teaspoon cumin seeds, to taste
Combine in your high speed blender (I used my Vitamix) and blend until smooth. If you want a thicker sauce start with ¼ cup of water and slowly drizzle more into your blender (while running) until you like the texture. The sauce will become thicker as it chills. Refrigerate until needed.
Amount Per Serving
Calories - 57.99
Calories From Fat (65%) - 37.74
Total Fat - 4.51g
Saturated Fat - 0.63g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 2.5mg
Potassium - 69.11mg
Total Carbohydrates - 3.94g
Fiber - 1.17g
Sugar - 0.4g
Protein - 1.77g
This sauce has a lot of flavor but also adds a nice creamy mouthfeel. If you don’t like lemon and garlic this is not the sauce for you since both flavors are very prominent in this sauce. It works beautifully with the okara sliders but would also be a great salad dressing.
To accompany the okara sliders I also made myself a simple salad of romaine, fresh pineapple, cucumbers fresh strawberries and sliced almonds. Since the fruit in the salad was very juicy I opted not to use any salad dressing.
Around 4pm the predicted storm rolled through and was extremely weird. It isn’t often that you have lighting and thunder during a heavy snow fall. We got 11 inches of snow in less than 6 hours. At one point I could barely see across the street it was that heavy. Since it was a heavy wet snow 250,000 in DC lost power as did 100,000 in Baltimore and the surrounding counties. Thankfully we weren’t one of those power outages.
For dinner I made a salad that contained: romaine, cucumber, tomatoes, salsa and nut cheese. Now we are out of nut cheese, so it is time to make more. Knowing this I had macadamia nuts soaking before I went to bed last night. When I don’t do these things right away I forget.
No surprise Dan’s Dessert last night was strawberry banana soft serve. You would think he wouldn’t want that after spending thirty minutes last night shoveling once he got home. However he loves his dessert and was even hinting around for it within 30 minutes of coming inside. I am always surprised by how much he loves the stuff.
• Dan made it home safely in the crazy weather. I wasn’t thrilled that he left work at 7pm in our horrible weather but it was great that he made it home without incident.
• We weren’t part of the 350,000 people who lost power last night. That was a great thing and something I was very thankful for.
• It was also wonderful to have things mostly back to normal yesterday. Having my routine altered caused to appreciate the relative tranquility of my daily life.
• I have been enjoying playing around with making my own tea blends. It was great to receive the book from “the kids” that started me down that road. I am looking forward to coming up with more of my own blends.
• I found a nice cast iron tea pot warmer at Teavana that I ordered for Dan to use at his office. He has wanted something like this since I found the cast iron tea pot so I was happy to find it for him. I will let you know how well it functions once it arrives.
• The snow covered landscape is gorgeous this morning. I love to look at the snow from the comfort of my nice warm home. ;-) It reminds me a winter fairy tale outside.
I have a few things to cross off my to-do list today. I need to make more soymilk, okara sliders, nut cheese, something for dinner and some house cleaning. It never ceases to amaze me that there are always things to do around the house. I am also starting to think about the garden and what I am going to plant this year. It will be nice to get back into the dirt.
I hope you have a great Thursday. It is almost time for another weekend. Woo hoo! Let’s hope this one is a more relaxing at our place. Talk to you again tomorrow.