Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Monday and Almond Okara Dip

Is there such a thing as a good Monday morning? At our house the week always starts with a flurry of activity which never seems to set a good tone for the day. I am sure this is because we stay up too late on the weekend. I guess you know what that means right? Yes we are going to try to get into bed early on the weekends to see if that helps Mondays go a little more smoothly.

Breakfast for Dan was his favorite oatmeal with wild blueberries, wheat germ, freshly ground flaxseed, cinnamon, powdered ginger, walnuts and stevia.

Breakfast for me was my favorite cold weather dish, savory oatmeal. Like usual I made the oats “cheezy” using nutritional yeast and flavored them with cumin, oregano and paprika. Additionally I stirred in 2 tablespoons of wheat germ and 1 tablespoon of freshly ground flaxseeds for added nutrition. I topped the oats with broccoli, salsa, tomato and raw pumpkin seeds. What I like about having savory oatmeal for breakfast is that it is: 1) very filling and satisfying and keeps me full well into the afternoon 2) nutritionally dense and 3) it reminds me of a broccoli and cheese stuffed potato with none of the guilt. I think savory oatmeal is a wonderful cold weather breakfast. Thank you Courtney for introducing me to the concept of savory oatmeal.

After the huge bowl of oatmeal and the multiple mugs of green and white tea I had today I wasn’t terribly hungry at lunch time. However I know myself and if I didn’t eat something I would have been starving at dinner time so I made myself a snack of carrots and okara and almond butter dip.

Yesterday when I made soymilk which meant I had okara leftover from the process. This time I turned into a dip by adding fresh ginger and homemade reduced fat almond butter. I didn’t measure any of this but I will tell you what I did. I strained the okara well as part of the process of making soymilk and placed the okara into the food processor. Then I added about two inches of fresh grated ginger to the processor and about ½ cup reduced fat almond butter. I processed this until smooth and tasted it for flavor. The almond butter makes the spread creamy and rich. The ginger flavor came through but not in an intense way. I also added a little powdered ginger (because fresh and dried ginger have different health benefits), and some white pepper. This makes a huge volume of okara dip. I froze some of it to see how that works and will let you know what I defrost it. Dan thinks this is a nice alternative to fat free hummus.

Dinner was late (don’t ask) so I made something light that I hoped wouldn’t keep up away. This time it a huge salad (in a serving bowl like usual) of: mesclun, strawberries, blackberries, oranges and topped with balsamic vinegar and a few chopped walnuts. Since this wasn’t enough food for Dan he also had some carrots and okara and almond butter dip.

Happy Thoughts:

As much as I adore my husband I also like having a little time during the week to myself. I use this time to learn, grow and do things just for me. With that in mind here are my happy thoughts today:

• Is there anything better than having the scale give you good news? *happy dance* Don’t you just love getting on the scale and getting news?  ;-)
• I spent a lot of Monday watching the DVD from The Great Courses on pathophysiology and thoroughly enjoyed myself. It is wonderful to have time to do things like this.

• Monday I had the opportunity to talk to a friend on the phone which was great. I can always use more healthy friends to keep me focused.

• It was great to take time on Monday to go for a long walk in the neighborhood. I loved that the weather is definitely starting to feel like spring and that I have time that available to spend outside other than in a car like in my not too distant past.

Signing out:

Tuesday has been a little busy but good. I listened to an interesting webinar today that I will tell you about tomorrow. What did I do before there was an internet? *shakes head* It is hard to imagine life without technology now isn’t it? Talk to you again tomorrow. I hope you had a great Tuesday.


  1. Tasty tasty looking food!!!! I love your salads!!!!

  2. Perfect Ali! I made soymilk too and needed an okara idea!

  3. Glad you were able to get outside for a walk. Nothing like fresh air to re-energize!

  4. Brandi,

    Thanks! You know we eat a lot of salad here. LOL, luckily for me Dan likes them too. ;-)


  5. Heather,

    The weather was very nice Monday so I took advantage of it and went for a nice long walk. Once I got outside I got carried away. But it was a great way to spend a couple hours. You are right there is nothing like fresh air.


  6. Aimee,

    There are a few okara ideas on my site. Dan also really likes the okara sliders. There is another okara spread with miso and peanut butter that you may want to check out too.

    enjoy your Wednesday,

  7. Yes, I didn't immediately recognize your first photo as your breakfast - but I am coming to like savory oatmeal! I like it, just looking for the right flavor combo for me.

    I hope you have more good weather. We are enjoying a nice day today, and the sun really helps my own good thoughts. Spring is almost here!

  8. Jessica,

    Yay on trying savory oatmeal. That makes me very happy. I know what you mean about finding the flavor combination that you like. Salsa and nutritional yeast seem required to me but other than that anything else seems to work. I love how filling it is especially with cups of veggies. ;-) Thank you so much for letting me know you like it too.

    Our weather is almost perfect at the moment. We are suppose to be in the mid 70's by Friday. Hello Spring!

    hope you are having a good evening,

  9. I don't know if you've mentioned it before, but could you write a little about making soy milk? Easy or hard? Why make your own? I've been using almond milk (which I like a lot).

  10. Neca,

    Great question! I don't know if I have talked about why I make soymilk but I will add that to an upcoming post. I need to make soymilk today and will use my Vitamix so I can post those instructions too since not everyone has a soymilk maker. Thanks for the nudge.

    I hope all is going well with you,

  11. Your new dip sounds good.

    It's hard to believe that you have trouble keeping your weight down, with your great eating and exercise habits. I seem to eat so much more (including more grain and a little "bad" stuff) and generally don't gain weight. But I agree that it's always nice to step on an agreeable scale!

    I'm not sure if I mentioned it, but my first attempt at making soymilk turned me off completely. De-skinning the beans and then straining the milk were way too time-consuming. However I can't find soymilk without carrageenan around here, so we switched back to almond milk (the Silk brand with locust bean and gellan gum), which is so viscous that we dilute it almost 100%. I also got tired of making soy yogurt, although it was much easier to make than the milk.

  12. I've been having savory oatmeal for breakfast every day for the last week and a half. I'm in love.

  13. Henrietta,

    Woo Hoo! That just makes my day, thank you so much for sharing that you like the savory oatmeal too. :-) Please tell ... what have you been including in your savory oatmeal? I am always looking for new flavor combinations.


  14. Laura,

    I like the new dip you should try it. It is savory and nutty with a little zing from the ginger.

    The scale and I have a definite love hate relationship. LOL

    After reading your soymilk comment I made some yesterday without my soymilk maker. All I can say is I am glad I have a soymilk maker now it is much easier with it. You may want to look into that.

    Have you tried making almond milk that is much easier that soymilk since you don't need to skin the almonds.

    talk to you later,

  15. Honestly I haven't been very creative. I've been using cumin, no-salt seasoning, nutritional yeast and pumpkin seeds (like you). Sometimes I use paprika and sometimes I use flax. I've been putting black beans on it the last few days. I like using parsley instead of seasoning sometimes. For veggies I've used the following (not all at once): broccoli, spinach, kale, arugula (the spiciness is really good with pumpkin seeds and black beans, imo), and peas. I think my favorite combination of flavors was arugula, spinach, cumin, no-salt seasoning, nutritional yeast, pumpkin seeds, and black beans.

    As a side note, last night I made the accidental discovery that corn and kale make an AMAZING flavor combination.

  16. Henrietta,

    Thanks for sharing what you have tried. The corn and kale does sound really appealing as does the arugula. I bet dandelion greens would be good too. ;-) Now I am craving savory oatmeal probably because I had grapefruit and kale juice for breakfast.

    thanks again,

  17. This morning, instead of savory oatmeal, I did savory buckwheat groats and oat groats and it turned out great. I really like the texture of both of these grains and I feel like the super nutty taste of oat groats and the more...um...earthy(?) taste of buckwheat groats balance out. I used to use this mix with ginger and cinnamon and fruit for breakfast all the time. I love the super chewy texture. Sometimes I would cook them, sometimes I would soak them overnight (always with cinnamon or rosemary...I never soak anything without one or both of those).

    The dandelion greens sounds like a great idea!

    Oh, fyi, this is Elyse. I wrote you an e-mail pretty recently (to which you responded promptly and helpfully) about teapots and spice grinders and washing mesh strainers. I just use Henrietta because that's my g-mail account ;)

  18. Hey there Elyse, ;-)

    Brilliant idea to use buckwheat groats. I just happen to have some in the freezer. I will be trying that soon too! Thank you very much for sharing the idea. :-)

    Thanks also for clarifying that you and Henrietta are the same person. I like to use names when I respond.

    If you ever have any other questions please ask I don't mind sharing anything I know or researching what I don't know. Answering questions frequently teaches me something new about nutrition or health and I love that. ;-)

    have a great weekend,


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