So you probably know by now that we here at Irreverent Vegan aren't down with the container action. We've made great inroads over the last few years toward ditching a lot of the packaging and buying more stuff fresh and/or in bulk. At this point, our worst offenders are probably soy/rice/almond milk/creamer and orange juice (which, yes, comes from it's really kind of an eco-no-no anyway...what's next our bananas?!). So, after getting a soymilk maker for Christmas (the SoyQuick 930p), I figured that--6 months later--it was high time to make our own soymilk.

Observe, a glass of delicious, frothy, homemade soymilk (with a cookie from like a month ago--why won't it go bad?!):

I figured right now--in the throes of pseudo-bachelorhood--would be an ideal time to experiment; Amy's in Reykjavik, so I alone am left to deal with the disastrous-or-delicious consequences of home soymilk production. My hope is that by the time Amy returns, I will have perfected homemade soymilk, deftly replacing our pre-packaged soymilk with my own, like a ninja in the night. Instead of just making one batch to start with, like a normal person, I decided that I must make two batches, one sweetened, one unsweetened, duplicated poor results be damned! While this is an idea that I will someday return to, once I've perfected my recipe, I don't recommend it for the first batch. Here's why, numbered for your convenience:

  1. I somehow lost the instruction book and some of the parts [this is unusual; SoyQuick was prompt with their PDF instruction book email]
  2. One of these parts was a cup. But it's not actually a cup, as in "1 cup".
  3. The recipe called for 2 cups of soy beans. But not 2 cups as in "2 cups," but rather 2 cups as in 2 of the included cups.
  4. Whoops.
  5. I decided to go with recipe on the SoyQuick site, for reference, when I really knew that Zoa over at the Airy Way was the true expert.
  6. As Zoa points out, Julie's recipe (on the SQ site) conveniently edits out the entire filtration part of making soymilk, which, truth be told, is 90% of the work. There's no way you can filter everything with a gold coffee filter. Go with Zoa's process--multi-step filtration.
  7. It was a bit bean-y. I now understand that this is a result of using like 30% more beans than I should have.
  8. Next time, Gadget.

All of that being said, for a first batch, this was pretty darn good soymilk. I've been using it every day in my breakfast shake, to savory and creamy result. I'm not sure if I would actually dunk a cookie in it, as I grossly lead you to believe in the above photo. But I can imagine a point when that will be the case. And that's what matters. It's not what you made, but what you will make.

While I knew about okara (repeat after me: okara is not okra, okara is not okra) from the Airy Way, I was a little overwhelmed by it at first. It's like a soybean mashed potato. This stuff just had to be awesome...but what to do with it? Zoa uses it in her version of our version of Joanna Vaught's Seitan Chik'n. Where else to go with this amazing stuff? On this, dear readers, I will have to get back to you.

In this grand knowledge's stead, however, I give you The Soy Flowchart!

Despite my mixed success with batches 1 & 2 of soymilk, the enterprise in general has been great: soymilk for my breakfast shakes and okara to make seitan, which in turn has contributed to 3 outstanding meals thus far (part of the Cooking For One regimen).

Meal 1: Chik'n Caesar Salad

You might remember this one.

Meal 2: Rosemary Chik'n Bowties

This was an offshoot of the pasta from the other night, this time including okara seitan and mushrooms. Additionally, I used bowtie noodles and sliced the garlic into thin slivers instead of dicing it. Lastly, instead of a variety of herbs, I decided to focus on just fresh rosemary. Good choice.

Meal 3: Summer Solstice Salad

Okay, so I'm a couple days late; the summer solstice just passed. But. The pertinent fact remains that it's this particular time of year that you can get lettuce, asparagus, and the first inklings of tomatoes from your garden and/or the local farmer's market. There's a very small window when you can get both a local tomato and local asparagus. When you can, you should. Toss in a little okara seitan, some toasted almonds, and douse lightly with olive oil and a dash of salt and pepper.

This is probably one my top salads. I almost felt guilty eating this by myself, it was so awesome.

Stay tuned for:

Soy Beans vs IV: Round 2


How many things can Mark make with okara seitan?!