Well, my obsession with the famous lentil tortilla continues…today, I tried an experiment I’d been thinking about for the past few days.
It all started last week when I finally found a bottle of nigari, which is a coagulant used to make tofu. I’d been using lemon juice or “pickle crisp” (calcium chloride) as tofu coagulants with varying degrees of success, so I was anxious to get my hands on the elusive nigari and make some decent tofu. I made two batches that, in all honesty, weren’t much better than the tofu I made using pickle crisp, so I’ll have to continue to experiment with proportions.
The good news is that I was left with a couple of cups of okara–the pulp that’s left after you make soy milk. Apparently, okara “has more or less the same nutritional profile as its parent the soybean, meaning that it contains a good balance of amino acids, and also has plenty of dietary fiber, helping to lower cholesterol, AND it’s packed with lecithin and choline, which help improve memory.”
Okara is also much, much lower in calories than lentils.
As you know, the recipe for about twelve lentil tortillas is two cups of dry red lentils (1520 calories) and two cups of water. I wondered whether I could replace one of those cups of lentils with a cup of okara (at 93 calories) to both expand the nutritional profile AND lower the calories.
Surprise! IT WORKED BRILLIANTLY.
The tortillas are oddly both more robust in structure, yet more delicate around the edges than regular lentil tortillas, and the batter has more bubbles and holes. They also seem to cook slightly quicker than regular lentil tortillas, and they are less filling.
And though I was making vegan enchiladas with the tortillas, we both wanted to ensure that they tasted okay before I baked up a giant casserole dish of enchiladas, so I made a small wrap for James and I to split as a pre-dinner snack. I smeared the tortilla with a vegan blue cheez dressing, then loaded it with James’ sweet-and-sour coleslaw, tofu halloumi, and a handful of air-fried sweet potato. The tortilla passed the taste test (and the wrap was actually amazingly delicious (especially considering I threw it together from a bunch of leftovers in the fridge!).
The chick’n enchiladas were delicious, which is surprising considering that we have been unable to go to town for groceries since January 2nd and had no fresh produce except an onion and a sweet potato (which I air-fried first). I managed to scrounge up a bit of kale and chard from the veg trugs outside as well, and we had a half jar of red peppers in the fridge–oh, and a can of black beans. For my regular enchiladas, I usually use fresh tomatoes, red peppers, mushrooms, and serrano peppers, but today’s recipe was just as scrumptious as usual!
Oh, and by the way, I did go a step further and try to make tortillas with okara alone….NOT a success.
We also had a lovely dessert—key lime tarts from a Minimalist Baker recipe. Not bad for an empty larder!
And the song of the day is Leonard Cohen’s “Take This Walz.” And let us make it the version from seventy-five-year-old Lenny with the croaky, cigarette voice. I somehow prefer this one…