Monday, August 3, 2009

The Amazing Bean

Sorry for leaving my blog so quiet last week. I was away (without a computer) in Des Moines, Iowa, where I was invited to participate in a soybean tour. The Soyfoods Council arranged the farm to table tour, which had us visiting soybean farms, cooking at the culinary institute, watching demos, learning (a ton) about the latest studies from Dr. Mark Messina (one of the foremost researchers on soy) and had many delicious meals... I also made some great friends and laughed my butt off the entire time. It was a fantastic week.

There were about 13 of us on the trip, from cookbook authors to magazine editors to chefs and writers. All of us foodies, but some were new to the world of soy. Being the token vegan on the trip, I was probably one of the few that regularly ate and cooked with soy. But we all walked away learning all sorts of new and cool techniques and with lots of inspiration. I have all kinds of ideas for using miso and edamame, and am inspired to start making my own tofu on a regular basis.

I also learned a lot from Dr. Mark Messina about the latest in soy research, seperating all of the facts from fiction. There are some poorly written articles popping up in magazines and lots of crazy untruths. I mean, come on... drinking soymilk does not cause men to grow moobs! I will try and get my hands on some of the latest studies to share, because I think it's really important info.

I'll post the rest of the trip in another post. Pictures of us cooking at the culinary instute, more delicious vegan meals and even a side field trip to the headquarters of Better Homes and Gardens (and their test kitchens). Did I say that I had a fantastic time?

Anyways, here are some of the pics from the week.
Me, in the soy fields.

The farmer in his soy field.

Edamame guacamole which was absolutely amazing!

One of our fabulous meals, prepared by Chef Ephraim at the Tournament Club of Iowa. This dinner was unbelievable! Notice the homemade tofu at the bottom of the plate and the mashed potatoes formed into a pear, dusted with panko and ground soynuts (I think) and fried/baked. Such a delicious dinner! He used soy in so many new and unexpected ways.

Two vegan desserts. The one on the left is a mochi cake made with rice flour and a carrot cake on the right. These were absolutely delicious!

Dr. Mark Messina. My camera wasn't working well, so the pic isn't great. His presentation was excellent.


Amey said...

wow, that sounds like a really neat event. How exciting to be included. I have some relatives who are soybean farmers in North Carolina, and whenever I visit, they like to tease me that they are growing it all just for me.

I'm planning on making some homemade tofu sometime soon... I'll look forward to seeing what you come up with too.


Unknown said...

the guacamole! the Julie!
have I told you how in love I am with that Clear Jel stuff you offered me? it's the best. I still owe you a couple of things that I'll be sure to throw in the mail as soon as foot permits.

Unknown said...

Julie, It was great fun having you on our tour. Love the post. (Tofu doesn't equal moobs!) Keep on vegan on! Hope to see you again, Angela

Laura Roy said...

Oh, I was one of your student assistants at the Iowa Culinary Institute. I wish I knew you were there so I could have grilled you. I'm glad you had fun!

Meghan (Making Love In The Kitchen) said...

Would love to see some of those studies. I have avoided soy for a long time for a whole slew of reasons. I think one of the main challenges is that so many veggies and vegans use soy products to substitute so many food groups so they end up with an abundance in the diet and really, the only thing we should have every singly day, day in and day out is water. Could do us much good to mix the rest up once in a while.

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Wow, sounds like a good time! I love the idea of going to the fields.

Judy said...

Looks like you had a nice trip. I am interested to know more about these studies and the important info - being a nutritionist I know a lot about soy, and not all of it is good. Pass along that info please!

Amy said...

What a wonderful trip! I'd give almost anything to be able to eat some of those amazing soy foods. Yum!