Sunday, November 23, 2014

When Life Hands You Soy-Lemons, You Make Soy-Lemonade

As we approach the holiday season, I've encountered a potential heartbreak as far as my diet goes: I may have to celebrate the holidays without delicious holiday nog. That may not sound like an actual problem for most people, but I love eggnog. A lot. To an unhealthy degree that is difficult to make other people understand.

My friend Sandy, for example, said this when I mentioned my problem and talked about the amount of calories in a single serving: "Would you really drink 8 oz of that at once? Granted, I don't like eggnog, but even if I did, that seems awfully heavy to drink a full cup at one time. It's egg yolks and sugar and cream plus all those colorings and preservatives and corn syrup."

Well, no, Sandy. Of course I wouldn't drink 8 ounces of eggnog at a time.

Because I drink my eggnog out of a 20 ounce tumbler.

And sometimes I have a second glass after the first one.

I know. That's disgusting. But it's also my holiday vice, which doesn't make it less disgusting, but does sort of explain how sad I am that I will not be able to buy any eggnog this year, for the same reason that I can't buy more than a single service size container of ice cream at a time. If it's in the house, I will drink it all. Possibly all in one sitting, because I've done that. I've consumed an entire half gallon of eggnog in one evening by filling glass after glass until the jug was empty.

I didn't get to 295 pounds by accident, you know.

Since I'm trying to change those kinds of eating habits, and I know I lack the willpower to carefully portion out the eggnog a serving at a time over the course of several days, and at about 350 calories per cup one serving is a poor use of my calories for the day anyway, I've been a little sad, and mentioned this to several friends. Some of them expressed sympathy, some offered recipes for light eggnog, and one suggested that I try soy-eggnog.

"It's just like eggnog!"

SPOILER: It's not.

I know, because I tried it.

soynog french toast (1)

It looks sort of like eggnog, right? It's the right color, and if you lean over it and inhale, it even sort of smells like eggnog. When I opened the carton, I was for a moment filled with hope, and willing to run to the friend who told me this and hug her over and over until her ribs snapped or my arms got tired. I should have talked to more friends about it before buying, though, because when I mentioned it to other vegetarian and vegan friends this week they all looked at me the same way that they would if I had opened my mouth and spontaneously vomited soynog onto their shoes and pantlegs.

Even vegetarians hate soynog.

There's a good reason: While soynog may look, smell, and even taste like eggnog, the texture is all wrong. It's like eggnog-flavored water.

soynog french toast (2)

It's like something that some of your eggnog might turn into if your eggnog sits in the refrigerator long enough to separate.

So I now had a quart of soynog, and it was disgusting. I debated just pouring it down the drain, and was even encouraged to do so by friends who work with charities that feed the hungry and try to reclaim leftover restaurant and dining hall food for homeless people. Even they saw no value in soynog, but this morning I conquered the soynog problem, by turning it into something delicious and holiday festive.

I made soynog French toast:

soynog french toast (3)

It's warm, it tastes like eggnog, and the texture doesn't matter because it is the texture of French toast.

You'll need:

2 eggs
1 cup soynog
Splash of vanilla (maybe a teaspoon?)
liberal sprinkles of cinnamon and nutmeg

Mix the first four ingredients together and pour into a wide, shallow bowl. Place each slice of bread in the mixture, turning the slice over to get both sides, and then drop in a nonstick skillet on medium-high heat, cooking one side and then the other until they are both golden brown.

It is the most delicious French toast I've ever made. Plan it for a festive Christmas morning breakfast, and dazzle your family with your holiday festiveness.

Just don't drink that crap.

1 comment:

Marcheline said...

Hey Joel, this intrigued me since you basically said it was only the texture that you didn't like. So I looked up making soynog from scratch, and one vegan website I found mentioned that you could add something called "silken tofu" to the nog, process it in a blender/food processor, and that would thicken it up and make the consistency right. Tofu basically tastes like nothing, so it would probably work. You might have to add a little nutmeg to the drink to bring the taste back to the proper proportions, as the bland tofu will make the drink more bland, but it sounds like it might be worth a try...? They also mentioned you could throw a couple of ice cubes in the food processor and stir the fine ice chips into your soynog just before drinking, as it will also give the drink body. There are loads of culinary "thickeners" out there... I wouldn't give up on this idea just yet if I were you. You have plenty of time to figure something out before the holidays!

Kudos on your imaginative use of soynog! I'd have probably tried to put it in my coffee or something, but making French toast out of it is brilliant.