Nutritional Yeast – The vegan’s cheese

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Vegan: A person who does not eat or use animal products.

The biggest upset I’ve heard from omnivores about the vegan diet is its lack of cheese and bacon. Thankfully, this way of eating has become more common and accepted in society, so there is a plethora of new meat and dairy replacements for everyone to try and enjoy. It used to be very difficult to locate these options, but now, due to our growing community and environmentalists sounding alarms, you can find many at your local grocery store. Nutritional Yeast, however, I have not found at my local grocery store, so I buy it in bulk online.

 When I first started to research vegan dishes, I found nutritional yeast in most recipes, but hard-headed me thought, “I don’t need this in here. Whatever it is, I can do without it. It’ll taste just fine.” Although most of my dishes turned out okay, they could have been great had I just purchased the darn nutritional yeast. The first time I bought it was in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan at a small, quaint co-op store. It was pretty intimidating for some reason. How could  yellow flakes in a plastic bag be so daunting?
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Because of my fear, I never added the amount recommended by the recipe. Again, I’m hard-headed, and I figured they must be wrong! They weren’t. The more, the better. I wanted to share a couple of my favorite dishes using this versatile product to take away some of the fear that comes along with the big scary Nutritional Yeast :) !

 

 

 

1. TOFU SCRAMBLE

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My tofu scramble with  sauteed veggies and avocado toast.

One of the easiest things to start using this with is the “tofu scramble.” You’ll want to get firm or extra firm tofu, coconut oil, turmeric, garlic powder, onion powder, nutritional yeast, and salt/pepper. I use a non-stick pan on medium/medium high, add my coconut oil, then crumble the pressed block of tofu right into the pan. Once that heats up, I add all of the spices being careful not to brown. I then mix it all together, and add the last splash of water/milk. I cook until it looks and tastes perfect, then I serve!

  • 1 pressed block of extra firm or firm tofu
  • tsp of oil (preferbly coconut oil)
  • 1/2 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp of onion powder
  • 1 tsp of turmeric
  • 2 tbs of nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup of water or non-dairy milk
  • salt and pepper to taste

There are many variations of a tofu scramble. Some people like ground mustard in there, or some spice it up with chili powder and paprika. It’s going to be delicious no matter what — I promise. You CANNOT mess it up!

 

2. MAC AND CHEESE

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My version with some broccoli

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Next is the item most American’s can’t live without: Mac and Cheese. Even though this version is much healthier than the *real* cheese version, it still feels like a guilty pleasure. My favorite recipe has to be Epicurean Vegan’s MACARONI AND CASHEW CHEESE. I make mine slightly different at times (out of laziness), but the end result is still delicious.

 

3. NACHO CHEESE DIP

This one here is in my refrigerator at all times. It’s so easy to make, and it tastes so much like that fake, oozy cheese you get on fast food nachos, that you’ll eat the entire thing if you aren’t careful. It takes me back to nachos at the movie theater and carnivals, but in an environmentally friendly (and healthy!) way. The best part is it is good cold or hot. And did I tell you the main ingredients are potatoes and carrots? Oh yeah. It has superpowers. I found this recipe, again, on Pinterest.

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Lastly, if you pop your popcorn from kernels at home like I do and want just a tad bit more than the melted vegan butter with a dash of salt, then “sprinkle” some nutritional yeast all over it. You won’t regret it :)

2 Comments

  1. I had never heard of Nutritional Yeast until you told me about it. I am sharing the recipes you like with all of my Vegan friends.

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