Thursday, February 18, 2010

nutritional yeast

Since becoming vegan, I quickly figured out that getting the same creamy texture that you would by using heavy cream or cheese in a recipe was going to be quite the task. But my love for all things creamy just wouldn’t subside, so I went on a mission to find something that would indulge my taste buds in a similar fashion. Typically, a lot of vegan recipes call for blended tofu to produce a cream style texture, but while I love tofu, it doesn’t always work as well as you want it for certain recipes.

And then I found out about nutritional yeast, and it has changed my life. First of all, a little bit goes a long way and it costs less than $7 a pound at Whole Foods. A pound may not seem like a lot, but it is a TON for nutritional yeast!  Second, it's really healthy and provides a very tasty form of protein. Since finding this miracle substance, I’ve made gravy that even the biggest meat lover alive has been known to love, mac & “cheese”, and last night, I made up a recipe for Cream of Broccoli and Spinach soup. And if I may say so myself, it was divine!
I sort of just eyeballed the ingredients, but here’s what I remember using for the recipe…

-1 C. Chopped onions
-2 Tsp. Olive oil
-2 C. Vegetable broth
-2 C. Water (I might substitute one of these cups with an additional cup of vegetable broth instead)
-2 C. Unsweetened soy milk
-1/2 C. Nutritional yeast
-2-3 Tbsp. Flour
-2-3 Tbsp. Cornstarch
-4-6 C. Steamed broccoli (depending on how “chunky” you like your soups)
-2-3 C. Spinach
-Salt, Pepper, Garlic powder, Onion Powder
-1/4 Tsp. Turmeric

Sauté onions and garlic with olive oil in a large pot. Once the onions are translucent, begin to add the vegetable broth, water, and soy milk, then stir together. Steam the broccoli in the microwave or steamer while you’re doing this. In a separate pan, combine the nutritional yeast and flour and lightly toast until you can smell the yeast (about 1-2 minutes). Add this plus the cornstarch to the soup mixture and stir. Wilt the spinach for only about 30 seconds and add to the soup. Add the steamed broccoli. Add the spices (more or less depending on taste) and let simmer for about 30 minutes.

I heated this up for lunch the next day and it tasted even better! Something to keep in mind if you’re having people over for dinner—you can make the night before and serve the next day!

I also made a vegan King Cake using this recipe, because well, there are just few things more delicious than King Cake.  I had to give the rest of it to my dog today just so I wouldn't eat anymore.  It's a mere slightly alternative form of self-control, right?  Right.

1 comment:

  1. this is awesome! i really want to get better at vegan baking. if i'm baking all the time i might as well make it semi-healthy!