Tag Archives: nutritional yeast

Cheesy Vegan Alfredo with Peas and Kale

I’ve never met a creamy, cheesy vegan sauce that I didn’t like. My predilection for “creamy, cheesy” dishes is even mentioned on my “recipes” page . If I ever become allergic to nutritional yeast (i.e. the cheesy part of vegan cheese sauces and cheeses), I think I would die. I kid.

Mostly.

Nutritional yeast – or “nooch”, has some seriously magical transforming powers. With a little vegan cooking science magic, this stuff can go from dry yellow flakes to rich, creamy-cheesy sauce.

cheesy vegan alfredo with peas and kale - Luminous Vegans

It also kicks-ass on it’s own. I may or may not be known to eat nutritional yeast straight from the container. A more um, “proper” way to eat it straight up is  to sprinkle some on freshly popped popcorn for a cheesy vegan snack. I buy our nutritional yeast in bulk at Sevenanda or in little tubs from our local farmer’s market.

For this dish, I mixed quite a bit of nutritional yeast with cashews and almond milk (and other stuff) and the result was a creamy-cheesy vegan alfredo-like sauce. It’s an easy sauce to blend up any night of the week and requires just a little heat to thicken it up. We had it with pasta and sautéed peas and kale because those are things we typically have on hand. There’s probably other delicious ways to use it though—drizzled over roasted veggies, just mixed with cooked spinach or kale…

cheesy vegan alfredo with peas and kale - Luminous Vegans

Cheesy Vegan Alfredo with Peas and Kale

serves 2

Ingredients

  • 8 oz of pasta
  • 1/2 cup of peas (I used frozen)
  • kale leaves from 4 large stalks (torn into smaller pieces)
  • 2 cloves of garlic clove (one should be minced, the other can be whole)
  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews *
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tbs of chicken-free broth concentrate (I used Better Than Bouillon)
  • salt and pepper

* I used a high speed blender to blend the sauce so I didn’t soak the cashews for this dish. Depending on the strength of your blender/food processor, you may need to soak the cashews in water for a couple of hours to help break them down and get them creamy.

Directions

Cook the pasta according to package. Now on to the peas and kale mixture. In a lightly oiled pan with a lid, sauté the minced garlic clove until soft on medium heat. Then add the kale leaves and stir in a couple of tablespoons of water or stock so that about a 1/4 inch of liquid sits in the pan. Add the frozen peas. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and then put the lid on and turn to medium-low until the liquid mostly evaporates. I let it simmer with the lid while I make the sauce. It’s good to check on it and give it a good stir adding more liquid if needed. You don’t want the kale sitting in the pan without liquid while it’s actively cooking.

cheesy vegan alfredo with peas and kale - Luminous Vegans

For the sauce put the almond milk, cashews, nutritional yeast, whole garlic clove, lemon juice, onion powder, chicken-free broth concentrate in a high speed blender or food processor and blend until very smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Heat the sauce in a pot large enough to hold everything (sauce, pasta, peas and kale) over medium-high heat. Make sure to stir/whisk the sauce constantly while heating. It should thicken up pretty quickly (~3 minutes). Remove from heat. Add the pasta, peas and kale. If there is extra liquid in the peas/kale mixture, make sure to drain it out before adding it to the pot. Salt and pepper everything to taste and then dig in!

What are some of your favorite ways to cook with or eat nutritional yeast?

Disclaimer: This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

I won’t ever quit you—kale chips

Kale chips, you and I started off innocently with just some salt and oil. But when the time was right, we took our relationship to the nooch level.

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Now I have you in all the ways my heart desires…store bought, home-made, dehydrated, baked, with nooch, without nooch—it don’t matter how you dress! You will always be my number one secret healthy vegan junk food and I will never quit you.

I won’t quit you kale chips

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cashews (soaked for at least an hour)
  • 1 large garlic clove (peeled)
  • 6 baby carrots
  • 2 tbs of nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp tahini
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • 2 tbs almond milk
  • salt (to taste)
  • paprika (to taste)
  • 1 bunch of kale (cleaned, stems removed and leaves torn up into random chip sizes…also make sure the leaves are dry!)

Directions

  1. Throw everything (except the kale) into a high-speed blender or food processor.
  2. Pour mixture over kale chips, preferably in a bowl.
  3. Massage the mixture onto the kale (I use my hands) so every kale leaf is coated thoroughly.
  4. Spread the leaves out on a baking pan.
  5. Bake leaves in the oven at 250 degrees for about an hour (until the kale leaves are crisp and the mixture is no longer moist). Every oven is different so just keep checking!!
  6. Once the kale chips are done, take them out and sprinkle more paprika on top for more heat (or not) and let cool.
  7. Eat them all. Eat all the kale chips. Or share ’em if that’s yer thing.

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Baked Shells Stuffed with Cheesy Butternut Squash

These baked shells are packed full of creamy, cheesy, herby butternut squash goodness in every bite. This dish is easy to throw together and easy to customize.IMG_5250 _Snapseed

First I preheated the oven to 450 degrees. Then I sliced a whole butternut squash down the middle and de-seeded it. Wash the outside of the butternut squash and nuke it for 3 minutes to make cutting easier.IMG_5202 _Snapseed

I roasted the butternut squash for about 45 minutes (until tender). While it was roasting I prepared the macaroni shells, the big kind used for stuffing. I just followed the directions on the package.IMG_5212 _Snapseed

After the butternut squash got all tender and delicious, I scraped both sides all out into a bowl. I then mixed in 1/2 cup of pre-made cashew cheese (recipe below), a handful of chopped basil and chives and salt and pepper to taste.  You don’t have to use basil or chives, get crazy and try different herbs, use more, use less…don’t use any at all. I used what happened to be in the fridge. You also don’t have to use butternut squash, try pumpkin like I did here.butternut_squash_cheese_mix

Then I stuffed ‘dem shells and placed them in a baking pan. The amount of filling I made stuffed about 12-14 shells. I poured some store-bought marinara sauce over it and baked it at 350 degrees for about 10-15 minutes.pre_bake_shells

And then I stuffed them stuffed shells into my mouth. These were so flippin’ delicious. It’s really the cashew cheese that brings this dish to that next creamy delicious level. The recipe (below) for the cashew cheese is based on Tal Ronnen’s but without having to prepare it for days because I don’t use probiotics.
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Cashew Cheese

  • 2 cups soaked cashews, drained (A couple of hours is best but it works just as well if you only soak it for 20-30 minutes and use a high speed blender)
  • 2 tbs nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • 2 tbs almond milk
  • 1 tsp tahini
  • 1/2 tbs onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt

Throw everything in food processor or high speed blender and blend until smooth. Stick it in the fridge and use in meals like above or as a veggie dip or cracker spread.

Eat your artichoke heart out Giada!

So I took this recipe and veganized it and the results were spectacular! I followed the instructions for this recipe almost exactly except for, of course, the cheese filling. Basically, you boil the artichoke with some lemon halves, take out some of the center and fill it with some “cheese” filling, cover it with seasoned bread crumbs and bake it. For the filling I used the following nutritional yeast cheese sauce recipe:
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Mix:
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt

Then add while whisking:
2 cups of water
1/2 tsp of soy sauce
1/4 cup of oil or margarine (I used Earth Balance)
and 1 tbls. of mustard

Cook on med/high heat until it bubbles for about 3 minutes. Constantly stir with whisk and it will get really thick and “cheesy”. (note that these directions are pretty loose when it comes to the seasoning, meaning you can adjust them to your own taste…I use more garlic powder because I like garlic)
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I don’t know the source of the recipe as it was emailed to me by a friend a loooong time ago…but thanks unknown source! It sure did make a heavenly dip for my artichoke leaves! My dish by far blows Giada’s out of the water (haven’t tried hers nor do I want to) because it doesn’t have the aftertaste of suffering in it. Enjoy!

Figs and pizza!

I didn’t get a chance to post some simple and tasty things I had on Sunday that were inspired by fellow vegan bloggers, so here they are. Breakfast, ripe black figs dropped in a bowl of vanilla soygurt, was inspired by this (the soygurt) and this (the figs). So simple, yet so beautiful and yummy!

Also, I’ve been seeing a lot of this (from Lelly’s Vegan Kitchen) and this (from Where’s the Revolution?), so we finally made a couple of these.

That’s right, a vegan pizza! We topped it with fresh spinach and basil leaves, sliced tomatoes and baby portabella mushrooms, tempeh bacon crumbles, kalamata olives and tofu ricotta (a pound of firm tofu mashed with lemon juice, nutritional yeast, minced garlic and basil, salt and pepper). Hsauce made the pizza sauce, a mixture of canned diced tomatoes, tomato paste and barbecue sauce (sounds strange, but the bbq sauce gave it a zing!). The whole wheat dough was pre-made from the farmer’s market. It was good. Really good! Lately, I find that my best meals are ones that require the littlest amount of effort.

I ::heart:: weekend brunches!

Since I was gone for a couple of days, it was nice to get back in the kitchen to bake and cook this morning! After taking the dogs out this morning, I got started on a batch of pumpkin muffins (from VV). While those were baking, I whipped together a tofu scramble with a side of tempeh un-bacon.

My palette. Consisting of veggies, tofu, garlic, spices and nutritional yeast.

Our brunch.

I’m terribly anxious for the fall weather and all that it brings (Halloween, crisp leaves, perhaps some vegan apple pie…) and the pumpkin muffins definitely helped get me more in an “autumn” mood as it is full of “fall-like” spices such as cloves, cinnamon and allspice. By the way, that orange juice in the background is the best orange juice. It’s really like fresh squeezed oranges! Its made by a company called “Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice Company” and we get it at our co-op.

Rainy Sunday

The morning started off all sunshine and smiles, but by midday we had a spectacular thunderstorm. This is a picture from our porch. That’s my Schwinn (::heart::) in the corner.

So with the rain and my dead car (yeah, that green Toyota across the street is dead), I decided today was a good day to cook! The following came directly from the cookbook, Vegan with a Vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz (a special birthday present from my dear friends Katie and Patrick). For brunch, I made the seitanportabello stroganoff:

It was super filling and hearty with portabello mushrooms, cremini mushrooms, peas and seitan. For those who don’t know, seitan is pronounced say-tan and it is basically just chewy wheat gluten. I’ve been experimenting with making my own seitan recently, but for this dish I used store bought seitan. I would definitely make this dish again because it was delicious, perhaps reducing the amount of nutritional yeast the recipe called for in half. Nutritional yeast is an inactive yeast that is yellow and flaky. Here is a picture of it in its raw state.

It gives dishes a nutty, “cheesy” flavor and often acts as a thickener. We got a whole tub of it from our local farmer’s market for about two bucks. Its really good for you too because it has something like 18 amino acids, 15 different minerals and is rich in B-vitamins. I really like the taste of it and sometimes will eat small amounts of it straight from the tub.

Later, I made peanut butter cookies (from the same cookbook). For the first batch, I followed the recipe directions exactly and the cookies came out a little crumbly. So for the second batch, we added a dollop of applesauce to the batter to act as a binder. Oh, and we also added vegan chocolate chips to half the batter. The result, a plethora of big, soft, yummy peanut butter and peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.

I don’t think I’ll be cooking dinner tonight as its getting late. Leftovers sound good though!