I love nutritional yeast – mostly because it reminds me of Gentlemen Broncos, which makes me laugh. If you haven’t seen it yet, please do! It’s one of the best intentionally terrible movies you will ever see. Bonus: Then yeast will make you laugh too. Here’s some stuff you should know about nutritional yeast:
- Technically a fungus, nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast grown on cane and beet molasses.
- The flavor is best described as nutty or cheesy, which also makes me laugh.
- Depending on the type you buy, it either looks like cornmeal or yellow flakes.
- Our New Zealand friends know it as Brufax. They also pronounce “aluminum” hilariously.
- Nutritional yeast is a complete protein, rich in B-complex vitamins and it makes you pee bright yellow.
Now that you’re basically a yeast expert, WTF do you do with it? Well, if you’re a good little vegan or vegetarian you’re probably already putting it in almost everything you eat. Because of its savory nature, nutritional yeast is great sprinkled into soups and stews, stir frys, in dips, on salads… I sprinkle it on popcorn for a cheesy flavor and use it like Parmesan on my pasta. Even if you’re not vegetarian, it’s a great flavor and nutrient boost to all of your food.
This week end we used a whole heap of nutritional yeast in a vegan mac and “cheese” recipe my husband has been talking about since I met him about 8 years ago. Its Eric Z’s mac n’ yeast, and it was worth the 8 year wait. We went for the classic elbow-shape so Teno would eat it, but rotini or anything else that grabs onto sauce would work too.
Mac n’ Yeast
- 1 lb macaroni
- 6 tablespoons vegan butter
- 1/3 cup flour
- 2.5 cups boiling water
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
- 2 cups nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon season salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Vege-Sal seasoned salt
- 1 pinch paprika
- 1 handful breadcrumbs
- Preheat your oven to 350. Cook the macaroni half way (whatever time the package instructs, half it.) Drain and set aside.
- . In a saucepan, melt margarine over medium heat. Stir in flour until smooth and bubbly.
- Add boiling water and soy sauce or Bragg’s, whisk until smooth and thick. Add nutritional yeast and whisk until completely smooth.
- Add seasonings and mustard -then mix 1/2 of “cheese” with the noodles – transfer to a casserole dish.
- Pour the remaining “cheese” on top and sprinkle with paprika and bread crumbs
- Bake for 25 mins and finish in broiler until crispy and browned.