A Godsend For Vegans (And All Healthy Eaters): 7 Delicious Ways to Eat Nutritional Yeast

One of the perks of exploring a vegan lifestyle with my home-cooking is that I am always learning about new ingredients and recipes that take me to local natural health food stores that I otherwise would have never checked out in the first place.

My favorite vegan fix of the moment is nutritional yeast. Finding this ingredient gave me a weekend adventure to a funky little health food store I found after perusing many Yelp reviews of the best natural food stores in Los Angeles.

Nutritional yeast, as far as I know, is not sold in the majority of mainstream supermarket chains. Usually available in bins in natural health food stores, nutritional yeast is a yellow-orange inactive yeast that has a slightly cheesy-nutty flavor and its flakey consistency makes it the perfect vegan substitute for parmesan cheese. The flakes can also be used to make vegan nachos, a vegan mac ‘n’ “cheese,” or as a savory sprinkle to your microwave popcorn.

Nutritional yeast is also chock full of protein and Vitamin B, which makes for the perfect stock item to help you guiltlessly enjoy a semi-cheesy flavor in your dishes without the animal products or chemicals.

So how can you start incorporating nutritional yeast into your daily meals?

- Sprinkle onto popcorn. Rather than microwaving butter popcorn, enjoy plain popcorn sprinkled with nutritional yeast for a much healthier alternative.

- Make a mac ‘n’ “cheese.” Check out this popular recipe for a mac ‘n’ “cheese” casserole from VegWeb.com. While it doesn’t exactly taste like the real thing, it is delicious in its own healthy way.

- Sprinkle onto your savory dishes as a Parmesan cheese alternative. Pizzas, spaghetti, pasta dishes, rice, savory soups, baked potatoes–you can sprinkle this stuff on pretty much anything.

- Make your own creamy “cheese” sauce. Follow this recipe, and then use as vegan nacho cheese, or make pizza or lasagna.

- Top your plain rice with some nutritional yeast mixed with a little bit of soy sauce and olive oil or butter. Um, this sounds amazing. I think I am actually going to do this right now.

- Add a new depth of flavor to your homemade gravy, sauces, salad dressings, and other liquid-based dishes. Just add a hint of nutritional yeast to all of the above.

- Mix it in with the bread crumbs you use for breading meat, fish and vegetables.

 Originally published in 2010

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About Yumi Sakugawa

Yumi Sakugawa is a comic book artist and illustrator based in Southern California. She is the author of I THINK I AM IN FRIEND-LOVE WITH YOU and a regular comic contributor to The Rumpus. Her second book YOUR ILLUSTRATED GUIDE TO BECOMING ONE WITH THE UNIVERSE (Adams Media) comes out in December 2014. www.yumisakugawa.com

Comments

  1. loved this…being vegan is easy if you decide it will be easy, and there is so much out there to support fun dining…

  2. totally agree! vegan eating suddenly got 10x easier when i stopped buying eggs and cheese recently. who would have thought!!! :)

  3. Here is a good book of recipes: ISBN: 978-0-7624-3106-9 the title is funny, but isn't idicative of the content…just a catchy name…you may have already checked it out!

  4. so funny, i just read the original 'skinny bitch," but haven't gotten around to the rest of the series including this one. am intrigued to check it out!

  5. love synchronicity! it is a great book…very very funny and very very serious…I love the balance. I always recommend them for anyone considering vegetarianism or veganism~even guys! Happy eating!