Greener BeeGreen Living5 Winter Comfort Food Recipes Made With Nutritional Yeast

When the weather gets cold, that means it’s time to break out the crockpot, the casserole dish and the stock pot in preparation for all the hot, hearty comfort foods that make the winter a little easier to get through. Of course, the only problem with comfort foods is that traditionally, they’re not very healthy.

Enjoying too many winter meals loaded with creamy, cheesy sauces is a surefire way to pack on a few extra pounds by spring. But substituting these not so healthy ingredients with healthier alternatives, such as nutritional yeast, is a great way to strike a balance between maintaining a healthy diet and indulging in your favorite comfort foods.

What Is Nutritional Yeast?

Nutritional yeast (also called food yeast) is a pantry staple favored by many vegans for its rich nutritional content and cheesy flavor. It has a flakey texture and bright yellow color to it, which can be found at most health food stores and even in many regular grocery stores too.

Nutritional yeast is probably best known for being rich in B vitamins, and some varieties are also fortified with B12. You can sprinkle it just as it is over some of your favorite foods as seasoning or combine it with other ingredients to make sauces, soups and all sorts of yummy things that need a punch of cheesy flavor — without the actual cheese, of course!

Calories and nutrients tend to vary according to the brand of nutritional yeast you buy, but in general, you can expect two tablespoons to be somewhere around 60 calories, most of which is protein, carbs and fiber. A lot healthier than real cheese, which is full of fat and definitely not vegan-friendly!

Here are five easy recipes you can experiment with this winter when you get a craving for some serious comfort food.

 

Easy Cheesy Vegan Mac

Mac n’ cheese is a classic comfort food that’s perfect for winter. Hold the cheese, though — you’ll be making your own cheesy sauce out of nutritional yeast!

Ingredients:

  • 8-10 oz pasta of choice
  • 1 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 Tbsp spelt flour
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp chipotle powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt to taste

See the directions for the recipe!

 

Vegan Italian Lasagna

One of the best things about homemade lasagna is that you can really make it your own. Some might say it tastes better with cheese, but this one will still make your mouth water with its homemade nutritional yeast cheese topping.

Ingredients:

First Layer:

  • 1-2 cakes tempeh or 1-2 lbs seitan
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2-3 Tbsp oil
  • tamari, to taste
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast

Second Layer:

  • 2 cups soft organic tofu, rinsed drained
  • 2 cups firm organic tofu, rinsed drained
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp tamari or substitute
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 5-6 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 4 tsp oil

Topping:

  • 1 cup soft organic tofu, rinsed drained
  • 1 Tbsp tamari or substitute
  • 4 Tbsp oil
  • 5-6 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

See the directions for this recipe!

 

Creamy Kale Pasta

Creamy sauces go oh so well with pasta dishes, and boy are they ever tasty this time of year. Ditch the dairy though make it 100% vegan by using nutritional yeast to get that creamy texture and taste!

  • 4 cups of farfalle pasta, uncooked (half of a 16 oz box)
  • 1 15 oz can white beans, drained
  • 2 cups loosely packed raw kale (just the leaves)
  • 2 green onions, roughly chopped (green and white parts)
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • juice of 1 fresh lemon (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 cup raw cashews (Soaked for 20 minutes in hot water, then drained.)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup water
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 large tomato, diced (optional)

See the directions for this recipe!

 

Easy Cheesy Vegan Nachos

Sometimes you just need something to munch during a movie night on the couch or while watching the fire on a cold night. These nachos and “cheese” without real cheese are to die for.

Ingredients:

Cheese Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2 cups butter beans
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 – 3 tsp himalayan salt to taste
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 Tbsp tahini
  • 3 Tbsp almond milk

Nachos:

  • 2 cups tortilla chips
  • 1 cup black beans, cooked
  • 1 cup cheese sauce
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 lime, sliced
  • 10 sliced olives
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 jalapeno, chopped finely (optional)

See the directions for this recipe!

 

Vegan French Toast

Comfort foods aren’t just for lunch, dinner and snack time. Breakfast (or brunch) counts too! Try making this vegan french toast recipe without the eggs or dairy products.

  • 1 medium banana
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp spelt flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 Tbsp almond butter
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 8 slices day old bread
  • Olive oil or coconut oil

See the directions for this recipe!

 

After trying a recipe or two, you’ll be hooked on nutritional yeast. And while it’s great to have in the pantry during the winter, it’s great to have all year round!

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Photo Credits: Thinkstock, Thinkstock, Thinkstock, Becky Striepe, Thinkstock, Thinkstock

Article source: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/5-winter-comfort-food-recipes-made-with-nutritional-yeast.html


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