I used to be skeptical of anything that said it was cheesy but didn’t have any actual cheese in the recipe… that is until I met my new bestie nutritional yeast!
Alright, I know what you’re thinking. Any food with the word 'yeast' attached to it is almost as bad as saying ‘moist’ but give it a chance. I know you won’t regret it.
One thing we don’t have in our house is dairy with the exception of butter. We didn’t start out as dairy haters. We were full on, “extra large flat white and hot chocolate topped with all the whipped cream you can find” kinda people before we started listening to our bodies and how food made us feel. I won’t say I have allergies but I know after I’ve drunk a milkshake, eaten a big cheesy pizza even with a gluten free crust or tucked in to a bowl of ice cream, I feel like total crap. We’re talking bloating, lethargic, diarrhoea, skin breakouts… so it was a no brainer for me that I didn’t want any of those symptoms in my day.
And then I really wanted to make my Famous Lasagna. Back when we were young and carefree, backpacking the world and working at hostels I used to make my lasagna for all the staff. There’s nothing like pasta and cheese sauce to help make friends. Of course, lasagna cannot work without cheese sauce so I desperately had to find an alternative and I thought I had it nailed with a combo of cashews and cauliflower alone. Then nutritional yeast came in to my life and I felt complete.
This flakey friend can now be found in most health food stores and is available from bulk stores too so if you just want to try a little bit, take a jar down and grab a scoop to make this sauce.
Nutritional yeast is deactivated yeast so it won’t fizz up like the yeast used for baking bread. It’s grown on molasses, skimmed off, heated up so it dries out and stops growing.
It’s full of B vitamins, which are what keep our bodies digesting food into fuel and helping you stay energized throughout the day. B vitamins are usually found in animal products so nutritional yeast is a must for anyone following a vegetarian, especially vegan, diet.
It’s also a complete protein. That means it has all 9 amino acids that the body cannot produce itself and two tablespoons gets you a whopping 9g of protein! That beats eggs, milk and even beef!
Yes, it’s definitely still classed as one of those ‘hippy ingredients’ but just you wait. It won’t be long before Jamie or Nigella use it for a ‘5 minute meal’ and then you’ll wish you could have been cool enough to already be sitting with me on the nutritional yeast train to no-cheese town.
Vegan ‘Cheese’ Sauce
GF, DF, vegan, egg free
Prep time – 10mins
Cook time – 3 mins
500g cauliflower ( approx. 1/2 head)
1/4-1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup tahini (We've used Mayver's Organic Hulled Tahini)
2-3 tbsp water
Pink rock salt
Cut cauliflower into small pieces and steam for approx. 10mins until tender.
Let cool slightly then add to a blender along with the other ingredients except the water. As usual, I used my trusty NutriBullet but any blender will do.
Blend for a few seconds. Stop to check consistency, scrap down the edges and add a little water if it needs help.
Blend until smooth. Taste and add more nutritional yeast if you would like it ‘cheesier’ a little more salt of needed.
Tip: Good in the fridge for up to 5 days.
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