Monday, June 28, 2010

Maiden Voyage of Nutritional Yeast

I've never used nutritional yeast - until today. I've wanted to try it, but I haven't been able to find it in my area. Today, Husband and I drove up to his old college stomping grounds and while we were in the area, we went to a local co-op grocery store that specializes in organic foods. It is also very veg-friendly. I ended up with a jar of gomachio and a small sack of nutritional yeast (from the bulk foods aisle). Success!

Now...what to do with it? I've run across many recipes that call for nutritional yeast but didn't really know where to start. I figured macaroni and "cheese" was a good option, but I didn't really feel like making a pasta. So I found the Macaroni and "Cheese" recipe in Robin Robertson's Vegan Planet and tweaked it a bit - using my favorite brown rice/wild rice mix and adding some veggies. The result - pretty tasty, although I think it needs more nutritional yeast or cayenne pepper or something to give it a little more zip. Also, I didn't have all the ingredients in my pantry that you need for Robertson's recipe, so I improvized. Here is the result...

Wild Rice Casserole
1 pkg. brown and wild rice mix (North Country brand)
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen green beans
1/4 cup shredded carrots
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup chopped, frozen onion
2 cups soy milk
1 12 oz. pkg. extra firm tofu, drained
1 tbsp. lemon juice
6 tbsp. nutritional yeast
1 tbsp. dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
salt to taste
1/4 cup cornmeal

In a large saucepan, prepare the rice mix according to package instructions. When the rice mixture is done, take the lid off the saucepan, add the peas, green beans and carrots and put the lid back on to thaw the frozen vegetables. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a small skillet, heat the oil over medium heat, add the onion and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Put the sauteed onion in a blender with the soy milk, tofu, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, mustard, cayenne, nutmeg and salt. Blend until smooth. Pour mixture over rice and vegetables and stir well to combine. Pour all into an oiled casserole dish and sprinkle the top with cornmeal. Cover with tin foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 10 minutes. Done!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Scone Home

This is really not the time of year to fire up the oven and do some baking - but I can't help myself. I took the day off work and whenever I do that, I usually end up baking in the afternoon. I don't know why...a comfort food thing, I guess. What's not so comfortable now is the temperature in the house. What with the mid-80 degree temps outside and the hot oven inside, I'm serious sweating. But TOTALLY worth it for these Pumpkin Banana Scones.

The recipe is almost entirely Vegan Dad's pumpkin scones recipe. But I had two very ripe bananas I wanted to put to good use somewhere, and I didn't feel like my usual banana muffins. I took the recipe and doubled everything except the pumpkin. That's where I added in my bananas to compensate. Results - fabulous! Thanks for the inspiration, Vegan Dad!

Pumpkin Banana Scones
4 cups whole wheat flour
2 tbsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 can pumpkin puree
2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
1 1/2 cups almond milk
6 tbsp. canola oil
4 tbsp. maple syrup

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl and set aside. In another bowl, whisk together the remaining wet ingredients. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir until combined. Drop large spoonfuls onto a cookie baking sheet and bake for 12-14 minutes.