I have recently discovered adding nutritional yeast to sauteed vegetables. It was a sort of an accidental finding. One night I was cooking spinach with soy sauce and I wanted to add a different dimension. Nothing was really connecting until I opened my pantry to find a little bag of nutritional yeast. That may be interesting, I said...so I sprinkled a little. Then a little more. It immediately transformed into a rich cheesy dish. It's one of those secret ingredients that converts a dish into a meal.
I have made dozens of versions of this meal. It has now reached status of 'Usual Suspect'. If I have any sort of green such as kale or beet greens, then I have a meal because my cabinets and freezer are always stocked with nutritional yeast, soy sauce and some sort of nut...in the most recent case, cashews and pecans. And it is chock full of nutrients like B vitamins, fiber and a fair amount of protein, for not a lot of calories. Sometimes I toss a fried egg on top, and then it really is a full meal. You can find it in the bulk section at the grocery or Bob's Red Mill makes it too and is usually in the baking aisle.
Tonight I had a lot of errands to run right after work...lots of returns, grocery shopping, picking up free things from coupons and buying a few unplanned items, like jeans. I have a rule of thumb to never specifically go out shopping for jeans. But when I happen upon a pair, I always try them on. Jeans are one of those items that seem to magically appear when you least expect it. So when the opportunity arises...embrace it. And tonight was one of those nights. Same rules apply with nutrional yeast...if it is there, give it a whirl.
Sauteed Cashew Kale
Yields 1-2 servings
You may be thinking that adding a yeast product to vegetables is quite strange. And I do agree that it does sound scary. But variety is the spice of life. I do have to admit, it does take a few times to develop a taste for it...but once you do, you will begin to crave it in the middle of a meeting on a random Thursday. You will find reasons to add it to food, such as popcorn. But for those of you still a little apprehensive, this recipe is still good without it. Baby steps.
1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 onion, thinly minced
3 mushrooms, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper
6 cups kale, roughly chopped
Splash of water
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast (optional, but just do it)
1 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp cashews
Heat a medium saute pan on medium heat. Pour in the olive oil and let it heat for a few minutes. Sprinkle in the onions. Saute until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Toss in the mushrooms and a dusting of salt and pepper. Saute until the mushrooms are almost fully cooked and browned, 3-5 minutes.
Drop the kale into the pan. Pour a splash of water (about 1 ounce). Cover. This will really quicken the cooking process. You know the kale is almost done when it turns a darker shade of green...it only takes about 1 minute. Remove cover and stir in the nutritional yeast and soy sauce. Tongs work well to help integrate the nutritional yeast and soy sauce. Cover and cook for 1 minute. The nutritional yeast will start to melt immediately. Turn off heat and let sit for 1-2 minutes.
Uncover and mix in the cashews. Serve immediately as a main course or alongside an egg or baked chicken. A nice glass of Syrah complements the rich salty hints.