Sunday, August 10, 2014

Nutritional what?

Let’s cut to the chase on nutritional yeast. Holy gross name. Holy gross-looking. And in a showing of true nastiness, its package has a recipe on the back for something called “yeast cheese,” which sounds like a condition your lady doctor would prescribe a cream for, not something you’d spread on nachos.

Let’s be serious: I wrote this blog post so I could say “yeast cheese”

I’ve been hearing rumblings from my vegetarian friends about nutritional yeast for a few years. They say it’s so awesome! And tastes so cheesy! You’ll totally love it!

Although this “cheese” comparison is supposed to endear me to nutritional yeast, it actually makes me trust it even less. If there’s anything that can make me mistrust a food, it’s describing it as “cheesy” when it’s so clearly not cheese. I’ve been down that road, vegans. Your soy slices are not cheese and aren’t fooling anyone. You know what I say to that?

And yet, nutritional yeast is often compared to cheese by crazy vegans who’ve obviously forgotten what actual cheese is supposed to look and taste like. Nutritional yeast is not cheese. It’s a big sack of yellow flakes.

So anyway, a couple of months ago, I spent an entire blog post hating on kale and ended it with a sincere plea to my friends and readers (who, let’s face it, are really all the same people): Don’t tell me how awesome kale is. I don’t want to hear it.

Well, ya’ll bitches didn’t listen, and instead, my Facebook page was deluged with recipes from friends who promised that kale is “amazing” in soup and smoothies, and whatnot. And I admit: I actually tried one of the recipes in spite of myself. It was from my friend Corinne, who had enough good sense to move to Hawaii that I thought I should trust her culinary choices.

OK, Corinne, you win: Your terrible, punishment-worthy sounding suggestion of sprinkling kale with nutritional yeast is worthy of the “amazing” moniker. Her recipe is a lot more involved (and probably tastier and healthier) than what I did, which is just rub kale leaves with olive oil, and sprinkle them with roughly 1/3 cup of nutritional yeast, ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder, and salt to taste.

It really is yummy. But it's still not cheese.
I eat it right out of the bowl, although I think some people might bake it into “chips.”
If you want that recipe, you’re on your own.

And if you want to know how Hawaii Corinne eats her kale, here is the recipe, in her own words:

Pull kale off the stem and break up into big bite sized pieces. Wash and dry well and put into a large bowl. On the stovetop in a sauté pan heat a couple of tablespoons each grapeseed oil and sesame oil (if you don't have one or both of these, seriously any other oil will do in a pinch) when the oil is super hot and rippling throw in a big old handful of pumpkin seeds. I LOVE the Ayurvedic kind from the bulk bins at Whole Foods because they are already nice and spicy and seasoned. Toast until lightly browned, should only take a minute or so. Pour this hot oil/pumpkin seed mixture over the kale and let sit for a minute or two until the oil is not too hot to touch. Get in there with your hands, and massage the crap out of that stuff, getting the warm oil into all the nooks and crannies. At the end add a dash of soy sauce and a heaping helping of nutritional yeast for a cheesy salty kick and viola! This is so good I can eat nothing but two bunches of kale done this way for dinner.

I was so surprised that kale with nutritional yeast tasted good that I went out and bought a blender so I could make a berry-yogurt smoothie with just a little bit of kale in it. Not only was the blender a piece of crap that caused this to happen…


…but guess what the smoothie tasted like: Fucking kale!

I’ll never trust you lying liars again.

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