Day:14: Leftovers, vegan pizza, and lots of fun!

We chalked up a W for thanksgiving (my football team and our cooking).  It does not matter if you are vegan or an extreme carnivore, the day after thanksgiving is characterized by a smorgasbord of leftovers!

Shelby spent the night and I woke her and Danielle up to the sound of the Vitamix blender roaring at full throttle.  This is a great way to get everyone up and going in the morning!  However I might have woken some of the neighbors up as well.  Heck, everyone deserves to get an early start to the day!

So after a delicious smoothie we were off to the beach.  The waves were pretty good as they were the day before.  I would call it about 6 to 8 foot at Blacks Beach with some 10 foot clean up sets.

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Blacks Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world! It also happens to be one of the best beach breaks in the world.  The only catch is you have to walk down a very steep cliff for 20 minutes to get there.  They also have a road for the cautious which is also very steep.  After walking down, surfing, and then walking back up, we were all pretty hungry.

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We decided to go to our friend Kevin’s restaurant in La Jolla.  It’s called Extreme Pizza.  We had the Pandoras box.  It has spinach, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, feta, garlic, fresh basil, oregano and mozzarella (tomato sauce upon request, no charge).  We substituted soy cheese for the feta and mozzarella and added tomato sauce and it was the best pizza I have ever eaten in my life!  Better than all of the pizzas that I have had with regular cheese on them.  All of the ingredients tasted so fresh and powerful.  If your in La Jolla check it out- LaJolla.extremepizza.com

Kevin has an aeroponics system on his patio that grows a lot of the vegetables that he uses as ingredients on his pizzas.

For all of you that have never seen an aeroponic systems before, check it out…

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It is like hydroponics but instead of having a tray that the plants sit in and the water and nutrients ebb and flows, the plants are planted up the tower and their roots are all growing down the center cylinder.  A pump then brings the water and nutrients up from the reservoir to the top of the tower and drips it down on the roots.  It can be operated nearly maintenance free with timers.  All you have to do is add water and nutrients. Very cool.  It is a great way to conserve space as well.

We were excited about dinner all day.  We knew we had a lot of yummy leftovers to work with.  Danielle pan fried some toast with a little olive oil.  Then she heated up the potatoes, carrots, onions, and turkey-less roast, and put it over the toast.  Finally she poured the heated up gravy over it all for a fantastic, southern style, open-faced sandwich.  My mouth is watering right now just thinking about it.  I bet yours is too! We gobbled it down with out saving room for desert, but then we ate pumpkin pie.

I know that Danielle already talked about the pumpkin pie.  However, words can not do this recipe justice.  I love pie!  I would put money on the fact that anybody who knows their pie and tried some of this pie would fall in love.  Imagine regular pumpkin pie, only with way more significant flavors.  We talked earlier about how ginger helps the assimilation of nutrients in our bodies.  It also is believed in Ayurvedic circles that it creates a strong synergy with all the nutrients it is combined with.  In other words it makes the nutrients work together to create something bigger than themselves.  I think it also creates a synergy of ingredients and the way that they taste.   I could taste each ingredient as I euphorically dissected the flavors of this amazing new pumpkin pie.  Each so distinct and rich.  Thank you Danielle!  You shall forever cook our pies!  I am a happy man!  Chalk up another W!

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Day 9… I AM IN LOVE WITH NUTRITIONAL YEAST!!!

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Wow! I can’t even begin to explain my feelings for nutritional yeast. Its SO AMAZING! Thank goodness we have been introduced to this delicious and healthy goodness. Honestly, I don’t have to ever have cheese again! Not only does adding nutritional yeast to things make it healthy because of the B12 in it, but it also makes it creamy!!! Mmmm! I highly suggest buying some ASAP because your life is about to change!!!!

Here are details about it from Wikipedia.com:

Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast, often a strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which is sold commercially as a food product. It’s sold in the form of flakes or as a yellow powder similar in texture to cornmeal, and can be found in the bulk aisle of most natural food stores. It is popular with vegans and vegetarians and may be used as an ingredient in recipes or as a condiment.[1]

It is a source of protein and vitamins, especially the B-complex vitamins, and is a complete protein. It is also naturally low in fat and sodium and is free of sugardairy, and gluten. Sometimes nutritional yeast is fortified with Vitamin B12.

Nutritional yeast has a strong flavor that is described as nutty, cheesy, or creamy, which makes it popular as an ingredient in cheese substitutes. It is often used by vegans in place of cheese. It can be used in many recipes in place of cheese, such as mashed and fried potatoes, as well as put into scrambled tofu as a substitute for scrambled eggs. Another popular use is as a topping for popcorn. Some movie theaters offer it along with salt orcayenne pepper as a popcorn condiment.[2]

In Australia it is sometimes sold as “savoury yeast flakes.” In New Zealand, it has long been known as Brufax. In the United States it is sometimes referred to as “nooch”, or “yeshi,” an Ethiopian name meaning “for a thousand”. Though “nutritional yeast” usually refers to commercial products, inadequately fed prisoners of war have used “home-grown” yeast to prevent vitamin deficiency.[3] Nutritional yeast is different from yeast extract, which has a very strong flavour and comes in the form of a dark brown paste.

I also found a wonderful website about how to use it in 20 different ways! Check this out!!

 

Taking an odd ingredient and finding even more unusual uses for it.

It’s not so much that the following uses are particularly unusual, but rather that nutritional yeast itself is an odd ingredient. It’s gaining popularity among foodies for its cheesy taste and nutritional benefits, but it still has a way to go in terms of becoming the pantry staple it’s meant to be. Nutritional yeast (nooch) is one of the only non-animal sources of vitamin B-12. It only takes 1/2-1 tbsp of nutritional yeast to get the daily requirement for B-12. Nutritional yeast is also an excellent source of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, chromium, selenium, and other minerals as well as 18 amino acids, protein, folic acid, biotin, and other vitamins.

And don’t worry about the yeast fermenting in your gut. It’s deactivated, so it will not give you the bloat. This is what distinguishes it from Brewer’s Yeast, which has not been deactivated.

Pop Corn

As if popcorn couldn’t get any more addicting, nooch had to get involved. Sprinkle the powder along with a drizzle olive oil and a dash of sea salt onto popcorn just popped for a cheesy touch. Add other spices, such as garlic powder, dried thyme or dried rosemary for an even more gourmet experience.

Pizza

Skip cheese and sprinkle a light layer of nutritional yeast onto pizza just after it leaves the oven. Cheese is hard to digest, especially when cooked, but that doesn’t mean you have to cede the taste completely. If you top a pizza with diverse textures and flavors, such as a robust marinara sauce, roasted vegetables and nutritional yeast, the cheese component is unnecessary.

Vegan Cheese Sauce

The food blog world is bursting with vegan “cheese” recipes – some simple, some elaborate – with nutritional yeast as the key ingredient. Check out Angela’s Low-Fat Vegan Cheeze Sauce on her blog Oh She Glows for a 5-ingredient approach. Head over to Epicurian Vegan for aheartier vegan cheese sauce that gets some extra bulk from cashews.

Bread Crumbs

Replace bread crumbs with nutritional yeast in any mixture requiring holding power. This cuts down on the carbs and adds an extra bite. Try using nutritional yeast to hold together veggie burgers or any other patty that would normally require bread crumbs.

Kale Chips

There’s nothing wrong with the standard kale chip recipe. But, nutritional yeast takes kale chips to a whole new level – a level that merits obsession and daily consumption. Try your hand at the Spicy & Cheesy Kale Chipspresented by the blog Eating Bird Food.

Macaroni & Cheese

We’ve already given macaroni and cheese a serious makeover, and nutritional yeast was an crucial player in this feat. Not only is this recipevegan, but thanks to nooch, it offers cheesy comfort to a creamy, sweet potato base.

Pasta

Skip the grated parmesan and sprinkle nutritional yeast atop warm pasta along with some garlic powder and a drizzle of olive oil. The combination of flavors makes for a dish that doesn’t miss a thing.

Mashed Potatoes

Stir nooch into mashed potatoes, not only saving calories by nixing cheese but also cutting down on the sodium. Indeed, mashed potatoes can be healthy.

Bean Dip

Emily Malone of the blog Daily Garnish makes a fabulous bean dip using nutritional yeast. If serving this at a party, no one would even be able to tell its vegan.

Roasted Vegetables

One of my favorite go-to meals is roasted vegetables topped with shredded cheese. On days I’d like to skip the cheese and opt for a healthier alternative, I stir nutritional yeast into the finished vegetables instead. When warmed by the vegetables, the yeast smoothens out and creates a creamy sauce with help from the vegetable juices and oils.

Roasted Nuts

Roast nuts that have been tossed in some nutritional yeast. The roasted flavor will be augmented and the nuts will have a slightly cheesy coating on the skin.

Onion Rings

Nutritional yeast has been showing up in onion ring recipes, and for good reason. It helps to increase the nutritional benefit of onion ring batter and adds an edge to each bite. Make the baked fat-free onion rings featured on vegan blog My Whole Deal.

Sauce Thickener

Much like flour and butter are used to thicken a sauce, nutritional yeast can replace the flour to do the same thing.

Gravy

Keeping your health on track during the holidays is all about cutting corners in small ways. Nutritional yeast can redefine gravy. Bring thissimple recipe to the table and the cheer will only heighten.

Salad Dressing

Sneak in your B12 quota is by adding a tablespoon of nutritional yeast to a homemade salad dressing like the Hollyhock Salad Dressing, which you can find on A Passionate Plate blog.

French Fries

Want some added nutrition, crisp, and kick to a homemade version of baked French fries? Drizzle olive oil over cut root vegetables and then toss them in a few tablespoons of nutritional yeast. The flavor is out of this world.

Creamy Cooked Greens

Cooked spinach pairs well with cream and cheese, but you can replace those heavier add-ins with a tablespoon or two of nutritional yeast and then watch as the bare spinach suddenly becomes decadently creamy and bold in flavor.

Vegan Quiche

Experiment with this No-Soy Vegan Quiche recipe from blog Triumph Wellness. It’s the perfect example of where just a little bit of nooch makes a big difference.

Dog Food

Dogs need their vitamin B12 too, especially if your dog is on a plant-based diet. Mix some nutritional yeast in your furry friend’s nibbles and he or she will benefit in a major way.

Baby Formula

If a baby is using formula in place of breast feeding, it is recommended to add nutritional yeast to the infant formula.  Nutritional yeast provides B12, iron and folic acid, which are essential to growth.

 

Travis and I are in the process of trying everything on this website! It was so helpful and I can’t wait to explore more amazing ideas with this oh so tasty amazing-ness.

 

The dressing I made the other night, Nutri Garlic, was out of this world! We have a whole jar left and I just add it in with our veggies… I am convinced that Nutritional Yeast is a miracle from God. Amen.