“When I first read the word, ‘nutritional yeast’, I thought GROSSSSS”
This recipe was inspired by the b-e-a-utiful Niomi Smart, lifestyle vlogger, blogger and plant-based guru. I got her book, ‘Eat Smart’ for Christmas and i’m slowly making my way through her vegan recipes which get better and better.
When I first read the word, ‘nutritional yeast’, I thought GROSSSSS, however once I read up on it and saw it featured in many of Niomi’s recipe’s, I plucked up the courage to buy some to see what all the fuss was about.
Nutritional yeast is found in many health stores and leading supermarkets and is sold as as a product which has a creamy, cheesy flavour – hence it’s popularity amongst those following a plant-based diet. I thought what better way to put it to the test than to re-create one of Niomi’s most popular recipes – Mac n Cheese.
1/2 Butternut Squash
1/2 Lemon, juiced
Clove of Garlic
- I started preparing this recipe the day before as Niomi advises that you soak your cashew’s overnight. I soaked them in water and oat milk. I’ve read online that some people soak their’s for about 1/2 an hour and get the same result
- The next day, drain the cashews and put in a blender or Nutri-bullet to make a paste
- meanwhile, peel and dice 1/2 a butternut squash and steam for 20 minutes until soft
- Cook your pasta now. I used this quinoa pasta which looks like macaroni!
- Sauté the onion and garlic in a wok
- I then mashed the butternut squash and combined in with the onion and garlic in the wok, with the cashew paste, milk, salt & pepper, nutmeg, 1/2 lemon juice and the oat milk
- I continued to mash and mix until it was as smooth as I could make it. I only have a nutri-bullet but if I had a bigger blender I would have blended the mix to get it super smooth.
- Once the pasta is cooked combine in the wok and serve!
- Niomi serves hers with roasted tomatoes however I sautéed kale and tomatoes to go with mine
The taste test:
When looking at the the finished meal, it sure did look like a homemade, rustic, mac and cheese, however the taste was overwhelmingly butternut squashy – which isn’t a bad thing. Perhaps because I didn’t go by proper measurements it tastes slightly different to Niomi’s. Despite my boyfriend saying, “It just doesn’t taste like cheese at all!!!” I could just about make out the taste of the nutritional yeast which does give a slight nutty, cheesy flavour. Again, perhaps I didn’t put enough in the mix. Either way, dinner was enjoyed greatly!