Tag Archives: nutritional yeast

Isa’s Sunflower Mac

This recipe is for my friend, Betty, the number one lover of creamy pasta dishes. Betty recently learned she has a number of food sensitivities. Eager to begin a new diet but a little baffled as to where to start, Betty called me up one day for some advice and recipes. With her top sensitivities being wheat, dairy, egg white, and nuts, Betty was a little worried that her mac and cheese days were over. Not so, Betty!

Sunflower Mac

Thanks to Isa Chandra Moskowitz, Betty can enjoy a big bowl of some comforting cheezy noodles. If you enjoy dairy-free dishes, you probably know that most creamy pasta sauces are made from nuts, like Chloe Coscarelli’s Fettuccine Alfredo. But… sunflower seeds?! Well, as Chandra writes in her cookbook Isa Does It, “Sunflower seeds have a mellow, nutty quality that fits right into a cheezy sauce”. Oh, yah! 🙂

SUNFLOWER MAC (recipe from Isa Does It)

  • 1 cup unroasted sunflower seed kernels, soaked for at least 2 hours
  • 8 ounces gluten-free elbow macaroni or other small pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced carrots
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus a pinch
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons organic cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • sweet paprika, for garnish

Place the sunflower seeds in a bowl and submerge in water. Let soak for about 2 hours or up to overnight. Drain well.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook your pasta according to package directions. Drain, return to the pot, and set aside while you make the sauce.

Preheat a saucepan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Saute the carrots and onions with a pinch of salt for about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds, then remove from the heat.

Place the mixture in a blender or food processor. Add the broth, cornstarch, nutritional yeast, tomato paste, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and sunflower seeds and blend until very smooth. Allow about 5 minutes, periodically checking sauce for smoothness.

Transfer the sauce to the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until thickened. This should take about 15 minutes. Add the lemon juice.

Pour most of the sauce over the pasta. Mix it up, and serve with extra sauce. Sprinkle pasta with paprika and dig in!


Mac & Cheeze

I highly recommend you check out Chandra’s cookbook “Isa Does It – Amazingly Easy, Wildly, Delicious Vegan Recipes for Every Day of the Week” at your local bookstore. It’s well worth the purchase. (Now, it’s here where I had planned to list and show all of our favourite “Chandra” dishes. Too crazy because there’s just way too many! You seriously have to buy this book).




Smokin’ Split Pea Soup

Baby, it’s cold outside!! A snowfall warning in effect, temperatures reaching minus 27 degrees Celsius, and a mighty northerly wind – this was our past weekend. Time to break out the parka and snowpants!  🙂

We warmed things up inside with a hearty bowl of Kris Carr’s Split Pea Soup. As per her recipe in “Crazy Sexy Kitchen” (click here for the recipe), we added a teaspoon of smoked paprika and some finely chopped kale. I  added my own touch to this awesome soup by throwing in some chopped potato.

When you check out the recipe, you’ll notice that Kris Carr suggests adding some dulse seaweed. Unfortunately, I did not have dulse in my pantry and I wasn’t about to head to the grocery store with over 25 cm of freshly fallen snow on the roads. However, I do plan on adding some dulse the next time around for that extra boost of vitamins, minerals, and protein. The soup was still delicious without the dulse.

Split Pea Soup

A bowl of this soup will warm you from head to toe.  An ideal meal for a day full of skiing or snowshoeing. I am so looking forward to the upcoming holidays where I will have a little more time to enjoy the great outdoors. I believe that the best way to enjoy a good Canadian winter is to play in it. My only wish is that it will warm up, just a bit. In my opinion, it can’t get any colder.  😉

Enjoy your week! It’s going to be a busy one!

Savoury Crepes

Oh, these crepes are absolutely delicious!  A surprisingly easy to make meal, we had them last night for dinner with steamed broccoli and a fondue-like cheese sauce that’s literally to-die-for.  You would never guess that this meal is gluten-free and vegan.


I’ve been craving cheese like mad, so I chose to make a fondue sauce to pour over the crepes. Before we cut dairy from our diet, our cool winter weekends often consisted of a warming cheese fondue.  I would use the leftover sauce for morning crepes or a topping for my toast.  For those of you familiar with Swiss cheese fondue, you will be pleasantly surprised with this recipe.  Nutritional yeast and potatoes give this sauce a beautiful cheesy texture.  When I mentioned this sauce as a “fondue”,  my daughter ran for some gluten-free bagels, cut a piece, and dipped it in the sauce!  Yummy!  The person who developed this recipe is a genius, in my opinion.  You will find the recipe here –   http://www.vegetariantimes.com/recipe/blonde-bliss-vegan-fondue/

The crepe recipe comes from my Candle 79 Cookbook by Joy Pierson, Angel Ramos and Jorge Pineda.  If you are ever in New York City and looking for an awesome vegan meal, try Candle 79.  It’s a quaint restaurant just minutes from Central Park.

This recipe makes 10 crepes.  Just to let you know, we are a family of 4 and there was not one crepe leftover.  If you like to have some extra for the following day, then you may want to consider doubling the recipe.  Try this with leftover crepes – instead of using rice or noodles, try cutting  crepes in thin strips for a next day’s soup!


  • 2 cups almond milk or other non-dairy milk
  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 4 tablespoons arrowroot powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
  • ground pepper
  • coconut oil for frying

Using a blender, process the milk, flour, arrowroot powder and salt to a thin, smooth-like consistency.  Pour into a large bowl and add the parsley and green onions.  Mix well.  I let this sit for about 30 minutes while I prepared my broccoli and cheese sauce.

Brush a crepe pan with coconut oil and heat the pan over medium heat.  Pour about 1/4 cup of batter into the center of your pan and tip it several times off of heat to cover the bottom of the pan.

Return the pan to the heat and cook for at least 3-4 minutes until the edges begin to brown.  Using a spatula, flip the crepe and cook for another minute.  Your crepe should be lightly browned.  Your crepe should flip easily.  If it is sticking to the pan, then wait another minute.  If you try to flip the crepe too soon, it will fall apart!


Stack crepes on top of each other and keep warm until serving time.  Serve with your choice of steamed vegetables and sauce.  But, seriously – try the above fondue sauce!

I would like to thank my daughter for assembling this crepe and organizing the photo shoot.  While I was involved in an online “chat” with fellow Plant-Based Nutrition students, she decided to take charge and get dinner on the table.  (My kids now know that we don’t eat until snapshots have been taken!). Can you tell she loves mushrooms?!  Thank you, K!!

A Festive Fall Meal

When you make this one, you may want to play a little Adele and pour yourself a good glass of Shiraz.  It takes a little time, but is so worth it!  I made this dish last Sunday evening for some carnivorous family members.  They left my house with a smile and a very full belly!


  • 5 large portobello mushroom caps
  • 4 medium sized potatoes*, quartered and cooked
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • dairy-free butter (I used Earth Balance)
  • 1/3 cup milk  (I used an unsweetened, organic almond milk)
  • grated cheese (I used cheddar flavoured daiya cheese)
  • sea salt and pepper
  • red wine for drizzling
  • parsley for garnish

Saute onion in coconut oil and set aside.  Mash cooked potatoes with butter, milk, salt and garlic in a mixing bowl.  Set aside.  Wipe mushrooms clean with a paper towel and place on a baking sheet.  Lightly drizzle some wine on the baking sheet and over the mushrooms.  Top mushrooms with cheese, mashed potato and sauteed onions.  Bake at 400 degrees Faranheit for about 10 minutes.  Garnish with parsley and fresh pepper.  Serve with mushroom gravy, a mixed green salad or squash soup.

*Instead of potatoes, try mashed squash!


  • 4 cups fresh mushrooms (any kind)
  • 1/3 cup arrowroot flour
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast flakes*
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce (I used Bragg liquid soy seasoning)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon and a bit more thyme
  • chopped parsley

Steam fry mushrooms until brown and tender.  Set aside.  In a sauce pan over high heat, stir arrowroot flour and nutritional yeast flakes until it smells toasty. (At this point, do not get distracted and pour yourself another glass of Shiraz!).  Whisk in water, wine, soy sauce, salt and thyme.  Stir gravy constantly until it thickens and begins to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 2-5 minutes.  Pour over cooked mushroom caps and add chopped parsley or thyme leaves for garnish.

*Nutritional yeast is a yellow inactive yeast with a nutty cheesy flavour.  It is a good source of protein and B complex vitamins.  Try sprinkling some nutritional yeast over hot popcorn or pasta for that cheesy flavour.