It’s official, I’m becoming old and completely lame.
My typical weekend goes a little something like this: after I get off of work on Saturday, while many others are either out and about or preparing for a night out, I like to make popcorn and cuddle up under the covers on my couch to watch a movie. I usually start to fall asleep about halfway through the movie and it’s pretty rare that I actually make it all the way to the end. Then, I wake up early on Sunday morning and skip over to the grocery store so that I can be one of the first people there to peruse the freshly stocked fruit and vegetable aisles. Ok, so I don’t really skip, but I’ve definitely thought about it before.
Wow, that sounds even more pathetic now that I’ve admitted it. But the truth is, I wouldn’t have it any other way
Last night was definitely no exception. I popped in Water for Elephants and whipped out my handy-dandy popcorn-maker:
I think I got this thing off of Amazon.com and it’s amazing. For some reason, popcorn is a must whenever I’m watching movies. It’s definitely not the healthiest food, but since I make my own from scratch, I’m able to use healthier ingredients like organic corn, coconut oil and nutritional yeast instead of butter and processed cheesy junk. **At least this is what I tell myself to justify my popcorn obsession.
I’ve mentioned nutritional yeast a few times already in my recipes and it’s high time that I explain why I think it’s so wonderful. Aside from the occasional fish dinner (and by occasional I mean maybe once a week), I don’t consume any animal products, including dairy and eggs. Because animal products are considered some of the best sources available for B-vitamins, protein and iron, I have to find other ways of supplementing my diet with these essential vitamins and nutrients. Enter nutritional yeast. This deactivated yeast is sugar, milk, and gluten-free with a strong nutty, cheesy flavor. You can purchase it in the form of either powder or flakes (I prefer flakes) and one heaping tablespoon contains as much as 200% of the daily value of Vitamin B-12 and 4.5 grams of protein.
In my opinion, nutritional yeast is an amazing substitute in recipes that typically have a cheesy flavor. It’s especially great if you are transitioning your diet; it certainly helped me quite a bit. In fact, I enjoy it so much that I put it on everything from salad and soup to popcorn and my Vegan Nachos.
It was tough whenever I first began cutting out dairy and meat and I thought that I would never be able to eat some of my favorite foods again. However, I’ve learned now that if I make smart substitutions, I am still able to enjoy healthier versions of many not-so-healthy foods. Since I stocked up on nutritional yeast this morning at the grocery story, I thought I would make a lunch that really highlights its’ delicious flavor.
As you probably know, it’s March Madness and I am a HUGE Kentucky Wildcats fan (Go Cats!). Although the games make me extremely nervous, I have really enjoyed watching my team make it to the Final Four. Well, similar to how popcorn and movies go hand-in-hand, it’s also customary to enjoy classic comfort food while watching sports. For some reason nachos sounded really good today. I’m not about to eat nachos drenched in cheese, so I decided to make a lighter, healthier, but equally delicious version using nutritional yeast.
- ½ cup dry black beans
- 2 cups water
- a few large handfuls of corn tortilla chips
- ¼ cup chopped white onion
- 1 roma tomato, chopped
- 1 small or ½ a large avocado, sliced
- 10-15 pitted olives, sliced
- 1 Tbs. nutritional yeast
- ½ a lime
- cilantro sprigs (optional)
- Soak the black beans for at least 8 hours. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Rinse black beans and then add them to the boiling water. Allow to boil for 10 minutes and then cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 45 mins. to 1½ hours, or until cooked. Let the beans cool down to room temperature.
- Prepare the vegetable toppings.
- Plate the tortilla chips and then layer with vegetables. Top with nutritional yeast, lime juice, and sprigs of cilantro. Serve immediately and enjoy!
These nachos were so good. Almost as good as watching my Cats win
I just had to add this picture of me holding my dad’s tickets to the upcoming games. I was tempted to run out the front door with them, but then I remembered he would definitely know where to find me.