Friday, February 4, 2011

The Keyboard is Fixed and Vegan Kale Chips

Finally, I’m back!

I bet you thought that I was kidding about being back to writing my blog in January and that it was just another New Year’s Resolution that had finally lost its steam. Not quite.

Actually, what happened is that one cold, grey Sunday – you know the type, where all you want to do is curl up on the couch and watch your favorite movies and snack on comfort food your mom didn't let you eat as a kid – I woke up to find that a few select keys on my keyboard didn’t work. Miraculously, my computer password doesn’t use any of those keys so I was able to log in but I couldn’t type in ‘gmail’, ‘Amanda’, ‘google’, or ‘nymag.’

As one of my friends on Facebook pointed out, this wasn’t nearly half as bad as Egypt (unless you count the emotional turmoil I felt inside by not being able to check my favorite blogs (blocked at work), facebook (also blocked at work), and generally the fact that I have to do work at work….how unfair!). But I felt unhinged and bored nonetheless. Oh yeah, didn’t you know? I don’t have cable TV. So my computer is not only my link to the world wide web, but my DVD player, my Netflix and my DVR. I do have basic cable but I can only watch so many reruns of Seinfeld and Two and Half Men (take notice CBS), before you just need to do something.

So what did I do? Well, I took to the kitchen and made like a Top Chef. I made vegan kale chips, granola bars, spaghetti and garlic bread, a Thrive pizza, vegan pesto, and a bunch of new salad combinations. The best part about the week is that I finally crossed a huge threshold that has been staring me down for the better part of four months.

Nutrional Yeast. EWW, right? Yes, it does sound gross, but seriously get over it right now, because cheese is moldy milk, beer is fermented wheat and mushrooms are fungi. It’s yeast that is grown on molasses and unlike the yeast used in bread, it is not alive or active. When you buy it from the store, it comes in light yellow flakes and is almost odorless.

But the best part about it is that it melts and tastes like mild cheddar cheese, and it’s chock full of vitamins. One serving (3 tablespoons) has more than your daily recommended allowance of B-1, B-2, B-3, B-6, folic acid, and B-12, plus nine grams of protein, five grams of fiber, and only eight calories. Sounds like a power food if ever one were to exist. I used the nutritional yeast in Averie's vegan kale chips recipe, which also included a ton of cashews. It didn’t quite come out looking the same way and I think its because I used the food processor instead of the blender. The second time I added a dollop of tahini because I heard that goes well with nutritional yeast, but the flavor was a bit too powerful for me.

So don’t be afraid. Try them! And if you still can’t get your mind around nutritional yeast, then get your fabulous behind to a health food store and buy some and try some. Trust me, you will be surprised that vegetables can be so deliciously bad.

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