I often find myself singing at night, when I am preparing Betty White’s dinner. I make up little names for her, and shout them to a melody, “Betty White-stone Creamery, your dinner is ready for you, your Majesty, I hope you don’t mind the regular cuisine that I- have- pre-paaaaarrrred!” She stares at me with confusion, but more with a look of, “please, mom, just put the food down so I can get to it”.
I then begin preparing our dinner. Gerry usually gets home right after me, and he starts helping me with the prep. No matter what we prepare, almost always, it includes my ride or die, nooch- to those who are not privy to the très cool reference, I am referring to Nutritional Yeast. Ah, my nooch… my staple of the pantry, my ride or die, the item I can no longer do without. I sing as I open the cabinet, grabbing my container of Nooch. I use an old jar that I labeled, “NOOCH”. You can’t miss it. When you live tiny, buying from bulk containers is an awesome way to only buy what you need, and it is better for the environment. I buy my nooch this way, and many of our spices and pantry items, such as dried fruit, oatmeal, and pasta.
The Nooch melody is the same as my song to Betty, as I prepare food, “Nooch, you are always there when I need you…. you are yummy to my tummy, and you nourish my soul, sweeeeeeet NOOOOOOOOCH!” Oh, and no, I do not have a singing voice, but it doesn’t stop me.
Nooch, for those who do not know, is a deactivated yeast, often a strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae (a fungus). Sounds appealing, right? Don’t be turned off by the fungus though folks, this stuff is the best tasting fungus you will ever eat. It is sold in the form of flakes or as a yellow powder and can be found in the bulk aisle of most natural food stores. I buy it in bulk at our local Coastal Community Market, and have also purchased it at the Chatham Marketplace Coop in Pittsboro when visiting my mom. It is a vegan’s source of that cheesiness you crave. I am the person who used to refer to themselves as a “cheese whore”. I vowed that there was no way I could ever go vegan because of my love of cheese. Now, I eat Nooch anytime I get a cheesy craving, and am completely satisfied, not to mention, I can now look at a goat in the face and not feel tremendous guilt…gosh I wish there were more opportunities to look a goat in the face.
Nooch has a parmesan, cheddar-biscuit sort of taste. I sprinkle it on almost every single vegetable I eat. I also put it on pasta with a little olive oil, I use it along with some spices to make a hell-good nacho popcorn seasoning (Holy Mother of God, if you have not tried this recipe, take time out this evening to put this together and EAT IT ON YOUR POPCORN! Thank me, later!)
Shannon’s Nacho Popcorn Seasoning Recipe
First, pop your popcorn in the pot with some olive oil or coconut oil. Stay the hell away from that microwaved popcorn BS. It is terrible for you, and once you make your own popcorn in a pot on the stove, you’ll never want that chemical shit again anyway. When we are making popcorn, Ger is on popcorn duty, while I prepare the seasoning.
Melt 1/4 cup of coconut oil and sit aside while you mix the spices and nooch. Then mix: 1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast, 1 tsp ground Paprika, 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder, 1/2 tsp Onion Powder, 1/2 tsp Chili Powder, 1/4 tsp Ground Cumin, & 1/8 tsp ground Cayenne Pepper
Once you mix the seasonings together and the popcorn is popped, grab yourself a bowl with a top and put the popcorn in it, drizzle your melted coconut oil on top of the popcorn, then sprinkle the spices from your bowl on top. Close the lid, and shake the hell out of it, so all of your popcorn is covered in this delish seasoning.
Open, share or don’t, and enjoy! This is a much healthier snack than some lab-created doritos, or again, that gross microwave popcorn.
I now find myself searching Pinterest for Nooch recipes. Since I have a tree-nut allergy, I have found that I am unable to make a lot of vegan cheeses due to my inability to eat cashews, but I have found many recipes on making some cheese sauces using soy milk, mustard, olive oil, and nooch. Drizzle that on some broccoli and you are GOOD TO GO!
Nooch, while it may not be the coolest thing to talk about, I have found it is a savior for me, in keeping me vegan, since I have that former love of cheese. I don’t feel deprived, nor being punished. It is a new addition to my life that I am truly thankful for. Anything that helps me stay away from eating the by-products of animals, is a win-win for me! I only wish I had found it sooner. Thanks to Thug Kitchen for the introduction. 🙂