Couscous “grown-up” mac n’ cheese

by jc

Here is a new experiment that I was motivated to try because I’ve been looking for a way to add nutritional yeast flakes (I’m going to call them #NYFs… yes, get it trending) to a recipe.  I recently found out that I’m low in vitamin B12 and these friendly organisms (inactivated/dead, don’t worry!) are a great source of this.

From the always accurate Wikipedia: Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast (often Saccharomyces cerevisiae) … sold in the form of flakes or as a yellow powder similar in texture to cornmeal … found in the bulk aisle of most natural food stores [I found it in a regular grocery store] … is a source of protein and vitamins, especially the B-complex vitamins … is a complete protein … is naturally low in fat and sodium … is free of sugar, dairy, and gluten … has a strong flavor that is described as nutty, cheesy, or creamy … is often used by vegans in place of cheese … another popular use is as a topping for popcorn [CANNOT WAIT to try this!]. 

#NYFs baby, you feel me?

#NYFs baby, you feel me?

I love this dish because:

  1. I am obsessed with couscous (but I think quinoa would also go very well here and would be a bit healthier + GF-option)
  2. I love cheese but always feel a bit guilty eating it (solution: #NYFs)
  3. I’m terrible at planning meals ahead and this recipe is composed of things that keep well and are therefore easy to usually have on hand (i.e. garlic, #NYFs, pickled jalapeno, canned peas, couscous)

Boil salted water, add ~1 tbsp oil (I used grapeseed)

Remove from heat, add couscous, stir and cover for 5 minutes

Add:

~6 heaping tbsp nutritional yeast flakes

2 cloves minced garlic

~2 tbsp chopped jalapeno (pickled)

1 can peas (drained)

Salt and pepper to taste

"Cheesy" goodness

“Cheesy” goodness

The result is a more sophisticated, grown-up-style mac n’ cheese.  Pete had three servings so I deemed it a success… “I feel like a Labrador Retriever who doesn’t know to stop eating when he’s full”.

We had the couscous as a side served alongside this big, random (but delicious) salad:

Random salads are my favourite

Random salads are my favourite

Field greens

Red pepper (small chunks)

Cherry tomatoes (halved)

Avocado (chunks)

Artichoke hearts (pickled, chopped)

1-2 tbsp Hemp Hearts

1-2 tbsp cilantro (chopped)

Drizzle olive oil & balsamic vinegar

So yummy!

The finished product.  So yummy!

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