Salad Out of Nothing

In Odessa, they used to say that a woman can make three things out of nothing: a hat, a salad, and an argument with her husband. My grandmother had a different saying; she taught me that a true Jewish balabusteh (lady of the house) should be able to make six family dinners out of one chicken, and still have enough for a chicken soup for Shabbos. I have never been much of a hat maker, even though I love outrageous hats and wear them on top of the wig, according to the old Chassidic tradition. I abhor arguments, even though sometimes they are unavoidable – life has its challenges. Making a salad out of nothing, however, pretty much  follows my grandmother’s dictum.


I am lucky – I really love vegetables. I am not so lucky because I also really love cheese, but it doesn’t like me any more. I am still lucky because I have discovered nutritional yeast, and now I can indulge my tendency to play with my food and virtually turn my kitchen into a chemistry lab: pour this into that, add a pinch of the other, stand back and see what happens.

Cashew crm chs 3.jpg

I had a bowl of steamed veggies left from last night’s dinner: broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots. Contrary to George Bush, I love broccoli. Years ago, I would’ve cut myself a few chunks of Pecorino Romano and enjoyed a nutritious and totally delicious lunch. Not any more!

Cashew crm chs 2.jpg

We know that He never creates a problem without creating a solution first. Here is my solution: nutritional yeast, combined with coconut milk, lemon juice, and just a touch of garlic. Sounds good, but too liquid for my taste. I want texture!

Cashew crm chs 1.jpg

And when I pulverized some raw cashews, together with all this stuff, it came out just great! Depending on how chunky or creamy you want it, you might add some more coconut milk, and if you want more of a savory flavor, play with lemon juice and garlic.


Delicious! I didn’t even have to season it, since to my taste, it was a perfect blend of flavors. Parsley is sprinkled on top for garnish. My only regret was that I didn’t make enough of it – next time, I’ll know better!


  • 1 cup mixed steamed vegetables of your choice
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, squeezed
  • 1/2  cup raw cashews
  • Fresh parsley to garnish


  • Steam vegetables. Put aside.
  • Place the rest of ingredients into food processor or blender, pulse to desired consistency.
  • Combine with vegetables. Serve garnished with chopped fresh parsley.






34 Comments Add yours

  1. Very interesting writing and recipe..😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. voulaah says:

    si yummy
    thank you for sharing this recipe

    Liked by 1 person

      1. voulaah says:

        oh welcome

        Liked by 1 person

  3. lilyandardbeg says:

    Well, the opening sentence is so brilliant it took me ages to eventually go on to reading the recipe (I’m keeping the saying, that’s certain). It’s a lovely recipe, of course, but this time the ‘story-telling’ wins 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, but the credit is not mine. It’s an old Odessa saying, going back to the times when ladies would not venture out on the street hatless. Odessa is the cradle of humor; that’s where the concept of humor (actually, satire) was invented – historical truth!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. leggypeggy says:

    Many years ago, one of our exchange students introduced me to nutritional yeast. Very useful. Thanks for the recipe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My pleasure, and thank you for the comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Jasmine S. says:

    Dolly, I loved what you wrote in this post! And kudos for making an awesome salad with what you had on hand. Looks awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My mouth is watering ……..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you – glad you like it!


  7. Sumith Babu says:

    A versatile salad!! Again recipe and the story are the winners!!


    1. Thank you, glad you like it!

      Liked by 3 people

  8. This was written so nice and kind! And I nearly could smell the aroma of the salad. Hmmm!
    Nice to surf on your blog! 😊 Many greetings! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for visiting, dear, and for your lovely comment!
      Nice to meet you,

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, very nice to meet you! It`s a great honour for me! I appreciate it really much! 😙💖 Many greetings, Tina

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you, Tina, have a great day! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  9. lifelessons says:

    Looks delicious. I may have to invest in some nutritional yeast. I’m just tired of everything, Dolly. Can’t think of anything I want to cook or eat. Is it age or mood or some physical condition? No se!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s not much of an investment, Judy, as you use a teaspoon or two once in a while, and it stays fresh for a long time. I don’t think it’s a physical condition, and definitely not age (what age? come on!). Here is an old and tried remedy: when in doubt, grab a piece of chocolate!


      1. CarolCooks2 says:

        I haven’t used nutritional yeast.. Seen recipes using it just not used… Hubby has done very well with your help I am guessing… Xxx

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I had to find a substitute for cheese I crave, so eventually I found nutritional yeast. It works well in so many recipes.
        He really did do well, and I am very proud of him! Of course, at home I count and weigh and measure everything I put in front of him, but he has resisted grabbing junk snacks while on the road, and that’s a biggie!


      3. lifelessons says:

        I actually used to use Brewer’s Yeast. It was great on popcorn in place of salt and/or butter and I don’t remember why else I had it. I used to buy huge jars of it. Must Google it and see if it tweaks my memory. I just noticed that they do sell Spelt flour at my local store that caters to expats here in Mexico.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Brewer’s Yeast is definitely not my thing. One of the urban myths in Russia, many years ago, was that fresh brewer’s yeast compensates for blood loss. At some point, when I was losing blood by buckets, my father would buy it from the beer plant (it was smuggled out by the workers, of course), bring it to me at the hospital and make me drink it. Yechhh!
        Nutritional yeast actually tastes cheesy when sprinkled on food or mixed with raw cashews and cream. As to spelt flour, it is definitely healthier than white or even whole wheat flour, and for my husband it’s a necessity, as it is part of the ADHD regimen.


      5. lifelessons says:

        Duh. I thought nutritional yeast and brewer’s yeast were the same thing..

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Tali says:

    Nutritional yeast does make a good substitute for cheese when you want the cheesy flavor. I use it as is to sprinkle on soup. You get both the nutritional value and the cheesy flavor.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do that as well, sprinkle it on soups, salads, and side dishes.


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