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.
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!
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!
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.