I’ve recently gone vegetarian. I feel as if this was a bit of a long time coming. I’ve dabbled in it a bit but this is the first time I’ve called myself a “vegetarian”. I decided to make the switch for two reasons: I love animals and it is becoming increasingly difficult for me to differentiate between my cat child and other animals; and for health reasons. It is very possible to eat like crap as a vegetarian, but I am challenging myself to eat more vegetables and experiment with cooking new things.
It can be hard in the beginning to stop eating meat, and cravings for your old foods can be intense. Starting out by eating vegetarian versions of your old favorites is a good way to go. You can gradually reduce these meat alternatives as you get used to it, but it’s a really good starting point (I recently found a vegetarian Chinese restaurant in my neighborhood and their General Tso’s “chicken” is the bomb!). Another thing I recommend is trying out nutritional yeast (aka nooch). My god this stuff is addictive (and nutritious)! It generally has a cheese-like flavor to it and is a great thing to use while cooking your new vegetarian recipes.
Smile Blends sent me their Chick’n Flavored Vegan Nutritional Yeast to try out and review. It is a bit different than other nooch products. For one, this one is a finer powder while others can be more flake-like. The other main difference is that this one has a stronger chicken bouillon flavor (hence the chick’n flavor in the name, duh) while other brands are more cheese centric. It definitely has a more authentic chicken stock flavor despite it actually being vegan! So far my one complaint of this product is that it pours out super-fast even on the “sprinkle” side of the container- so be careful that you don’t accidentally use more than you intended…
Smile Blends describes their nooch a “must have for their plant based or keto seasoning needs. Inform them how it sprinkled over toast, popcorn, sandwiches, salads, fries, soups, vegetables and anything else to add a delicious chick’n flavor to your meal.”
I tried the Smile Blends nooch in some recipes to see how versatile this ingredient can be!
Meal Test 1: Breakfast Burrito
I normally load my breakfast burritos with cheese. I see myself eventually going mostly vegan (I can’t fathom giving up cheese completely though) so I wanted to see if this nooch could give me the cheesy flavor I crave. This is where I discovered that the chicken flavoring is more potent than the cheese flavor, but it definitely worked to make this burrito feel more like I used to prepare it (with meat, obvi). Breakfast burrito ingredients: tortilla, pasture raised scrambled eggs, nooch (both in the scrambled eggs asa they were cooking and dusted on top of the finished product, and topped with salsa.
Meal Test 2: Avocado Toast
I’ve used plain nutritional yeast on avocado toast and it’s freaking delicious. It adds a new depth of flavor. This chick’n flavored nooch added more richness and created a more savory flavor. Avocado toast ingredients: Ezekiel bread, ½ an avocado, sprinkle of nooch, sprinkle of Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel seasoning.
Meal Test 3: Pasta Dinner
I ended my day of nooch testing with some tasty pasta. I think the best use of this particular nutritional yeast is in dishes that you used to cook with meat. You name the meat, I used to add it to pasta. This seasoning gave it that meatier flavor, with a hint of cheesiness, making this my favorite test meal of the day. Pasta dinner ingredients: Pasta, chopped tomatoes, zucchini, spinach, onion, garlic, olive oil, and nooch.
*Sponsored post: this post was written in exchange for free product. All opinions are still my own and I do not make any money if you choose to buy this product.
For more information on this product and Smile Blends, click here.