FAQ With a Vegan Chef: All about nooch, whole grains, omega’s and how to cut mango

(Please click through to the post to watch the video if viewing this in email)

This was filmed in iMovie on my computer. There’s a few places were the sound is off from the video. Don’t know why that happened or how to fix it!

Do you use nutritional yeast? If so, what kind? Is it for flavor, consistency or nutrition? Is it necessary to use it in a recipe if it is called for?

I have a love affair with nutritional yeast, which is also known as “nooch”. I just love the stuff. It tastes so good and adds so much depth of flavor to savory dishes and a nice consistency. I sprinkle it on steamed veggies or fresh salads. Many people use it as a topping for popcorn and it makes the base of vegan cheese sauces and mac n’ cheese. So it may be necessary for the recipe depending on what the recipe is. I buy it in the bulk bins at the natural food store. If you don’t have that option you can buy it in a can. Red Star and NOW are the brands I know of that are fortified, or you can buy it online if you don’t have it at your local grocery store. Just don’t confuse it for brewer’s yeast, which is a totally different thing.

What are your thoughts on grains and do you cook with them often? What exactly is considered a grain? 

There are whole grains, cracked grains, and grain products, and then there are refined grains from which you want to stay far away. Most of the “whole” grains that we eat tend to not be whole at all. A whole grain has the bran, germ, and endosperm still intact. So bread or flour is not a whole grain. Not that you can’t eat bread every once in a while, but most of your complex carbohydrates should be actual whole grains. The USDA actually has a fact sheet that talks about this, but is anyone listening?

Companies are allowed to put “whole grain” on their boxes and flat out lie to consumers. It’s one of my biggest pet peeves!

Now as far as how much whole grains I eat personally, I’ve been experimenting with eating less grains. I eat them maybe once a day, sometimes twice a day. So most my plate is veggies and plant-protein. As I always say, we are constantly evolving and changing so I encourage you to experiment with your diets. The most important thing is that you are eating a diet based in whole foods and getting tons of veggies in all the colors of the rainbow.

What is your opinion on Omegas in the form of Oils? Just curious if you use one or if you find them to be unnecessary?

I personally have never used flax oil as a supplement. I occasionally use flax or hemp oil to make dressings or use them in baked goods. My protein powder has all the omega’s I need. If you are eating a varied whole foods plant-based diet that includes walnuts or a sprinkle or hemp/flax here and there or take a hemp protein shake I don’t think extra supplementation is necessary. But it’s probably best to ask your health care provider or a good nutritionist to make sure you are getting your needs met.

How do you cut a mango?

It wouldn’t be a FAQ with a Vegan Chef without showing some knife techniques! In all of my cooking classes I share ways to cut vegetables and how to use a knife properly because I feel like it’s SO important to the cooking experience. If you have any questions on different cutting techniques please let me know so I can show them in a future video!

Now what questions do you have for future videos? Please feel free to leave them in the comments or if you are shy feel free to email me directly. There are no dumb questions!

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  1. Hi:

    I love the work that you do Chrity!

    I recently became aware of nutritional yeast's highly addictive qualities and that it is actually a neurotoxin/excitotoxin, ie it kills brain cells and can lead to serious diseases later in life, ie ALS, Huntingtons and Alzheimers.  I did not want to believe it as it is so popular and commonly praised for its health benefits.  Here is a very thorough article that is well researched for your informaiton.  http://www.daystarbotanicals.com/nutritionalyeast.html

    Keep up the great work!


    1. Interesting that the article you site is written by someone selling a product. It’s very common to find articles online that bash an ingredient to in the end say, hey I have this better product you can buy. It brings up some interesting things which I will look into further. Thanks!

  2. Hey Christy!

    For the next FAQ, I would love to hear your opinions on cleansing and how you suggest going about it. For me, I usually cleanse with primarily "green juices" and maybe a green smoothie – but often after the second day find myself needing to eat and having a salad.

    There is so much information out there about cleansing- some of it very extreme! You seem to have a very educated and balanced perspective on food; thus, I think your ideas on cleansing and what works for you would be valuable.

    Thank you in advance! And if you have already discussed this in the past – I'm sorry, I must have missed it!

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