Tag Archives: nutritional yeast

Back to the Kitchen-Avocado Pasta with Fresh Garden Herbs

8 Jul


Cooking for one isn’t all that fun, hence the drop off in recipes that you may have noticed lately (sorry). It can be a lot of effort and mess when cereal or a smoothie would probably suffice, amiright? While Scott has been in Asia, I’ve been feeling less than inspired cooking wise, especially since I’m usually working during dinnertime hours. But today, a gorgeous and sunny Sunday that included a run in High Park followed by a terrific Ashtanga class left me feeling simultaneously famished and inspired.

I had a bag full of quickly ripening avocados on my hands, and wanted to try something other than a guilt-inducing solo guacamole binge. Besides, it is no secret that I love avocados. To me, avocados are one of nature’s greatest triumphs. So delicate, rich and subtle. Sometimes I find them just plain beautiful. Don’t these ones look perfect? And besides besides, my blog needed some love. Cooking for one? Pha! Cooking for all. (Sorry about that). 

The recipe was inspired by this one, from one of my new favourite food blogs A Cozy Kitchen, and also Pinterest, in which people are seemingly fascinated by all-things-avocado (as well as lots and lots of ways to use mason jars).  I added fresh broccoli into the mix, as well as some edamame for protein, and skipped the cheese in favour of nutritional yeast.So yes, this dish is perfect for vegans! I also used spiral Kamut pasta instead of linguine.


Avocado Pasta with Fresh Garden Herbs

  • 1 and a half medium, ripe avocados
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 4-5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • handful of almonds
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • pasta of choice (about two cups)
  • olive oil
  • 1 cup edamame (shelled)
  • some broccoli

1.Boil pasta in well salted water until al dente. During the last 3-4 minutes of cooking add broccoli and edameme into the boiling water with pasta.

2. Meanwhile, blend the basil, thyme, almonds, garlic, nutritional yeast and some olive oil into a paste (as smooth as possible).

3. Add the avocados and mustard to the pesto and blend well, adding a bit more olive oil. If too thick, add some water. Blend until smooth.

4. Season with salt and pepper to taste, add lemon juice and stir well.

5. Drain pasta with veggies, and incorporate the sauce. Mix well. Sprinkle with more nutritional yeast, pepper and fresh herbs. Serve immediately!

This was incredibly fast and easy. If you don’t have nutritional yeast on hand, or are just plain skeptical, I encourage you to use Parmesan instead (actually, I encourage you to try it first before you knock it! But Parm would also be delicious) . Next time, if I wasn’t in a rush ( to relax in front of the T.V) I would roast the garlic first for added depth.

Added bonus: on a hot day this does not require standing guard over a hot stove (with the exception of the pasta-boiling part), but keep in mind that avocado turns brown after awhile, so this is best served immediately if you are concerned about things like presentation.

All in all, a great summery solo meal!



Almond Crusted Dijon Pork with Grilled Pear

20 Feb

What’s a girl to do on a statutory holiday when she runs out of breadcrumbs, and all nearby and walk-able stores are closed? Why, use ground almonds instead of course! So very sorry dear breadcrumbs, if I never look back…

  1. Marinate pork chops in the fridge for as long as time permits (these were 7 hours) in a mixture of garlic (2 cloves) olive oil (1 cup) mustard (2 tablespoons) parsley (1 tsp) salt (1 tsp) pepper (however much you like) Worcestershire (2 tablespoons) and soy sauce (1/3 cup). Refrigerate in airtight plastic bag or dish.
  2. Discard marinade and generously rub chops with favourite Dijon mustard (mine is So Natural, Organic Prepared Dijon Mustard. Yum
  3. Separately, finely grind about 1 cup of almonds in food processor and add a few heavy shakes of salt, generous grinds of black pepper and large pinch of dried parsley to mixture
  4. Dredge pork in almond mixture, and press into the meat, ensure it is evenly coated
  5. Fry chops in butter over medium high heat, being careful not to burn the almonds, about 8 minutes on each side until cooked through and golden. Try not to agitate too much, as not to loose the golden crust (losing a bit of the almond crust is fine though, because it will add a nutty taste to the  sauce to follow)
  6. When finished, cover pork with foil, and de-glaze hot pan with white wine to make the sauce (about 1/4 cup?) Add about 1 tablespoon of salted butter, 1/2 cup almond or coconut milk (or regular milk or cream, if you prefer) and 1 tablespoon of mustard to the pan and stir. Add sprinkling of nutritional yeast and dissolve into gravy for extra depth (I’m a huge fan of nutritional yeast- it really adds that full bodied umami to sauces and dressings, a lot like cheese does)
  7. Pour sauce over the pork and top with slices of grilled pear, black pepper and a drizzle of honey.

I was really pleased with the result of this dish!  Cooking with almonds adds a bit more richness, and is a great alternative for those looking for gluten-free options. This recipe could easily be made with chicken, fish or maybe even tofu!

So tasty. So tender. So flavourful.

P.s. Because this recipe is my own creation, the measurements may be slightly off as I tend to loose track while in “the zone”. Apologies!

Immy May

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