Nutritional Yeast… or nooch as we connoisseurs like to call it, is a savoury, cheesey flavoured seasoning, jam-packed with a load of essential nutrients that is a staple of most vegans’ food cupboard. If you haven’t tried it, you need to. This stuff is brilliant.
To me (and most other rational people) nooch is a seasoning, however the big bad guys over at Slimming World have added a syn value to it (a whopping 2.5 per ‘level’ tablespoon)… which in my opinion is just ridiculous. So I did a little research…
A tub of Engevita nooch weighs 125g and contains 25 servings. That makes a single serving 5g. That is roughly a ‘gently’ heaped tablespoon… I counted… tablespoon by tablespoon in my scullery/labratory.
For reference, this is a ‘gently’ heaped tablespoon of something pink…
Now according to the nutritional information on the tub, each serving – 5g or one gently heaped tablespoon (according to my painstaking research) – is 17kcal. The generally accepted Slimming World syn calculation principles are 1 syn per 20kcal… so a ‘gently’ heaped tablespoon (5g) should only be 1 syn.
So what has Slimming World got against nooch? Is it the fat content? 0.2g per serving? To compare – a Knorr Vegetable Stock Pot is syn free… but it contains 15kcal per pot. It doesn’t matter how many of them I eat… they are still syn free… and they contain 0.6g of fat per pot. So again I ask… what has Slimming World got against nooch? I’m going to tweet them. I’ll let you know what they say.
But anyways, until I hear back I’ll continue with this recipe, but I’m refusing to syn nooch. Especially taking into consideration the fact that I don’t use any oil (including fry light) in my cooking… I reckon it evens out.
Show the nooch some love.
I’m not a cook from scratch, big mess in the kitchen kind of gal… so this Lentil Cottage Pie is super easy, mess free and pretty low on syns.
There’s 10.5 syns in the whole thing and it yields four large portions or six small.
Four portions @ 2.5 syns each
Six portions @ 1.5 syns each
Lentil Cottage Pie
- 1 sachet of either the Coleman’s Shepherd’s Pie or Cottage Pie Mix (6.5 syns)
- 300ml cold water
- 1 cup of frozen peas
- 1 brown onion, finely chopped
- 500g puy lentils (pre-cooked) – I buy the microwavable pouches (2 syns per pouch)
- 500g potatoes
- 2 heaped tablespoons of Nutritional Yeast
- 1tsp Garlic Powder
- 1tsp Onion Powder
- 1 Knorr Vegetable Stock Pot
- 100g Dairy Free cheese (optional) – I use as HEA
- Unsweetened Soya milk – I use Alpro Light – part of HEA – or optionally you can use water
Put Colman’s Cottage Pie or Shepherd’s Pie Mix in lidded jar, add 300ml cold water and shake to mix. Set aside.
Chop potatoes into small cubes (for faster cooking). Add to pot with boiling water and cook for approx. 15 minutes or until soft when pricked with a fork.
While potatoes cook…
Fry off onion with a little water in a non-stick pan. Once onion starts to soften add frozen peas and cook for approx. 7 minutes, or until your peas don’t look frozen anymore.
Add cooked puy lentils to the onion and peas. Stir.
Add Coleman’s Mix to onion, peas and lentils. Stir.
Bring to a boil then immediately turn heat off once sauce starts to thicken. You have to watch this… seriously… and turn it off as soon as it STARTS to thicken… otherwise it will evaporate and you’ll have to order a Chinese takeaway…
Add lentil mix to a baking dish. Set aside.
Now back to the potatoes…
Drain potatoes and then put them back in the pot.
Add garlic powder, onion powder, nutritional yeast (if using) and Knorr Stock Pot to potatoes.
Mash with a fork/potato masher, adding soya milk/water to achieve desired creaminess.
Taste to make sure it tastes brilliant. If not add more garlic/onion/nooch until it tastes amazing.
Spread mashed potatoes over lentil mix.
Top with dairy free cheese (if using).
Bake in oven for 30 minutes.
And there you have it. Done.
You can serve it with pretty much anything you want. I like to serve it with Butternut Squash Chunks (found in the frozen aisle at Tesco) – syn free and a speed food. I roasted some in the oven (no oil, covered in tin foil – removed tin foil for last 7 minutes or so of cooking). But you do you.