Not Cheese Cheesy Dust | Nutrition Stripped
Eat Well Aug. 28. 2018

Not Cheese Cheesy Dust

Aug. 28. 2018
McKel Hill Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Hill Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

Founder of Nutrition Stripped® and the Mindful Nutrition Method™

Want to boost your meals with B vitamins, protein, and a cheesy flavor without the dairy? Put Cheesy Dust on it and call it a day.

As a Registered Dietitian, I’m always trying to encourage my clients to boost their plant-based sources of protein along with the overall nutrient density at meal time — what better way than a not cheese cheesy dust. I know, an inactive yeast that kinda tastes like cheese doesn’t sound super sexy, but nutritional yeast is one of the top plant-based proteins you should be eating if you aren’t already!

Put Cheesy Dust On It

There are many keys to living a healthy lifestyle and more importantly, eating healthy. One tip we share often is how can you make vegetables exciting to eat — I know, exciting might be a far-off term for some of you and that’s okay, but let’s make that a goal!

Having a group of recipes that are memorized so that you can make them on the fly whenever you need to, is one of many keys to keep you eating healthy. This Cheesy Dust is definitely one of my personal recipes I have stashed away in my memory as something I can make very quickly to add to anything from salads to roasted vegetables as a way to jazz them up, boost the nutrient-density especially those B vitamins, while also giving variety to whatever you’re cooking up.

The many ways to enjoy and use Cheesy Dust

Consider this your introduction into all things cheesy dust and how you can use it — from salads to soups, yes soups! A typical serving of Cheesy Dust is a heaping 2 tablespoons- 3 tablespoons.

  • Soups: try adding cheesy dust to your favorite soup or stew either as a topping or stir it right in to boost the protein and B vitamins
  • Salads: even if you’re enjoying a salad as a side dish, who says you can’t give it an optimizer option and boost the protein and nutrients? Sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons per salad as a topping, or toss to coat the greens. Note, nutritional yeast has this amazing ability to “stick” and coat greens when there’s liquid present, like a vinegar and olive oil — and it’s delicious
  • Nourish Bowls and bowl meals: the same use as a salad
  • Stir-fry: same use as a soup, you can use it as a topping or add it to the skillet when you’re cooking everything
  • Popcorn: first make the popcorn, then in a large mixing bowl or serving bowl, sprinkle the Cheesy Dust on top, toss and voila, you have cheesy popcorn!
  • Roasted Vegetables: same with the popcorn, prepare the vegetables and give them a good dusting and you’ve just transformed plain roasted vegetables into cheesy roasted vegetables

The Health Benefits of Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional yeast is a staple food in plant-based diets due to its cheesy flavor, versatility, high amounts of B vitamins, and protein content. Nutritional yeast contains no dairy or active yeast, and it’s found in a powder/flake form that creates a paste when mixed with liquid. It’s great for making dairy-free sauces, dressings, and more.


Healthy Fats

Walnuts are known as brain food quite literally as they contain loads of heart-healthy fats and omega-3 fatty acids which are great for reducing inflammation in the body amongst other health benefits.


Walnuts contain phenols, which are mostly located in the skin of the walnut, don’t remove if you want the most out of the antioxidants (up to 90% of phenols are located in the skins). Walnuts also contain minerals, healthy fats, and a small amount of plant-based protein and fiber — these components of walnuts have been shown to lower cholesterol, improve brain and behavioral health, reduce heart disease, improve bone health, help with blood sugar control and type 2 diabetes, provide anti-cancer benefits, and anti-inflammatory benefits.

B Vitamins

B vitamins are vital to our health and most of us get plenty of B vitamins in our diets, mainly found in whole foods like vegetables, fruits, legumes, grains, and most proteins (especially vitamin B12 in animal-sourced proteins, not plant-based unless they’re fortified with B vitamins).

In about 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast you’ll find a great source of B vitamins:

  • Thiamine (B1) — 640% DV
  • Riboflavin (B2) — 570% DV
  • Niacin (B3) — 280% DV
  • B6 — 480% DV
  • Folate — 60% DV
  • B12 — 130% DV

Plant-based Protein

In about 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast, depending on the brand, there’s anywhere between 8-10g protein.

Reducing Inflammation

Turmeric really is the golden spice, thanks to its anti-inflammatory benefits. It’s a beautiful rich golden yellow color, fragrant, and has been used for centuries in flavoring food but also medicinally.

Curcumin in the main component found in turmeric that responsible for the health benefits. Turmeric and curcumin have been studied for their link in improving IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease), Crohn’s disease, immune health, rheumatoid arthritis, cystic fibrosis, and cancer prevention.

The Recipe

Serves 10+



2 cups nutritional yeast

1 cup raw walnuts

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

Pinch of sea salt


Step 1

In a food processor, pulse the walnuts until you create a ground mixture, not as fine as a flour or powder because you want small chunks in there for texture.

Step 2

Combine all the ingredients in the recipe in a large mixing bowl to combine all the spices with the nutritional yeast and the ground raw walnuts. This is the mixture, so adjust for seasonings as you like — add more salt or pepper as needed or more heat from the ground cayenne.

Step 3

Keep stored in a cool, dark place in your pantry ideally in an airtight glass jar and use in 1-2 months. Dust your favorite Nourish Bowls with it, on large green salads, eggs, stir-fry, soups, sandwiches, roasted vegetables, fresh popcorn, or anything else you can think of that you like!

Have Leftovers? Here’s What To Do With Them:

As always, store in an airtight glass container that we recommend from the NS Shop for up to two months in a cool dark spot in your pantry.

Can’t wait to see you try it!

Did you know that you can submit your own photo of whatever recipe you make from NS? Scroll down to the bottom right and you’ll see a section for you to show off your creations from home!

Can’t wait to see how you make these and share your meal with me! Tag us on Instagram @nutritionstripped #nutritionstripped


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