A couple of interesting recipes I've seen lately have called for nutritional yeast, which was a new-to-me ingredient. A little research showed me that nutritional yeast (or 'nooch') is used in a lot of vegetarian and vegan recipes. It's a strain of yeast that's grown on a food source, then harvested, heated, dried, and crumbled into flakes or powder. I also learned that nutritional yeast is high in protein and has a mildly nutty and cheesy flavor. Two weeks ago when I was at my local Whole Foods I bought a small quantity from the bulk section to have on hand for when inspiration hit.
Today was that day. I was busy with work projects and activities, and forgot to think about dinner until mid-afternoon. When I opened the refrigerator to see what it held I realized I forgot to make a grocery and produce run yesterday. The shelves were pretty bare other than a package of raw broccoli (about a pound's worth), a small handful of blanched cauliflower, a half of a red onion, and a couple of cups of leftover brown rice. I suspected I could meld them together with some kind of sauce incorporating the nutritional yeast. A Google search with those ingredients gave me my inspiration recipe for Broccoli and Cauliflower with Vegan 'Cheese' Sauce. With the addition of the rice I was able to turn the side dish into a main dish casserole
I cut the broccoli (both florets and stems) into bite-sized pieces and cooked it in the microwave until crisp-tender, then threw in the cauliflower. While the vegetables cooked I chopped the onion and a couple of cloves of garlic and sauteed them for five minutes, then added water, nutritional yeast, and spices and heated to boiling. (At the last minute I decided there wasn't enough sauce, so I doubled the water and nutritional yeast.) The last step was to make a slurry of olive oil and flour and stir it into the pot to thicken the mixture. I dumped the rice on top of the vegetables, added the sauce, and stirred it up until it was well mixed. Put it into a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes until everything was hot, and put it on the table.
There was no leftovers. I think the nutritional yeast was a hit.