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A few weeks ago, I had dinner with my buddy Brendan, and reviewed our meal here. We ate at Mana Organic in NYC, and one of the highlights of our meal was a cauliflower millet mash. It was as if someone had invented a dish specifically for me, and people who eat like me. Millet? Cauliflower? Mushy food? Yes please. I resolved then and there to re-create it on the blog, and today, I did.

And it was good.

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This is one of those rare recipes in which I love the taste of garlic—somehow, it adds exactly the right note along with the dollop of pesto and the creamy mash. I would imagine that nutritional yeast would also be great in here, as would thyme, oregano, or rosemary. I kept things simple as an homage to the Mana recipe, but you can certainly go crazy with varieties of herbs and spices.

An important divergence from the Mana recipe: they use, I’m almost certain, silken tofu to achieve the creamy texture in their dish. I like silken tofu, but mainly for sweeter stuff—chocolate pudding, that sort of thing. In savory dishes, I find that it can be a little bland, and sometimes shadow flavors from shining through (not always, but sometimes). So instead of that, I used cashew cream. This not only yielded a more flavorful dish, but it also allowed me to keep the recipe creamy without adding oil or Earth Balance at the end; I know my no-oil readers will appreciate that! And for my part, I didn’t miss the flavor of Earth Balance at all; this recipe is delicious, just the way it is.

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Cauliflower and Millet Mash (vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Makes about 4 cups, or 6-8 servings

1/2 cup cashews, soaked
Juice of 1 lemon
Scant 1/4 cup water
3 cups chopped cauliflower florets, steamed
1 1/2 cups millet, cooked
1-2 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
1/4 tsp sea salt

Optional: Dollop of Choosing Raw pesto

1) Place cashews in a food processor. Process with water, lemon, and sea salt till smooth.

2) Add cauliflower and garlic. Process till smooth.

3) Add millet, and process until practically smooth, but with some texture remaining. Adjust the consistency with almond milk or water if you want it a little thinner; alternatively, pulse in more cooked millet if you want it thicker. Serve with a dollop of pesto, and swirl it in as you eat!

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Absolutely wonderful. Hope you make this recipe, and love it.

Before I go: did you guys see that The New York Times is hosting an essay contest for an ethical argument for meat eating? I have to admit, when I first saw this, I was a little troubled; I wasn’t sure why the Times felt the need to call meat eating a “basic daily practice” (it’s obviously not a basic daily practice in many cultures all the world over), and in some ways I wondered why they felt the need to combat so many thoughtful pieces on the humane benefits of vegetarian and vegan diets lately (see: Mark Bittman on the human cost of animal suffering) with an avowal of carnism.

Then I saw that the Times made a very important disclaimer: no arguments for meat eating that rest on the grounds that a) meat eating is “deeply ingrained in our habit or culture or cuisine” or b) that “it’s nutritious or that it’s just part of the natural order.” These are the two arguments I most commonly hear in favor of meat eating. From my perspective, these are flawed arguments at worst; at best, they can be seen as a way of justifying the consumption of meat, but they don’t give us an ethical reason why we should. And so I look forward to seeing what people write—especially since Peter Singer is judging!

What do you guys think? And what do you think of creamy cauliflower deliciousness? I’m all about a range of inquiries tonight.

xo

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