I arrived safe and sound in Crescent City, and in spite of a brutal wake up call and and a bumpy journey, it feels so, so good to be here. New Orleans is a city I love, and on top of that, it’s the city that Chloe calls home, so my trips here are always highly anticipated. This time around, I’ll also be seeing a few good friends, exploring a new restaurant, and spending a little bit of time in the kitchen, too.
My first stop the Big Easy was Whole Foods Metairie, where I found a wall of delicious pressed juices:
Amazing! I picked up a green lemonade, which was just as spicy and lemony as I like it. Along with that, I picked up two large bags of fresh veggies (and yes, I will probably finish those in four days), some oat bran, some frozen fruit for smoothies, some nooch, some beans, and some almond milk. In my bag are stored some of my lemon kissed cashew hemp bars, some Vega bars, some of the Justin’s almond butter packs, some chia seeds, and some Vega protein. These, along with whatever fresh veggies I can get, are travel staples for this semi-raw vegan.
A few hours of work and a long nap later, I woke up to Chloe’s arrival home. With the exception of a rushed weekend upstate in September, we haven’t spent any time together since our trip to San Francisco at the end of this past summer:
Words don’t begin to express how badly I miss having her nearby, so every trip to NOLA feels like a little homecoming for me. One hour of snuggling and catching up quickly turned into two.
As you may have noticed from the link above, Chloe has started her own food blog: Gourmet and Gourmand. Exciting! One of the nicest things about my friendship with Chloe is not only our closeness, or our history, but also the fact that we share a huge, lifelong obsession with all things culinary. We talk about food, share food, taste food together, and the rhythms of our lives often revolve around shopping, prepping, and cooking for ourselves and our loved ones. We wouldn’t have it any other way. We’ve got very different tastes and views about food—you’ll be able to see that as you explore Chloe’s blog, and I warn my vegan friends that it features non-vegan foods—but we are united in our passion for it. In fact, Chloe’s now working for a catering company, and I hope I’ll have a chance to see her in action this week.
For Chloe and I to actually cook together is a rare treat these days, so I was excited to make a simple dinner at her house. I knew what the centerpiece would be: raw “mashed potatoes,” made with cauliflower. Many of you have seen and loved my cooked version of cauliflower mash, but I thought I’d remind you all that my favorite version is actually the raw one. I made this over a year ago, on my last visit to NOLA, because Chloe’s husband, Knud, loves all things cauliflower. He’s a bit of a meat and potatoes guy, so Chloe and I were both pretty nervous that he wouldn’t like the dish. Much to our surprise, he loved it. He loved it more than we did! And he’s been talking about it ever since. For that reason, it was at the top of my to do list upon arrival.
Mashed cauliflower in the raw works a lot like cashew cheese with cauliflower mixed in. It’s light, creamy, and absolutely delicious, and it’s a wonderful way to get even mainstream eaters to appreciate raw crucifers. It’s rich in protein, Vitamins C, K, Folate, and cancer-fighting antioxidants, and it’s 100% raw vegan. And if that’s not enough, it’s also fast and easy to make. Here’s how:
Raw Mashed Potatoes with Cauliflower (vegan, raw, gluten free, can be soy free)
1 heaping cup cashews
Sea salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1 lb (about 2/3 head) raw cauliflower, roughly chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp soy, chickpea or buckwheat miso (optional)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tbsp olive oil (optional)
1) Place cashews, salt, and pepper in a food processor and grind till powdery:
2) Place cauliflower, lemon, miso, and nooch in the bowl and blend, adding some water in a thin stream if you need to in order to facilitate blending.
Stop frequently to scrape the bowl, and add 1 tbsp olive oil for a creamy texture, also by drizzling it in slowly (this isn’t at all necessary, but will give it creaminess).
3) When mixture is very smooth and a good consistency, stop blending. It should be rich tasting but light and fluffy, just like this:
It should taste heavenly:
And the person who made it should wear a proud happy smile, both before and after eating:
Don’t you love how I clean up for you guys? Kidding. That was me after a very long and very sweaty run.
This dish was enjoyed over a cozy, quiet meal, and once again, Knud was impressed. Hooray for raw cauliflower! And if you prefer the cooked stuff, you can still give my roasted cauliflower and parsnip soup a try:
And now, couch time with my Chloe beckons. Night!
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I made these this evening! They really taste like potatoes LOL. I dehydrated some of the cauliflower for a little bit and used soaked cashews. I had to add water to get it to grind so it became a bit watery but maybe thats because I didn’t measure the cashews! Thanks for this recipe!
This is such a GOOD raw mash recipe.
So good when you let them get really, really creamy in the blender/mixer/processor _ just plain wonderful!
I just made this! Oh my god it’s BEAUTIFUL! I am vegan and eat a lot of raw foods but I am doing a skin detox/repair 100% raw week at the moment and last time I did something similar I found it really hard not to have any cooked food as I tend to like hearty soups and breads! I was craving mashed potatoes and found your recipe. I absolutely LOVE IT! I didn’t have cashews (used them all for my daily raw berry crumble for breakfast) so I used sunflower kernels and it was perfect!
PS: feeling so good on my raw diet – waking up has never been so easy!
This recipe was great! I soaked my cashews and added a clove of garlic… next time I may add two. The flavor was perfect, just like mashed potatoes! Thank you!
AWESOME thanks !!!
It’s questionable as to whether your cashews are actually raw because most ‘raw’ nuts are not in fact raw. If you can sprout the nuts, seeds, legumes, then they are truly raw. The yeast is definitely not raw and depending on your feelings towards single cell organisms, not even vegan. Why would you want to enter into a paradigm such as mainstream medicine when such an orthodox model will never acknowledge that 95% of illness is related to what you eat, drink, and or breathe?Do something really helpful, become an organic farmer! peace 🙂
Yum yum yum!!!! I am experimenting with raw food for one week (and maybe longer) and these “potatoes” were amazing–especially for a carb lover like me! Thank you! They are definitely going to stay in my rotation. 🙂
Just made these tonight – YUM! Thanks for the recipe!! 🙂
I’ve made cauliflower mashed potatoes but never raw. Also loving the idea of adding miso, it always adds such rich flavor and texture. I’m really excited to try this tonight…Thanks!!!
Ahhh I actually LOVE raw cauliflower. I love all raw veggies actually except brussels sprouts..those I have to steam or roast or else no go! Thank you for the non-potato recipe:)
How important is the nutritional yeast – for those of us with yeast and mold allergy?
Enjoy your trip. Maybe we’ll take a long sweaty run together soon!
Ha! I love you, but I dunno bout that. I run at 5:2. M is tolerant 🙂
So excited for Tues!
So glad you’re visiting Chloe, how fun! And you look adorable in that pic, so young! This mash looks wonderful and I’m looking forward to trying it since raw cauliflower can be tough on my stomach and is usually better processed. Thanks for the recipe!
I can’t wait to try your raw mashed potatoes. Made your cheesy parsnip dip and it was really good. So cool that the meat and potatoes guy loved it – that really says a lot!
New Orleans is a great town. I live right up the road in Baton Rouge, and visit NO as often as I can. This is a great time of year climate-wise to be here! Our Baton Rouge WF doesn’t have all those fresh-pressed juices. Hmmmpppphhhh! I’m going to have to kick up a fuss about that. Hope you continue to enjoy every single minute of your visit.
What is the deal with the juices at Whole Foods?!! We so don’t have that in any of the DC-area ones. At least I don’t think we do. Sigh. Can’t wait to hear about your other deep south foodie adventures.
Katie, on top of that, I live one hour away in Baton Rouge, and we don’t have the juices at our WF either. Crazy! I’m definitely going to have a word with my store. I should be a VIP. In there all the time.
Yum! I love raw mashed potatoes.. I made a whole raw thanksgiving meals for my last job and served the potatoes with mushroom gravy, raw meatloaf and raw green bean casserole.. it was so good!
Very cool! I have made mashed cauliflower with cooked cauliflower before, but this looks like something else I’d love to try.
That looks delicious, and may be just the push I need to get myself (and my kiddo) to eat raw cauliflower. It’s going on the shopping list right now.
Yum! This looks so easy and so good! I’m not a huge fan of cauli, but am always trying to find ways for it to get into my diet because it’s SOOOOO good for me! I tried the raw cauli mexican rice pilaf and it was a hit! This looks like it just may be too!
Thanks for all the *free*, easy recipes!
And I agree with Averie. You do look great!
I wish I looked as good as you after exercising! I’ve tried the cooked version of cauliflower mashed, but never raw. Very interesting!
that dish looks divine!!
I’m going to NOLA for the first time at the end of April and, as a vegan, I’m a little nervous about the food situation. Aside from your great tips on stocking up on groceries and bringing bars, any restaurant ideas? Will I survive?
Have fun with Chloe 🙂
Kelsey, NOLA will be having the third annual veggie fest in May. http://nolaveggiefest.com/ The veg community is growing! On the veg fest page, you can find links to the NOLA Vegan Meet-up and others. Even if there is no meet-up, while you are visiting, I’m sure they can give you info on where to go and eat etc. Derek Goodwin (the Vegan Radio guy) is living in NOLA. He is very involved with the yoga community and the vegan community there. You will survive. There is no place like NOLA. Enjoy your visit!
You will totally survive! I’m reviewing a dinner spot tmw, and I suggest Green Goddess and Napoleon House in the Quarter for lunch. Tweet @eatmenola for more ideas, too — she’s great.
Awesome! Thanks Mindy and Gena!! This is making me more excited for my trip 🙂
I would say I’ll make this for my family, but let’s get real: I’ll make this and then keep it all for myself because I know I won’t be able to part with it.
You look so cute after a sweaty run, Gena! I wish I could look like that haha.
These look so good. Do you need miso in these recipes though? I’ve noticed it in a few of your recent recipes, but is it something you can skip or replace with something else? Where I live, it’s like 10 bucks a jar, which is a bit much for me.
you are a gorgeous one gena…if thats your sweaty, then i have no excuse for looking like a haggard homeless person all the time.
this dish sounds lovely, and im so glad that you two got to spend some time together. never been to nola, but its on the ever expanding to-visit list…
You look happy and glowing! Medical school and love are good for you.
I sure hope you plan on checking out the Green Goddess down on Exchange Place in the FQ. Great restaurant with vegan options.
And Yes, New Orleans is back, we never ‘went’ anywhere 😉
I sure didn’t say you had 🙂
I want to try GG so badly, but I’m not here for long and will mostly be uptown. I’m also on a big budget, so we’ll see. But I’ll try!
Nope you didn’t say that 😉
I have a feeling GG will be here for the long run. Just make sure you put it in your budget for next visit.
Chloe treated me today! I’ll be posting tonight.
Have a great time in New Orleans with Chloe!!
Raw mashed potatoes are one raw dish I have never made, afraid for some reasons. But your recipe looks amazing!! Going to have to try it.
I am drooling over those fresh juices! I need to get my hands on some soon!
There is nothing better in this world than cuddling with a close friend who knows you inside out. Delicious food is just a bonus 🙂
yum i want to try that recipe for sure! you look about 12 years old in that pic, girl! 😉
Wow–New Orleans–I go out of town for a few days and miss all the back story, but it looks like you’re in for a wonderful time with precious friends. Enjoy!
I’m happy to hear that NOLA is alive and well! I used to live there and often think of going back. This dish sounds excellent! You do look 17 in that picture 🙂
Hey Gena – so I made your Raw Cheddar Cheese tonight and it totally cheered my up after a less than optimal day, so I wanted to stop by and tell you that and came across your brand-new post. Yay for your visit with Chloe. Those raw mashed potatoes look awesome. Have a great time in NOLA 🙂
PS – dude, why is it that like every Whole Foods but the P Street one has awesome raw stuff?
No idea. I find it short on lots of stuff, not just raw products.
So sorry you had a bad day, and glad my cheese helped 🙂
This is a huge compliment: You look 17 in that last pic. Maybe 19. I would totally card you! You are going to age (well you already have) aged beautifully. Must be all that green juice and plant based livin’ 🙂 you are going to be one of those women at 60 who people think is 39. And you are probably really good about staying out of the sun…I, am not. Oh well 🙂
“It should taste heavenly” — and it looks like it does and would!
I have not gotten into raw rice, raw mashed potatoes, or similar…this looks like a great one to try. How hard could blending be. I need to get on board, huh! They look so creamy and awesome!
HAVE FUN with Chloe! I know how fond of her you are…I hope you two have a blast and enjoy this time together!