Vegan Herb Mashed Potatoes
November 1, 2010


Every year, there are certain special occasions I look forward to with childish glee. One of them, I’ll admit, is Christmas. Give me carols, decorations, hot apple cider, and anything that smells like gingerbread, and I’ll melt. Another is the first crisp day of fall, my favorite season—the first day you can smell September in the air, and get busy removing your boots and nubby sweaters from storage. The commencement of opera season at the Met is always met with some excitement in my world, and so too is the first blockbuster weekend of summer movie going. I’ll even say that the first day I spot heirloom tomatoes at the Union Square farmer’s market each summer is a cause for celebration: hey, it’s the little things, right?

Another occasion I look forward to all year round is Vegan Mofo, or the vegan month of food.

2010 MOFO

For those of you who haven’t participated in this fun tradition before, it’s simply a month dedicated to celebrating vegan food around the blogosphere. Over the course of the month, veg*n bloggers write as much as humanely possible about vegan eats. It’s not a scary commitment or major time drain; the idea is merely to show some love for vegan cooking and the vegan lifestyle in print. If you already do this, the idea is for you to write a little bit more, or a little bit better, or with a little bit more energy than usual. In fact, I think all of we vegan scriveners look at it as a reason to update our blogs more consistently than we do – even if that means putting up a photo of the salad we made for lunch. I always participate, and I encourage you guys to think about signing up, too! The blogroll isn’t complete yet, and it’ll grow throughout the month (in fact, CR’s not up yet), but you can see that it already comprises an impressive roster of vegan culinary talent. I think it’ll be particularly fun to celebrate Vegan Mofo during the Thanksgiving holiday this year – who among us doesn’t need more vegan recipes with which to impress our family and friends?

Of course, I never need a reason to celebrate vegan food. I like to think I celebrate it three times daily, when I sit down to eat. As a first photo op for Vegan Mofo, I figured I’d share a dinner I made recently. It seems appropriate to share with you on the first day of Vegan Mofo because the centerpiece of the meal came to me courtesy of one of my favorite vegan chefs, Dreena Burton, and Vegan Mofo is all about sharing mutual admiration (expect to see my trying a bunch of my fellow vegan bloggers’ recipes on the blog this month).

It was a chilly Sunday night, and a football game only minutes away, and I’d yet to decide on dinner. Sunday dinners seem to scream for comfort food, and so I settled on the obvious: baked tofu and mashed potatoes. Dreena’s lemon herb tofu, which appears in Vive le Vegan, is about as cozy and comforting as it gets, and it also happens to be insanely simple to make—just toss marinade ingredients into a baking dish, stick it in the oven, and let it be till serving time. When you do plate it, there’ll be gravy at the bottom of your baking dish. If you can resist drinking it, you’ll definitely want to pour it over the tofu!

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Along with it, I served up some mashed potatoes, veganized. These ended up tasting incredible, though the texture was a little funky: I suspect it’s because I used potatoes that had been sitting in my pantry for…well, kind of a while. They were oddly gelatinous when cooked. Even so, the flavor was spot on. Promise.

Vegan Herb Mashed Potatoes (serves 2-4)

8 small yukon gold potatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup almond or rice milk
4 tbsp Earth Balance (I like the soy free variety)
4 sprigs fresh parsley, chopped
4 stalks chives, chopped
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
Salt and black pepper to taste

1) Boil potatoes till very fork tender. Drain, reserving a touch of the boiling liquid.

2 Place potatoes in a cuisinart and pulse till broken down. Add about 1 tbsp of the boiling liquid and pulse again.

3) Add milk and keep pulsing till the potatoes are creamy, but not without some texture (you don’t want them to seem processed!).

4) Transfer potatoes to a bowl and stir in Earth Balance and herbs. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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In truth, I prefer my raw cauliflower mashed “potatoes,” which are less traditional but more in tune with my tastebuds. Until the boy is ready for raw mash, though, these ‘taters are delicious. Along with some salad, this was a perfect Sunday supper:

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A perfect reminder that veganism is a wonderful way to celebrate the senses!

How do you guys plan on celebrating Vegan Mofo? And if you don’t plan on participating, don’t think I’m not already wondering what’s on your Thanksgiving menus. Because I am. Heck, I’m curious about Christmas and Hanukkah meals, too, but I’ll save that till at least the 26th. Tell me all about it.

Happy first of the month!


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  1. I made Dreena’s lemon-herb tofu and it did not look as good as that. I wonder where I went wrong…or maybe I’m just not as good of a cook as you are. 🙂

  2. thanksgiving is at my place this year. there will be raw pumpkin pie! lots of root veggies, an organic free range turkey, plenty of greens & raw nuts to munch & to die for rosemary roasted potatoes. i cannot wait!

  3. Oh boy am I craving that lemon herbed tofu!! Looks delicious. I don’t have any of Dreena Burton’s books but they’re right at the top of my list, people always rave about them. And her homestyle cookie recipe is the bomb.
    Good luck with Vegan MoFo, am doing it myself for the first time so am really excited!

  4. Hey Gina,
    What’s up with all the cooked food? Have I missed something? Not that I’m judging or anything. I’m just not accustomed to seeing so many cooked items featured on CR, especially tofu- a soy product.


    • Hi there,

      I think you’re asking two questions here. The first is why you see tofu. The answer is that I’m not anti-soy at all; I think that unprocessed, non-GMO soy in moderation is a fine and healthy source of good nutrition.

      The second is why cooked foods? As I’ve explained many times, I lead a semi-raw life, not an all raw one. The blog is titled as it is to suggest that raw foodism or raw foods exploration is about making simple choices, not adhering to a unilateral dogma.

      Why cooked foods more than usual? Simple: my boyfriend has been eating with me many nights for the last month, and when I cook for us both I’m not cooking raw. I’m still eating high raw during the day, usually (in fact, I have a gaggle of raw lunch and breakfast photos to post) but not when we share a meal. That’s cool with me; again, I don’t tend to sweat how raw my “percentage” is — only how nourishing the food on my plate is.


  5. How exciting, I’m not vegan, but I love vegetables and fruits. So anything to provide me with more fun veggie recipe ideas the better! Keep up the good work!

  6. I’m vegetarian but eat vegan most of the time. I’m excited for the vegan thanksgiving I have planned. Surprising family & friends with awesome vegan food is what I live for. I’d like to eventually do away w/ the turkey (especially) in my families tradition.

  7. Wow! This looks so delicious! I am going to add those potatoes to my Thanksgiving menu (If I am not in labor!). Can’t wait to see what you make during this month! XO

    • Hey Sophia!

      I am, but alas, it’s for a 3 day event and I have to be at the event for nearly 100% of it. If I manage any blogger meets, it’ll be really lucky! I’ll keep you posted.


  8. Haha, but you celebrate vegan food with every post! And in the most glorious, down-to-earth way…no finger-wagging involved! I’ve tried my hand at vegan cuisine once, but I don’t think I’ll mind trying it again. 🙂

  9. oh! i think the texture problem is from the cuisinart! I had this problem at a thanksgiving a few years back. I was so looking forward to the potatoes, and it was the first time I was serving a big group for the holidays…and there it was: potato glue. Live and learn.

    So what I learned after some research into fluffy potatoes is that blades make mashed potatoes really weird. Stick to a stand mixer, a masher, or a ricer and you will be fine! For super fluffy potatoes, steam them in their skin (instead of boiling them) and then rinse them before mashing them.

  10. Gena, I think it’s the Cuisinart that’s responsible for the texture of your mashed potatoes. Works for raw mashed, not for cooked. Try next time using the regular beaters, that you’d used for whipped cream if you weren’t vegan. Or even just by hand with a potato masher.

    • A smart theory. I was just saying above that I do mashed sweet ‘taters in the cuisinart all the time and they’re great, which is why I thought I could just give these a whirl. Time to get a potato ricer, methinks 🙂

  11. I’m excited for this month, too! I’m not 100% vegan, but I enjoy eating vegan dishes often! I can’t wait to be flooded with more recipes to try!

    Those mashed potatoes look deeeee-lish! 😉

  12. I’m joining Vegan Mofo too to get even more excited about raw and vegan food. I’ve got some ideas to make my blog a wee bit more interesting than just recipe posts. I can’t wait for the RSS feed to be up so I can trawl vegan blogs…

    That potato mash looks great. Something to bookmark for a weekend dinner methinks.

  13. Hi Gena. First comment here; I just had to chime in on the gelatinous potatoes. The same thing happened to me recently. I love my Cuisinart but I think that was the culprit, since I usually use a masher.

    • I was going to say the same! Mashed potatoes definitely turn out runny and weird in the Cuisinart. I think you’ll have better luck with a potato masker or ricer next time.

    • Thanks Beckhen! You may be right. I assumed it was safe because I typically do mashed sweet potatoes in the machine, and they turn out great, but I guess white are different!

  14. Wow it feels like JUST YESTERDAY that I was tagging all my Nov posts with Vegan Mofo for last year. Wow. Where did this year go?! I sound like such an old person but truly, time is going faster, I swear!

    Anyway, thanks for the reminder; your blog is the first I’ve seen/heard of it so far this year and I am off to sign up next…

    Love the tofu ‘n taters. It looks great!

    Thanksgiving meal? That will be something green and salad-ey for me, and I may do traditional TG for Scott, we shall see how inspired I get. I did it last year but who knows what I will do this year.

    Xmas and Chanukah will be spent on a warm beach. We will be dining on (I mean drinking:)) pina coladas more than likely 🙂

  15. I have been planning my Thanksgiving menu already, and MoFo is helping me get on top of it.

    Glad to have you as a MoFo buddy!

  16. I rarely eat potatoes and yet I find myself buying a huge bag because Trader Joe’s only sells organic potatoes in a giant bag! Anyway, I put them in the fridge and they are great for weeks – no gelatinous texture, I promise.

    I will be in NYC the entire week of Thanksgiving – are you interested in grabbing a cup of coffee Gena?

  17. Hi Gena!
    I love reading your blog as an aspiring vegan! I have been a vegetarian for about a year and reading your blog inspires me to make healthy, simple dishes. I have one question though–when you make pates and “cheeses” that call for nuts or seeds, do you mean raw or roasted? I noticed that some of them say raw and some don’t and I want to make sure I make the recipes correctly.

    Can’t wait for pics and your Vegan Mofo posts! =)