Steak and Potatoes.

by Gena on January 19, 2010

Hey all,

Welcome back from the long weekend!

In the last few weeks, a few of you have been kind enough to mention that you saw my new column in this month’s VegNews magazine. Thanks for your support! The column, for those of you who didn’t see it, was mischievously entitled “Steak and Potatoes.” The “steak” in question was a juicy, marinated portobello, and the potatoes were whipped cauliflower and cashews. It’s hardly a meal for a Peter Luger lover, but it is a savory, satisfying dinner. Best of all, it’s simple. In the article, I point out the following:

“Most people approach their first all-raw meal the same way: they buy a fancy raw cookbook, purchase a ton of specialty products, spend hours prepping a meal, and think, ‘I could never do this.’ The trick to avoiding this commonplace scenario is to work intuitively. Focus on simple dishes that come naturally to you, like giant salads, blended vegetable soups, or nut pates. Work with flavors and textures that are familiar. Sure, sprouted quinoa and wheatgrass are lovely, but they’re not necessarily the best place to begin.”

This should sound like familiar advice by now: it’s a point I try to make often here on the blog! But it’s worth repeating, if only to persuade you all that eating raw foods–either frequently or once in a blue moon–shouldn’t be too demanding. It should be fun, simple, and refreshing. Most of all, it shouldn’t feel overly foreign; the key to transitioning into plant based foods (raw and cooked) is to evoke the qualities you’ve always loved in omnivorous cuisine, but with a herbivorous twist.

This “steak and potatoes” dinner is a perfect example of how simple it is for the newbie raw chef to bring to life some of the textures and tastes we associate with cooked food. It calls for easily obtained ingredients, and it takes no more than fifteen minutes of active prep time. I served the dish with some lightly steamed broccoli (which you could certainly top with some of Sunday’s delicious cheese sauce), and I highly recommend you do the same!

Raw “Meat and Potatoes” (aka, Marinated Portobello Cap and Cauliflower-Cashew Mash)

Yields 4 steaks; cauliflower mash serves 6

For the “Meat”

4 Portobello mushroom caps

For the mushroom marinade:

1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup maple syrup
3 tbsps nama shoyu
Sprinkle pepper

Submerge 4 Portobello caps in the marinade. 1 hour will be enough for them to be ready, but overnight in the fridge is even better.

For the Cashew-Cauliflower Mash


2 ½ cups cashews, raw
1 tsp sea salt
2 tbsps mellow white miso
3 tbsps lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
Pepper to taste
4 cups cauliflower, chopped into small florets and pieces
1/3 cup (or less) water

Place cashews and salt in a food processor, and process into a fine powder. Next, and the miso, lemon juice, pepper and cauliflower. Pulse to combine. With the motor of the machine running, add water in a thin stream, until the mixture begins to take on a smooth, whipped texture. You may need to stop frequently to clean the sides of the bowl and help it along.

When it’s to your liking, stop, scoop, and serve the mash alongside a Portobello cap and, if desired, some steamed broccoli.

There you have it, guys: a hearty dinner that’s ready in no time. Perhaps this is a candidate for tomorrow’s Raw Wednesday? I know I haven’t always been able to remind you guys of the Raw Wednesday tradition, or to post photos on time, but I do still encourage you all to celebrate it and send me feedback: I’ll get to photos at some point! Also remember to check out Katie’s Vegan Thursday challenge.

On that note, it’s back to work I go. Have a great afternoon.



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{ 66 comments… read them below or add one }

Chocolate-Covered Katie January 19, 2010 at 1:36 pm

Raw Wednesday! I’m planning to celebrate in style: with raw macaroons :). And maybe some of your cauliflower mash, if I can get to the store in time to buy miso.

Happy Tuesday, Gena! Oh, and thanks for mentioning Vegan Thursdays. I so want it to take off. The more people eating vegan/cruelty-free, the better, right? ;)

Love you bunches (of kale)!



Iris January 19, 2010 at 1:55 pm

This looks so good! I almost just ran to the store to buy portabello mushrooms, and then I remembered I can’t have them on this phase of my elimination diet. Oh well. Guess this one will have to wait. But I will definitely be making it!


Raw newbie January 19, 2010 at 1:56 pm

Hi there Gena! I love your site. What a great wealth of information even for people like me who aren’t ready to give up cooked foods but want to try eating more raw. Thank you! I just recently found your site, though, so I’m not caught up with everything. What is the Vegan Thursday Challenge?


gina (fitnessista) January 19, 2010 at 1:59 pm

LOVE that meal! we had a version of that at 105degrees and it was sooo tasty :) i’m excited to try your version!
wishing i would have done the raw cleanse. i’ve been eating a ton of cooked food and animal protein lately.. i’m feeling a little sluggish over here!
hope you’re doing well <3


Teresa January 19, 2010 at 1:59 pm

Following your simplistic approach to raw has helped me SO SO SO much, that I can’t even begin to express it here. I definitely was once that person who said “I could never go raw, because it would be way too expensive, time-consuming, and boring.” Well I have you to thank, for changing my inaccurate belief! And now I’m super excited to try these recipes out on my family. I’ve made them mashed cauli before and they love it, but I’ve never made a nut based version (do you think I could sub almonds or brazil nuts for the cashews?).

Glad to hear the Spark Wellness is going well!


Lauren January 19, 2010 at 2:02 pm

This looks delicious! I am going to try those “mashed potatoes” soon! Thanks!

Good luck with the cleanse!!


Jessica @ How Sweet It Is January 19, 2010 at 2:15 pm

That looks so good!! I am totally trying that marinade on our mushrooms!!


Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg January 19, 2010 at 2:17 pm

YUM! Looks so good!

And I bet after you eat it, it doesn’t feel like you’re trying to digest a rock in your stomach like most meat and potato meals :-)


The Ordinary Vegetarian January 19, 2010 at 2:22 pm

Looks like your raw version of mashed ‘taters would be safe for the cleanse! I am going to have try whip up a batch pronto.


Mama Pea January 19, 2010 at 2:28 pm

Yum! That mushroom cap looks a bit like this meatloaf softball we saw in the hot deli case at Whole Foods the other day. Pea Daddy asked how much he would have to pay me to eat it. I decided on $500.00. I’m now thinking that was too low.


susie January 19, 2010 at 2:30 pm


2 1/2 cups cashews! Can you eat that many, really, in one sitting? I’m asking in all honesty and curiosity, as I wonder if it’s just me that can’t possibly manage more than about half a cup maximum per sitting, and then that’s it for me for weeks. The amount you quote would sit like a stone in my tummy…


Gena January 19, 2010 at 2:32 pm

Good god no! This serves 4 steaks, and the mash serves 6 comfortably. I’ll edit the post to point that out.


susie January 20, 2010 at 2:23 pm

Thanks for the reply, Gena. I often wonder how many nuts people can deal with, and whether it’s just me that has to limit them quite severely.

My main fat source seems to be tahini or avocado rather than nuts.

Sending you (((x)))


Michal January 19, 2010 at 2:38 pm

Looks amazing! Thanks for another great recipe =)


Whitney @ Lettuce Love January 19, 2010 at 2:47 pm

That looks really good! I was never a real steak and potato fan but I could get on board with the raw version :)


MarathonVal January 19, 2010 at 2:51 pm

This looks so good that I swear my mouth is watering just thinking about it!! Portobellos are so delicious… I’m definitely making this one!


Raw newbie January 19, 2010 at 2:57 pm

Oh sorry! I didn’t see that there was a link there. Please ignore my earlier comment and question. I feel like such a dork!


Ameena January 19, 2010 at 3:00 pm

This is such a cute idea! And it looks awesome!


*Andrea* January 19, 2010 at 3:40 pm

the cauliflower mash looks so great! i think i would LOVE it! good advice with the raw diet thing, sticking to basics helps a lot with veggies :)


molly @thevegandorm January 19, 2010 at 3:41 pm

Wow – that looks so authentic! Fun!

I love your advice about keeping it simple. Even with vegetarianism and then veganism, I started out trying to replace meat and dairy with soy meat and tofu dishes – I’m so much happier with almost no soy products. Beans, nuts, vegetables, fruits, and grains make a completely satisfying diet. (And maybe one day I’ll end up high raw :) )


Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) January 19, 2010 at 4:00 pm

Oh Gena, great work my friend!!!!!!! I love Cauli and Cashews, so that’s right up my alley and the p’bellos. NICE! The flavors in the marinade just would rock…maple with nama with balsalmic. SO good. Can’t wait to try this on the meat and potatoes loving kinda people for dinner parties and such!


Mad Andy January 19, 2010 at 4:37 pm

I’m tempted to give this a try. Do kids take to it well? Will search your site more for tips and recipes.


Gena January 20, 2010 at 7:46 am

Hey Andy! Kids should love it!


elaine January 19, 2010 at 5:13 pm

hi Gena! I love reading your blog and am excited to try out this recipe. i also have a random question for you, hope you don’t mind! I’m looking to get a new thermos as I love carrying hot tea with me to class, especially in this gloomy Northeast weather, but I’ve heard many water bottles have leaching issues amongst other things. I was wondering if you have any suggestion for an environmentally and health safe thermos. much thanks!


Maria (Tough Cookie) January 19, 2010 at 5:33 pm

Cool idea! This is great for newbies who miss those old dishes.


Lindsay January 19, 2010 at 5:39 pm

This is totally something I could make! I love that about your recipes :)
And what a creative idea!


Gelareh @ Orange Truffle January 19, 2010 at 6:59 pm

Oh wow this looks really good. Is this allowed on our cleanse or should I wait and have it after the cleanse next weekend as a big celebration :)… no worries I plan on eating the same way post cleanse.. since this is very similar to how I ate before…

I have been doing recaps of my day for the past two day on my blog… if you get a chance take a look.


lola January 19, 2010 at 7:14 pm

Hi Gena! that looks sooo good, but is there any way to warm it up? i don’t think i could eat “steak” cold!


Gena January 20, 2010 at 7:48 am


You could go ahead and bake or grill the mushroom — that’s no big deal! And you can gently warm the mash in the oven, too, OR used steamed cauliflower.



Aimee January 19, 2010 at 7:28 pm

Gena, How do you think the cauliflower would work in a vita-mix? it all looks so yummy!


Gena January 20, 2010 at 7:50 am


It’ll work in a Vita, but you’ll need some extra liquid to get it moving, so it may not be quite as thick as this version. Good luck!



Melisser January 19, 2010 at 7:36 pm

Wow, beautiful AND simple for raw food? Awesome.


Michele | aka Raw Juice Girl January 19, 2010 at 7:42 pm

Oh, wow. Super wow. Man, I’m not even a huge fan of mushrooms and that’s making me drool! LOL

Fantabulous work, Gena! Can’t wait to try this meal!!!!



Lori January 19, 2010 at 8:19 pm

Another recipe to add to my list of things to make! Better yet, I should just make it easy bookmark your recipe page. Cannot wait to try this! :)


Ricki January 19, 2010 at 8:26 pm

I’ve let my VegNews subscription lapse (bad, bad me!) so didn’t see your column–congratulations!! Wonderful news. :) And this recipe looks stellar. I must try that mash!


Nikki @ yummy raw kitchen January 19, 2010 at 8:34 pm

I love it! Just a few easy to find ingredients, quick to prepare, and hearty home style comfort food. Thank you!


Christine January 19, 2010 at 9:23 pm

Oh wow and I just happen to have a huge, fresh Portobello mushroom and all the marinade ingredients – should make a great lunch tomorrow. Thanks!


Suzanne January 19, 2010 at 10:49 pm

yum…i love portobello mushrooms!


Laura C January 19, 2010 at 11:45 pm

I’ll have to give this a try! I’m kind of obsessed with blending boiled veggies and raw nuts/seeds together- I should try it raw again. I also don’t think I have ever marinated anything- it’ll be a first!


Casey January 20, 2010 at 1:14 am

Looks like my family’s favourite meat dinner made raw – good job Gena! Thanks for sharing. I look forward to making this one for family at some stage xx


Kenzie (Healthy Purpose) January 20, 2010 at 7:02 am

Thanks for the ideas! I’ve been turning off raw by dinner this winter but want to have one FULLY RAW day. This looks like a meal that will serve me well :)


lora January 20, 2010 at 7:33 am

see this is why eating raw or vegan seems so ineresting and delicious! this idea is so killer. thanks gena!



Sophie @ yumventures January 20, 2010 at 7:39 am

This looks so great! I read about marinating mushrooms in RFDD, but I never thought to serve it like a steak! I love the marinade, they make the mushrooms so tender :)


Diana (Soap & Chocolate) January 20, 2010 at 8:29 am

Wow, this is a drool and a half. I’m so glad I’ve come to love mushrooms in my old age! Such a boon to anyone on a raw or even regular veggie diet. I went to a burger joint with the boyf last week and opted for a grilled portobello instead of a meated burger and it was really great–didn’t miss the meat at all. Alex got meat of course, but he loves mushrooms too. Last year for Valentine’s Day we went to a steakhouse, but perhaps I could lure him into having this meal instead…? Fat chance but worth a shot. ;)


Marieta January 20, 2010 at 9:28 am

Hi Gena,

Thanks for the wonderful blog! It’s one of my favorite raw blogs and I like your balanced style.

Could you write about how you come up with recipes to post on here?



Earth Mother – In The Raw January 20, 2010 at 11:41 am

Whoa! This even looks like “the real deal.” Looooooves me some portobellos. Nice marinade!


Glidingcalm January 20, 2010 at 2:37 pm

yum!! haha so neat. i think my favorite thing on that plate is the broccoli, but I would LOVE to try mashed cauliflower or faux mashed taters!!

another wonderful recipe!
thanks Gena!


Jess of Veg Out! January 20, 2010 at 2:50 pm

This looked fantastic in VegNews, but for some reason, I think this looks even better now all huge on my computer screen. :) I am making this for dinner tomorrow! I must.


thedelishdish January 20, 2010 at 3:24 pm

im a mushroom lover but have never marinated them and love this idea!! thanks for the recipe!


Julie Lynn January 20, 2010 at 5:26 pm

Wonderful looking meal! I’ve been looking for more mushroom recipes. Thank you for sharing =)


Naomi (onefitfoodie) January 20, 2010 at 5:32 pm

LOVE portabellos they are so meaty and hold up so well with anything you can even grill them! they are delish! such a creative twist on a meaty classic!


The voracious Vegan January 21, 2010 at 12:39 am

That is one of the best things about your awesome site, Gena: you keep it simple! You make raw food so attainable and realistic, not to mention delicious. I love that! And I will be making this dish. Raw mashed potatoes? YUM!


april January 21, 2010 at 7:18 am

I really want to try this recipe! Especially the mashed potatoes! I miss potatoes!


Lucie January 22, 2010 at 4:15 am

Hi there,

Im actually a fashion blogger and am new to your blog (although have been a follower for some time!)…but had to comment on this post as I went raw three years ago after suffering from anorexia since age 12. I can honestly say going Raw saved my life and I dont know where Id be today without it. Im loving your recipes! Keep them coming.

Much love,
Lucie x


Catherine January 22, 2010 at 8:48 am

That cauliflower mash looks amazing! I had no idea you could make raw mashed cauliflower… this is definitely getting tested this weekend, thanks for the recipe!


Heather @ Side of Sneakers January 22, 2010 at 10:17 am

That cashew cauliflower mash sounds delish!


Heathy January 22, 2010 at 6:46 pm

Gina, what a fabulous looking dish – Have you made “mashed taters” with jicama? It’s superb!
I love your blog!


melissa January 22, 2010 at 7:20 pm

I love your approach to raw food! Wow, it is scary how real your faux-cipes look! amazing girl.


kevin georgina grayson simon January 23, 2010 at 12:06 pm

I’m just coming back from the market ready to get started on this dish for tonight.
Do you clean the gills of the mushrooms?
I’m allergic to soy and suggestions on a substitute for the nama shoyu?


kevin georgina grayson simon January 24, 2010 at 7:57 pm

I made it and this was delish!!!! I will be making it often.Thank you for the great idea and recipes.


Katharina January 29, 2010 at 10:58 am

I made a very similar mash!!! Once with regular potatoes and a cashew cream + chives + s&p. I also made one with sweet potato + cashew cream + chipotle + s&p. I used butter for both of them as well but I bet coconut butter would be incredible!!


Stefania February 4, 2010 at 5:25 am

Tried this last night and loved it! It was so good. My youngest devoured the cauliflower mash.


Maria January 22, 2012 at 2:56 pm

Hello Gena.This is my very first comment(I’ve only just recently discovered your blog).I was wondering if almonds couldn’t replace the cashews since I’m not exactly a fan of the latter(it seems to me me that regardless of how much salt I use,they still taste too sweet).Thank you!


Jamie September 7, 2012 at 10:37 am

Classics never get old and steak and potatoes is no different.


Jenn September 7, 2012 at 10:37 pm

Has anyone tried this with no miso? Im not a fan of it, and would like to omit, or substitute, but with what? Any suggestions?


Raw purist August 10, 2013 at 1:34 pm

Thanks. But I wonder why you use maple syrup and balsamic vinegar when they are clearly not raw. It puzzles me that some people in the raw community use these ingredients. Why not use ANYTHING cooked then? Where do you draw the line?


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