“Steak” and “Cheesy” Mashed “Potatoes” and “Air Quotes”

spicy portobello steak: 75 calories // 14g carbs // 0g fat // 2g protein // 1g fiber // 10g sugar
cauliflower mash (1/4th recipe): 67 calories // 9g carbs // 3g fat // 3g protein // 3g fiber // 3g sugar

My index and middle fingers hurt from air quoting so hard. But like I always say, “no pain, no sassy eye brow raising smirk giving are-you-in-on-this-joke gain.” Now my lungs hurt from always saying that. Look what you’ve done!

Ok. Let’s call this what it really is:

per mild portobello steak: 47 calories // 8g carbs // 0g fat // 2g protein // 1g fiber // 5g sugar
whole damn plate: 113 calories // 16 carbs // 3g fat // 4g protein // 4g fiber // 7g sugar

Roasted Portobello Mushroom Caps and Vegan Cheesy Cauliflower Mash.

Don’t let anyone tell you you’re different because you hate eating the things other people love to eat.
You’re different for a whole lot of much more messed up reasons. Let’s just say I’ve seen your basement.

A good ol’ steak and potatoes meal for those who like neither steak nor potatoes.

Isn’t being a vegetarian and/or vegan and/or potato hater fun? No but seriously. It is pretty fun. Especially when you can disguise something healthy as something rather gluttonous.

I did two variations for the portobello steaks. The night before I cooked these little cuties (when you are a vegetarian and/or vegan, you can call marinated portobello caps “cuties” and not feel as creepy as when you call marinated animal meat “cuties”) I pretty much looked like a mad scientist fumbling around with vegetable stock, vinegars, spices, and my burgeoning insanity. Plus I was doing this in my underwear, like normal, so I looked like a sexy mad scientist with burgeoning insanity.

While I was taking these photos by the single source of natural light in my apartment,
I was surprised and delighted to see that the laundromat next door wasn’t on fire today.

One of the marinades I settled on is a spicy, chili and cumin based little number with a little bit of sweetness thrown in. Smoky and flavorful and, yes, pretty damn spicy.

The other marinade is a milder one that’s still heavy on a steak-y flavor. Also, this is coming from someone who can’t remember what steak tastes like so let’s just call it “YUMMY BROWN SLAB.” Yeah. That sounds appetizing.

the only thing that’s mild about this portobello steak is its seasoning.
which makes a lot of sense, really.

And the cauliflower mash is just plain old delicious and easy to make. Plus I swear on my dog’s aging life (he’s 10. How old do dogs get? Really old?), this tastes and looks just like mashed potatoes.

Enough describing. Let’s get down to doing so we can get down to eating.

Oh look at you. With your fancy basil hat. And your fancy onions. And your fancy other things.
What I’m saying is you need some fancy pants now.

Sweet and Spicy Portobello Steak Marinade
makes 1 steak
adapted from every recipe that comes up when you google “how do I make steak” because you’ve never made steak.


  • 1 portobello mushroom cap
  • ⅓ cup vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • ½ teaspoon bragg sprinkle 24 herbs and spices seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional – for added spiciness)
  • ¼ teaspoon light brown sugar

Mild Bragg Blend and Ozark Seasoned Portobello Steak Marinade
makes 1 steak


  • 1 portobello mushroom cap
  • ½ cup vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon ozark style seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon bragg sprinkle 24 herbs and spices seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon agave nectar
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • dash of salt

Going about making the steak sauces, you’ll need:

  • ⅛ to ¼ wedge of a small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced

Makin’ steaks’in:

Chop the stem off your portobello mushroom cap. Wipe off the little bit of dirt from the top with a damp paper towel. Set aside. Whichever marinade/sauce you want to make, whisk all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Grab a ziploc bag and toss your portobello mushroom cap in it. Now add the marinade you just slaved over, close the ziploc, and shake that baby around to make sure the mushroom is full coated/attacked. Squeeze out the excess air from the ziploc, fold it closely around the mushroom, and put inside a second ziploc bag. Refrigerate 6-8 hours or overnight. I did overnight because like that guy with the rotisserie chicken machine, I like to set things and forget things.

After you’re done waiting/marinating, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with tin foil. Remove your mushroom from the ziplocs and retain the marinade. Place the mushroom, cap side up, on the prepared baking sheet. Roast for 20 minutes.

While that’s roasting, take those onions and start to cook them on a cooking sprayed pan over medium heat. When they begin to soften, add the garlic. Now add the left over marinade and bring everything to a boil. Take it down to a strong simmer – or at least not a wimpy one – and cover. Let it cook down until you’re satisfied with the thickness of the sauce.

Remove the mushroom cap from the oven and top with the stupid delicious sauce you just made.

You look like mashed potatoes and I love you and I don’t care who knows about it.
And once you’re all gone, I’ll mourn my empty stomach.

Vegan Cheesy Cauliflower Mash
makes 4 decent sized servings, like 1/3 cup each
adapted from Steamy Kitchen

Deception, Mashed Style:

  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • clove of garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons soy creamer (or any type of milk, I just had none and soy creamer is a thing)
  • ¼ cup + another tablespoon or so of Daiya Shredded Cheddar
  • ½ tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional add ons: chives, parsley, basil, a dab of vegan butter

I’m definitely not watching Pop-Up Video on vh1 while I write this:

Microwave your cauliflower florets for 2-3 minutes. Toss them in a food processor or chopper thing and process for awhile. Take a paper towel and press the cauliflower to remove some of the excess water. Or don’t. It’s cool. Add the garlic, process. Add the creamer or milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, thoroughly processing after each addition. Three tablespoons gave me a great consistency but feel free to add a little more or use a little less. Add the 1/4 cup of Daiya. Process thoroughly. Add the nutritional yeast and process. Toss in that last little bit of Daiya and, yup, process harder. Add salt and pepper to taste. Slap on a plate. Hard.

Just like my delightful wit and carefully crafted sarcasm.



  1. A few wonderful things just happened. First, the theme song for Pop-Up Video started playing on repeat in my head (which makes me happy–I like music and trivia, especially at once). Second, I decided to cook these items, even the mashed “potatoes” (something I never expected to happen because of the word “caulipots”….). And third, I became a big fan of you.

    1. Caulipots? That makes me think of a venereal disease. Also, in case you were wondering, I had to look up how to spell “venereal” so, like, you know I’m clean.

      Also, I think you’re neat too.

  2. Sweet blog! I found it while browsing on Yahoo
    News. Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News?
    I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Thank you

  3. You are delightfully funny! Just stumbled across your blog via pinterest or something. Literally have 8 tabs open of your other recipes that I need to look at now.

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