High-Protein Vegan Mashed Cauliflower and Cheese

Happy Friday, guys! I’m stoked!

For the first time in my adult life, my family trusts me to host a holiday lunch. Granted, it’s the first time I’ve had my own place to host said get-together, but I’m instead choosing to focus on the fact that they finally trust my cooking to not poison them!

Although the following dish isn’t making it onto the Easter table, it will definitely be making a frequent reappearance on my weekday menu. Fifteen minutes to cook, a hefty dose of vegan protein and ooey gooey deliciousness? What more can a girl ask for?

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High Protein Mashed Cauliflower with Vegan Cheese

Vegan, Serves Two


  • 4-6 cups water
  • 6 tbsp raw hemp seeds (here’s where the 23 grams of protein come in!)
  • 1 miniature head cauliflower
  • 2 tbsp Smart Balance Light (or other vegan butter substitution)
  • 1/3 cup Daiya cheddar-style shreds
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp parsley


  • In a medium pot, bring water to a rolling boil.
  • Chop cauliflower into small pieces and immerse in the water. Cover and cook until cauliflower is soft (approx 10 minutes)
  • Drain cauliflower and place back in pot with your vegan butter. Using a potato masher, smash until no chunks remain.
  • Stir in spices and top with cheddar-style Daiya. Allow the “cheese” to melt into the mashed cauliflower!

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This recipe introduced me to vegan cheese (another first in my adult life!) I was thrilled to discover that Daiya really does hold true to its “melts and stretches like real cheese” motto! The hemp makes a wonderful addition of vegan protein that blends right in with the texture of the dish.

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Even though I am not a full vegan, I do find that my system responds best to minimal animal-based products. I also have some major beef (erm…seitan?) with the meat and dairy industries. I’ve recently made a committment to only consume eggs grown at a local co-op that many coworkers have recommended for their humane practices; while I may eventually phase out cheese and yogurt, I hate the idea of restricting myself from something I genuinely enjoy. With substitutions like Daiya, however, the transition would be much easier, and even while I still am consuming dairy, I love the plant-based option!

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One of these days I’ll catch on to the fact that it’s Spring in Florida and that the temperatures are far more conducive to salads and smoothies than steamy bowls of veggies…but until then, I’m perfectly happy to bury myself in a bowl of this!

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Best yet? The price! Absolutely Vegetarian on a Budget-Friendly! 🙂

Ingredient Cost
Cauliflower $0.99
Daiya Cheddar-Style Shreds $1.75
Hemp Seeds $1.00 (Whole Foods Bulk Bin)
Smart Balance Light $0.25
Garlic Powder $0.10
Parsley $0.10
Salt $0.05
Total Budget Breakdown $4.24 ($2.12 per serving)

And with that, let’s get this weekend rolling!


10 Comments on “High-Protein Vegan Mashed Cauliflower and Cheese”

  1. That vegan cauliflower dish looks like comfort food!!! Mmmmmmm, I could eat LOADS of that!

  2. Kristie says:

    Anything topped with cheese wins me over. Especially cheesy cauliflower dishes…it just takes so well to cheese 🙂 I have yet to ever try any kind of vegan cheese though… I’m really curious!

  3. Ooh boy this looks good. I have a thing for hemp seeds, I love their taste.

    I hope the family dinner goes great!

  4. This looks great, I love cauliflower! And I have never tried hemp seeds, I will now and with this recipe! Thanks for the idea 🙂

  5. That looks delicious! And I’m jealous! Ando and I have owned our house for two and half years and we have yet to host a big family holiday dinner. That is huge. Good luck!!!

  6. That looks sooo yummy!!! The thing is, we don’t have hemp seeds here…is there anything that I could sub for them that would still have the protein?

  7. Shannon says:

    very interesting! i just made some baked cauliflower pasta that was underwhelming… i should’ve tried this one 🙂

  8. That looks terrific!
    How fun to cook for your family 🙂 I’m pretty sure my family wouldn’t want me to cook for them because they think a lot of my health foodie things are weird…

  9. Kate Horning says:

    Ive been wanting to try mashed cauli for awhile now this is the perfect recipe!

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