Better Than Mashed Potatoes?! Whipped Parsnip and Cauliflower with Kale

Parsnip and cauliflower mash

Ok, ok, ok, I know what you’re thinking: What is this blasphemy?! The girl can’t be serious! I mean, how can you really improve a cozy comfort food like mashed potatoes—especially if the “improvement” doesn’t even contain potatoes at all?

I promise I’m not just spewing crazy nonsense. I may be a tyrannical dietary dictator or something, but this dish actually wins in my book. The sweet, nutty parsnip and buttery cauliflower create a depth of flavor that is unparalleled by potatoes, and the silken texture is creamier and more luxurious as well. It’s merely an extra bonus that the nutritional profile of this dish gives mashed potatoes a run for their money. I like to add dark leafy greens to my mashes to incorporate even more nutritional benefits. It’s also a great way to encourage non-green-eating folks to give them a try without presenting them center stage.

For those unfamiliar with parsnips, they’re those cream-colored roots that look a heck of a lot like carrots, only a bit less smooth on the outside. The flavor is similar to carrots as well, though parsnips taste a bit sweeter to me. They’re totally worth a try. Parsnips contain a fair amount of dietary fiber and are a good source of vitamin C, folate, potassium, and magnesium. Paired with the high vitamin and mineral content of cauliflower and kale, this side dish is a nutritional powerhouse—but it’s so delicious that no one will know the difference.

Whipped Parsnip and Cauliflower with Kale

Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Serves 4–6

3–4 firm, medium-sized parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
1 small head cauliflower, cut into large florets
2 tablespoons butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bunch kale or collard greens, roughly chopped
Salt and pepper
Pinch nutmeg
¼–½ cup heavy cream
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Steam parsnips in a steamer basket until almost tender, about 15 minutes. Add cauliflower to pot and continue steaming until both are very tender.
  2. Meanwhile, melt butter in a shallow pan. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add kale to pan and sauté for 1 minute, then cover with a lid and steam until tender, about 5 minutes. Season well with salt, pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg.
  3. Drain cauliflower and parsnips. Add to the bowl of a food processor. Puree until almost blended but still slightly chunky. Add cream in small amounts until mixture begins to get smooth and velvety, adding more as necessary (some parsnips are drier than others and thus may need more cream). Add kale and all the butter from the pan. Pulse until incorporated and silky. Add Parmesan cheese and blend to combine. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.


To choose your organically grown and fresh ingredients wisely, use the following criteria:

  • chemical- and hormone-free meat
  • wild-caught fish
  • pasture-raised, organic eggs
  • whole, unrefined grains
  • virgin, unrefined, first-press organic oils
  • whole-food, unrefined sweeteners
  • pure, clean, spring water
  • sea salt
  • raw and/or cultured milk and cream products

Photo by Briana Nervig

Briana Goodall, CPC

Briana Goodall is Chef and Owner of Green Cuisine Personal Chef Service. Visit her website at

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