Potato salad will always be a summer classic, but I hate how guilty I feel eating it.  I wanted to recreate the recipe with a more nutrient dense profile, without compromising the taste.  The end result was, easily, the best potato salad I have ever tried.

If you don’t know by now, soaked cashews have pretty much replaced all of my dairy.  I knew I wanted the base of the dressing to be a cashew cream, but I struggled to figure how I would highlight the flavor of BBQ.  I had purchased a BBQ horseradish condiment from the Union Square Farmer’s market, and figured that would be and interesting compliment. Thankfully I was right and the base of this salad was born.

The shiitake bacon is a classic favorite of mine.  Believe it or not, when they’re roasted in the oven they take on a slightly similar flavor and texture to bacon (or maybe it’s that I haven’t had bacon in years).  The trick is the smoked sea salt, which should be added after roasting.  I bought my smoked sea salt at Whole Foods, but if you can’t find any, regular salt will suffice.

*Of course one could always replace the vegan features with real mayo and real bacon, if that is preferred.

prep time: 30 minutes
servings: 4

  • 1 lb red bliss potatoes
  • 2 cups shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked sea salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup sliced scallion


  • 1 cup soaked cashews
  • 2 tablespoons bbq sauce (under 10 grams sugar per serving)
  • 2 tablespoons horseradish
  • 1/4 cup almond milk or water
  • salt and pepper to taste

After washing the potatoes, cut them into 1 inch pieces, leaving the skin on.  Place a steamer basket at the bottom of a large pot and fill it with only 2 inches of water.  Steam the potatoes for approximately 20 minutes, so that they are easily pierced by a fork.

In the mean time, clean and trim the mushrooms.  Slice them into half in thick slices and coat them with olive oil.  Turn the broiler on high and place the mushrooms on a cookie sheet under the broiler for 5 minutes, turning once.  Remove the mushrooms, toss in smoked sea salt, and place aside to cool.

Next place all dressing ingredients in a blender until a smooth even consistency appears.  Remove the potatoes and place them in the refrigerator to cool off. Chop peppers and scallions and place them into a mixing bowl with the mushrooms.  Remove the potatoes and and add them to the mixing bowl, topping with cashew dressing. Lightly combine all ingredients with a large spoon.  Place in the refrigerator until ready to serve. 


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