Tag Archives: Saint Patrick’s Day

♥ Irish Colcannon

So much for my New Year’s resolutions. Yep, I’m back to being a lazy blogger. Ah, well. I did make it back and that’s what counts. And just in time for Saint Patrick’s Day leftovers. March 17th is J’s day (er, excuse) to celebrate all things beer and his perennial favorite, corned beef and cabbage. Myself, I prefer to celebrate the Irish whiskey cake. 🙂

This year, I resurrected a favorite old recipe for this year’s potato side dish: Irish Colcannon. Colcannon is traditionally served at Halloween with charms such as a ring (marriage), a coin (wealth), a button (bachelorhood), a thimble (spinsterhood) and a tiny horseshoe (good luck) stirred into the Colcannon.  The recipients of each charm would benefit accordingly. Whatever the tradition and significance attached to Colcannon, it’s a wonderfully flavorful side dish. The kale and the cabbage in the potato dish bring just the right amount of green to the Saint Patrick’s Day table.

The Colcannon is even better the next day with leftover corned beef, diced, and the corned beef gravy drizzled over the top.

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Irish Colcannon


2 pounds yellow potatoes, diced

1/2 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 yellow onion, chopped

1 leek (white part only), rinsed and chopped

3 cups green cabbage, chopped

3 cups frozen kale, thawed

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 cup nondairy butter

1 to 1-1/4 cups soy milk


Place the potatoes in a saucepan with enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil; reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes.

While the potatoes are cooking, heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, leek, and cabbage; sauté until softened. Add the kale, garlic, salt and pepper. Continue to cook until tender; remove from heat.

Drain the potatoes and return to the pot. Stir in the kale and cabbage mixture. Heat the nondairy butter in 1 cup of the soy milk in the microwave and pour over the potatoes. Mash with a potato masher, adding more soy milk if necessary. Check the seasoning and serve hot.

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Here it is, the best for last. And the absolute best use for leftover corned beef (in fact, I always double the corned beef recipe to ensure leftovers): the mighty Reuben sandwich. The king of all sandwiches, really. Teese mozzarella cheese, Bubbies sauerkraut, sliced red onion and homemade Thousand Island dressing between two layers of corned beef on dark rye bread from the bread machine. Oh, how I love thee, Reuben!


♥ Irish Whiskey Cake

Um, yeah . . . this dessert is definitely not suitable for the kids! But, it is a most suitable and satisfying end to a St. Patrick’s day feast. Or Thanksgiving. Or Christmas. Or Easter. Or the 4th of July. And so on . . .

This recipe is adapted from a recipe submitted to VegWeb by A Vegan Goddess. I tweaked it a bit to suit our taste, but either version of the cake is fantastic. Be forewarned: the glaze and the icing both pack a kick since the alcohol does not cook off. I’m such a lightweight that I get a wee buzz after just one slice. Admittedly, the slice that I cut for myself is not exactly “wee”!

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Irish Whiskey Cake



1/2 cup golden or dark raisins

1/3 cup Irish whiskey

1-1/3 cups plain coconut milk, or other plain non-dairy milk

2/3 cup canola oil

1/2 cup room temperature coffee

1-1/2 cups granulated sugar

2-2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, sifted

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons baking soda


1/2 cup brown sugar

2 Tablespoons non-dairy butter

1/4 cup Irish whiskey, or more to thin to desired consistency


3 cups powdered sugar

1/2 cup non-dairy butter

4 to 6 Tablespoons Irish whiskey


Place the raisins in a small bowl or glass; add the whiskey and leave all day (or overnight) to soak.

Pre-heat the oven to 325F. Spray a bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.

To make the cake: whisk together the milk, oil and coffee in a medium bowl. In a larger bowl, add the sugar and then sift in the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and combine with a handheld mixer.

Drain the raisins, reserving the Irish whiskey in a measuring glass. If necessary, add more Irish whiskey to make 1/3 cup. Add the raisins and the Irish whiskey to the cake batter and mix by hand until well incorporated.

Pour the cake batter into the prepared bundt pan. Bake for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

When done, place the pan on a wire rack for about 10 minutes to cool, then remove the cake from the pan and place on the serving plate.

To make the glaze: place the sugar, non-dairy butter and the Irish Whiskey in a small sauce pan over medium-high heat. Bring just to a boil and reduce the heat to medium-low. Continue cooking, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes, then remove from heat. Poke the top of the still-warm cake with a bamboo skewer and then slowly pour the glaze over the cake.

To make the icing: cream together the sugar and the non-dairy butter with a handheld mixer. Add the Irish whiskey, a tablespoon at a time, and beat until it is the desired consistency.

To serve, spoon a bit of the glaze over each slice of the cake and add a (generous) dollop of icing.

♥ New And Improved Corned Beef And Cabbage

My boys love corned beef and cabbage. LOVE.  Until we went vegan, I did not share their enthusiasm for this (American) St. Patrick’s Day tradition. I have always found the beef part of the dish too fatty (and salty) for my taste. As far as I was concerned, the oil slick from the brisket just ruined a pot of perfectly good vegetables. But, every year for more years than I care to remember, I sucked it up and made corned beef and cabbage for the boys (now that’s love).

Then we gave up meat – what to do?!

Vegan Dad to the rescue! I read somewhere that Vegan Dad is the “king” of seitan . . . and I cannot argue with that assertion. I used his recipe for vegan corned beef, but I omitted the regular salt and just used 2 teaspoons of Johnny’s No-MSG Seasoning Salt. I also added 1 teaspoon of dill weed and 1 teaspoon of coarsely ground black peppercorns to the mix. Vegan Dad says that the crushed sumac berries are optional in this recipe; but trust me, they are not. The sumac berries add something really special to the flavor of this “brisket”.

J–my reformed meat and potatoes guy–prefers this corned beef to “real” corned beef (that once had a face). And now, I like corned beef and cabbage, too.

We enjoyed this feast with whole wheat beer bread . . .

. . . and mashed potatoes with savoy cabbage and malt vinegar, adapted (veganized) from Vegetarian Times.

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Corned Beef And Cabbage


1 recipe vegan corned beef (beef-style seitan chunks work in a pinch)

1 large yellow onion, halved then cut into quarters or eighths and separated

5 carrots, cut into thirds and then halved

1 bulb garlic, separated and peeled

1 small head of cabbage, chopped into large chunks (sixths)

4 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

2 cups vegetable broth

16 ounces of stout beer

2 Tablespoons coarse ground mustard

1 Tablespoon horseradish

3 Tablespoons malt vinegar

1 teaspoon coarsely ground black peppercorns

1 teaspoon dried dill weed

1 teaspoon coriander seed

1 bay leaf

5 Tablespoons whole wheat flour

1 cup vegetable broth


Heat a large pot–sprayed with extra-virgin olive oil spray–over medium heat. Sauté the onion, carrots and garlic cloves until tender.

Whisk the vegetable broth, stout, mustard, horseradish and vinegar in a large measuring glass with the dry seasonings. Add this mixture to the pot along with the bay leaf, parsley and the cabbage.  Simmer, covered, 10 minutes.

Mix the flour with the 1 cup of vegetable broth; add to the pot and stir well. Add more broth (or stout), if necessary. Gently drop the corned beef slices/chunks into the broth. Simmer the mixture 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove the bay leaf before serving.

FYI: the leftover corned beef makes a great Reuben sandwich.

♥ Steak And Stout Pie

Ah, more pub food! J loves the month of March and St. Patrick’s Day, in particular. I’ve never seen him get too excited about any holiday, actually, but any excuse to combine beer and food does seem to ratchet up his holiday enthusiasm.

Back in the day, we used to cook with Guinness. But nobody (including said beer company, apparently) knows if Guinness is actually vegan. So, this year, J planned ahead and brewed his own stout using this recipe for Luck O’ The Irish Stout (and I’m sure the movers enjoyed hauling the full kegs), but he added more malt to the recipe. J claims that his stout is better than Guinness. Don’t ask me, I’m just the cook. I’ve never been a Guinness, or stout, drinker anyway. I prefer to drink beer that I can see through. At any rate, it does make one darn tasty pie!

Whether you use homebrew or commercial beer (organic should be vegan), this pie will please any meat-and-potatoes guy – even the omnivore type. We make this pie the day before because we think it tastes better–and is set up better–on the second day.

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“Steak” and Stout Pie


1 6 to 8 ounce package ‘steak’ seitan strips, cut into 1-inch pieces (I use Trader Joe’s Beef-Less Strips)

1 onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, sliced or chopped

1 cup quartered and sliced carrots

3 cups sliced or quartered mushrooms

1-1/2 cups diced potatoes

1 Tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon thyme leaves

1 teaspoon rosemary leaves

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

8 ounces stout beer

2 cups no beef base (preferred) or vegetable broth

1/4 cup whole wheat flour

Ready-made or prepared pie crust (recipe below)


Pre-heat the oven to 400F.

Prepare the pie crusts; place one crust in a deep dish pie plate.  Prick the bottom with a fork and bake for 10 minutes.  Remove the pie plate from the oven to  a wire rack to cool (I skip this step with a pre-made pie crust).

Meanwhile, heat a deep skillet (I use a small wok), and a splash of vegetable broth over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until it is almost translucent. Add the garlic, mushrooms, potatoes, carrots, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, rosemary, black pepper, and the beer. Cover, lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the broth and the flour. Add the broth mixture to the vegetables along with the seitan; return the heat to medium. Stir and cook until it thickens. Remove from the heat and let cool 10 minutes.

Pour the mixture into the pre-cooked bottom crust.  Place the top crust over the top of the stew; trim, seal, and vent. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the crust is golden brown. Let stand a few minutes before serving.

Pie Crust


1-3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) non-dairy butter

1/3 cup (plus a splash more) of ice-cold water


In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt, and sugar. Cut in the non-dairy butter and mix well with a pastry tool.

Stir the cold water into the mixture until a large cohesive ball forms. Divide the dough into two, cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Roll the dough out on a floured surface with a floured rolling-pin.  Place the rolled out dough in a pie dish, trim to fit, fill and bake according to pie instructions.