March 14, 2012

A Vegan on St. Patrick’s Day.

Honoring Your Irish Side Without the Corned Beef.

Ireland, sir, for good or evil, is like no other place under heaven, and no man can touch its sod or breathe its air without becoming better or worse.
~ George Bernard Shaw

Ireland is not a country well-known for it’s vegetarian options, and vegan options are even slimmer on the green isle (even the delicious beer isn’t vegan). Historically, it is definitely a meat and potatoes country, and thus the recipes we tend to associate with the Irish, or with St. Patrick’s Day, are not usually herbivore friendly. As an Irish (well, partly) lass, I like to serve up some traditional fare for the holiday, and for other occasions, but I, as a vegan, I have had to make adjustments to do so without the eggs, dairy, and meat. So, here are a few family-tested vegan Irish recipes for your holiday.

Irish Soda Bread

Soda bread is a pretty simple item, containing few ingredients and usually not very complex to make. Because of this, it veganizes quite easily.

4 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups non-dairy milk
3 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda

Combine dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix the vinegar into the non-dairy milk to sour or curdle a little bit, making it sort of like buttermilk. Make a well in the center of the dry mix and slowly add the “buttermilk,” mixing thoroughly. Create a loaf and place on a baking pan (I prefer a baking stone covered in parchment or left naked). If you want to score the top of the bread with a tic tac toe shape, it will look pretty and be easier to break into pieces, but that’s completely optional. Variations of this recipe use raisins, currants, or other dried fruit. If you add fruit, you may want to also put in about 3-4 T of sugar to give it a sweeter tone.

Vegan Irish Stew

I have to admit that I’m faking this recipe a little, because I don’t really measure when I make things like stew, but this should be about right. I would make this in the pressure cooker, but you can certainly do so stove-top or in a crockpot.

1 lb cooked seitan, cut into chunks (skip this for gluten-free version or if you don’t like seitan)
1/4 cup olive oil
6 cups veggie broth
1 1/2 cups stout beer (check your beer on Barnivore for vegan status – Guinness is not)
1 T Bragg’s or soy sauce
2 T tomato paste
3 T flour (chickpea or soy if gluten-free is desired)
4 carrots , chopped
2 onions, diced large
6 large potatoes, diced large
2 stalks celery, diced (not traditionally, but I like it)
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup diced parsley
1/2 t dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste

Put oil in your pressure cooker and begin to heat over medium temp. Add onions and saute until they begin to soften. Add seitan and brown. Mix in flour and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients to the pot and cover. Bring to pressure (15 psi) and cook for 25 minutes, then allow to depressurize naturally.


This old Irish recipe traditionally contains cabbage, but here kale is substituted and it’s extremely yummy. You can always go back to cabbage if you prefer.

5 lb chopped potatoes (peeled or not)
5 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
4 T 0live oil
8 cups roughly chopped kale
3 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp liquid smoke
2 T nutritional yeast (optional)
4 T soy milk or creamer
Salt and pepper to taste

Chop potatoes (skins on or off) and put on to boil.  Put olive oil and garlic in a large pan and sauté the garlic until fragrant.  Add kale, soy sauce, and liquid smoke and toss to coat. Cook kale at medium high until tender.  When potatoes are tender, drain.  While potatoes are draining, add milk to kale mix to warm.  Then combine ingredients and mash by hand or with an electric mixer.  I leave these a little more solid than I would mashed potatoes, since the kale is in there.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Vegan Dublin Coddle

I had never tried making coddle until I saw this recipe from Fat Free Vegan.  Coddle is a sausage and potato dish, that has very few fancy ingredients.  On the site, Susan offers a recipe for the sausage, but my inclination is to buy vegan sausage and work from there.

12 ounces of other vegan sausage, sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 1/2 pounds baking potatoes (about 4 medium), cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 large onion, sliced
2 tablespoons parsley, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth or prepared bouillon
1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke flavoring
3/4 cup dark beer (optional)

Brown the “sausages” in a non-stick skillet. In a large Dutch oven with a heavy lid, layer the ingredients in this order: half of the potatoes, salt and pepper, half of the onions, half of the parsley, all of the vegan sausage, the rest of the potatoes, salt and pepper, the second half of the onions, and the remaining parsley.  Mix the broth and liquid smoke and pour over the veggies and sausage.  Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce to low. Cook until potatoes are tender (about an hour).  Add the beer and simmer for another 10-15 minutes.

Other Vegan Irish Recipe Links for Your Noshing Pleasure

Vegan Mashed Potato Soup from The VeganAsana (yeah, that’s me)

Vegan Corned Beef and Cabbage from Fat Free Vegan

Vegan Corned Beef and Reuben Sandwich by Vegan Dad

Vegan Shepherd’s Pie from Oh She Glows

Vegan Irish Apple Mash from Jolinda Hackett

Vegan Irish Whiskey Cake from Jolinda Hackett

Oatmeal Rhubarb Crumble from Vegetarian Times

Vegan Scones from The VeganAsana

Vegan Irish Cream from Epicurious Vegan

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Art from Vector Portal

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