I have to admit, I have never had green beer. Back when I was a college student, they hadn’t come out with all the wonderful gluten-free beers that are out today. Root beer was my brown bottled beverage of choice, and I never got my ID checked to buy it, which somehow takes all the fun out of it. And, even more of a shame is the fact that despite all my travels, I’ve never been to Ireland. I hear my family has some Irish ancestry, though. And, given my pale skin, hazel green eyes, and intolerance to gluten, I can believe it. This might be why I love the idea of St. Patrick’s Day, and love the idea of having a dinner menu that celebrates a culture halfway around the globe from us. You know me, I’ll take any excuse to explore an international cuisine!
Previously I’ve made a delicious vegan pot pie and dill bread to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. I love these recipes, but this year I wanted to do a little something different, so I started searching online. Once I came across an Irish dish called Colcannon made from potatoes, cabbage, or kale my mission was clear. I needed to make this lovely dish in celebration of my deep love for that most healthful of emerald-green veggies, kale. But I also needed to make it a bit rich and naughty so my green-leafy veggie reluctant husband would enjoy it too. Thus I used copious amounts of butter and salt, and even dipped into Baby Yum’s organic whole milk, to create something rich enough to qualify as celebration fare. If you are feeling a bit more health conscious than I am, or have a more greens-enthused family, feel free to cut down on the butter (or use a vegan substitute such as margarine or coconut oil) and use the salt more sparingly. Keep in mind that the seasonings on the green flavor the plain potato as well, and go forth and experiment. I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I do, and as much as I suspect my potato-obsessed Baby Yum will tonight for dinner.
I’m cooking at my in-law’s house in Boulder, Colorado this week. It always feels like a holiday cooking at someone else’s house- as long as they have the gluten contained. (My in-laws are very careful about keeping gluten away from us, bless them!)
I don’t think I cook with cabbage near enough. It is surprisingly tasty in Japanese okonomiyaki, savory cabbage pancakes/ pizza, and equally good with an Indian spiced-treatment of caramelized onions and golden cabbage. I’ve even had it in a delightful raw sesame oil salad- so yummy and good for you! You can’t even see the cabbage in the end product. Good for cabbage-haters!
Looking for more gluten-free vegetarian recipes for St. Patrick’s Day?
*Colcannon Puffs at Fat Free Vegan
*Gluten-free Irish Coffee Cupcakes at Simply Gluten-free
*Elana’s Gluten-free St. Patricks Day Recipes, including one for Irish Soda Bread (yummy) and Peppermint Patties
*Vegan Spinach Pie Recipe from the Book of Yum
*Karina’s Delicious Gluten-free Irish Soda Bread Recipe
*Vegan Colcannon Casserole at Manifest Vegan
*Dairy-free Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream with a surprise from Gluten Free Easily
Vegetarian Colcannon with kale cabbage and leeks Recipe
8 small potatoes, washed with eyes removed
3 tbsp. butter (or Earth Balance margaarine for vegan)
3 leeks, green tops removed, with white part sliced in half horizontally, soaked in water and then drained and chopped into 1/4 inch crescents
1/4 small cabbage, quartered and then thinly sliced
handful of de-veined kale, cut into bite size slices
copious amounts of salt and pepper
Generous glug of the highest fat milk in your house (hey, this is holiday food)- unsweetened plain non-dairy soy, almond or rice milk for vegan
Sunny Paris or other shallot-or-onion + dill herbal blend (optional)
Quarter potatoes and boil in a pot for 30 minutes or until soft enough to mash
Heat one tablespoon of butter in a pan on medium and add about 2 leeks worth of chopped crescent shapes, sauteeing until softened. Add your kale and an additional 1/2 tbsp. of butter. Sautee for a minute or so. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and then add a dash of water, covering the pan and lowering the heat. Let cook on low for 10-20 minutes, covered, or until kale is buttery soft and leeks are nicely caramelized. Remove to a bowl. Melt another tbsp. of butter in the pan on medium heat and add your remaining leek crescents. Sautee for a minute or two and then add your thinly sliced cabbage. Cook your cabbage for about five minutes, and then add your remaining 1/2 tablespoon of butter, generous amounts of salt and pepper to your taste, lower heat and cover until you have nice caramelized leeks and very soft, buttery cabbage with light browning. You may wish to turn the cabbage once during this.
While the cabbage mixture is cooking on the stove-top, mash your potatoes with a masher and add your glug of rich milk. Fold the leek-kale mixture into the potatoes gently. When the cabbage-leek mixture is done, you can add it to the potatoes as well. Don’t over-stir; you want the potatoes to have a slightly lumpy, rustic presentation.
Sprinkle with a dill-onion type herbal blend and serve.
Serve in a pretty piece of pottery as a side dish for a St. Patrick’s Day themed feast!