St. Paddy’s Day Meal
We normally don’t make a special dinner for St. Patrick’s Day but for some reason I felt like doing it this year. I made the Irish soda bread recipe from Have Cake Will Travel. It was super easy and very tasty, especially slathered with Earth Balance. And like promised, it’s not at all dry.
(UPDATE: It looks like the original soda bread post isn’t up any longer. I found a recipe on my computer, but to be honest I’m not sure it’s the one I used. I’m going to share it at the bottom of this post, and I’ll test it when I’m able to so I can let you guys know if it’s the same one…)
I also made the vegan Irish sausages from the Fatfree Vegan Kitchen. These were so good! I have to admit that I was a little worried about how they would turn out. Whenever I see pictures of homemade veggie sausages they never look that visually appealing to me, and that might just be because I wasn’t a huge sausage fan when I still ate meat. I love brats (Chicago girl that I am), I just didn’t want to have to look too hard at them or think about what I was eating. These sausages are based on Julie Hasson’s recipe and technique, and while they might seem a little daunting to make they are actually really simple. I don’t always have a lot of luck with making seitan, but I think it’s probably hard to screw these up. I only used a 1/3 cup of the mixture per sausage rather than the 1/2 cup called for in the recipe and ended up with 6 sausage instead of 5. The steaming time still worked fine, and I browned them in a little olive oil before we ate them.
Finally, I made Colcannon. I guess it’s traditionally made with cabbage or kale; we chose to use kale. I boiled about 4 large, peeled russets until they were cooked through. While they were boiling, I put kale in the steamer, and I chopped up one large leek and sauteed it with a about a teaspoon of Earth Balance margarine. I dumped the cooked leeks into a large bowl and then added the cooked potatoes. I mashed them together with some Earth Balance (I say “some” but I really mean “a lot of”), salt, pepper, soy milk, and about three tablespoons of nutritional yeast. When the kale was done I added it to the bowl and folded everything together. I put it in a glass casserole dish, dotted it with a little bit more Earth Balance and broiled it for just a minute or so.
Everything was really good, and Ryan and I inhaled it pretty quickly. I just told myself that the kale made the whole thing super healthy so I didn’t have to worry about how much Earth Balance I was eating. Best of all, I felt like we were giving props to all our friends in Ireland. I know St. Patrick’s day is bigger here than it is over there, but it’s the thought that counts, right?
Irish Soda Bread
Non-stick cooking spray
1/4 cup (56 g) nondairy butter, melted and cooled
1 tablespoon (15 ml) apple cider vinegar
2 cups (470 ml) unsweetened or plain soymilk
3 cups (360 g) whole-wheat flour
1 tablespoon (12 g) baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 tablespoons (24 g) raw sugar
3 tablespoons (46 g) unsweetened applesauce
Lightly coat an 8 x 4-inch (20 x 10-cm) loaf pan with spray and preheat oven to 325°F (170°C, or gas mark 3).
Melt butter in a microwave-safe bowl and set aside to cool. Then combine vinegar and soymilk in a medium bowl.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in sugar.
Whisk melted butter and applesauce into buttermilk mixture. Fold wet ingredients into dry, being careful not to over mix.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Let stand 30 minutes.
Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove from pan, let cool on a wire rack before slicing.