Parades, green clothes, green bodies of water, green beer, four leaf clovers, jaunty Irish tunes… What do these all portend? Why, Saint Patrick’s Day of course! Along with many others around the country, when early March rolls around I look forward to the arrival of Saint Patty’s Day and all it entails. Well except for maybe the green beer, I’ll take some thing a little more traditional like a Guinness, Murphy’s, Smithwick’s, perhaps even a shot of Redbreast. Please, please, please, anything but cheap light beer, dyed an unnatural green!
Pardon the digression, as the title implies, this post is actually about Saint Patrick’s Day recipes. In the United States one of the most ubiquitous meals associated with St. Patty’s Day is corned beef and cabbage. This hearty dish is a derivative from the traditional Irish meal of bacon and cabbage. The dish morphed into what we generally know to do as corned beef and cabbage when early Irish immigrants in the US began subbing corned beef in place of bacon. Other dishes that come to mind are shepherd’s pie and a plethora of dishes that are cooked using a dark stout such as Guinness, including stews, cakes and so forth.
Now that I’ve got everyone’s mouths watering for corned beef, shepherd’s pie and hearty beef stew, I’m going to throw a curve ball… Here are a few “traditional” favorites, but with a vegetarian or vegan twist. It may seem sacrilegious to remove the meat from some of these holiday favorites, however it’s a great way to make these dishes a tad healthier and you may just be surprised at how good they are. Your meat-free friends will really appreciate the chance to actually eat a meal at a St. Patty’s Day get together as well! Click the photos to view each recipe.
Vegan Corned Beef and Cabbage Roasted Potatoes, and Soda Bread
Here’s a delicious vegan recipe for this Saint Patrick’s Day favorite, brought to you by FatFree Vegan Kitchen.
While corned beef is delicious in the traditional recipe, let’s be honest, it’s not the healthiest choice. Swapping out the corned beef with a faux meat will cut calories and sodium, although as mentioned in the article, some of the meat alternatives are not much healthier so take a peek at the label. Seitan would be a good option if you really wanna keep it healthy.
No-Meat Guinness Stew
This recipe for Guinness stew, from The Curvy Carrot, is one that my significant other and I have made a few times. She is a true carnivore, but can still appreciate this tasty twist. A couple of notes about the Guinness in this recipe:
- The photos in this post show a bottle of Guinness Draught, however I personally prefer cooking with Guinness Extra Stout. The main difference being that Guinness Draught is carbonated with nitrogen, this is done to emulate a pint poured from a tap. It provides for a silky smooth drinking experience however I think that the deeper, maltier Extra Stout is better to cook with.
- This is IMPORTANT for any strict vegetarians or vegans, sadly Guinness Extra Stout and Draught are NOT vegan friendly. They use a fish byproduct in the clarification process. However there are many vegan stout substitutes out there. I would prefer to offer more specific examples, but as a west coaster, I’m not intimately familiar with what beers are available in all markets. Sierra Nevada and Alaskan Brewing Co. both have vegan friendly stouts available and I believe Elysian’s Dragonstooth Stout is as well. On a quick inspection, it seems like many local microbrews are vegan friendly, just give it a quick internet search and you should be set.
Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie
Shepherd’s Pie is one of my absolute favorites and the first time I tried a vegetarian version at a traditional Irish pub, I was surprisingly blown away by how delicious it was. Here’s a delectable recipe from Food Network.
If you’ve ever looked at the vegetarian options at a place that serves burgers, portobello’s are often substituted for burger patties, and this is a similar idea. Mushrooms have a good consistency to imitate meat and they also absorb the flavors in this dish. I’ve also made vegetarian shepherd’s pie with lentils which is quite tasty as well.
Comment below: What is your favorite St. Patty’s Day recipe? Would you dare mix it up with a meat-free twist?