Looking for a healthier way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day than by throwing down large quantities of green beer? Here are four plant-based versions of the most well-known American-Irish dish—Corned Beef and Cabbage.
I searched the web for veganized versions of the dish after my boyfriend and I spent Saturday taking a long walk on a beautiful spring-like day (finally, right!?). As you may know, Boston is home to a large Irish-American population. That fact, coupled with the thousands of college students from the myriad colleges in the area looking for any excuse to party, means St. Patrick’s Day is pretty hard to miss around here. So as our walked meandered from Fort Point Channel, the Boston Common, the Public Garden, the Esplanade along the Charles River, the Beacon Hill area, Faneuil Hall, the North End, then back along the water where we’d parked, we passed quite a few groups of green-clad partygoers on their way to getting their early-afternoon green beer on.
By the time we visited our favorite taco place by Fenway Park around 2:00 p.m., the nearby bars were thumping. None of that made me want to drink green beer, but it did make me think of how when I was a kid, I loved my mother’s corned beef and cabbage. I probably haven’t had it since then, but since I had the craving, I wondered if there were any yummy vegan versions around. I was happy to find out that such recipes exist. Here are three:
- Vegan Corned Beef and Cabbage, Roasted Potatoes, and Soda Bread from Fat-Free Vegan Kitchen
- New And Improved Corned Beef And Cabbage from It’s a Greyt Vegan Life (includes recipes for Homemade Seitan Corned Beef, mashed potatoes with savoy cabbage and malt vinegar, and other Irish-themed recipes)
- Mock ‘Corned Beef’ and Cabbage from Peta
My Own Vegan Corned “Beef” and Cabbage
I used the three recipes to inspire my own version. I rarely follow recipes in a strict way, but instead take a more intuitive approach. That was certainly the case here. I made the dish last night, and it was delicious and soothing (yesterday was back to the usual frigid temps). Of course, use one of the recipes above if you like specific guidelines. Either way, enjoy and have a Happy St. Paddy’s Day!
- 4 potatoes
- 1 onion
- 4 carrots
- 4 stalks celery
- 1 head of green cabbage
- Vegetable broth or water (if using broth, less of the spices; I used water)
- About 1 T. thyme
- About 1 T. sage
- About 1 T. mustard seed
- About 1 T. of horseradish
- Pepper and salt to taste
- Dash of red wine vinegar
- Box of Westsoy Seitan Strips
- Couple handfuls of fresh parsley
Prepare potatoes separately (either in conjunction or beforehand) by simmering until soft. Set aside.
Finely chop onion and begin sautéing in oil of choice at low heat in large soup pan; be mindful at this stage to stir as necessary to avoid burning or sticking. While that’s started, finely chop carrots, add to pan; then do the same for celery. Chop cabbage into large chunks.
When onions, carrots, and celery are softened, add cabbage, then water or broth to cover all the vegetables; enough to make it soupy if that’s how you like it, or just enough to cover the veggies if you want it more as a dish. Add seasonings (including vinegar) and bring to a low simmer.
Chop parsley. When cabbage is as soft as you’d like (anywhere from 10 minutes to ½ hour, depending on how much liquid, etc.), add potatoes, seitan, and parsley, and wait about five minutes or so until they are heated. The hot liquid will heat them pretty quickly.
Serve right away and refrigerate soon so the liquid doesn’t continue to cook the vegetables. I also separated out the seitan for leftovers (to add back in right before eating) so it doesn’t get too mushy.
How do you celebrate St. Patrick’s (race, food, etc.)? What’s your favorite recipe makeover?