I love this time of year. I really do. The weather is getting warmer, but not hot enough to be suffocating. We are getting more hours of daylight. And, best of all, we have a series of unsung hero spring holidays. With the larger family holidays like Passover, Easter, and Memorial Day quickly approaching, it’s easy for us to forget about some smaller celebrations like St. Patrick’s Day, but please don’t. This warming day, filled with tons of old-fashioned soul foods, is one of our absolute favorites.
Though we formerly divulged in the traditional Crock Pot corned beef and cabbage fare, we have since changed our traditions in order to conform to our new vegetarian diet. Ultimately, as long as Matt still gets his Guinness (hooray for their recent development to eliminate fish bladder from their brew!) and I get my Irish Soda Bread (no, really, a whole loaf, please), we’ll be more than satisfied. But, if that doesn’t sway you as much as it does us, there are a ton of other hearty, warming - albeit meatless - dishes you can try.
If you’re looking for a quick Irish fix, some potato and leek soup might do you well. Or, if you want to go down the more hearty road, you can easily whip up some vegetarian (or even vegan!) Shepherd’s Pie by swapping some tofu for the meat. Adding in some veggies of choice and topping with smooth mashed potatoes will really bring this dish all together. You could also go down the road of some vegetarian Irish Stew for a hearty, satisfying dish. One of our favorite sides is some traditional Colcannon - a deliciously easy blend of mashed potatoes with some cabbage or kale. To veganize this, you can simply add soy milk instead of any milk or cream needed. To end your meal the right way, check out this recipe for some Apple Orange Bread Pudding. Trust me - it’s worth it!
I hope you enjoy your St. Paddy’s Day as much as we do in the Mayernik home. Remember, if none of this tickles your fancy, St. Joseph’s Day is just two days later, and you can get yourself some good Italian pastries!