Put a tasty twist on your Vegan Colcannon this St. Patrick’s Day by stirring in a spot of sauerkraut into this creamy potato mash. You’ll be wishing you made more. A gluten-free, soy-free recipe, can be nut-free.
“When I am in trouble, eating is the only thing that consoles me. Indeed, when I am in really great trouble, as any one who knows me intimately will tell you, I refuse everything except food and drink.”
—Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest
If you’re here, and you’re reading this instead of watching the latest coronavirus count on CNN, surely you — like Algernon Moncrieff –appreciate good food even in these troubled times. Like this delicious vegan colcannon.
The pandemic has us running scared and hunkered down, all at the same time. As it should, because this is no small threat, and we all need to do everything we can to stay safe, and keep others around us safe.
But even as we go about that, I, for one, am looking for the pot of gold at the end of this curveball that’s been thrown at us.
I am looking at this opportunity to mostly stay at home to do more of what I’d rather do. Like cook more of the food I want to cook, eat more of the food I should be eating, spend more time with my family, talk to friends a little more even if it’s only on the phone, and, hopefully, blog more.
So here I am, dishing out my latest dish, just in time for the biggest Irish day of celebration, which, it now looks like, you will likely be spending at home and not at the friendly, neighborhood Irish pub, drunk on more green Guinnesses than you can correctly count when you’re that blathered.
The only time I was at an Irish pub on the morning of St. Patrick’s Day was while covering the parade for the newspaper I worked for. It was in Alexandria, a quaint and historic Virginia suburb of Washington, D.C. More than a decade later all I remember about that experience is lots of green, more noise than I’ve ever heard in a single room (and I come from Bombay), beer literally flowing everywhere, including the bar and the floor, and a crowd so boisterous and thick, I think I just got buffeted all over the place without even trying to move.
Oh those good old pre-pandemic days.
So now you are either forced–or have forced yourself–to abstain from all that fun on St Patrick’s Day. Instead you stay home and maybe get together with just a few friends or family, and what do you do?
You cook a great Irish meal.
And you get the party started with this amazing vegan colcannon.
I love mashed potatoes and I love sauerkraut, so it was something of a no-brainer for me to combine these two things in a dish that I can love twice as much. The sauerkraut, with its salty savoriness, adds great flavor to the potatoes, and the fact that it’s probiotic makes this dish really good for you. All the better to protect you from germs and such.
So let’s get to it, with some tips that will make this vegan colcannon one you will be making over and over again.
How to make an amazing vegan colcannon:
- Let’s start with the potatoes. You can use yellow, red or russet. Personally, I like russet potatoes. You will need to cook the potates, of course, before you mash them. I do it in the microwave and it works for me, but if you would like to go the stovetop route, you can dice them and place them in a saucepan covered with an inch of water. Let them come to a boil, cover and cook another 10 minutes or until tender enough for a fork to slide in. Drain and place the potatoes back in the saucepan. Snuggle a kitchen towel right on top of the potatoes so they are completely covered and leave them thus for another 10 minutes.
- There’s some more cooking involved in this recipe. I used both a bit of cabbage and sauerkraut for the most flavor and texture, and you will need to cook the cabbage and some garlic before you add the potatoes to the pan.
- The potatoes will also go into the pan after the package is cooked, but here’s one thing to keep in mind: don’t add the sauerkraut to the potatoes while they are still cooking. Instead, add it after you turn off the heat to preserve the live cultures.
- I make my own sauerkraut, so I know it’s definitely filled with the good bacteria, but you can just get it from the store. Make sure you buy the one with active cultures for the best health benefit.
- To make this recipe nut-free, use 1/2 cup of coconut milk with 3/4 cup of any other nondairy milk. Soy would be great, because it has the right consistency.
Variations on the colcannon:
- Use another green, like kale or spinach instead of the cabbage.
- If you don’t want to use sauerkraut (although why wouldn’t you?) just use 3 cups of the fresh leafies. Be sure to saute them first.
- Drizzle some mojo on your colcannon instead of the butter. You’ll be fusing three cuisines!
What to serve the colcannon with?
I would serve the colcannon with a hearty vegan Irish Stew and a side of soda bread — whole wheat or gluten-free.
If you’re not looking to go all Irish, you can serve this with vegan meatballs in a creamy mushroom sauce. Or even with these vegan barbecue meatballs.
Looking for more vegan Irish recipes?
- Vegan Guinness Pie
- Vegan Cabbage, Leek and Potato Tart
- Vegan Irish Shepherd’s Pie
- Vegan Irish Hand Pies
- Vegan Sausage Rolls
Vegan Colcannon Recipe
Gluten-Free | Soy-Free
Vegan Colcannon (with Sauerkraut)
- 4 medium russet potatoes (abour 2 pounds, cooked until tender, then peeled and roughly chopped)
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil (or vegan butter)
- 4 cloves garlic (minced)
- 6 scallions (chopped, some greens reserved for garnish)
- 1 cup cabbage (thinly shredded)
- 2 cups sauerkraut
- 3/4 cup raw cashews
- Salt and ground pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp vegan butter (to top the colcannon)
Blend the cashews with 3/4 cup water or vegetable stock. Set aside.
Heat the oil and add the garlic, green onions and shredded cabbage. Season with salt and pepper and saute for 5 minutes or until the cabbage has softened.
Add the potatoes and use a masher to mash them. Mix them with the cabbage and scallions, then add the cashew cream. Mix well and turn off the heat.
Stir in the sauerkraut. Remove the colcannon to a bowl and make a well in the center for the vegan butter.
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