Meatless Monday – Feast or Famine

The Irish Potato famine of 1845 resulted in a mass exodus of Irish people from the Emerald Isle. A blight had swept across the land threatening to destroy the staple crop: potato*. (Clearly a diet of meat wasn’t worth staying for.) I couldn’t let St. Patrick’s Day go by without a Weal Food post so this week’s Meatless Monday is a vegetarian feast St. Patty’s style.

*Commercial potato crops in North America are notorious for being sprayed with pesticides (fear of another blight?). This is one vegetable absolutely worth buying organic.

The Menu:

  • Vegan Irish Cream
  • Irish Soda Bread
  • Vegan Irish Stew
  • Cabbage stuff
  • Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes

Vegan Irish Cream

The main ingredients in my homemade vegan Irish cream.
The main ingredients in my homemade vegan Irish cream.

I cross-referenced several recipes for homemade Irish Cream-both vegan and regular-and came up with the following ingredients:

  • Coconut milk based mimicreme (pictured here)
  • Jameson Irish Whiskey-according to Barnivore it is vegan
  • muscovado sugar
  • Valrhona cocoa powder
  • instant espresso powder
  • coconut milk powder
  • a splash of Tahitian vanilla extract
  • a little water
  • a pinch-me-I’m-not-Irish sea salt
Vegan Shamrock: dark chocolate and vegan Irish cream meld together in a shamrock shape.
Vegan Shamrock: dark chocolate and vegan Irish cream meld together in a shamrock shape.

Irish Soda Bread
This very simple bread typically contains just a few ingredients: flour, salt, sugar, baking soda and buttermilk. For added pizzazz, add some raisins (or craisins) or cheese and dill. For a festive flavour substitute some of the liquid with Guinness extra stout* vegan Irish beer.

*Up until recently (i.e. March 2013) this product was listed as vegan-friendly on Barnivore. Due to controversy and confusion this label has been revoked “…until further notice.”


...a closer look.
…a closer look.

nutritional yeast
sea salt
vegan worcestershire sauce
extra firm tofu
organic russet potato
potato starch

Cabbage salad
Into every meal a little salad must fall. Why not try a cabbage salad in its popular incarnation of coleslaw. Shred some raw cabbage and carrot and mix with a sweet vinaigrette (oil/vinegar with a little maple syrup). To season add some salt and pepper; to bedazzle add some cinnamon and apple.

Guinness Chocolate cupcakes
A basic chocolate cake that uses sour cream/plain yogurt or the vegan facsimile along with Guinness extra stout vegan Irish beer for the liquid. Either omit the eggs or replace them with a vegan egg substitute.

Vegan icing and a shamrock.
Vegan icing and a shamrock.

I’m still ‘reeling‘ from the news that any Guinness product may not be vegan-friendly after all. All I can do is eat my stew and look forward to a Meatless Easter season…


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