Delightfully Healthy! The Emerald Isle & Beyond!

Tasting Friday, 3/10, 4:30 -6:30pm

Vegan Colcannon with Cabbage & Kale

What’s a girl to do when St. Paddy’s day is right around the corner but corned beef and cabbage just doesn’t do it for her? A dish of vegan colcannon may just be the answer to this conundrum. According to the Oxford Companion to Food, the word colcannon comes from the Gaelic cal ceannann which means white headed cabbage. The cannon part could also be derived from the word for onion or leek. Charms or a ring were often hidden in the bottom of bowls of colcannon and it was said if you were the lucky one to find it, you would be next in line for marriage!

Colcannon is, of course, a potato-based, simplistic, rustic food from the Emerald Isle and has all the fixings of a traditional Irish meal: potatoes, cabbage, onion, butter and milk or cream. This vegan version replaces the butter with Earth Balance and the cow’s milk with soy milk (you can use any plant milk but soy gives a creamy texture that the others lack).

Despite their reputation, white potatoes are excellent sources of nutrition when prepared the right way. In fact, the domestication of the potato and the nutrition it provided was the catalyst for the explosion of the Irish population from less than 1 million to 8.2 million people between 1590 and 1840. It has been said that no other crop has been as important in shaping populations and demographics as the potato. It is a nutritious crop that is cheap and very efficient to grow. White potatoes actually have a higher amount of magnesium and potassium than sweet potatoes, making them beneficial for regulating blood pressure. These spunky spuds also boast more iron than a sweet potato and are a good source of fiber and B6 and an excellent source of vitamin C!

This version of colcannon also includes kale, which is another traditional, but less common variation on the dish. Kale is well known for being a nutrient dense food, which refers to the ratio of nutrients to calories. In the nutrient density department kale is especially known for its surplus amount of vitamin K which is found in most leafy greens. Green cabbage also has an exceptional amount of vitamin K as well as vitamin C and folate. Mixing these two together with potatoes is sure to give you a good dose of nutrition while also making your mashed potatoes much more interesting in texture and flavor!

In Ireland, colcannon is usually eaten on Halloween, but St. Patrick’s Day is also a great time to indulge in this traditional food, prepared with a twist! See the recipe below and top it with pistachios for some crunch, saltiness and bright festive green to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day the Delightfully Healthy way!

 

Kiwi & Avocado Salsa

What’s green, sweet and brown all over? Kiwis! The joke may be old but the fruit is here to stay! Loaded with more vitamin C than an orange, these fruits are delicious and antioxidant superheros! Vitamin C plays important roles in keeping our immune systems and cells healthy. In addition to containing high amounts of vitamin C, these fruits are also loaded with vitamin K, an important vitamin that promotes healthy blood clotting.

Besides these two important vitamins, these fruits are also packed with fiber and enzymes that are best friends with our guts. New research conducted in New Zealand last year claims that kiwifruits are phenomenal at slowing and reducing the uptake of sugars into the bloodstream. This is good news for diabetics but further research is still warranted. Although a small fruit, kiwis seem to hold many nutritional benefits, some that we are still discovering.

Try exploring this emerald fruit mixed with avocado in a savory salsa dish provided below!

 

RECIPES

Vegan Colcannon with Cabbage & Kale

Serves: 5 cups (4-5 servings)

Ingredients

4 medium sized white potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks

¾ cup unsweetened soy milk

5 tablespoons Earth Balance or melted coconut oil

½ teaspoon salt (more to taste)

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ teaspoon garlic powder

3 cups washed and finely diced green cabbage and kale, tightly packed

½ cup leeks

½ cup pistachios, shelled and crushed (optional)

red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions

  1. Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Add the potatoes. Boil till tender (about 15 minutes). Drain and return potatoes to the cooking pot.
  2. While the potatoes cook, heat a tablespoon of coconut oil or Earth Balance in a saute pan over medium heat. Add kale, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and some red pepper flakes (if desired) and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Add leeks and cabbage to the pan and cook an additional 3-5 minutes until desired texture.
  4. Add the saute liquid to the potatoes. Mash evenly, leaving some texture in the mixture. Stir in the kale, cabbage and leeks. Mix everything well, adding extra soy milk as needed, and adjust seasonings to taste. Top with pistachios if desired.
  5. Serve hot. Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Kiwi & Avocado Salsa

Adapted from: simplyrecipes.com/recipes/kiwi_salsa

Ingredients

3-4 ripe kiwifruit, peeled, carefully chopped

½ avocado, peeled and chopped

½ red onion, chopped

1 heaping tablespoon thinly sliced green onion

1 teaspoon (adjust to taste) of chopped fresh jalapeño chili peppers (no seeds)

1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

1 teaspoon olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Place the kiwifruit, onion, avocado, green onion and olive oil in a medium sized bowl. Starting with just a teaspoon of chopped jalapeño, gently fold in and add more to your desired level of heat. Add cilantro. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  1. Serve with your favorite whole grain tortilla chips!
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