Veggie alternatives to Corned Beef and Cabbage

As I mentioned the other day, I am not a big Irish-y person.  “Oh Danny Boy” annoys me (especially as the words were written by an Englishman and no one really knows the origin of the tune, though popular belief has that it was penned by a blind Irish fiddler who was actually a Scot…), I don’t look good in green, and I find corned beef and cabbage to be fairly unpleasant.

Now that I’m an aspiring Greenie, I have another excuse to not eat it–beef in any form is probably the least sustainable foodstuff around, although buying locally produced grass-fed beef mitigates that a bit.  And while corned beef is an example of one of the earlier forms of food processing, i.e. brining (though the process described by many recipes requires saltpeter, which is potassium nitrate and a key ingredient in gunpowder–something I do not find reassuring in my foodstuffs!) (This one looks a little less scary…), I would bet that commercially corned beef has a lot of nasties like sodium nitrate and nitrite and other chemical stuff…

So I’m looking for alternative St. Patrick’s Day dinner ideas. (Unless we just blow it off and eat pasta that night.)  One likely candidate is this Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie recipe I found last night, using lentils as a main ingredient rather than meat.  It looks fairly yummy!  Then there’s colcannon, a sort of mashed-potatoes-and-cabbage side dish, which honestly doesn’t look all that appetizing to me, but which on the other hand looks fairly versatile–you can make patties out of the leftovers, which could be fun…and I do have a couple of potatoes on the counter than need to get eaten before they sprout.

Then again we may just skip it all, and I’ll make Irish Whiskey Cake instead… 🙂

Posted on March 15, 2010, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Colcannon actually tastes a lot better than it sounds. We love it.
    Irish soda bread is good – its a quick bread rather than a yeast bread – sort of biscuity – and especially yummy if it includes currants (raisins are an alternative) and, of all things, caraway seeds.
    When I was in grad school I hung out with a lot of itallians who eschewed St Pats day on the 17th but celebrated St Josephs day on the 19th.

  2. J. Michael Thompson

    I suggest my mother and grandmother’s recipe for Boston Brown Bread instead.

  3. greenmomintheburbs

    Yummm….and where might one find this Boston Brown Bread recipe?

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