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… 🙂