Most traditional preparations and modern recipes for Irish Colcannon call for ingredients like cream and butter. Tasty as they may be, these ingredients aren’t as healthy as their dairy-free counterparts. Making them vegan also ensures that every St. Patrick’s Day guest may be served without worry. I’ve also switched out cabbage for the superfood kale, and added some amazing herbs. This healthy recipe transformation allows it to be enjoyed as an everyday food, while still tasting like a comfort food. So use it to feed your holiday guests, or just divide the recipe to indulge in it yourself!
- 5 pound bag Yukon Gold Potatoes (these have a natural buttery flavor, but use what you like)
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or any other variety of milk)
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil (you can reduce the amount, or try another healthy flavorful oil)
- 1 big bunch of kale chopped (use any variety, just remove the core stems)
- 1⅓ cup diced leeks (or onions, scallions, green onions…)
- ⅔ cup minced fresh parsley (I used curly but flat leaf is great too, cut back if using dried)
- ½ cup diced fresh chives (= ⅔ ounce organic package, or ¼ cup dried)
- 1 teaspoon ground black peppercorns
- 2 teaspoons sea salt (you can always use less, or try a no salt seasoning)
- Optional: turkey bacon pieces to mix in and gluten-free breadcrumbs to top it with… Yummy!
Wash and scrub the potatoes with a brush, and then cut them into quadrants for faster cooking. (I intentionally don’t peel mine because the skins contain most of the vitamins and fiber… plus they add a lovely rustic texture!) Bring them to a boil in salted water over high heat, and then reduce to a simmer.
While the potatoes are cooking… wash the kale, chives, parsley, and leeks.
Leeks tend to get dirt stuck inside them, so it’s best to wash the outside first then cut them in half before washing the insides.
Dice those leeks and chives. (I love that leeks won’t make you cry like onions!)
Mince the parsley. (The right side is the before, and the left is the after.)
Trim off the hard core stems of the kale and chop up the leaves.
When the potatoes are tender enough to pierce with a fork, drain the cooking water out. (Check out my quick and easy recipe for cauli-potatoes here.)
Mash them in the same cooking vessel with a masher, use a potato ricer, or do what I did and use an immersion blender. (Yes, I use that baby on everything!) Keeping the vessel heated, stir in the almond milk, olive oil, salt and pepper.
Mix in the veggies and herbs then heat them through. These can all be safely eaten raw, so the amount of time you cook them is a matter of taste. (I prefer to just wilt mine a good bit to preserve the vitamins and texture.)
You can plate these directly from the stove…
…Or you can serve them in a casserole dish. The traditional look is to make a well of butter in the middle, but I elected to top ours with browned gluten-free breadcrumbs. (= yummier & healthier!)
Colcannon is traditionally served with ham or bacon, but we went with slow-cooked stew beef and carrots here. (I will so be mixing in turkey bacon pieces next time!)
This recipe earned “Wows” from my non-vegan picky eaters and did not last long at all… and I’m hoping it won’t with your family either!
P.S. I love buying like a locavore! If you can’t take advantage of area farmer’s markets, look for your states labeling like the one on my leeks that said “Go Texan.”