Tag: vegan

St. Patrick’s Day Vegan Menu

Vegan Irish Cuisine

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! ๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช Today, we’re taking a deep dive into the rich culinary heritage of Ireland, celebrating the delicious traditional foods that have been passed down for generations and making a St. Patrick’s Day Vegan Menu.

You heard that right.

Traditions are meant to be adapted. Traditions are meant to reflect our values. So, let’s get to it.

Irish cuisine is hearty and comforting โ€” thick soups, chunky stews, creamy sides, and warming drinks. This is the food I grew up on in my Irish-American family. My name IS, after all, Colleen Patrick โ€” Colleen meaning “girl” and Patrick referring to the patron saint of this holiday. (The “Goudreau” part of my last name comes from my husband.)

Officially, I’m 75% Irish and 25% Italian, my ancestors having immigrated to the United States in the late 19th century. And I’m 100% vegan. So, that makes a St. Patrick’s Day Vegan Menu right up my alley! ๐Ÿ˜‡

St. Patrick’s Day History

The history of St. Patrick’s Day dates back to the 17th century, when it was first observed as a religious feast day by the Catholic Church in Ireland. St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, was a fifth-century Christian missionary who is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland.

He is also known for using the shamrock, a three-leafed plant, to explain the concept of the Holy Trinity to the Irish people.

Over time, St. Patrick’s Day became a public holiday in Ireland, and it was celebrated with religious ceremonies and feasts. It was also a day when people would wear green, which is now a symbol of Ireland and a nod to the country’s lush green landscape.

In the United States, St. Patrick’s Day became popular among Irish immigrants in the late 19th century. These immigrants organized parades and other celebrations to celebrate their heritage and culture. Today, St. Patrick’s Day is a national holiday in Ireland and is celebrated around the world.

Irish Main Dishes and Sides

CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE (AMERICAN): One of the most popular St. Patrick’s Day food traditions is corned beef and cabbage, and I have memories of my mother cooking this in the slow cooker every March. However, this dish is not actually a traditional Irish meal. It is believed to have originated in the United States in the mid-19th century, when Irish immigrants substituted corned beef for bacon, which was more expensive in America.

Hearty Irish Vegan Stew

HEARTY STEW (IRISH): In Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day is more commonly celebrated with a traditional Irish meal of a thick, hearty stew with potatoes, carrots, and onions. For my vegan version, I use plant-based meat, though you can just leave that out and just feature root vegetables. You can use store-bought seitan, sausage, or any favorite vegan meat. To avoid extra packaging and cost, I make my own seitan, which is much more economical and ecological. You can find my recipe in the on-demand class library, or just click on the button below:

COLCANNON (IRISH): Another traditional Irish dish is colcannon, a delicious and creamy mixture of mashed potatoes and kale or cabbage. This simple yet satisfying dish would be served with a dollop of (nondairy) butter, and it’s a great accompaniment to any main dish. It is also a perfect way to get some St. Patrick’s Day GREEN in your menu โ€” using healthy, delicious greens. You can take that further by making a side of

  • kale chips
  • sauteed collard greens
  • pea soup
  • spinach or arugula salad

Think green!

BOXTY (IRISH): An alternative to colcannon is boxty, a traditional Irish potato pancake. There are different regional variations of boxty throughout Ireland, with some recipes including other ingredients like onions, garlic, or herbs. Boxty has been a staple of Irish cuisine for centuries and is still popular today, particularly in rural areas of the country.

I demonstrate how to make boxty in my St. Patrick’s Day Vegan Menu, which provides my video instruction with tons of tips and tricks.

SODA BREAD (IRISH): Another traditional item for this holiday is soda bread, which has been a staple in Irish cuisine for many years, and it’s still enjoyed today for a few reasons. One of the main reasons is that it’s a simple bread to make using basic ingredients that were readily available to the Irish people throughout history, including flour, salt, baking soda, and soured milk (or buttermilk).

Using plant-based milk instead of animal milk is an easy vegan switcheroo for a bread that is otherwise vegan. Enjoy my recipe for Irish Soda Bread here.

Irish Dessert and Drinks

For dessert, Irish people often enjoy traditional dishes like apple cake, bread pudding, or trifle. They may also indulge in Guinness beer (now vegan!), Bailey’s Irish Cream (a vegan version now available!), or Irish whiskey (always been vegan, thank goodness!). ๐Ÿ˜‡ These iconic Irish beverages have been enjoyed for centuries, and their rich flavors are the perfect complement to any traditional Irish meal.

You can enjoy my Whisky Apple Cake recipe as part of the St. Patrick’s Day Vegan Menu. And if you have my book, Color Me Vegan, you will find a beautiful Green Matcha Cupcake, which is a fun way to feature some of the Irish green!

Green Recipe Inspiration!

Here are some more ideas for green recipes for St. Patrick’s Day:

Green Matcha Smoothie with Blueberries
  1. Green smoothie bowl: Blend spinach, banana, kiwi, and coconut milk to make a creamy and nutritious green smoothie. Top with sliced fruit, granola, and nuts for a satisfying breakfast or snack.
  2. Irish soda bread with green herbs: Add chopped green herbs like parsley, chives, or basil to your Irish soda bread dough to give it a fresh and savory twist.
  3. Shamrock avocado toast: Spread mashed avocado onto toasted bread and use a cookie cutter to cut the shape of a shamrock. Top with sliced cherry tomatoes, green onions, and a sprinkle of sea salt.
  4. Green hummus: Blend chickpeas, garlic, tahini, and lemon juice in a food processor until smooth. Add a handful of fresh parsley, cilantro, or spinach and blend until the mixture turns bright green. Serve with pita chips or crudites.
  5. Matcha latte: Whisk together matcha powder, agave, and warm plant-based milk to make a frothy and invigorating green tea latte.
  6. Pistachio “nice” cream: Make a homemade pistachio nice cream by blending pistachios into your frozen bananas. Blend the mixture in a blender until it’s thick and creamy.
  7. Shamrock sugar cookies: Make sugar cookie dough and add green food coloring to the mix. Cut out shamrock shapes with cookie cutters, bake, and decorate with green icing and sprinkles.

So let’s celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in true Irish style with delicious, nutritious, compassionate vegan recipes! You can find my video, recipes, and menu of TRADITIONAL IRISH STEW, POTATO PANCAKES (BOXTY), AND APPLE CRUMBLE by clicking on the button below.

St. Patrick’s Day Vegan Menu Ideas

What are your favorite vegan St. Patrick’s Day recipes? Let me know in the comments below!

Traditional Irish Soda Bread

Soda Bread is Easy-Peasy to Make Vegan

Sometimes you want a delicious loaf of bread last-minute, and you don’t have time to let the dough rise. Or you don’t have live yeast. Or you’ve never made yeasted bread before! (Sometimes you’re just looking for St. Patrick’s Day recipes!) The solution: traditional Irish soda bread!

Soda Bread History

Enter soda bread, a type of quick bread that dates to approximately 1840, when bicarbonate of soda was introduced to Ireland and replaced yeast as the leavening agent. It eventually became a staple of the Irish diet and is still used as an accompaniment to a meal. 

There are several theories as to the significance of the cross in soda bread. Some believe that the cross was placed in the bread to ward off evil, but it is more likely that the cross is used to help with the cooking of the bread or to serve as a guideline for even slices.

Soda Bread Recipe

One of the things I love about traditional recipes such as this Irish soda bread (featured in The Joy of Vegan Baking among 150 others), is that they rarely need to be โ€œveganized,โ€ because they just happen to be vegan already.  The lactic acid in buttermilk is what activates the carbon dioxide, but adding vinegar, which is acidic, to our nondairy milk creates the same effect. 

Irish soda bread is a perfect, delicious bread that anyone can make, regardless of your skill level โ€” and whether or not it’s St. Patrick’s Day! Pair it with a hearty stew, and you’re all set! (For a St. Patrick’s Day Menu of Potato Pancakes, Vegan Irish Stew, and Apple Whisky Crumble, click here!)

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups nondairy milk
  • 2 teaspoons white or apple cider vinegar
  • 4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil or melted nondairy butter

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425ยฐ F. Lightly grease a round 9- or 10-inch cake pan.

In a small bowl, combine the milk and vinegar. Let stand for 5 minutes. Essentially, by adding an acidic agent, you just created โ€œbuttermilk.โ€ 

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the milk and vinegar mixture, plus the oil or butter, and combine until you have a sticky dough. Knead the dough in the bowl or on a floured surface for about 10 to 12 strokes. 

Place the dough in the prepared pan, and cut a cross on the top. Bake for 45 minutes or until the bottom has a hollow sound when thumped. Cool slightly before serving. 

Soda bread can dry out quickly and is typically good for two to three days; it is best served warm or toasted with nondairy butter.

Yield: One round loaf

Serving Suggestions and Variations

Add

  • 1-1/2 cups of raisins
  • 1 cup of various nuts

This recipe was reprinted from The Joy of Vegan Baking. Get your copy today!

DID YOU MAKE IT? HOW DID IT TURN OUT?

What more fantastic vegan recipes?

Check out my on-demand and online classes!

Read more about creating a St. Patrick’s Day Vegan Menu!

Vegan Passover Menu

Why a plant-based Seder beautifully reflects the values of this important Jewish holiday

A brief history of Passover

The story of Passover dates back over 3,000 years ago when the Israelites were enslaved in Egypt under the rule of the Pharaoh. Moses, who was raised as an Egyptian, learned of his true heritage and led the Israelites to freedom.

After enduring a series of plagues, including the death of all their firstborn, the Pharaoh finally relented and let the Israelites leave Egypt. They were in such a hurry to leave that they did not have time to let their bread rise, and instead made unleavened bread to take with them on their journey.

The Passover Seder, the ritual feast that begins the Passover holiday, includes a retelling of the Exodus story, using symbolic foods and rituals that represent the Jewish people’s journey to freedom. It is a time for families and communities to come together and share in the tradition, history, and values that have sustained the Jewish people for generations.

How the values of Passover and veganism align

Passover commemorates the Jewish people’s journey from slavery to freedom, and emphasizes the importance of treating others with dignity and respect.

Similarly, veganism seeks to minimize harm to animals and reduce exploitation in the food system, promoting compassion for all beings.

Both values highlight the importance of recognizing the inherent worth and value of all individuals, regardless of their species, background, or circumstances. Freedom from harm, liberation from enslavement, and hope for a better future are central values in both Passover and veganism.

Vegan Passover Seder menu

The Seder, which means โ€œorder,โ€ is the traditional Passover meal that includes reading, drinking wine, telling stories, remembering history, eating special foods, singing, and other Passover traditions.

One significant practice of this holiday involves the removal of leavened foods commemorating the fact that the slaves fleeing Egypt did not have time to let their bread rise.

Matzo represents this unleavened bread and is used in many forms throughout the holiday โ€” as crackers, as flour, as meal / bread crumbs, as bread. 

Options for a vegan Passover menu abound, and you can find 11 delicious recipes in my specially curated RECIPE BUNDLE FOR A VEGAN PASSOVER. Enjoy these easy-to-make, eager-to-please recipes for:

  • Matzo Ball Soup
  • Borscht (Beet Soup)
  • Charoset
  • Noodle Kugel
  • Quinoa-Stuffed Bell Peppers
  • Roasted Beets and Fennel Bulbs with Fennel Oil
  • Matzo Pizza with Cashew Mozzarella
  • Mushroom Walnut Pรขtรฉ
  • Matzo Chocolate Brittle
  • Flourless Chocolate Tart
  • Coconut Macaroons

Most of the ingredients in these recipes are whole plant foods, some of them call for store-bought ingredients, such as olive oil or balsamic vinegar. If you are keeping kosher for Passover, just double-check your commercially bought ingredients before using.

I included ingredients that you should have no problem finding certified kosher, but depending on how observant you or your host and their guests are, youโ€™ll want to double-check if theyโ€™re labeled โ€œkosher for Passover.โ€

Your best bet is to check a kosher grocery store, the kosher section of a larger grocery, or one of the many online stores that carry kosher products, especially if they come from Israel!

GET YOUR PASSOVER BUNDLE TODAY!

Vegan Seder plate

The six symbolic foods on the Seder plate play an important role, since theyโ€™re used to recount the story of the exodus and convey the elements of the powerful message of Passover: that freedom is possible, that slavery can end, and that the future can be better than the past.

Many plant foods are already traditionally part of the Seder plate, namely:

  • Charoset, which represents the mortar that Jews worked with when they were enslaved by the Egyptians. Ashkenazi Jews typically make charoset with apples, walnuts, cinnamon, and wine; Sephardic Jews often use figs and dates. Also delicious.
  • Bitter herbs, which symbolize the bitterness and harshness of slavery. This is often represented with horseradish.
  • Additional bitter herbs, such as romaine lettuce or endive, have the same effect.
  • A green vegetable, such as parsley, which represents new life, is dipped in salt water, signifying the tears of the slaves.

A couple animal products are also used as symbols, namely a boiled egg to symbolize new life and a shank bone to represent the lamb who was offered for sacrifice, but non-animal alternatives are widely accepted:

  • The most common vegan substitute for the shank bone is a roasted beet, whose โ€œbloodyโ€ appearance is used to represent the blood of the sacrificial lambs. Beets are referenced as a Passover Seder option in the Talmud.
  • While the egg doesnโ€™t have the same kind of long-established traditional substitute, there are a few different options used by Jewish vegans in its place:
    • something egg-shaped โ€” like a plastic or wooden egg, or even a smooth rock 
    • seeds, because they symbolize and hold the potential for new life, can be used in place of an egg. An avocado pit is used by many because it is a seed and it somewhat resembles the shape of the egg it is replacing.
    • the type of eggplant that is round and white is a great substitute; it even looks like an egg.  
    • rice, being outside of the category for grains forbidden to eat at Passover, was another vegetarian Seder option given in the Talmud.

Pick the one that resonates with you and take heart in the fact that a vegan Seder is not only traditional in its own right, it reflects the principles of freedom and mercy that signify this holiday.

Vegan Passover Seder

Honor Tradition without Compromising your Values

The Seder dinner, the Passover holiday, and the six symbolic foods on the Seder plate all combine to commemorate the exodus of the Hebrew slaves from Egypt and convey the powerful message of Passover: that freedom is possible, that slavery can end, and that the future can be better than the past.ย 

Join me in today’s episode as we discuss:

  • the significance of the symbolic foods of Passover
  • the acceptable alternatives to the shankbone and egg on a vegan seder plate
  • how a plant-based Passover authentically reflects the principles of this holiday
  • ideas for a delicious vegan Passover menu

and so much more!

Vegan in Northern Italy {Venice, Lakes, Dolomites}

Andiamo in Italia!

After canceling all of our 2020 trips, I am very grateful to have renewed our Joyful Vegan Trips โ€” taking all the precautions necessary (and required) for traveling during a pandemic (now endemic) and doing everything we can to neither spread nor contract Covid-19.

In June 2023, we will be running our third trip to Tuscany, which has a few spots left, and our second to Northern Italy. The latter is called Mountains and Lakes and Canals, because, well…Dolomites (Italian Alps), Lake Garda, and Venice!

We’re almost sold out, so book your spot right away! The full itinerary and the booking page are here, but here are some highlights:

  • Travel with me and David (it IS a Joyful Vegan Trip after all!)
  • Stay in a 100% vegan hotel in the mountains
  • Enjoyed guided hikes in the Italian Alps
  • Stay at (another) veg hotel at the foot of the dramatic Dolomites
  • Sip Italian wine from at a local winery
  • Stay at a beautiful countryside villa near Lake Garda
  • Explore Lake Garda by boat
  • Stay at a canal-facing palazzo in Venice
  • Explore Venice by boat, gondola, and on a guided walking tour
  • Take advantage of free time to go off on your own for some hiking and biking in the mountains and countryside
  • Stroll through romantic Verona on a guided walking tour
  • Enjoy a cooking demo with me!

Best Online Vegan Cooking Classes โ€” Plant-Based and Zero Waste

The Art of Teaching Cooking

Ever since I started teaching vegan cooking classes in 1999, I’ve loved the art behind choosing the class theme and crafting the menu, whether it’s based on:

First and foremost, of course, is the fact that everything I teach is vegan, but after that, a world of possibilities awaits! I’m inspired by different cuisines and cultures, spices and flavors, textures and techniques, but mostly what I desire is to inspire someone to get into the kitchen to create food that will nurture, nourish, and delight.

Colleen Patrick-Goudreau teaching virtual vegan cooking classes

Engaging the Senses

Cooking is a sensual experience in that all of our senses are engaged, and our experience of eating begins long before we start chewing โ€” what a dish looks like, what the kitchen smells like, what a recipe is called, what a food sounds like during preparation or cooking, and what it feels like to touch it with our hands, our teeth, and our tongue. What memories are evoked.

I consider all of these factors when developing my recipes and crafting my classes, and the greatest gift for me is to know that one โ€” even just one โ€” of my recipes may become part of someone’s repertoire. That they will follow instructions I’ve carefully considered. That they will make culinary tweaks and tickles to adjust it to their liking. That they will enjoy the process as much as the result.

Online cooking classes are fun, interactive, and enjoyed globally

Join a Class in 2023

The first half of 2023 is scheduled out, and I hope you can join me. Click on each to book your spot, and enjoy a discount when you book more than one class.
โ 
๐…๐„๐๐‘๐”๐€๐‘๐˜: Cozy Colorful Soups โ (Purple Kale and White Bean Soup, Six Shades of Red Soup, Brazilian Black Bean Stew)

๐Œ๐€๐‘๐‚๐‡: Classic Northern Italian Cuisine โ (Saffron Risotto (Risotto alla Milanese), Homemade Gnocchi with Pesto Sauce, Polenta alla Spianatora)

๐€๐๐‘๐ˆ๐‹: Simple Southern Italian Cuisine โ (Stuffed Shells with Marinara Sauce, Spaghetti with Lentil Meatballs, Eggplant Caponata)

๐Œ๐€๐˜: Homemade Tofu and Soy Milk (Save money, eliminate packaging, and increase your cooking skills!)โ 

๐‰๐”๐๐„: Plant-based Food and Wine Pairings (Join me and my partner-in-wine (i.e. my husband) for this special class in which we provide a comprehensive lesson for the best red, white, and rose wines and the plant-based foods they pair with.)โ 
โ 
If you canโ€™t decide, remember ๐†๐ˆ๐…๐“ ๐‚๐€๐‘๐ƒ๐’ are also available!โ 

The classes are fun, interactive, and live in real-time! This means, I see you, you see all the other participants, and you see me cooking in my Oakland kitchen and answering your questions. Whatโ€™s more: you receive all the recipes in advance of the class and a video recording of the class after itโ€™s over. 

Visit JoyfulVegan.com to join a class today

What type of cooking classes or recipes are you looking for? Comment down below.

A Magical Fairytale Christmas in Alsace (A Conversation)

In conversation with Brighde Reed of World Vegan Travel, the two of us share all the reasons why Alsace France is a magical place to visit anytime of year, but especially at Christmastime:

  • Quaint medieval villages
  • Festive Christmas markets
  • Dramatic castles
  • Bear and wolf sanctuary in the Black Forest
  • Wine
  • History
  • Culture…
  • …and glorious French food, made plant-based and delicious!

We’re going back again and taking folks with us, but whether or not you join us on our Joyful Vegan Trip to Alsace or plan on traveling there on your own, this episode will make you want to curl up with some hot cocoa (or mulled wine) in front of a warming fire.

Saffron Buns (St. Lucia’s Day)

Gorgeous in Color and Buttery in Taste!

If you listened to the podcast episode Christmas Feasting, you’ll know that these wonderful enriched buns are a staple during the holidays, especially on December 13th in honor of St. Lucy’s Day. Also called Lussekatter (meaning St. Lucia’s cats), this is a Swedish favorite at Christmas. S-shaped and saffron-infused, they are slightly sweet, wonderfully buttery, and a vibrant yellow from the saffron-infused dough. I can’t wait to hear what you think โ€” and see your photos!

NOTE: Plan ahead a little when making these, was the dough will need to rise twice.

Ingredients

3/4 cup nondairy butter

2 cups nondairy milk (+ extra for brushing)

1 teaspoon of saffron threads

ยผ cup dry yeast

3-ยฝ to 4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

Raisins / sultanas

Directions

In a small pot, heat the butter, milk, and saffron together until the milk is steamy and finger-warm. Do not boil! Let cool until itโ€™s warm to the touch, but not hot.

Sprinkle the yeast over the warm saffron-infused milk, and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes until it starts to foam.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together 3-1/2 cups of the flour, the 1/4 cup of sugar, and salt. (You can do this by hand, as well; itโ€™s just easier with a stand mixer.)

Make a well in the center, and add the milk / butter / saffron / yeast mixture, and mix until it is well incorporated. 

Knead by hand, or switch to the dough hook of your mixer, and knead on low speed. Add additional flour if necessary, kneading to incorporate after each addition. Continue until the dough is still a little sticky to the touch, but does not completely stick to your hands.

Shape the dough into a ball and place in a large bowl.

First rise

Cover with a towel, and leave to rise at room temperature until doubled in size. (At least an hour.)

Once your dough has risen, place it on a floured counter. Break off a piece and form it into a ball about 2 inches wide. Roll the ball out into a snake, about 14 inches long. 

Next, curl the ends in opposite directions, forming an “S” with spirals at each end (or the shape of your choice.) Place on a lined baking sheet and repeat with the rest of the dough.

Second rise

Cover with a towel and place in a warm spot until the dough shapes double in size, 30 minutes to an hour. 

Preheat oven to 400ยฐF (205ยฐC). 

Brush with plant-based milk, and gently push a raisin/sultana in each swirl on the buns.

Bake each tray in the middle of the pre-heated oven for 8-10 minutes until just golden. Let cool for a few minutes, but theyโ€™re absolutely delicious eaten warm with butter (non-dairy, of course).

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