Mar 17, 2013

Kale + Leeks Colcannon. Vegan.

Until very recently I had never heard of the Irish dish called Colcannon. It is traditionally made from mashed potatoes and kale (or cabbage), with milk (or cream), butter, salt and pepper added. It can contain other ingredients such as scallions, leeks, onions and chives. There are many regional variations of this dish. This vegan variation is scrumptious! I don’t ordinarily eat white potatoes (high glycemic index!) but for St. Patty’s Day I am veering from my usual fare in that regard. I mean, really. Can you imagine ANY traditional Irish dish without the humble white potato? After all, for my name’s sake I must diverge for this one…. my surname, Dunn, the Anglicized form of Gaelic ÓDuinn, hails from those emerald rolling hills where the Blarney Stone meets the sea. Or something like that.

Do you know there is actually a song called Colcannon about this very dish? I’m serious. Check it out. It’s really quite nice… The version I heard is sung a cappella by the Black Family. I wanted to share it with you here but I can’t figure out how. It’s on YouTube.

Of course, what I love most about this dish is that is has KALE. Lots of it. It’s amazing how much flavor is here too, with so few ingredients. I guess you could call it comfort food. I do.

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 bunch curly kale
  • 2 stalks leeks
  • 1 cup unsweetened soymilk or other non-dairy milk
  • 1/4 cup plain, unsweetened soy yogurt (see notes)
Directions:
  1. Cut potatoes into 2 inch pieces and place in a pot. You don’t have the peel them. Yukon gold skins are very thin and they are fine left on. Cover with water. Boil until tender.
  2. Meanwhile, cut up the kale into bite-sized pieces, removing the tough inner stems.
  3. Chop the leeks. Make sure you slit them lengthwise first and rinse well under running water. Lots of dirt tends to hide in there!
  4. Steam the kale and the leeks together until the kale is tender, about 10-15 minutes.
  5. When the potatoes are soft, drain them and return to the pot. Basically you are making mashed potatoes here. Add the milk and the sour cream and mash until creamy. I like to leave mine with lots of chunks, but that’s a personal preference.
  6. Mix the steamed kale and leeks into the mashed taters. 
  7. If you want to you can also serve the dish with some vegan butter. I try to avoid these processed products, but it will add more flavor if you want to use it.
Serves 4 as a main dish or 6 as a side. Enjoy!

Helyn’s Notes: When purchasing soy yogurt be sure that the label says “unsweetened.” I’ve only seen one brand of soy yogurt in a large size and there are two of them. One label says “plain” the other says “plain unsweetened.” I got the plain one the first time not realizing it contained sugar!

Healthy trails,

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