Recipe Difficulty: Easy
What is Colcannon aka Irish Mashed Potatoes?
Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish made from mashed potatoes and kale or cabbage. The potatoes are boiled and mashed, and the kale or cabbage is cooked separately and then mixed into the mashed potatoes. The dish is typically flavored with butter and milk, and sometimes with onions or leeks. It is often served as a side dish, but can also be used as a filling for pies or cakes.
Colcannon has been enjoyed for centuries. It likely originated as a simple, hearty food that could be made using easily-available ingredients, such as potatoes and cabbage or kale. These ingredients were also a staple for Irish farmers, who often had to rely on them as a main source of nutrition during the winter months. The origins of Colcannon and some variations of the recipe can be traced back to the 17th century, but it became more popular in the 18th and 19th centuries, during the time of the Great Famine in Ireland when potatoes were one of the few available food sources for a lot of people.
Traditionally, it was often served on Halloween night, and it was believed that finding a ring in your serving of colcannon would bring good luck and a sure sign of impending marriage. And even today, Colcannon is a much-loved dish that is enjoyed as a comfort food, especially around the time of Halloween and St. Patrick's Day.
My Colcannon Recipe Notes (Vegan)
Kale Mashed Potatoes!!! I'm not reinventing the wheel here.... but thanksgiving is around the corner, and I wanted to cook some different things with that vibe in mind. I'll be honest even when I wasn't vegan, the whole turkey dinner thing to me wasn't all that exciting. Not that it wasn't tasty....I just think I tend to gravitate to globally inspired food compared to traditional North American fare. Though since I'm passionate about cooking and eating nutrient dense food in general, adding kale to mashed potatoes is right up my alley.
I used olive oil and Earths Own vegan sour cream in my potatoes and garnished them with chopped scallions. I found I didn't need or want butter. They were creamy, rich and delicious, but you don't have to use olive oil and sour cream, use whatever you like best. Vegan Butter, vegan sour cream are both good options just make sure the potatoes are seasoned well with S&P and make them as rich and creamy as you dare. Heck even mash in some vegan cheese if you're feeling crazy.
Serves 6-8 people
This is a simple and beautiful salad you can make using only a handful of ingredients. You want to wait until you have the most beautiful, in season vine ripened tomatoes for this. Flavourless winter tomatoes will not lend well to a dish that is truly celebrating an ingredient when it's at its best. My friend who is a passionate gardener gave me a basket of several varieties of tomatoes she had grown. There was no way I was going to make anything other than this. The tomatoes cut into varying chunks, my cashew basil ricotta, good quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar, sea salt and black pepper & a bit more fresh basil to garnish. HEAVENLY. I really want to share this salad as an example of HOW to use my ricotta recipe. I also use the ricotta in my Zucchini Involtini.
TIPS FOR SUCCESS
This is less of a recipe than it is a list of ingredients that you can just arrange on a plate. The key to this dish being successful is all in the quality of the ingredients. You must use a delicious olive oil, and a balsamic vinegar with some natural sweetness. You need to spend a bit more for quality but it is worth it (a little goes a long way too). Alternatively for balsamic, you can buy bottles of balsamic glaze fairly inexpensively...I find I like to use them sparingly in different dishes just as a garnish for a touch of added sweet & acidity. I think that would work great in this salad as well.
THOUGHTS ON SALT
If you have a good quality finishing salt, this is the time to use it. Finishing salts are ususally a coarser grind and are meant to be used just as the name implies, to garnish a dish either after it's been cooked or sprinkled on something like this tomato salad. Fleur du sel comes to mind, one of my favourites that I wish I would have had on hand while making this salad. If you have never used or even heard of finishing salt, look into it! Definitely a way to improve your kitchen creations. I just had a pink Himalayan salt so I used that. I wouldn't want to use regular table salt here personally (I never buy regular table salt...for cooking I use flaked kosher salt)
Recipe Difficulty: Easy (just takes a bit of forethought to soak cashews overnight)
Recipe Keywords: Vegan Cashew Ricotta, Basil, Vegan Cheese, Pizza, Pasta, Lasagna, Salad
My cashew ricotta recipes notes
Cashew Ricotta is a simple dairy free plant based alternative to ricotta cheese, and it tastes amazing! Raw cashews are soaked overnight, and then blended with a bit of tofu, hot water, nutritional yeast, olive oil, garlic, miso paste, lemon juice, onion powder, fresh basil & salt. The results are actually incredible. Not all home made vegan cheeses that are this simple result in something I love as much as I love this recipe. It just works.
If you are new to a recipe like this, making plant based cheese might seem like a bit of a hurdle or even unappealing... But.... I promise you, the flavour is impressive, and it couldn't be more simple to prepare. All you need is a food processor to blend up the ingredients and you will be on your way to making something that's delicious and satisfying all while using good for you ingredients. I find that it is when the ricotta is heated and served in a specific dish is when the flavours are impressive. Just tasting it out of the food processor it is good, but the magic happens later.
How to use this vegan ricotta
I originally developed this cashew & tofu based ricotta to use in my Zucchini Involtini Recipe.
I have also made incredible lasagna, heirloom tomato salad, tomato and caramelized onion galette, and chickpea omelets using this recipe. Things I hope to revisit and share eventually!
You could also simply spread this cashew ricotta on toast (fancy!), use it in sandwiches or enjoy it tucked into wraps, as a filling for phyllo dough and or on pizza/flatbreads.
I have tried this ricotta just before adding the basil, and it isn't as good without. It is the fresh basil that takes it over the top and makes it such an epic ingredient in the dishes I've used it in. So while I think it could be fun to try different herbs and variations, I definitely recommend trying it this way first.
Recipe Difficulty: Easy
Recipe Keywords: Easy Pumpkin Soup, Pumpkin Soup without Coconut Milk, Canned Pumpkin
My Pumpkin Soup Recipe Notes
I had an abundance of canned pumpkin hanging out in my cupboards which inspired this soup. I can't think of a more appropriate soup to make in the fall or winter months, when pumpkin spice everything is showing up everywhere you look. I have an affinity for soup making, a passion even. This recipe is easy, and INCREDIBLY delicious.
My Pumpkin Soup is:
The creamy factor comes from pumpkin seed butter!!! I feel sort of proud this idea came to me haha. I saw the pumpkin seed butter in the organic section at the grocery store knowing I was making this soup then I quickly connected the dots. I add peanut butter to my African Peanut Stew so I figured this would be perfect. It is! I also add fresh ginger, and as mentioned above.... cinnamon, coriander, cumin & maple to flavour the soup. I think you could add curry powder or whatever spices you prefer really. I'm happy with how mine turned out, though.
Serve this soup with crusty multigrain bread, or if you want a treat, some buttery biscuits.
I find the soup rich in the best way. Smaller portions might be nice as a starter or if you want it as the main meal, round it out with your favourite salad.
For garnish, toasted pumpkin seeds. I don't want anything else. I tired a sprinkle of parsley, and it just detracted from the awesomeness of the soup. It needs nothing else. Toast some pumpkin seeds, chop them up, c'est tout. (Okay occasionally I add a drizzle of lemon oil that someone gifted me)
My Tips For Pumpkin Soup Success.
Can I freeze this Pumpkin Soup?
YES! This pumpkin soup freezes beautifully. For reheating, I just thaw it either in the fridge overnight, or for awhile on the counter. I often plop a container of frozen soup into my pot with a few splashes of extra water. The trick is to keep the heat low and to thaw the soup slowly as it heats up again. Give it a stir here and there. Adjust your consistency with some water as needed.
Where do I find Pumpkin Seed Butter?
I buy mine at the local grocery store. In the organic section with other nut and seed butters. Alternatively you could find it online, on amazon. OR I haven't done this at home yet, but you could undoubtedly make your own the same way one makes peanut butter, tahini etc. Toast pumpkin seeds (green ones, not the white ones still with shell on!), and blitz them in a food processor until they turn into butter. (This can take awhile, when I make cashew butter it's at least 10 minutes of blending until it breaks down enough to become butter) The brand I use it pictured below.
Recipe Difficulty: Easy
What is Succotash?
Succotash dates back to the 17th century and was first introduced to colonists by Indigenous Americans. The original version of this dish was perhaps more simplistic than the current one. Likely a simmering pot of corn to which lima beans were added, and then evolved to contain various other ingredients as well. The meal became popular during the Great Depression as an affordable and nutritious offering. It's noteworthy that pairing a grain with a legume provides all essential amino acids (think beans and rice in Latin cooking). Succotash is now popular on Thanksgiving tables throughout New England and will often include onions, peppers, tomatoes, okra and sometimes meat. I found two possible origins of the word Succotash. From the Narragansett word sohquttahhash, meaning "broken corn kernels", the other “misckquatash” which meant “boiled whole kernels of corn”.
Notes about My Succotash Recipe
Traditionally this dish gets finished with butter and salt, I however couldn't resist dressing my Succotash with a simple lime and olive oil vinaigrette, I also added in pickled jalapeno to kick it up a notch and lots of fresh mint. I think it's a fun & vibrant variation. A recipe like this is pretty forgiving too. You could easily go with different ratios of beans to corn to peppers to tomato etc....and it will still be delicious. I'm saying this mainly because if I was making it, I personally wouldn't take the time to measure things. I did for the purpose of writing a recipe, but having a loose cooking style is so much more enjoyable than being rigid about it. That doesn't always translate well say if you're baking a cake, but for something like this, it totally does. Tasting as you go until things are balanced is how you better learn the nuances flavour, and somehow cooking with a relaxed flow just feels better energetically, if that makes sense. If it doesn't...that's OK, just scroll down for the recipe and enjoy!
Recipe: Succotash with Jalapeno, Mint & Lime
I find this salad tastes best at room temperature, it really lets you enjoy the flavours. I prefer not to serve it piping hot or fridge cold.
Hey! I'm Trisha