Story by Alexis Fischer
Illustration by Mark Yoder
Guilty pleasure alert: McDonald’s Shamrock Shakes are back to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. We can thank the Irish for that, as well as for their warm and hearty traditional dishes. It’s obvious that the Irish know their comfort food. However, many meals revolve around a meat entree, like corned beef and cabbage. Being a vegetarian poses a challenge when it comes to celebrating some cultural holidays. Luckily, it’s still possible to connect with your roots even with dietary restrictions. The transition to meat-free dishes isn’t as difficult as it seems when you have delicious recipes like the ones below. Both recipes include ingredients that can be substituted to make the dishes vegan.
Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie
4 small potatoes (red or white)
¾ cup milk
3 tbsp. olive oil
¼ tsp. nutritional yeast
½ tsp. garlic powder
1 cup carrots
Garlic (as much or as little as you’d like)
½ block of tofu
1 bunch of kale
½ cup corn
½ cup frozen peas
1 veggie bouillon cube
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Mash cooked potatoes and combine with milk, olive oil, yeast and garlic powder. Set mixture aside.
In a large pot, saute onions, carrots and garlic cloves until brown.
Cut tofu into small, bite-size pieces and add to pot. Cook on medium-low heat.
Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot and let it stew for seven minutes.
Take off heat and pour tofu and veggies into dish that can sit in the oven. Flatten and top with mashed potato mixture.
Bake for 35 minutes or until potatoes are golden brown.
Allow time for cooling and dig in!
Pro-tip: Use the leftover juices from the pot and mix with a little flour to make a gravy for the pie.
2 yellow onions
½ cup chopped green cabbage
2 celery sticks
4 cups vegetable broth
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. dry mustard
6 oz. seitan
2 tbsp. flour
¼ cup water
2 tbsp. red wine
In a pot, combine broth, vegetables and spices. Cook for 15 minutes on low heat.
Saute the onions in a pan and add to pot.
Add seitan to broth mixture. Let cook for another 15 minutes, or until vegetables are soft.
Remove vegetables and seitan. Mix flour, water and wine, then pour into remaining broth to make gravy. Let simmer for 10 minutes.
Pour gravy over vegetables and seitan and chow down.