For Vegetarians: Four Corned-Beef-Free Dishes to Make for St. Patrick's Day | Clean Plate Charlie | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida

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For Vegetarians: Four Corned-Beef-Free Dishes to Make for St. Patrick's Day

Irish cuisine isn't really known as being super veg friendly, what with all the adorable, fuzzy lambs that are turned into decidedly less adorable stews and such. Any vegetarian who's ever traveled the Emerald Isle -- or stopped by a St. Patrick's Day party at the local Irish pub -- knows the limits of how much soda bread and carrot soup one person can consume in a small span of time. (Thank God for Guinness and its iron content, right?).

While most of the Irish bars in Broward and Palm Beach counties will be stuffing St. Patrick's Day revelers with obscene amounts of corned beef and cabbage, try one of these delicious, meat-free, Irish-inspired dishes at home:

1. Colcannon -- This traditional Irish dish is usually served in the fall and made with kale, but the cheap ingredients (cabbage, potatoes, leeks, milk, butter) and easy preparation allow you more time and money to devote to stocking your pantry with (and consuming) Guinness and Irish whiskey. This easy recipe at doesn't include traditional boiled ham or bacon, but don't worry: A half cup of delicious butter will make up for it.  

2. Meat-Free Shepherd's Pie -- Shepherd's pie is usually stuffed with mutton, a scary-to-vegetarians word that just sounds super meaty. This version featured on  is still plenty heavy with lots of vegetables, potatoes, butter, cream, and whole milk.

3. Potato Leek Soup -- If this soup seems too light and healthy, feel free to dump in a bag of shredded cheddar and serve with an Irish car bomb as a side. 


- 1 Tbs. of extra virgin olive oil
- 2 or 3 leeks (the white and pale green parts) sliced
- 3 or 4 large potatoes (preferably russet) scrubbed, peeled and diced into 1-inch pieces
- 6 cups vegetable broth


Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high. Toss in leeks and cook until they're soft and slightly translucent. Add diced potatoes and broth and turn up the heat until it starts to boil, stirring throughout. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for about half an hour. Transfer soup to food processor (in batches) or use immersion blender to blend until smooth. Serve in a hollowed-out bread bowl.

4. Salt & Vinegar Potatoes -- Super easy and plenty of carbs to lay down a nice predrinking foundation in your belly for a night of St. Patrick's Day celebration.


- 2 Tbs. vegetable or canola oil
- 7-8 russet or red potatoes, scrubbed and sliced into strips about 1/2 inch thick
- 1 cup malt vinegar
- 2 Tbs. sugar


Soak potatoes in cold water for half an hour. Preheat oven to 425. Dump potatoes in strainer and pat dry with paper towel. Put potatoes in bowl with oil, mix together and spread on a baking sheet and roast for about 45 minutes, flipping several times. Bring sugar and vinegar to a simmer on stovetop and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve in small dish on the side for dipping.

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Tricia Woolfenden

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