Irish Food 101 and St. Patrick’s Day Irish Healthy Vegan Recipes


“Never wrestle with pigs. You both get dirty and the pig likes it.”
― Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw

Modern St. Patrick’s Day food often involves Corned Beef, cheesy potatoes, fried sausages, and some sort of fake green dyed milkshake.  The authentic staples of Irish cooking, though, uses humble ingredients: cabbage, turnips, potatoes, kale, mustard, dill.  The food of peasants – these hearty stews, breads, and rustic dishes were meant to sustain families during harsh winter months.  Easy to make and budget-friendly, enjoy authentic Irish cooking any time of the year.

1) Irish Boiled Cabbage and Potatoes with Mustard Dill Sauce

Skip the Corned Beef and go straight for the vegetables. This hearty, one-pot dish makes use of seasonal winter vegetables. Cabbage, turnips, potatoes, and carrots are steamed until tender. Then a quick sauce is made with the delicious pot-broth simply by adding fresh dill and a good amount of Dijon mustard. This satisfying, budget-friendly dinner is great on its own, but you can enjoy leftovers over steamed barley or Irish Colcannon.

Irish Boiled Cabbage and Potatoes with Mustard Dill Sauce – Healthy, Plant-Based, Oil-Free, Gluten-Free, Budget-Friendly Winter Vegan Recipe

2) Irish Potato Kale Colcannon

Irish Colcannon is a traditional comfort food, usually made by mashing together hearty potatoes and cabbage.  This dairy-free vegan version swaps out the cabbage for a more vibrant green color with kale.  A simple, easy, one-pot dish that works great as a base for a hearty Irish stew.  This is healthy comfort food at its finest.
Irish Kale Potato Colcannon – Healthy, Plant-Based, Gluten-Free, Budget-Friendly, Oil-Free, Vegan Comfort food Recipe

3) Irish Vegetable Barley Soup

Bearly is the staple grain in most Irish cooking.  This healthy whole grain provides fiber and protein while also releasing starches for a creamy, satisfying texture..  You’ll find it in soups, porridge, and even Irish whiskey.   This classic oil-free, plant-based soup recipe is based on simple Irish flavors with seasonal winter vegetables.

Irish Vegetable Barley Soup – Healthy, Whole Grain, Plant-Based, Oil-Free, Vegan Recipe

4)  Easy No-Yeast Irish Brown Bread

Traditional Irish Brown Bread using buttermilk, egg, and a mixture of whole wheat and white flour.  It doesn’t require any yeast, making for a quick loaf. This healthy, plant-based version uses whole grain oat flour for a slightly nutty flavor. Vegan buttermilk adds a slight bite while flax replaces the standard eggs. Make a loaf of this and enjoy as a base for avocado toast, hearty sandwiches, or sopping up the broth from a hearty stew.

Easy Irish Brown Bread – Healthy, Plant-Based, Oil-Free, No Sugar Added, Vegan Baking Recipe

5)  St. Patrick’s Minty Sham-mock Spirulina Shake

Okay, so a green milkshake isn’t the most authentic Irish recipe, but ’tis the season.  Take a healthy twist on celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with this minty sham-“mock” vegan shake. The secret to the natural green color in this smoothie recipe is spirulina powder: just a dash adds plant-based iron, calcium, and protein. Served up in a chilled, glass for some dairy-free Irish luck any day of the year.

St. Patrick’s Minty Sham-mock Spirulina Shake – Healthy, Plant-Based, Oil-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan Green Smoothie Drink Recipe

Irish Chef Darina Allen making classic Soda Bread:

About the Author:


Chef Katie Simmons

Katie is a Personal Chef based in Chicago. She specializes in creating delicious, healthy recipes for those with special dietary concerns like gluten-free, vegan, oil-free, and low-residue. Outside of the kitchen, she is a Fitness Instructor for Equinox, with over 15 years experience in the fitness industry. For fun, she loves to travel. Some of her favorite trips have included hiking the Incan Trail, backpacking 5 months in New Zealand, and tasting the flavors of Northern India. The Irish love is an homage to her maternal Grandma, Rose Hagan, who wondrously fed 9 children every day with simple foods like potatoes, kale, and cobbler.


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