In honor of Saint Patrick’s Day, I thought of sharing my Irish grandmother’s secret mashed potato recipe (Boil potatoes, mash and serve. Do NOT add milk, butter or salt. As grandma would say, no one likes those “newfangled spices.”) Fortunately, I didn’t inherit my grandma’s palate and my favorite Saint Patrick’s Day dinner is big on flavor.
For the past 5 years, I have made this Irish Stew recipe from the March 2008 issue of Vegetarian Times. I omit the butternut squash and double the carrots and onions. The stew only takes about 40 minutes to make, but thanks to the addition of stout, it has a complex slow-cooked flavor.
I serve the stew with the salad (sans eggs) from the same article. For the dressing, I replace the buttermilk with soy milk and a splash of lemon juice. With it’s sweet, tangy and creamy dressing, this salad is one of my absolute favorites. This year, it looked extra pretty thanks to the multi-colored radishes I found at the farmers’ market.
Finally, I couldn’t resist these Chocolate Beer Cupcakes with Irish Cream Frosting from Chloe’s Vegan Desserts. This was the first recipe I attempted from that book and I was pleased with the results. The cupcakes were moist and light and the stout in the batter really accented the chocolate flavor. I’m looking forward to more baking experiments using Chloe’s recipes.
I’ve been mostly ignoring my favorite vegan blogs while I focus on spending time with family, transitioning back to work and eating more veggies. But thanks to a slow day at work, I’m getting caught up on everything I missed over the past few months.
Late last month, the 2nd annual PPK 100 came out. As usual, I’m behind the times. I only just ordered my copy of 2012’s number 1 trend – Artisan Vegan Cheese.
Another of my favorite blogs, Vegansaurus, has an interesting piece about a nasty dispute between the founders of VegNews. As a lawyer, I’m curious to read the filings and may do a post here if they involve any interesting legal issues. As a VegNews reader, I have my fingers crossed that the magazine doesn’t become collateral damage in this dispute.
Speaking of VegNews, Colleen Holland has put together a list of her 15 most anticipated cookbooks of 2013. Lucky number 14, Vegan Secret Supper, is on its way to my front door as we speak (along with Chloe’s Vegan Desserts because after cooking my way through Chloe’s Kitchen, I can’t resist anything by Chloe Coscarelli.)
Meanwhile, the always brilliant Bryanna Clark Grogan has been doing some pretty amazing things with beans. I never got into the whole black bean brownie craze, but if Bryanna says that beans make a tasty fat free cookie, I believe her. And I’m always in the market for creamy salad dressing recipes that don’t rely on tofu. (I’m not one of those who thinks there’s anything wrong with soy, but I do try to vary my proteins because I believe variety is the key to a healthy diet).
Finally, Shojin, my pick for the best vegan restaurant in LA, is opening a second location this week. My last dinner out before baby was at Shojin’s adorable original location in Little Tokyo and I am still dreaming about their Dynamite Roll. Unfortunately, the new Culver City location is just serving dinner this weekend, but the husband, baby and I will be there with bells on when they start serving lunch.