Plant-Based Colcannon for St. Patrick’s Day


This may not feel like a time of celebration, but hey, you have to eat. Though nobody in my family has a single drop of Irish blood, we celebrate as many holidays and cultural celebrations as possible in my house, and St. Patrick’s Day is no exception. And since it’s the first day of three weeks of the ordinance to shelter in place here in the San Francisco Bay Area to try to contain the Covid-10 pandemic, it’s a good time to cook.  Our house favorites for St. Patrick’s Day don’t normally qualify as healthy or plant-based (see my Guinness Stout menu for what my family usually enjoys on this day), today I decided to carry on in the final week of our #21DayPlantPoweredOpportunity with a plant-based and slightly healthier version of an Irish classic, colcannon, which can be made with things you probably already have in your quarantine pantry. Colcannon is basically mashed potatoes with cabbage or kale mixed in.  My slightly healthier but still definitely comforting version uses vegan butter and oat milk in place of the dairy versions that would traditionally be used, and I use about a 50:50 ratio of leafy green vegetables to potatoes to up the nutrition. Add some plant-based sausage on the side, and dinner is served! We may not know what tomorrow will bring, but my promise to myself and my family is that we will always eat well, and I will always cook. I hope you will do the same. Stay well!

Plant-Based Colcannon

Serves: 4 as a side dish


4 russet potatoes

1/4 head green cabbage

1/2 bunch curly green kale

2 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced

4 T vegan butter, divided, more as needed

1/2 cup oat or other plant-based milk, more as needed

4 scallions, whites and greens, thinly sliced

salt and pepper to taste.


  1. Peel the potatoes, cut into 2 inch chunks, place in a large pot, and add enough water to cover by a few inches.  Bring to a boil and then simmer, covered, until soft.  Drain.
  2. Meanwhile, slice the cabbage and kale into thin ribbons, kale stems included.  
  3. Melt 2T of the vegan butter in a saute pan over medium heat, then add garlic and cook until fragrant and starting to brown.  Add cabbage and kale with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper and saute until wilted.  Set aside.
  4. Mash the cooked potatoes with the remaining vegan butter, and stir in oat milk.  Add additional oat milk, if needed, to achieve the consistency you like your mashed potatoes.  
  5. Transfer the cooked cabbage and kale along with their juices into the mashed potatoes, reserving some of the cooked vegetables for garnish.  Stir to combine, along with the scallions.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Transfer to a serving dish, if you’re feeling fancy, and garnish with the remaining cooked vegetables.  Enjoy hot.  Slainte!


Thanks for coming by! If you’ve been following along on our 21-Day Plant-Powered Opportunity, congratulations for making it almost to the end! (And if you haven’t, it’s never too late!) What have you been missing? What have you discovered? Feel free to share questions and recipe ideas in the comments!

If you don’t already, please subscribe to, follow me on Facebook at, and on Twitter and Instagram @spiceboxtravels! 

And if you’re in the San Francisco area, come and cook with me in the Thrive Kitchen at Kaiser Permanente, San Francisco, where we explore global flavors in plant-based cooking every month! Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, all classes are on hold through April, but we’ll be back as soon as we can! For the 2020 schedule:

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