Irish Soda Bread

Ahhh St. Patrick’s Day. It’s kinda funny, isn’t it … that this one time of year, this one day, people from all over the U.S. (and other parts of the world) actually eat corned beef (I mean what even is corned beef?) and cabbage and they pretend to like Guinness. Listen, I’m not knocking the day, nor am I knocking the memory of the patron saint whom we celebrate on this day—I did go to Catholic schools after all. It’s how Eric and I met … you know, that whole “love at first sight story.” And truth be known, according to my long since passed paternal grandmother, I am half Irish.

SIDEBAR: My father, who actually wasn’t my biological father, was born in Glasgow, grew up in London, but supposedly his mother was Irish, and therefore so was he and in a roundabout way, so am I. At least that one half. That one half that doesn’t have any of the bloodline. But again, that was her story, not mine. Now, back to St. Patrick’s Day …

St. Patrick was a brave man who returned to Ireland, where he had been kept as a slave, to help convert the people of Ireland to Christianity from paganism. He lived with constant danger to his life. Legend has it he drove away the snakes of Ireland and used the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity. SOURCE: The Catholic Digest

I have always loved this day. (Irish or not.) One, I grew up thinking I was part Irish and I went to Catholic schools so there’s that. Ohhhh and I found a four leaf clover once … in high school, so there’s that. No, I’ve never seen a leprechaun but I believe in them, nonetheless. Oh, and to be clear, I happen to like Guinness. Anyway, (FOCUS girl!) this year, we’re making roasted carrots, roasted cabbage (it’s actually good peeps), and Irish soda bread. And since I don’t eat dairy and it calls for buttermilk, I gave this vegan buttermilk thing a whirl, and OMG it works. Perfectly. But don’t just take my word for it, give it a try yourself. It’s amazing and you can even make extra and use it in pancakes. Brilliant. I know. You’re welcome ; )

Irish Soda Bread (with vegan buttermilk)

PREP TIME: 25 minutes | COOK TIME: 40 minutes

  • 1 cup plant milk, unsweetened
  • 1 TBS lemon juice
  • 2 cups all-purpose white flour
  • 2 TBS white sugar
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ cup plant butter
  • OPTIONAL: ½ cup currants

Heat oven to 400 F. Make the buttermilk: combine milk and lemon juice, stir and set aside. The milk will begin to curdle within 10 minutes and be ready to use right away. Meanwhile place all other ingredients into a food processor and pulse until the butter is “cut” into the dry ingredients and it forms small crumbles. Then slowly add in the buttermilk and mix “lightly” until it forms a ball. Remove and start to knead the dough on a lightly floured, flat surface. Knead a few times turning the dough over to coat all sides with a dusting of flour. Line a cast iron pan with parchment paper and place dough in the center. (Note, you don’t have to cook it this way, you can use a cookie sheet, I just prefer this method.) Use a knife to make a large “X” across the top, bake for 40-45 minutes. Enjoy!

Roasted Cabbage (it’s actually good)

Until very recently―and by very recently I mean like last week kind of recently―the thought of eating the cruciferous vegetable made me want to scream…

Caramelized Carrots

IF I ever I had a favorite vegetable, raw carrots probably wouldn’t make the list—but do this to them, and I swoon!

On Being a Flexitarian

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