Happy St. Patricks’ Day – Corned Beef, Cabbage and Soda Bread


My family got a jump on St. Patrick’s Day this year and I made our Irish feast on Sunday.  With all the kids’ activities I wasn’t sure I could do the holiday justice on a Tuesday night.  Last year I didn’t make corned beef because my son and I are the only ones that eat it.  I wasn’t going to miss it again this year, so I bought corned beef by the pound at Whole Foods rather than having to buy a whole pre-packaged brisket.  1, 1/4 pounds was perfect for our St. Pat’s meal plus another night of left-overs.  I also bought for the non-beef eater and vegetarian, aka my husband and daughter a small Field Roast grain loaf.  It actually paired quite well with my cabbage with apples (see below) and roasted potatoes and carrots.


IMG_1839 IMG_1837 IMG_1841

My daughter had also asked about Soda Bread after hearing about it on a radio commercial, so we made that as well.  I found a different recipe other than my own that called for buttermilk and all purpose flour.  This one also had raisins but my kids said “no” to those.  It came out good.  Big and dense, but not as dense as my wheat version.  The left-overs are really yummy dipped in soup too.  Here’s the recipe from SimplyRecipes.com.  It was pretty quick and easy.


the real corned beef
the real corned beef


I don’t like corned beef that’s falling apart and grey.  And I don’t have hours to cook it all day.  If you’re getting good corned beef from the butcher you should cook it so it actually has some flavor.  Here’s what I do… (note this is for a ledger piece of meet my

Corned Beef

1 1/4 pound piece only cooked about 45 minutes)

4 lb. corned beef brisket (brined from the butcher)

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons dijon mustard

Mix the mustard and honey together.  Use it to coat the meat.  Go right over the black peppercorns and other seasonings on the meat (of if you have a spice packet, mix with mustard).

Place meat on rack over roasting pan with 1/2 cup water in bottom of pan.

Roast approximately 2 hours or until thermometer reads 150F.

cabbage and apples

with Cabbage and Apples

I usually do this with purple cabbage because I think it has more flavor but this year my daughter wanted green.  It was still good.

1 – 2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 onion, sliced

1 head cabbage, sliced and shredded

2 apples, peeled and sliced

1/3 cup vegetable broth

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

In a large saucepan heat oil over medium heat.  Add onions and sauté about 5 minutes.  Add cabbage and apples, stirring to combine.  Add broth.  Once cabbage and apples are cooked and wilted, about 7 – 10 minutes add in vinegar and salt and pepper.



Happy St. Patrick’s Day

the green grub

My kids have been talking about wearing green and catching lephrechans all week.  My daughter is thrilled with fool’s gold (or anything shiny for that matter).  My son’s school has many a spirited child with green clothes, hats and even hair.  Who doesn’t wish for a little luck and belief in a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow?  It’s just too cute to resist.

I always make corned beef and cabbage.  However we’re postponing our St. Pat’s meal, until the weekend when we have more time to make and more guests at the table to share it.  Here’s last year’s post for what I’ll be making. 

But I had to do a little something today.  So this morning I surprised my kids with a green breakfast.  I remember my grandfather making green pancakes and serving it to us with green milk.  Today was green yogurt (just plain with maple syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg), green milk (almond for my daughter and cow for my son) and sliced kiwi.  I wasn’t sure it looked too appetizing but the kids were surprised and amazed (and ate it, along with some non-green bagels and granola).  Who knew food coloring could give such a smile?  I think it was a novelty today because I rarely it. 

1. It kind of gives me the willies.  Very processed and nothing natural about it.

2.  It’s messy and I’m not well practiced. (see below).

note the shamrock sticker on cheek
a bit leary of the green stuff, at first
my green stained fingers

All Things Green – Belated St. Pat’s Day

No, I’m no Irish, but I certainly like St. Patrick’s Day.  It’s a big excuse to eat fat and salt and wish for luck (that you’ll survive the meal mostly) and dress silly (at least at my house).  It’s also a good night to share with friends, since you’ll be making so much food and only do it once a year.

 Actually I do make a healthier version of the traditional meal.  First I start with appetizers that are green – snap peas, edamame, celery, green beans etc.  The kids get into this and it’s a great way to get them excited about veggies.  As for the corned beef and cabbage…I never really understand why people boil the meal.  Tradition?  The cabbage is sweeter when sauteed with a bit of olive oil.  The meat is easier and quicker to cook by roasting.  And the flavor is so much better.

Here’s what I do…

4 lb. corned beef brisket (brined from the butcher)

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons dijon mustard 

Mix the mustard and honey together.  Use it to coat the meat.  Go right over the black peppercorns and other seasonings on the meat (of if you have a spice packet, mix with mustard).

Place meat on rack over roasting pan with 1/2 cup water in bottom of pan.

Roast approximately 2 hours or until thermometer reads 150F.

I also made Irish Soda Bread.

And Spinach Hummus.

And Cabbage with Apples.

Oh, yeah…and brought zucchini bread to share with my daughter’s preschool.  Along with edamame, which she picked because it was green.

I’m done being Irish for a bit.  I’m tired and full.  Plus my sister (the vegan) comes to town today, so we put away the meat.  Erin Go Braugh.


Calistoga Get-Away (with Wild Shrimp and Organic Cabbage Salad Recipe)

From Lisa Barnes

My husband took me to Calistoga in the Napa Valley for a wonderful birthday present.  He surprised me and made all the plans and reservations.  And thanks to my sister and brother-in-law, we got to spend the weekend without the kids.  Of course we love them, but nice to have couple time too.

In addition to relaxing by the pool and bike riding through the vineyards, we of course had some really great wine and food.  While some were fancier and more creative, my favorite dish was from the SolBar Restaraunt at the green resort, Solage.  In fact we shared it as an appetizer for dinner one night, and I had it again for lunch the following day.  What was it?  The best shrimp summer roll I’ve ever had.  I was so excited by the flavors and textures I wanted to recreate something similar at home.  I skipped the rice noodle wrap and made the dish into a salad.  This is great for a fresh, simple, summer meal.

Note:  Talk about a coincidence.  The day we returned from our weekend there was a review of the SolBar in the Sunday Chronicle.  (By the way in case anyone is asking, I would’ve given another star in each category.)

Wild Shrimp and Organic Cabbage Salad Recipe

(4 – 6  servings)

For a heartier meal and combination of crunchy and soft textures, add cooked and cooled rice noodles to the mix.

1 pound medium cooked wild shrimp, tails and shell removed
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablspoons Asian fish sauce
Finely grated zest and juice of organic lime
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 teaspoon Thai red curry paste
4 green onions, minced
1/2 small purple cabbage, cored and finely shredded (about 6 cups)
2 organic carrots, julienned
1 organic zucchini, julienned
1 cup cilantro leaves, chopped

In a small bowl whisk olive oil with the fish sauce, lime zest, lime juice, brown sugar, curry paste and onions.

In a large bowl toss together cabbage, carrots, zucchini, and shrimp.

Pour dressing over cabbage mixture and stir until coated. Let stand about 20 minutes. Toss salad and top with cilantro and serve with lime wedges.
See also Greg’s Steamed Pacific Oysters With Sweet Organic Wine Butter
Lisa Barnes is author of The Petit Appetit Cookbook: Easy, Organic Recipes to Nurture Your Baby and Toddler, and Williams-Sonoma: Cooking For Baby, and lives in Sausalito, California.
Image Credit: © Felinda | Dreamstime.com
OrganicToBe.org | OrganicToGo.com
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