GROW O'ahu

Island Style Gardening and Plant-Based Living

Sunday Comfort Food

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Most meals at this house are fridge to table in 30 minutes or less.  It is out of sheer desperation for lack of prep time that I have read about, implemented and even come up with my own time hacks. (Things like pre-making big pots of brown rice and freezing in portions; slow cooker everything and 20 minute soup 3 nights a week!)

Sometimes, when I have the time and an extra set of hands to keep the kiddos from running in the street, I like to make stuff that requires more than “chop, cook, serve.”

I give you: Colcannon Topped with Kidney Bean “Meat”balls and Mustard-Glazed Brussels Sprouts

Comfort Food Made Vegan!

Comfort Food Made Vegan!

This whole meal was about an hour of prep/cook.  WAY more time than I usually spend in the kitchen, but as I get the luxury of blogging this my boys are busy loading the dishwasher. ❤ them!

So here’s the details:

Kidney Bean Meatballs

Make the meatballs first, they take the longest. (Make this your own by adding hot sauce, steak sauce or liquid smoke if you want. All would be great!)

1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1/4 onion

2 cloves garlic

Handful of baby carrots

1 cup cooked brown rice

1 tbsp ketchup

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

1 tbsp Italian seasoning

1 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce

3/4 instant oats (or regular oatmeals pulsed a few times in the food processor)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. In your food processor put onion, carrot and garlic. Pulse a few times until well chopped and mixed. Add rice, pulse a few more times. Add beans and pulse until most are smashed. This should be chunky-ish though, you don’t want a paste. Scoop it out into a bowl and add ketchup, sauces and oats. Mix really well and using hands to form into balls, place on cookie sheet. (I made about 20)

Bake 20-30 minutes or until outside gets firm and golden. Let cool for a bit (they firm up as they cool).

While those are baking, prepare-


Colcannon= Irish side dish consisting of mashed potatoes with cabbage (or in this case, kale that was taking over the garden) Make this dish as big or small as you need!

Potatoes , quartered

Kale or cabbage, de-stemmed and chopped

Dijon mustard

Green onions, sliced

Boil the potatoes till soft. Turn off heat and throw in the greens. (Let them steam for 10 minutes while you prep the Brussels Sprouts.)

After greens have softened, drain the whole pot and mash well with non dairy milk, salt, pepper and Dijon mustard. Add in green onions and still well.

Agave and Mustard Glazed Brussels Sprouts

2 cups Brussels Sprouts

2 tbsp agave

2 tbsp yellow mustard

1/2 tbsp olive oil


Slivered almonds (garnish)

Whisk agave, mustard and oil together in a small bowl. Set aside.

Trim and halve the Brussels sprouts. Place them in a skillet with enough water to move them around a bit and steam them until bright green and tender. As water is getting low and evaporating, pour in mustard mixture stirring until nicely glazed, about 2-3 minutes. Pour into a serving dish and sprinkle with slivered almonds.

If you timed it all right, everything should be ready when the almonds go on! The meatballs had cooled enough to be firm and the husband and son had theirs with gravy (but it wasn’t vegan so I skipped that) but if I make this again, I’m doing it up with gravy too. Total Iowa comfort food, veganized (and gluten free!)

Enjoy friends, Aloha.

(Credits: Recipes adapted from Vegan Holiday Kitchen by Nava Atlas and Happy Herbivore Abroad by Lindsay Nixon)


Author: Carmen

Things I love: justice in all forms; flowers; locally grown food; cloth-diapering; breastfeeding; feminist theory; outdoor play; beaches; wine; Divine interventions; 4-H and coffee. Things I loathe: racism; homophobia; toxic crap; misogyny; litterbugs; the zombie apocalypse and pitbull-haters. My formal education is in sociology, gender studies, and public policy. I'm also a Lactation Educator; 4-H Youth Development coordinator a Certified Master Gardener and a graduate of a Permaculture Design Course. I've been blogging for several years on dozens of topics- everything from women's health to breed-specific legislation. But the thing I like to write about most is my gardening, food adventures and my kids. So there you have it. Please be kind. Thanks.

One thought on “Sunday Comfort Food

  1. That looks delicious!


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