This recipe was inspired by two things.  I first noticed this recipe from Bizarre Foods Delicious Destinations: Dublin.  It looked simple and interesting and I felt I could make a healthier version without too much trouble.  The other inspiration was a coworker of mine, who now walks with me at lunch.  She told me about her husband and his Irish heritage.  She also said that it was hard to get him to eat healthy.  I thought, why not help her out with an Irish staple that her husband will love.  To my coworker, this recipe is for you.

For the recipe, I am using the preferred meat in Ireland.  Bacon, in the Irish sense, can mean many different cuts of pork.  In the show I watched, they used pork loin and not the fatty bacon we use here in the US.  So that’s what I will do.  That cuts the sodium and the fat.  I am not replacing any of the main ingredients.  Replacing the potatoes would be sacrilege.  The vitamin C is out of this world with the potatoes and the cabbage.  No problems there.  Plenty of protein when I use the pork loin.  I just need to increase the vitamin A.  I know she doesn’t like sweet potatoes, so I won’t use them here.   I am going to start with a recipe from Barefeet in the Kitchen and go from there.  Here are the original stats:

Here’s what I changed:

  • Replaced the salted butter with unsalted butter
  • Deleted the added salt.
  • Replaced the bacon with pork loin
  • I added butternut squash to increase the vitamin A
  • I replaced the whole milk with almond milk to remove the dairy.

Here are the final stats:

Here is the final recipe:


Irish Colcannon

Serves 6

  • 1 pound pork loin, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 pounds small red potatoes chopped into 1″ pieces
  • 1 cup butternut squash cut into cubes
  • 1/2 small head of napa cabbage about 4 cups chopped small
  • 1 small yellow onion about 3/4 cup chopped small
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter soft or melted
  1. Place the potatoes and butternut squash in a pot, along with enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil. Simmer until the potatoes are fork tender, about 15-18 minutes.
  2. While the potatoes and squash are boiling, cook the pork loin in a skillet over medium high heat sprayed with cooking spray. When the pork has browned, remove to a plate. Spray the skillet with cooking spray.  Add the onions to the hot skillet and saute over medium high heat for 1-2 minutes, until they are lightly browned.   Add the cabbage and toss lightly while it sautes and wilts, about 5 minutes. Season generously with pepper as it cooks.
  3. Drain and place the potatoes and squash back in the hot pot. Place the pot back over the still-warm burner (or if your stove is gas, set the heat to the lowest setting). Mash the potatoes and squash over very low heat and add the milk and pepper. Fold in the cooked pork, cabbage, and onions. Transfer to a serving bowl, form a small well in the center and fill with the butter. Serve hot. Enjoy!

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