Sometimes You Just Need a Little Irish

Food, that is, although Irish people and the land itself certainly are included. Ireland was one of the first countries I’ve visited, and like most everyone else who visits, I lololoved it! (Also, did I mention that I’m also Irish? Not surprising with a surname like McMahon).

Ross Castle near Killarney, Ireland

Since St. Patrick’s Day was last week, and I did happen to do some traditional Irish cooking, I thought I would give all of you one of the best healthy(ish) recipes for this holiday I’ve ever made…that doesn’t include any Bailey’s or Guinness! (Although I have some fabulous recipes with those too…but I’m trying to be a little healthy here!)

Well, this is my attempt at healthify-ing potatoes a little bit, as I love them, but yellow potatoes really are just starch!

The great thing about this dish, Colcannon, is that you mix the potatoes with kale, a lovely plant packed with nutrients. In addition, you can always substitute soy milk/butter if you feel like going vegan, or cut down the butter or salt, add more veggies, change up the flavor or even add meat.

courtesy of the Food Network

This recipe comes from a mish-mash of several I found online, hope you all like it! Unfortunately my family came from Ireland waaaay before my time and none of the recipes remained. Oh well! My friends and family loved this one…although I forgot to warn my dad about the ring (see below the recipe) and I think that was a tad unexpected.


  • 3 lbs of potatoes (I use yellow, to make it yellow and green which equals more festive! Russet and red-skinned also work well.)
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 3 T of margarine (or salted butter, if you prefer)
  • 1-2 cups of milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Garlic powder (optional)


Boil potatoes in salted water until tender, drain well and return to pot.

Finely slice onion and simmer gently in milk until the onion is soft.

While the onion is simmering, remove stalks from washed kale, shred, and boil in salted water, just covering the kale. Cook for 4-5 minutes, until the kale is tender. The kale should stay brightly colored green to retain flavor. When the kale is finished, remove from heat and drain.

Add the onions and milk to the potatoes, mashing with the butter  (since I use margarine, I tend to put in a more than 3 tablespoons, but the recipe works fine with just three). Combine with the kale, adding more milk if necessary until potatoes are as creamy as desired (extra creaminess can be achieved by adding in some cream or whole milk, as well).  Add the salt, garlic and pepper to taste. Serve while warm, and if you wish, add in a gold coin and a ring. Those enjoying the potatoes should proceed carefully, but a gold coin will bring the lucky finder good fortune in the next year, and the ring will bring the recipient marriage, according to Irish tradition.