Vegan Recipe Roundup for Imbolc
Imbolc (im’-molk) is a fire festival that takes place between the Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox, falling on the secular calendar date of February 1st and astrologically when the Sun reaches the mid-point of Aquarius (or 15º) which will be Friday, February 3 in 2023. As a “Greater Sabbat,” it falls during the peak of a season, in this case, high winter and mid-point Aquarius, when the focus is on clearing out the old and preparing for the new. Traditionally Imbolc is related to the lambing season, the first stirrings of spring, and the hope of brighter days ahead so fires are lit in the hearth and blessings are placed upon our homes. The ancient Celts honored their connection to this turning of the season with dairy foods from animals raised on their lands but in our modern world many of us may not, or cannot, consume animal-based dairy products so I’ve rounded up a list of Imbolc recipes that offer delicious alternatives to help you celebrate.
Other traditional foods of the season include those that represent growth, such as seeds (sesame, sunflower, pumpkin, etc.) as well as bread, cake, curry, peppers, onions, leeks, garlic, honey, and herbal teas.
Vegan Kitchen Witch
With the number of dairy alternatives on the market today it is not too hard to create traditional Imbolc recipes using only vegan ingredients. The key to kitchen witchery is making sure your pantry is always stocked with the fundamental basics. If you’re not familiar with what you should keep on hand, check out My Vegan Pantry list by Oh She Glows! (there is even a 4-page PDF you can print out to take to the store)
I like to get a festive menu started with the appetizers and Julianne’s post on No Sweat Vegan for “How to Build a Vegan Charcuterie Board” makes this part easy. She guides you step by step on how to combine a variety of vegan goodies like veggies, dips, hummus, nuts, fruit, and more.
For a decadent appetizer that can take centerpiece on your charcuterie board why not try a cashew-based Vegan Cheese Ball from Alison over at Loving It Vegan. Coated in chopped chives and almonds it truly takes center stage and won’t last long with your guests!
And, while every pagan Sabbat tends to call for homemade bread, I looked for something outside of the usual to spice up this winter menu and definitely found it with Bianca Zapatka’s Pull Apart Bread with Wild Garlic. It’s a gorgeous loaf of bread that is full of flavor and simple enough to put together.
Here are a few hearty dishes that help us honor the returning light and promise of warmth to come:
This Easy Lentil Shepards Pie by Rebecca at Strength and Sunshine is one of the best recipes I’ve found for this hearty dish. Not too complicated, with only 10 main ingredients and less than 30 minutes to make, it’s become my new favorite comfort food in February.
Another hearty comfort food that comes together fairly quickly but looks impressive is the Thyme & White Bean Pot Pie recipe from The Minimalist Baker. Made individually in six ramekins this dish is savory, filling, and delicious with just the right combination of veggie-packed filling and flaky pie crust.
And from the classic book “Circle Round: Raising Children in the Goddess Tradition” there is a great recipe for Brigit Soup:
- 1 1/2 tsp olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, chopped fine
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 carrot, finely chopped or grated
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup finely chopped red pepper
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups red lentils or yellow split peas
- 16oz can chopped tomatoes (juice included)
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp ground coriander
- 1 Tbl fresh lemon juice
- salt & pepper to taste
We use the color red to honor the retuning light, and the promish of warmth to come. This unfussy pot of soup needs only a few minutes of chopping to prepare. All the ingredients are either red, orange, or yellow, for the colors of fire that warm our eyes, hearts, and stomachs.
In a large pot, heat the oil and add the onion, garlic, carrot, and red peper until they are soft. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, skimming any brown foam that may have formed. Cover and simmer for 1.5 hours. Squeeze in the lemon juice and season to taste with the salt and pepper.~ Starhawk * Diane Baker * Anne Hill
This Easy Vegan Rice Pudding has all the comfort and sweetness of a traditional rice pudding but with the added benefit of being entirely plant-based. Those crafty geniuses over at Two City Vegans even give you plenty of options for ways to mix it up.
If you are feeling more ambitious as a baker, try these Lavender Lemon Vegan Macarons from Camila over at Pies & Tacos. They are absolute show-stoppers and will be sure to become a holiday favorite.
Or, for one of the easiest desserts ever, try some Easy Vegan Meringues from The Plant-Based School. They are literally two ingredients: aquafaba and sugar! They make fun little “snowdrop” looking treats that can be used as part of your cakes and ale as part of the Imbolc ritual.
No celebration is complete without a festive selection of drinks. These are my favorites:
Vegan Dollhouse has a simple 4-ingredient recipe for a Vegan Orange Julius that really does taste like an orange creamsicle smoothie. Citrus is in season this time of the year so indulge in some orange goodness!
If you prefer something a little richer in flavor, Chocolate Covered Katie has a great recipe for Vegan Hot Chocolate that mimics the decadent taste of Starbucks hot cocoa (she also includes a lot of ideas for variations). This recipe has quickly become one of my favorites for a cold-weather pick-me-up.
And finally, head on over to Dianne’s Vegan Kitchen for a delicious Mulled Apple Cider recipe that has just the right amount of spices and is guaranteed to warm you up this Imbolc.
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