Mary Sheehan Coming Home To Cook

December 3, 2017

vegan lasagna

Filed under: Recipes,Uncategorized — admin @ 1:08 pm

This is a lasagna that is creamy and rich without the dairy. Totally delicious even for the skeptics among us! I made this for my grandson’s birthday dinner and even the 2 and 4 year old liked it! There’s a lot of ingredients here but it’s worth it. Use plenty of fresh herbs and spices to your liking. Make it your own creation and Enjoy! lasagna2
Heat oven to 350.
olive oil
1/2 lb. cooked lasagna noodles
medium spanish onion
8 medium button mushrooms
1 medium eggplant
1 large red pepper
1/4 cup non-dairy butter
1/4 cup white flour
2 1/4 cup almond milk or any non-dairy plain milk
1 cup peeled tomatoes
pinch of grated nutmeg
1 tsp. dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste
1 lb. firm tofu, drained.
1/4 cup cilantro, minced
2 tsp.tamari (aged soy sauce)
1 Tbl. nutritional tasty yeast
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cooked
chop onion and mushrooms, saute in olive oil (to lightly cover skillet) and set aside.
Peel eggplant. Slice lengthwise.
Core red pepper, slice in half.
On an oiled baking sheet, place eggplant and peppers. Sprinkle with sea salt, turning every 10 minutes or so until thoroughly roasted.
Boil lasagna noodles until tender, set aside.
Pink sauce:
Melt butter, whisk in flour to make a roux. Cook for a few minutes until it
reaches a smooth consistency.
Slowly add room temperature milk.
Add pinch of nutmeg and 1 tsp. dried thyme.
Cook, whisking occasionally until it starts to thicken.
Add cooked mushrooms and onions.
Add sea salt and pepper to taste.
Add peeled tomatoes, let cook while preparing filling.
In a food processor blend tofu, sweet potato, cilantro, tamari and tasty yeast until smooth.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
In a 9″ x 13″ pan spread pink sauce
Lay noodles lengthwise.
Cover with a layer of roasted vegetables.
Spread filling, evenly distributing.
Cover with noodles, widthwise.
Repeat: sauce, noodles, vegetables, filling, noodles.
Cover with sauce.
Bake for 45 minutes or until it starts getting bubbly.
Let sit for 10 minutes, slice into 12 large pieces or do your own thing, and cut more or less.
Serve with a simple fresh salad and warm crusty bread.

March 20, 2015

comfort food for a snowy first day of spring

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 10:35 pm

Tofu Cutlets with Mushrooms, Rosemary and Port Wine Sauce

Dinner recipe
A colorful dish that blends the savory taste of mushrooms with the essence of rosemary and the richness of cherries. With the haricots and rice, this meal serves 4�6.

2 lb. firm plain tofu
½ cup plus 2 Tbl. cornstarch
½ cup white flour (or gluten-free flour mix)
Salt and pepper
4 Tbl. olive oil
4 Tbl. butter
4 small shallots, minced
6 cups thinly sliced mushrooms (use a variety)
2 Tbl. minced fresh rosemary
2/3 cup dried cherries
1½ cup vegetable broth
1 cup port wine or cherry juice
1½ Tbl. tomato paste

Drain tofu. When thoroughly dry, cut block in half. Cut each half into 4½”-thick slices. Mix cornstarch, flour, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl. Heat olive oil in a skillet. Dredge tofu slices in cornstarch and flour mixture, coating well. Cook in oil, turning once so cutlets are
crisp and golden on each side. Set on a baking sheet and put in oven to keep warm. After tofu is cooked, add butter to the same skillet. Cook shallots until soft. Add mushrooms and cook until lightly browned. Stir in rosemary and cherries and cook for another minute.

In a bowl, mix together vegetable broth, wine or juice and tomato paste. Stir in 2 Tbl. cornstarch. Mix thoroughly and add to skillet with mushrooms. Cook until sauce begins to thicken and becomes glossy. Place cutlets on a platter and pour sauce over them. Garnish with sprigs of fresh rosemary.

February 8, 2015

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Filed under: home base,Recipes — admin @ 10:39 pm


I recently made these little cakes for a friends birthday. To Say the least, they were an amazing hit! Served hot out of the oven with a warm toffee sauce and a splash of cold whipped cream they are comfort food at it’s best.


Preheat oven to 350. These can be made in any size muffin (cupcake) tins or a 9″ round or square cake pan.

Chop 3/4 cup pitted dates into small pieces. Put into a mixing bowl. Pour 1 1/4 cups boiling water over and add 1 tsp. baking soda and let cool.

Sift 1 cup plus 1 Tbl. white flour with 1 tsp. baking powder. Cream 3/4 cup white sugar with 1/4 cup soft butter until light and fluffy.  Add 1 egg and 1 tsp. vanilla extract and beat well. Slowly beat in flour and add dates.  Mix all the ingredients together until well blended. Grease and flour pans and pour batter in.

The cupcake tins take about 18 minutes and the 9″ cake takes about 35 minutes.


In a double boiler melt 2 TBL. butter. Add 1/2 cup heavy cream, 1 cup light brown sugar and whisk until sauce thickens, about 6 minutes. Spoon over cake and serve with a dollop of very cold, fresh whipped cream.    ENJOY!

November 17, 2014

when the temps drop eat gingerbread

Filed under: home base,Recipes — Tags: , — admin @ 9:04 pm

0081I love all the New England food classics that I grew up with in 1950’s Massachusetts.  Gingerbread has and always will be at the top of the list of Indian Pudding, Toll House Cookies and Boston Cream Pie, to name a few. The aroma of this spicey treat brings me back to  snowy days where my hopes were bent on getting a hot piece right out of the oven topped with fresh whipped cream and tomorrow being a snow day off from school!

This is a twist on the old classic. I can’t remember how I came upon it, but since it has Guinness Stout in it, well, you know…… It is dark, rich, moist and absolutely scrumptuous!

Boil 1 cup Guinness Stout (drink the rest!) with 1 cup dark molasses. Take off the heat, transfer to a bowl and add 1 1/2 teaspoon baking (bread) soda. This will bubble up and expand so make sure it is in a medium sized container.

In a mixing bowl add 2 cups white flour, 2 Tablespoons of ground ginger, 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 3/4 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. cloves, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, 1/8 tsp. cardamom.

In a separate bowl beat 3 eggs with 1/2 cup white sugar, 1/2 cup dark brown sugar and 3/4 cup good vegetable oil.

When the Guinness has cooled, add it to the dry mix, beat and add egg mixture. Beat until smooth.

Use your pan of choice, tube, bundt, or I use a  8×8 greased baking pan and a 12 mini muffin pan.

Grease the pan and bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.


February 17, 2014

snow days call for pancakes!

Filed under: home base,Recipes — Tags: , , , , , , — admin @ 10:41 pm

Tired of the snow, ice and sub zero temps in the Northeast USA!  It’s time for some really tasty comfort food. Let’s start with Breakfast.croppedpancake1I created this new recipe while stuck in the house during a blizzard last week. I love the combination of buckwheat and spelt flour. Buckwheat is gluten free but spelt is an ancient wheat that many people who are wheat sensitive can tolerate.

The trick for making good, nutritious meals is having all the right ingredients. This might be a challenge if you are trying to eat gluten, wheat or dairy free, and using natural sugar substitutes. All of these ingredients are now available in supermarkets or your local Health Food Store and the flours have a long shelf  life so just stock up and store in airtight containers for freshness.  You can substitute whole milk and butter for soy milk and oil. And, use an egg substitute and eliminate honey if you are Vegan.  Enjoy!

Buckwheat Spelt Pancakes

In a large bowl mix together 2 eggs, 1 1/2 cups almond or soy milk. Beat in 2 Tbl. olive oil, 2 Tbl. Agave syrup, maple syrup or honey.

In another bowl mix together 1 1/4 cup spelt flour, 1/2 cup buckwheat flour and 1/2 cup brown rice flour. Add 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder and 1/2 tsp. baking soda. Grate 1 tsp. fresh nutmeg and add.

Slowly pour wet into dry ingredients, mixing with a hand blender or in a food processor. Batter should be thick but not heavy.

On medium heat, warm up a griddle or fry pan. Add a Tbl. of oil or butter.   Pour 1/3 cup of batter into pan. Cook until pancake is bubbly, flip and cook for no more than a minute.  Keep warm on a baking sheet in low temp.oven.

Fresh Fruit Compote

Cook 1 cup fresh cranberries in 1/2 cup orange juice, 1 Tbl. honey, 1 tsp. vanilla and 1 Tbl. Agave syrup. Add 1 chopped, peeled apple and cook til cranberries and apples are soft. Take off heat and add 1/2 cup chopped, toasted pecans.

Stack pancakes, spoon over compote and drizzle with maple syrup.  Yum!!!!

May 2, 2013

the fresh flavors of spring

saladFinally it’s here. The hedgerow is blooming at last. Nettles, wild garlic, hawthorne, primrose and violets ready to eat!  I have the pleasure of giving a Hedgerow Cooking Class at Boghill for a journalist from the UK, who is doing an article on the Burren Food Trail and Boghill’s own Culinary week May 13-16. It was a challenge, given the late arrival of Spring  this year in Ireland. But, we managed to pick enough wild edibles and fresh young greens and herbs from the gardens for a great learning experience and a delicious meal. I wanted to include a variety of recipes that are not only made from the food around Boghill but that are an example of the menus we create for clients with diverse diets such as gluten and dairy free and vegan. So, the menu included a salad made entirely from garden veg, herbs and wild flowers. Green Goddess dressing was blessed with mint, fennel, chives and parsley. The Nettle soup was light and delicious, including lovage, wild garlic and spring leeks.  Penne  pasta was dressed with a tangy wild garlic pesto. A spicey corn bread recipe from Coming Home to Cook used chives, parsley and Boghill’s chicken eggs. A blancmange was light and sweet garnished with primrose and violets. Crispy vegan ginger snaps and a fresh herb tea of lemon balm and mint rounded out this exceptional lunch. So, get walking on the paths and lanes and start foraging to make your own!

NETTLE SOUP – serves 6

Pick 1 litre of young nettles, preferably tops. Be careful, the leaves sting so pick from the stem. Wash and separate leaves from stem. In a soup pot, drizzle a few tablespoons of Irish rapeseed oil/ Add to it 4 washed and chopped leeks, 1 1/2 cups lovage, 1/4 cup wild garlic leaves.  Let cook until greens are wilted. Add 3 cups chopped white potatoes. Cook for a few minutes then add 1 litre of fresh vegetable stock. Bring to a simmer, cook until potatoes are tender. Add nettles and cook for 5 minutes. Puree soup. Add sea salt and cracked black pepper.


April 11, 2013

Between the seasons

Filed under: home base,Recipes — Tags: , , , , — admin @ 2:21 pm

sliced-loafSpring has not come to Ireland yet.  The fields are still brown, not at all like the Emerald Isle!  But, we had a good drenching of rain in the past 24 hours and already everything is looking fresher.

It feels like we are in between seasons. It’s  still cold and looks grey but the daffodils, primroses and spring gentians are up and gradually, a few things in the garden are sprouting. So, to alleviate the “winter is too long blues” I decided to invite some friends for dinner.

I don’t know if there’s anywhere else I’ll ever live where  guests come  bearing their own cheese made from their own goats and  fresh lambs lettuce salad from their early spring (or is late winter?) garden.  And, hiking up from the edge of the Atlantic on the Cliff path, more guests arrive with backpacks full of French wine and chocolates. Add to that, French baguettes and pastries from Fabiolas Patisserie,  a warm fire, a stunning sunset and the night is indeed, a success!

For another memorable dinner party last winter in NJ, a friend made a Lentil Loaf from an English Vegetarian Cookbook . I thought it was perfect for this occassion but I tweeked it, leaving out the cheese and changing the spices according to what has wintered over in my little herb garden. Pair it with roasted potatoes, ginger honey carrots and soy gravy from my cookbook and you have a hearty, impressive meal. Enjoy!

Red Lentil Loaf

serves 6, cook at 350 or gasmark 4 for 1 1/2 hours.

12 oz. cooked red lentils, 1 1/2 cups hard cider, 1 large onion, 1 large carrot, 1 large stalk celery, 2 cloves garlic, 4 large button mushrooms,1 1/2 tsp. thyme and rosemary, 4 oz. hazelnuts, 1 Tbl. chopped parsley, 2 eggs, sea salt and pepper.

Cook lentils in cider until all liquid is absorbed. Finely chop onion, carrot, celery, mushrooms and garlic. Saute all in olive oil until cooked. Beat eggs. Roast hazelnuts in oven until brown, about 10 minutes. Grind in a food processor. Mix all ingredients together, it will be mushy.  Spoon into an oiled bread pan (tin) or line with parchment paper. Bake for 1 1/2 hours or until brown and skewer comes out clean. Let sit for about 15 minutes to set. Remove from pan and slice.

Happy Spring from Ireland!


December 10, 2012

Chocolate Guinness Cake

Filed under: home base,Recipes — admin @ 10:46 pm

0201Not many desserts are better than a delicious, moist chocolate cake with a creamy icing, unless you add tangy, creamy guinness stout to the batter.  Then, you have perfection!

This is a dense, rich cake that works with any kind of good, dark porter or stout. Why not try it as an alternative to the traditional pies and xmas puddings, your family and quests will be truly impressed!  It will keep up to a week in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Enjoy!


Combine 1 cup guinness and 10 Tbl. butter in a pot and heat until butter melts. Remove from heat and add 3/8 cup cocoa, 2 cups sugar, Beat until well blended. In another bowl beat together  3/8 cup sour cream, 2 large eggs and 1 Tbl. vanilla. Add to guinness batter. Add 2 cups sifted white plain flour and 2 1/2 tsp. baking soda and mix well.  Pour into a greased 9″springform pan. Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. When it is cooled, take a long, sharp knife and slice the cake in half through the middle. Lift off the top half, ice the bottom half and replace the top. Ice the top and sides.


In a mixer or food processor combine 1 1/4 cup icing sugar, 8oz. cream cheese and 1/2 cup heavy cream. Ice cake when it is cooled completely.

November 1, 2012

Local, Fresh, Foraged and Homegrown!

Filed under: home base — Tags: , , , , , — admin @ 12:54 pm

072056055205210531The  Burren Ecotourism Food Fayre was a great success! Part of the Burren Winterage Festival last weekend in North Clare, the Food Fayre was an intimate gathering of local food enthusiasts promoting all that is unique and special about producing something very special in the Burren.  Local businesses such as Fabiola’s Pattisserie, The Burren Smokehouse, St. Tola’s Cheese, Burren Free Range Pork, and  Burren Food and Wine gave tastings. Local vendors who sell at the area’s numerous Farmers Markets, like Adva The Bread Lady with her sourdoughs and fabulous truffles,  Cate Conway with her gluten free baking and Roshan Groves with her unique products  sold their wares and some entered the masterchef competition. I was honored to be one of the judges, along with Sila Nic Chonaonaigh of TG4’s Garrai Glas and Sally McKenna of Bridgestone Guides. We were presented with 25 dishes to sample. After tasting the first few we realized we had some outstanding cooks and would create a few different categories of winners. Special commendation went to Cate Conway for her butternut Squash and Pumpkin Quiche made with a rice flour pastry. Roshan Groves won for her Red Epicure Broad Bean and Tomato Casserole. Roshan and her partner, Peter, grew all the ingredients in Fanore, including the chili peppers and lemons!  Gemma Dowling’s Quince Jelly and a Blackberry Mousse with Hazelnut Macaroons and an Apple Brack  also won. What made these dishes so special? Local, fresh, foraged and home grown products. It can all be done right here in the Burren, under the most challenging of weather conditions! The Burren Masterchef  award went to Richard Morrison of Maurices Mills.  A boned out Rack of Goat with Blackberry and Sloe Gin Jus and Braised Red Cabbage cooked to perfection.   All of the ingredients were either reared, grown or foraged by Richard and his family or produced in Ireland. Ok, this is Vegetarian Ireland so I won’t get into the details of the goat and black pudding, but fair play to Richard for really understanding what local, homegrown, fresh and supporting your fellow producers is all about.

October 19, 2012

Harvest Festival Weekend

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 2:19 pm

I am delighted that I was asked to be one of the Judges for the Burren Master Chef competition during the winterage weekend. I will be joining with Sile Nic Chonaonaigh , the presenter of Garrai Glas on TG4, a lovely Irish language show in which Sile travels around Ireland visiting Organic Farmers. The cookery competition judging will take place on Saturday 27 October between 2 and 5 in the Lisdoonvarna pavillion.  Participants must produce a delicacy of  local, seasonal, homegrown or foraged produce. Yum! I love this job!

Besides the Food Fayre, the weekend is packed with a full schedule of over 30 events, including a sacred stone walk, traditional music sessions, storytelling, and an outdoor concert in a natural stone ampitheatre.

Before I moved to the Burren, I remember driving through it, at this time of year, when the hedgerows are brown from ground frost, the skies are dull and the roads in all the villages seemed empty. I thought, what a barren place, who would live here?!  But, then, several years later I was offered a job here and my opinions of the different environments on this relatively small island changed dramatically.

The Burren is a magical place that holds life all year. In the spring, the gentians and bloody cranesbill peek up from the grikes in the rocks. In the summer  the swallows make their trek from Africa to my stone shed, emerging with their young in July and sadly,leaving again in September. The cows, sheep, goats, donkeys and horses give birth and color to the meadows year round. The hedgerows are full of edible weeds and fruits for much of the year. My garden produces year round, admittedly leaner and slower in winter but still full of greens!  I spotted a gorgeous falcon on the post the other day and a mother and baby fox on the road.  The Aran Islands glimmer in the autumn sunlight and most days I can see the 12 peaks of Connemara.

And, in winter,  there’s always a pub to escape from the rain and sit by the fire, often listening to a traditional tune. And, when the gale force winds come, there’s a community of friends planning something,  a class, a session, a hike,  a communal dinner and a festival! Hope you will join us. check out the website for a calendar of events

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