Keep it green this St Patrick's Day with healthy recipes

Keep it green this St Patrick's Day with healthy recipes

St Patrick’s Day, or the Feast of Saint Patrick, is celebrated around the world on 17 March.

The cultural and religious festivity marks the death date of Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, and celebrates the food, heritage and culture of the Irish.

St Patrick’s Day is famed for its party but if you fancy a quieter affair this year, why not go on a spa day? Another big aspect of the day is the food. Here at Champneys HQ we’ve compiled guide the healthiest traditional Irish recipes so you can enjoy the celebration guilt-free.

St Patrick’s Day food: Healthy Recipes

St Patrick’s Day food is a large part of the annual festivity and if you’re looking for healthy dinner party recipes to impress your friends, then read on to see our favourite Irish eats.

Colcannon

Colcannon

Ingredients:

- Potatoes

- Curly Kale

- Raw egg

- Butter

- Salt and white pepper

Rory Kelly, who runs The Bicycle Thief blog, recommends Colcannon as a great St Patrick’s Day food to try.

He says, “Healthy food begins and ends with the removal of any and all processed products in the diet coupled with balanced portion control and regular exercise.”

Nothing is processed in Colcannon and this mashed potato mixed with curly kale is a traditional Irish food that is commonly eaten alongside ham or Irish bacon.

Traditionally this dish is eaten on Halloween in Ireland, but it tastes just as good on St Patrick’s Day.

Broccoli and Bean Soup

Broccoli and Bean Soup

Ingredients:

- 2 tablespoons olive oil

- 1 yellow onion, diced small

- 3 garlic cloves, minced

- 3 ¼ cups vegetable broth

- 1 can cannellini beans, rinsed + drained

- 1 pound broccoli florets

- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

- 2 cups greens {you can use any greens, but I like using kale and spinach}

- Sea salt, to taste

- Black pepper, to taste

Eva, who runs The Healthy Tart blog, recommends making broccoli and bean soup to enjoy after the St Patricks Day Parade.

She says, “Technically St. Patricks Day is taking place at the end of winter. Standing in the cold, watching the St Patrick parade surrounded by a big crowd can be challenging for your immune system.

“After the parade, a super green broccoli and bean soup is simply amazing, in every sense. It’s not just warming but also incredibly nutritious, bursting with vitamins, fibre, iron, magnesium, antioxidants and tastes sensational. It’s also remarkably easy to make.”

Emily Leary, the multi-award-winning food and lifestyle writer for A Mummy Too, agrees that Broccoli soup is a great option. She says, “Green is the word for healthy, St Patrick’s day themed meals, as green vegetables are typically great sources of protein, iron and/or vitamin K.

“Spinach, green beans, kale, broccoli and asparagus can not only be served as accompaniments but also chopped, mashed or blitzed into your favourite foods to give them a green hue. Or why not make them the hero of the dish? Broccoli soup is a breeze to whip up and tastes great.”

Green smoothies and green juices

Green smoothies and green juices

Ingredients:

- Avoid adding too many high sugar ingredients

- Spinach or Kale

- Cucumber

- Celery

- Half an apple

- 1 lemon

- A little fresh ginger root

St Patrick’s Day is the ideal time to whip up a healthy green smoothie or juice, to get you started visit our “guide to juicing for a beginner”.

Frances from Kilkenny in Ireland runs the food and lifestyle blog The Honest Project and she says you can make lots of healthy green smoothies and juices.

She adds, “I've always been a big fan of green smoothies and green juices as a handy way to eat more leafy green vegetables. With St. Patrick's Day being a celebration of all things Irish and green, it's the perfect time to add some delicious Irish grown green vegetables to your diet. I love Irish grown kale and spinach and both are ideal for juicing and smoothies. Just add some celery, cucumber, apple, lemon and ginger and Irish honey to help make it taste good.”

Frances adds, “We are constantly being told to eat more vegetables and I think everyone agrees that leafy green vegetables are at the top of the vegetable hierarchy. The problem is that sometimes they are hard to eat every single day.

“A daily green juice or smoothie solves this problem. They take a few minutes to make and that's your green vegetables sorted for the day. If smoothies and juices aren't for you, adding a green veg to your dinner and lunch as a side is another way to get your daily hit of the green stuff.

“Green juices and smoothies can take a little getting used to and at first they may not be the most palatable drink. We are so accustomed to our drinks being overly sweet that our taste buds may not be used to drinking vegetable juice. However, stick with them for a few days and it's surprising how quickly you get used to them and you may even enjoy them. Happy St. Patrick's Day.”

Beef and Guinness pie

Beef and Guinness pie

Ingredients:

- Beef shin

- Guinness

- Carrots

- Onions

- Beef stock

- tomato paste

- puff or shortcrust pastry

Beef and Guinness Pie brings together two of Ireland’s most famous exports.

Rory Kelly recommends it as the ultimate St Patrick’s Day feast. Slow cook the tender beef and allow the Guinness to permeate the meat and vegetables to produce a thick sauce.

After you’ve stewed the steak and sauce you just need to enclose it in a pastry shell, ready for friends and family to eat. For an even healthier alternative, swap puff pastry for shortcrust.

Creamed Spinach Casserole

Creamed Spinach Casserole

Ingredients:

- 3 10-ounce packages frozen spinach, thawed

- 1 cup low-fat milk

- ¼ cup all-purpose flour

- ¼ teaspoon salt

- ¼ teaspoon white or black pepper

- Ground Black Pepper, 3 oz.

- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg

- 1 cup extra sharp Cheddar cheese, divided

- 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese

- 3 large egg whites

Packed with nutrients, creamed spinach casserole is a popular, quick and easy St Patrick’s Day side dish.

According to Eating Well the dish is easy to make as you just need to finely chop the spinach and leave to one side. In a large saucepan, combine the milk, flour, salt, pepper and nutmeg, this should then be heated.

Then combine half a cup of cheddar and all the cottage cheese with the chopped spinach before beating the egg in a separate bowl until the whites hold their shape. After gently folding the whites into the spinach mixture you will then transfer this to the prepared baking dish and bake for 35 minutes. Finally, add the remaining half a cup of cheddar and put in the oven for another 10 minutes.

Boiled Pork Ribs and Cabbage

Boiled Pork Ribs and Cabbage

Ingredients:

- Pork ribs

- chicken stock

- savoy cabbage

- butter

Instead of corned beef and cabbage, you can try this other traditional Irish meal that’s still popular today.

It is not only healthy but delicious as well, which is why Rory Kelly recommends trying it on St Patrick’s Day.

The bacon for this meal is not a crispy breakfast strip and is instead cured pork ribs that are served with cabbage. Traditionally this meal is also served with mashed potatoes and a sauce made with onion, parsley and other herbs.

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