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5 Healthy Green Foods to Celebrate St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day is a day of festivities including some not-so-healthy favorites like green beer, corned beef, and anything with green icing. If you are more health conscious, there are lots of alternatives to the traditional St. Patrick's Day menu. Be creative, use a variety of healthy, green nutritious ingredients, and start your own traditions.

1. Green smoothies. Enjoy these all day long by incorporating spinach, kale, avocado, cucumbers, kiwi, or green apples. Go heavy on the green vegetables to keep calories low and use fruit to sweeten the smoothie enough to make it palatable. Be sure to blend long enough to finely puree the greens.

2. Green egg omelets or casseroles. Make breakfast fun but not loaded with sugar, carbs, or processed junk. Forget the Lucky Charms. Make an omelet or casserole with eggs, fresh or frozen spinach, and cheese. Throw in a little green food coloring to make it more festive.

3. Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish made with mashed potatoes and kale or cabbage. Use kale or leek instead of cabbage to make the color a deeper green and increase the nutrient value.

4. Minted pea mash. This is made with butter, frozen peas, fresh mint leaves, and salt and pepper. It is the consistency of mashed potatoes so kids will love it. It is easy to make, low in fat, high in fiber, and rich in vitamin C.

5. Avocado ice cream. Avocados contain a lot of potassium, are high in fiber, and contain healthy fats. Not something most people think of as a dessert food, avocados mixed with Greek yogurt, cream, and a little stevia make a creamy delicious treat.

Fed Up With Boring Mashed Potato? Try this Irish Colcannon recipe

Colcannon - a great alternative to mashed potato. Fed up with boring mashed potato? If so, try this fantastic Irish recipe for Colcannon, a healthy and tasty alternative to mash.
Those who grow tired of the same old mashed potato dish should consider a traditional Irish alternative. Colcannon, from the Irish term 'cál ceannann' meaning 'white-headed cabbage', is a traditional Irish dish. Whilst it is most commonly served in autumn and winter (due to the availability of ingredients) it makes a fantastic alternative to mashed potato at any time of the year.

In addition to potato, the main ingredient of colcannon is kale. Kale is a highly nutritious, tasty member of the cabbage family and is normally available over the winter months. If you cannot get hold of kale, spring greens or spring cabbage provides a good alternative.

Colcannon is easy to make, healthy and the perfect accompaniment to meat dishes such as stews and casseroles. It is also a delicious dish to serve with some good quality sausages and a rich gravy.

Why not try it on St Patrick's Day for a real Irish treat?

Colcannon Recipe - serves 2/3

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

  • 750g/1lb 10oz waxy white potatoes
  • 200g/7oz curly kale (or similar cabbage)
  • 6-7 salad onions, roughly chopped
  • 100g/4oz butter
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Peel and quarter the potatoes. Simmer them in water until cooked - the potato should be soft in the middle.
  2. Place the curly kale into a pan of boiling water and cook for 4-5 minutes. Drain and reserve.
  3. Roughly chop the salad onions and add the chopped onions to the curly kale mixture. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Drain the potatoes. Add the butter (cut into small pieces) and wait for the butter to melt. Once the butter has melted, mash the potatoes until they are creamy (add a little milk if necessary).
  5. Add the kale/salad onion mixture to the mashed potato. Mix thoroughly.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.
This simple colcannon enhances plain old mashed potato with the lovely taste of kale and salad onions. If you are feeling really adventurous, you can add other ingredients to your kale and salad onion mix. Why not add a finely chopped leek, some red onion, a handful of chopped chives or some finely diced pancetta or Irish bacon to your mix?
You can also add a little drop of cream to the mashed potato to give it a really smooth texture.

And, if you really want to relive an old Irish Halloween tradition, you can serve your colcannon with prizes of small coins concealed in it. Just as the English do with Christmas pudding, small amounts of money are placed in the mashed potato and you are deemed 'lucky' if you find a coin in your colcannon.


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