Contributed by GMM’s Registered Dietitian, Rachel Stroud
The history of St. Patrick’s Day has been long lost on us. No longer do we spend the day recognizing Saint Patrick’s contribution of Christianity to Ireland, or observing the richness of native Irish culture. Instead St. Patrick’s Day has become the grand excuse to wear green (and pinch those who failed to check the date), make green cupcakes, and drink “Irish” drink in an attempt to feel connected to a commercialized version of Irish Heritage.
But whether our celebration of St. Patrick’s Day is authentic to the origin of the day or not, it provides us with a reason to celebrate—a reason to gather with friends, cook new recipes, drink new drinks, and connect for a day. In my opinion, no matter what the occasion is, gathering together is always a positive thing.
As a dietitian and a foodie, I am a strong believer in the fact that every chance to attempt a new recipe should be taken, and that if it’s green – you have a 70% chance that it’s moderately healthy (the other 30% contains a large amount of food coloring). If you’re at all like me, and are looking for creative ways to fold green into your St. Patrick’s Day recipes and celebration, see my 3 latest Green Food Ideas below to get your creative juices flowing:
3 Recipes to Get More Green (that do not include food coloring):
Pesto – Most of us get stuck on the fact that pesto must include basil, olive oil, lemon juice, nuts, and parmesan…I am here to tell you that there ARE other options, and they couldn’t be simpler. Take out the basil and substitute in ANYTHING green. Cilantro, Broccoli, Arugula, Peas, Parsley, Mint…feel free to get creative. Use as dippings for your Irish Soda bread, or drizzle on top of corned beef and cabbage for a little spin on the traditional.
Grown-Up Grilled Cheese – My life changed the day someone suggested I put pickles on top of Grilled Cheese. Disclaimer: I’m not even a big pickle fan. I saw the suggestion as adulterating something simple and delicious and wanted nothing to do with it for the first 5 times it was suggested. And then…the 6th time came. They’re glorious. Some dill pickle slices on top of a classic grilled cheese sandwich are the perfect addition to your St Patrick’s Day dinner or appetizer spread. Consider cutting them into small squares and placing a pickle round on top with a toothpick through the center.
Roasty Toasty Broccoli – Calling all vegetable haters! Would you eat broccoli if it crunched like a pastry and was as sweet as fruit? Broccoli has natural sugars in it that come out and caramelize when exposed to high temperatures and a little extra help. Cut broccoli into spears, toss in olive oil, sprinkle with a dash of salt, and a pinch of sugar. Roast in a 400 degree oven for 10-12 minutes or until the tips are brown and crisp, and then I dare you to refrain from eating them off the pan.