Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day

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St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday known for parades, shamrocks and all things Irish. From leprechauns to the color green, thousands of Irish Americans gather with their loved ones on St. Patrick’s Day to share a “traditional” meal of corned beef and cabbage. Some even celebrate with Shepherd’s pie. Try celebrating with traditional foods made a new way for a tasty variety!

Many Americans prefer corned beef in a Reuben. A traditional Reuben is a savory snack of rye bread, corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and Russian or Thousand Island dressing. Many of my friends love a Reuben so recently I tried a Hot Reuben Dip. It was a great hit!

Hot Reuben Dip


  • ½ pound diced corned beef (I purchased this at a Deli counter but asked for thick sliced for more flavor)
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1 cup sauerkraut, drained well.
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • *If you prefer you may substitute sour cream and ketchup with your favorite Thousand Island Dressing
  • 1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
  • Cocktail Rye Bread


  1. Combine corned beef, cream cheese, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, sour cream, ketchup and mustard in a medium bowl. Spoon into a greased, 1-quart baking dish.
  2. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, until hot and bubbly. Serve warm with rye bread. (I slow toasted the Rye Bread so it was crunchy like a cracker).

What could be more comforting that a hearty Shepherd’s Pie? Try this

Low-fat Shepherd’s Pie

No one will ever know the difference.


  • 1 tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 pound extra-lean ground beef
  • 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp. no-salt-added tomato paste
  • 2 tsp. dried mixed herbs
  • 1 cup fat-free, reduced sodium beef broth
  • 1 cup frozen peas

For the Topping

  • 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-1 1/2-inch pieces
  • ½ cup fat-free milk
  • 1 tbsp. light butter


  1. In a large pot, heat canola oil on medium-low heat. Sauté onions and carrots until softened. Turn up heat to medium-high and add beef; cook until no longer pink. Add Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, herbs and broth. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Add peas, then simmer 5 minutes more.
  2. **If sauce seems too watery for your liking, combine 1 tsp. of cornstarch into 1/8 cup of water and stir into beef mixture.
  3. While sauce is simmering, bring a large pot of water to boil. Add potatoes, reduce heat to a simmer and cook until tender, about 15-20 minutes. Drain water. Add milk and light butter. Mash with a potato masher until smooth. Season if you like.
  4. Pour sauce into an 11-inch by 7-inch baking dish and allow to cool slightly. Top with potato. Optional: sprinkle with 1/3 cup reduced-fat cheese.
  5. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.

Easy Crock Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage


  • 3 pounds corned beef brisket with spice packet
  • 2 carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 small head green cabbage, cored, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups apple juice
  • 1 cup water


  1. Put the carrots and onions on the bottom of slow cooker, and put the corned beef on top. Arrange the chopped cabbage around the beef.
  2. Add the apple juice and 1 cup of water along with the contents of the spice packet.
  3. Cook on low 6 to 8 hours until the beef is tender. Serve warm.

(Un)Stuffed Cabbage Soup

Get the flavor of stuffed cabbage with a “little” less effort!



  • 2 pounds lean ground meat (or your favorite blend of pork and beef)
  • 1 cup uncooked rice
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ medium onion, minced


  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic (about 3 cloves)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup coarsely minced onion
  • 1 cup thinly sliced carrots
  • 1 cup tomato paste
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • One 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes with juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium cabbage
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Sour cream for topping


  1. For the meatballs: In a large bowl, combine the ground meat, rice, salt, pepper, cumin and onions. Form into 1-inch balls and set aside while you make the soup.
  2. For the soup: In a 6-quart pot, sweat the garlic in the olive oil until white in color. Add the onions and sweat until translucent. Then add 1 1/2 cups water, the carrots, tomato paste, brown sugar, ketchup and whole tomatoes with juice. Season with salt and pepper and simmer at a lively bubble for 10 minutes. Crush the whole tomatoes with a potato masher or fork. Continue to simmer until the carrots are tender, about 10 more minutes.
  3. Working in batches, transfer the soup to a blender and blend until smooth but not pureed. Return the soup to the pot. Remove the cabbage ribs and cut the leaves crosswise into 1/4-inch ribbons. Add the cabbage to the soup and stir to incorporate. Add the bay leaf and simmer over medium-high heat for 10 minutes more (the cabbage should be reduced in size). Add water to thin the soup to the desired consistency. Add the meatballs and simmer for 25 minutes.
  4. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with sour cream.

Black-and-Tan Pork With Spicy Ale Slaw


For the Pork

  • 1 12-ounce bottle pale ale (preferably Bass)
  • ½ teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 pounds pork tenderloin

For the Glaze

  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 12-ounce bottle stout beer (preferably Guinness)
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon minced peeled ginger
  • ½ teaspoon cornstarch

For the Slaw

  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon minced peeled ginger
  • ½ head green cabbage, shredded
  • 2 medium bell peppers (red, orange and/or yellow), thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, cut into matchsticks or shredded
  • 1 large sweet onion, quartered and thinly sliced


  1. Prepare the pork: Combine the ale, five-spice powder, cayenne and salt and black pepper to taste in a large resealable plastic bag. Reserve 1/4 cup marinade for the slaw. Add the pork to the bag and mix well. Refrigerate 2 to 6 hours.
  2. Make the glaze: Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until golden, about 2 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon each stout and brown sugar and cook 4 minutes. Add all but 2 tablespoons of the remaining stout, the honey, the remaining 3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons brown sugar and the ginger. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring, then lower the heat to medium and simmer until reduced by half, 15 to 20 minutes. Whisk the remaining 2 tablespoons stout and the cornstarch in a bowl; slowly stir into the glaze and boil 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Remove the pork from the marinade and transfer to a baking dish. Bake until a thermometer inserted into the center registers 160 degrees F, 35 to 45 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, make the slaw: Whisk the soy sauce, honey, garlic and ginger in a large bowl. Whisk in the reserved 1/4 cup marinade. Add the cabbage, bell peppers, carrots and onion and toss. Refrigerate until ready to serve, at least 30 minutes.
  5. Slice the pork and serve with the slaw. Drizzle both the pork and slaw with the glaze.