Go Green for St. Patrick’s Day

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We’re all about celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with some green grub. It’s almost St. Patrick’s Day, and you’ve got one very vibrant color on your mind. Channel the luck of the Irish by whipping up some emerald-hued dishes to celebrate the patron saint of Ireland.
But before you go mixing up Blue No. 2 and Yellow No. 6 food dyes, you’re in luck: Some of the healthiest veggies and herbs around are naturally green . Give some of these a try!

Yummy Shamrock Shake

Ingredients

  • 1 cup vanilla ice cream
  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1 – 2 drops natural green food coloring
  • Whipped cream, fresh mint sprigs and sprinkles for garnish

Directions

  1. Place ice cream, milk, peppermint extract and food coloring in a blender. Blend until smooth.
  2. Pour into 2 tall glasses and top with whipped cream, fresh mint sprigs and/or sprinkles, if desired.

Serves 2, serving contains Calories 188, Fat 8 g., Cholesterol 35 mg., Sodium 107 mg., Carbohydrates 22 g., Fiber 1 g., Protein 6 g.

Cabbage Salad with Green Goddess Dressing

Ingredients

  • 1 small head of green cabbage, diced
  • 1 bunch of green onions, diced
  • 3 to 4 baby cucumbers, finely diced
  • 1 cup fresh herbs, basil, parsley, dill combined
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup walnuts, can substitute pecans, cashews or hazelnuts
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Directions

  1. Combine the chopped cabbage, green onions, cucumbers, and chives in a large mixing bowl. Toss
    to combine.
  2. Add the herbs, spinach, onion, garlic, nutritional yeast, olive oil, nuts, lemon juice, rice wine vinegar, and sea salt in a blender or food processor. Blend for 2 minutes or until the herbs and spinach have broken down and the mixture is combined.
  3. Add the dressing to the chopped cabbage bowl and toss to combine.
  4. Serve with optional tortilla chips, pita chips, or pita bread; or serve on its own as a side salad.

Serves 4, serving contains Calories 254, Fat 16 g., Cholesterol 0 mg., Sodium 586 mg., Carbohydrates 16 g., Fiber 7 g., Protein 10 g.

Cheddar-Ale Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 12-ounce bottle beer, preferably ale
  • 2 18-ounce bags precooked diced peeled potatoes,
  • 1 14-ounce can vegetable broth, or reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 2½ cups nonfat or low-fat milk
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced or finely chopped

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add beer; bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes.
  2. Add potatoes, broth and water; cover and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 4 minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat and mash the potatoes with a potato masher to the desired consistency.
  4. Whisk milk and flour and add to the soup. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and cook, whisking occasionally, until thickened, about 3 minutes.
  5. Remove from the heat; stir in 1¼ cups Cheddar and stir until melted. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the remaining 1/4 cup
    cheese and bell pepper.

Serves 6, each serving contains Calories 389, Fat 12 g., Carbohydrates 50 g., Protein 16 g., Fiber 5 g., Sodium 408 mg.

Creamed Spinach Casserole

(one of my favorites)

Ingredients

  • 3 10-ounce packages frozen spinach, thawed
  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup extra sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
  • 3 large egg whites

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a shallow 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Press spinach in a mesh strainer to remove as much moisture as possible. Pulse in a food processor until very finely chopped.
  3. Combine milk, flour, salt, pepper and nutmeg in a large saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking, until thickened, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in ½ cup Cheddar, cottage cheese and the spinach.
  4. Beat egg whites in a large bowl with an electric mixer, slowly increasing the speed, until they begin to foam. Continue to beat until the whites hold their shape; do not overbeat. (You’ll know they are ready when you lift the beaters out and the peak doesn’t flop over.)
  5. Gently fold the whites into the spinach mixture with a rubber spatula until uniform. Transfer to
    the prepared baking dish.
  6. Bake for 35 minutes. Top with the remaining ½ cup Cheddar; continue baking until the cheese is melted, about 10 minutes more. Let stand for 5 minutes

Serves 8, each serving contains Calories 142, Fat 6 g., Sodium 391 mg.,  Carbohydrates 10 g., Fiber 3 g., Protein 13 g.

Traditional Colcannon

Ingredients

  • 6 sprigs fresh Thyme
  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 6 scallions, sliced
  • 5 cups finely shredded green cabbage
  • 4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 2 inch cubes
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Directions

  1. Tie thyme sprigs with twine or in a cheesecloth bag. Combine milk, garlic and thyme in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer gently until garlic is soft, 5 to 10 minutes. Discard thyme.
  2. Transfer the milk mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. Return to the pan and stir in scallions. Cover and set aside.
  3. Bring 1 inch salted water to a boil in a large pot. Add cabbage, cover and cook until very tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain well.
  4. Meanwhile, place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with cold salted water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cook, covered, until tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Drain the potatoes and return to the pan. Mash with a potato masher or hand-held electric mixer.
  6. Gradually add the milk mixture to the potatoes, stirring until smooth. Stir in cabbage and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a warmed bowl and garnish with parsley.

Serves 6, each serving contains Calories 98, Fat .5 g., Sodium 80 mg., Carbohydrates 21 g., Fiber 3 g., Protein 4 g.

All Green Fruit and Vegetable Tray with Cucumber Feta Dip

Ingredients

  • ½ large cucumber
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup feta cheese crumbles
  • ¼ cup parsley
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Assorted green fruits and vegetables, green grapes, broccoli, sliced cucumbers, snap peas

Directions

  1. Slice the ½ cucumber in half. Remove the seeds. Grate the cucumber into a sieve over a bowl.
  2. Toss with ¼ tsp salt and let sit for 10 minutes.
  3. Use a small food processor to combine the 1 cup Greek yogurt, ½ cup sour cream, ½ cup feta crumbles, ¼ cup parsley and 1 Tbsp lemon juice.
  4. Right before serving squeeze the excess water out of the grated cucumber with a clean towel then mix the cucumber into the dip.
  5. Serve cold. Refrigerate any extra dip.