We're counting down the days until the weekend filled with pots of gold, green hats and, of course, leprechauns. We are determined, however, not to spoil our progress on this year's health goals. To beat the calories, fat and sugar that always seems to follow holidays, we found seven traditional Irish recipes for St. Patrick's Day with a healthy spin (including Irish coffee!) if you decide to stay in instead of braving the streets and restaurants adorned with green ribbon.
Brown soda bread
Give this whole wheat version a spin! If you, or your guests, tend to fill up on bread, try this recipe out which substitutes a portion of the traditional white flour with whole wheat flour and oats. Remember, soda bread uses baking soda to rise instead of yeast, so expect a different consistency if you are not used to soda bread.
Get ready for the first course of soup! In case you do not want to spend the entire day in the kitchen, you can purchase pre-cooked diced potatoes from the grocery store, but you cannot always control the additives. We suggest taking the extra 20 minutes and dicing and cooking them yourself. We also like the reader's suggestion to kick it up a knotch with a few dashes of cayenne pepper, which can help you digest and metabolize your holiday meal and any "toxins" you might be enjoying.
Beef and Guinness stew
Fair warning, this recipe takes over two hours to prepare. With plenty of vegetables and a dose of Guinness, your guests will not be able to tell you opted for healthier substitutions, such as the beef broth with lower sodium and fat levels and the trimmed chuck roast. As an extra tip, when selected beer for your gathering, Guinness is a good choice for your guests to sip and enjoy throughout the day instead of loading up on high-calorie lighter beer that will not fill them up.
Corned beef hash
With all the red meat today, it's easy to get unhealthy very quickly. This healthy version of the traditional Irish dish is both low in calories and diabetic friendly, as well as high in potassium to give your guests the energy they need to celebrate the holiday weekend into the night. An important tip at the bottom of the recipe, make sure to select lean corned beef, which has one gram of fat per ounce compared to the regular cut that has five grams of fat.
Red potato colcannon
Every Irish meal needs a potato and cabbage-based side! The trick with keeping these ingredients healthy in your meal are to take it easy on what you add into them. This recipe uses low-fat milk and very little butter, but still keeps its flavor.
Mini shepherd's pies
For your vegetarian guests, substitute the beef with their meat-substitute of choice. If you are searching for something with the same consistency try ground soy, but make sure to double check the ingredients in case you have vegan guests as some substitutes may still contain milk. We love the squash topping!
Definitely our favorite of the recipes, you can make this as "strong" as you like, depending on your definition.