3 Healthy Recipes for St. Patrick's Day

When St. Patrick's Day falls on a weekday, you may be tempted to keep feasting and partying right through the weekend. After all, what harm is one mint brownie and an Irish coffee?

“That's really a slippery slope,” registered dietitian nutritionist Amy Jamieson-Petonic says.

The concern is that many days can be thought of as a holiday, Ms. Jamieson-Petonic says. For example, the first day of spring, opening day at the ballpark. You get the idea.

So keep your St. Patrick's Day feasting to one day only and you should survive the holiday without wrecking your diet.

But if you are going to indulge for one day, there are some things you can do to help balance that calorie equation, she says.

Ms. Jamieson-Petonic's suggestions include:

  • Going lean – Typical Irish fare includes corned beef, which is usually a fatty type of meat.
    “You can order extra lean for a sandwich for a bit more money, but it's worth it,” she says.
    Reuben sandwich lovers should choose turkey instead of corned beef. Also, using low-fat provolone, swiss or mozzarella cheese can cut down on the total fat of the sandwich. Additionally, try eating only half the sandwich instead of the whole thing.
  • Drink wisely – Drink any alcohol in moderation: two drinks for men, and one drink for women. Also, alternate water or a non-calorie beverage between each alcoholic drink. If you prefer soft drinks, choose ones that are calorie-free.

Here are three healthy food and drink recipes for St. Patrick's Day that will have you kicking up your heels like a leprechaun. One of Jamieson-Petonic's go-to sites for ideas is Eating Well, where you can find recipes for any occasion.

Slow-Cooker Stout & Chicken Stew

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons plus ½ cup all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided, plus more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste
  • 2 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3 pieces bacon, chopped
  • 1 2/3 cups Guinness beer or other stout (14-ounce can)
  • 1 pound whole baby carrots or large carrots cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 8-ounce package cremini or button mushrooms, halved if large
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups frozen baby peas, thawed

Instructions

  1. Combine 6 tablespoons flour with ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper in a shallow bowl. Dredge chicken thighs in the mixture to coat completely; transfer to a plate.
  2. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the chicken and cook until well browned, 2 to 4 minutes per side; transfer to a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Reduce heat to medium and repeat with the remaining 2 teaspoons oil and chicken thighs. Arrange the chicken in an even layer in the slow cooker.
  3. Add bacon to the pan and cook, stirring often, for two minutes. Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup flour over the bacon and cook, stirring constantly, for two minutes more. Add stout and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Pour the mixture over the chicken. Add carrots, mushrooms, onion, garlic and thyme, spreading in an even layer over the chicken. Pour broth over the top.
  4. Cover and cook until the chicken is falling-apart tender, four hours on high or seven to eight hours on low.
  5. Stir in peas, cover and cook until the peas are heated through, five to 10 minutes more. Season with the remaining ½ teaspoon salt and pepper.

Make Ahead Tip: Trim chicken, chop bacon; prep onion and garlic; defrost peas. Refrigerate in separate containers. Equipment: 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. The recipe makes eight 1 1/3 cup servings. Calories: 366

Source: Eating Well

Cheesy Broccoli-Potato Mash

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into wedges
  • ¾ pound broccoli crowns, chopped (4 cups)
  • ¾ cup shredded fontina cheese
  • ½ cup nonfat milk, heated
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Instructions

Bring 1-inch of water to a boil in a large pot. Place potatoes in a steamer basket and steam for 10 minutes. Place broccoli on top, cover and steam until the potatoes and broccoli are tender, six to eight minutes more. Transfer the broccoli to a large bowl and coarsely mash with a potato masher. Add the potatoes, cheese, milk, salt and pepper and continue mashing to desired consistency. Serve immediately. The recipe makes six 2/3-cup servings. Calories: 135.

Source: Eating Well

Spring into Spring Smoothie

Try this instead of a minty green -- but calorie- and fat-laden -- milkshake.

  • 1 cup green grapes
  • 1 banana (the riper the better)
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • ½ cup fresh or no sugar added canned pineapple
  • ½ cup frozen mango

Instructions

Add water to desired consistency and ice to desired temperature. Put liquid ingredients in blender first, and then add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. The recipe makes three six-ounce servings per container. Calories: 170.

If you need help planning for a healthy holiday and beyond, a registered dietitian can teach you how to fit healthy living into your lifestyle. To make an appointment, call 216-844-1499.

Amy Jamieson-Petonic, M.Ed., RDN, CSSD, LD is a registered dietitian nutritionist at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center. You can request an appointment with Jamieson-Petonic or any other University Hospitals health care professional online.

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