Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Healthier Irish-Inspired Favorite Recipes For St. Patrick's Day

My healthier versions of favorite Irish-American recipes to celebrate St. Patrick's Day!

My healthier versions of some Irish-American favorites to celebrate St. Patrick's Day!

Even if you don't have even the tiniest bit of Irish blood, you're still probably aware that next week is St. Patrick's Day, so I'm sharing my Healthier Irish-Inspired Favorite Recipes For St. Patrick's Day.  I don't remember my mom ever cooking special food for this day, but for years I loved cooking corned beef, cabbage, and soda bread for my partly Irish dad, who loved all those dishes.

But since I've been a food blogger I've learned that many foods Americans cook for this holiday are not really Irish at all.  I'm not claiming that my favorites in this post are authentic Irish recipes, but   still they're a fun way to celebrate the day.  Most of these lower-carb or lighter versions of the Irish-Americans foods that are often eaten on this day.  Enjoy!

(This collection of Healthier Irish-Inspired Favorite Recipes For St. Patrick's Day was updated March 2015 with more options and better photos.)  

I'm starting with Roasted Cabbage with Lemon, which is a dish I'd happily eat any time of the year, and it's a perfect side dish if you're cooking Corned Beef in the Crockpot.

My dad always wanted to go to Ireland, and the last few years of his life I enjoyed trying different versions of Irish Soda Bread with him.  Of course it was really Irish-American Soda Bread, but dad never knew that, and probably wouldn't have cared. This 100% Whole Wheat Brown Soda Bread that's baked in a loaf pan was probably dad's favorite of all the ones we tried.

Even though corned beef is usually too high in fat to be recommended for the South Beach Diet, once a year I have to make Slow Cooker Corned Beef with Veggies and Horseradish Sauce. I skip the potatoes to make it a little more diet-friendly and this year I'm just serving my corned beef with Roasted Cabbage with Lemon for even less carbs.

If you don't cook corned beef, use corned beef from the deli to make this Leftover Corned Beef Low-Carb Reuben Bake.

Another version of soda bread I've made and enjoyed many times is this White Whole Wheat and Oatmeal Irish Soda Bread. (Yes, that's a generous amount of butter, but I use Brummel and Brown Natural Yogurt Spread so I don't feel too guilty.)

One famous Irish dish is Colcannon, a combination of mashed potatoes and cabbage or kale, and my recipe for Pureed Cauliflower and Cabbage with Green Onions and Parmesan is kind of a riff on Colcannon. This definitely tastes a lot better than it looks, and I highly recommend it as a green side dish that's also South Beach Diet friendly.

Another option for corned beef is this delicious Pressure Cooker Corned Beef with Creamy Horseradish sauce.

If you'd like a sweeter (and more American) version of soda bread, this Agave-Sweetened 100% Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread was definitely a hit.

If you don't mind a little fusion food for St. Patrick's Day, this Roasted Cabbage with Lime and Sriracha would make a nice spicy side dish for corned beef!

It's definitely not an Irish dish, but Parsley Hummus with Whole Wheat Pita would be a fun idea for some unusual green food for a St. Patrick's Day Party.

And finally, if you do cook corned beef, this Leftover Corned Beef Soup with Sauerkraut and Tomatoes is a lower-glycemic option than sandwiches to use up the corned beef!

Are you cooking anything special for St. Patrick's Day this year?  Let us know in the comments how your family likes to celebrate this holiday!
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  1. I treat myself to corned beef a couple of times during the year. One of them is St. Pat's. of course.

    I will make it along with a cabbage saute'. Slice the cabbage thinly and saute it in a little butter with sweet onion and a little diced green pepper, S&P. Add a splash of water or two so it fry-braises. Cover and cook until just tender. Roasted carrots with maple-bourbon butter. Steamed potatoes with parsely butter. Or boxty. Haven't decided yet. And a little horseradish sauce on the side. Definitely not diet, but oh sooo good.

    I've made your roasted cabbage wedges with lemon and they are delicious. The roasting adds fabulous flavor.

  2. CJ, so glad you enjoyed the roasted cabbage! I love the sound of your St. Patty's Day menu. I need to try cooking cabbage that way.

  3. Last month we took a meat preserving class and brined our own corned beef. We're going to do that in the crock pot because our kitchen is being remodeled so many meals are coming out of the crock pot these days :-) I'll still roast up some veggies (toaster oven style) to go with it but I think this year we'll have to skip the soda bread. I use the soda bread recipe from Saveur magazine but use whole wheat instead of white flour and it's really good.

  4. Kalyn, love the look of those cabbage wedges and that slight caramelization has to be real tasty! I have to work this into the menu this week.

  5. Marcella, that sounds like a lot of fun. Good luck with the kitchen remodeling (just keep chanting, it will be worth it, it will be worth it!)

    Thanks Peter, I love that roasted cabbage! I make it over and over.

  6. I have to say I'm not a fan of boiled foods, so your roasted cabbage looks especially appealing as an alternative to the traditional boiled cabbage. Also, love the whole wheat soda bread recipes!

  7. Jeanette, thanks! I have to say I am not a fan of boiled foods either, especially vegetables. Never thought about that before.

  8. I have never thought of roasting cabbage!

  9. Pam, seriously it is so great that way!

  10. Hi Kalyn...i loved the lemon roasted cabbage and the pureed cabbage with cauliflowers...both of these are on my list now. May be i will add some mustard powder to the roasted cabbage.

  11. Thanks for the reminder that I've been meaning to try the roasted cabbage with lemon ever since you first posted it. I'm not making a special St. Patrick's Day meal, but if I were, I'd definitely want to do traditional recipes with a lighter touch. I love corned beef, cabbage, potatoes -- but maybe a salad would be a nice addition!

  12. THANKS FOR POSTING THIS! I always enjoy visiting your page!

    Common Cents

  13. Sangeeta, I like the sound of mustard powder added to the roasted cabbage, interesting idea!

    Lydia, corned beef, roasted cabbage, and a salad would be a great dinner for me! (You *must* try the roasted cabbage. I think it could make you a cabbage fan.)

    Steve, thanks. I appreciate hearing that.

  14. Love it,.. the roasted cabbage is my favorie,.. Thanks Kalyn. You did a great job :)

  15. That cabbage looks awesome! A friday's favorite for sure :-)

  16. This is a wonerful alternative to boiled cabbage - I love that the color and nutrients are maintained, and the lemon gives it such a nice pop!

  17. Sandi and Fortycloves, the roasted cabbage is officially my favorite way to cook cabbage now!

  18. Ummm!!! I love roasted cabbage and your corned beef looks delicious with it. Way to go!

  19. Thanks Pam. I'm looking forward to cooking both those things this week!

  20. That looks great! I roast most of my veggies but never cabbage, Can't wait to try that! I'm serving apricot glazed corned beef, sauted cabbage w/bacon, roasted potatoes & onions. Chocolate Guinness cake & homemade Baileys. Happy St. Paddy's Day!

  21. Thanks for sharing your menu, sounds delicious! Happy St. Patrick's Day to you too.

  22. Kalyn, I have to tell you, I made your roasted cabbage last night for St. Patricks and it was wonderful. My brother-in-law especially loved it. I also addded some potatoes and carrots into the roasting pan and it was so much better than the boiled vegetables that usually accompany corned beef. Even better will be the roasted vegetable leftovers that can be made into hash!

  23. Jeanette, so glad to hear that the roasted cabbage was a hit! (And what a good way to cook cabbage more often as a side dish!)

  24. Hi Kalyn. My bestfriend Kalyn said your roasted cabbage is the most unique food after her favovite Japanese fried leaf. I'm not so fond of cabbage but it works well with my corned beef. You're smart, thanks for sharing.


  25. Fun hearing from someone who has a friend named Kalyn! The roasted cabbage is great; hope you will try it.


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