HCA Midwest Health - February 27, 2023
by Bana Jobe

A granddaughter prepares a dinner with her grandmother.

These easy and fun St. Patrick's Day recipes will brighten up the holiday.

March 17 will be here before you know it. Do you have your St. Patrick's Day meal plan lined up?

If not — or if you've never made something special for this time of year — it may be time to start a new tradition. Irish history has brought generations of treasured dishes, dating millennia before the first potato was believed to have existed there. While Ireland may be known for its tubers its culinary culture is diverse, far-reaching and at times, downright indulgent.

So, if you don't know where to start with your own home-cooked celebrations, don't worry. Follow along with these healthy St. Patrick's Day recipes.

1. Lemon Irish pancakes

Start your day off with these rollable crepe-like pancakes. Coming from a blogger known as the "Irish-American Mom," this St. Patrick's Day recipe is lighter than the stack of thick pancakes many Americans know and love. Instead, these pancakes are thin and lemony for a bright, healthy addition to your morning. Roll them up and dig in — no syrup needed!

2. Whole wheat Irish soda bread

When you Google "St. Patrick's Day recipes," soda bread is among the first dishes that'll pop up. While the Irish aren't thought to have created this non-yeasted bread — that credit goes to Native Americans — Ireland did help to make it a global phenomenon. In the early 1800s, this classic dish became popular because it included the basic essentials most people had in their kitchens: Baking soda, flour and buttermilk.

Whip up yours with this recipe from the American Diabetes Association, which features a healthier take on the original by using whole-wheat flour, golden raisins and low-fat buttermilk. Since it's not yeasted, there's no rising time needed. Just mix, bake and enjoy!

3. Vegetarian shepherd's pie

From the website EatingWell.com, this healthy, yet savory pie packs in veggies, spices and lentils for a perfect St. Patrick's Day dinner. It can be a little heavy on prep time, though, so shop for ingredients ahead of time, and aim to make the filling the day before you bake the pie. This classic and hearty meal needs no fancy plating, but if you've got mini cast irons, definitely use them! They can add that special little touch to the table.

4. Irish colcannon and thyme leaf soup

Colcannon is a delightful and traditional Irish combo of potatoes and kale or cabbage. This colcannon recipe includes cabbage, but consider adding or substituting kale for some extra color and flavor. With 130 calories per serving and more than 4 grams each of fiber and protein, this dish makes a great addition to your menu. It's perfect for those climates where it's still a little chilly come mid-March.

5. Mint chocolate double layer cake

If you're looking to end the day with a sweet, green treat, try this mint chocolate cake. Calling for spelt or whole-wheat flour, yogurt and a sugar-free homemade frosting, this recipe delivers a unique and satisfying extravagance you can feel good about.

Honoring St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day has a rich history that was originally celebrated with feasts and religious ceremonies in remembrance of St. Patrick. Many of these recipes take inspiration from meals of the past and are meant to honor Irish traditions with great food that's also good for you. With these delicious St. Patrick's Day recipes, you're sure to find one that may just become your family's next favorite tradition.

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