While having a pint of Guinness or some green beer is a must for many during St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, for us gluten free folks it’s a no-no. Instead, how about trying something a bit more sophisticated but without the gluten?
The folks at VOGA Italia Wine came up with a green sangria that’s perfect for St. Patrick’s Day parties, especially if it’s warm where you live. (Nothing better than sangria when it’s hot out!) I especially like this recipe because it’s a fairly healthy as it features cucumbers, grapes, and apples. Also, the calories in the wine are reduced by adding club soda to the mix. It’s almost like a spa drink, but with a little wine added.
VOGA Italia Wine retails anywhere from $10.99-$15.99 a bottle, which makes entertaining a large crowd affordable, too. Plus, now you finally have an excuse to get that cool punch bowl set you saw at Crate and Barrel!
VOGA’s Sparkling Green Sangria
Recipe and picture courtesy of VOGA
Makes about 15 servings
- 2 bottles of VOGA Italia Moscato Wine
- 3 oz. Triple Sec
- 2 sliced cucumbers
- 2 cups of seedless green grapes
- 1 sliced Granny Smith apple
- 1 sliced lemon
- 1 sliced lime
- 1/2 liter club soda
- Pour wine in a pitcher or bowl and add sliced cucumber, apple, lemon and lime.
- Next add triple sec and stir gently.
- Cover and chill from 2-24 hours. (The longer, the better!)
- Before serving, top with club soda.
- Stir gently and serve over ice.
As I passed the refrigerated case of corned beef at Sam’s Club, I sighed. No corned beef, cabbage and potatoes for me this year on St. Patrick’s Day due to my food sensitivities. I’ll probably make corned beef in the slow cooker for husband and kids. After all they’re the Irish ones and I’m not.
- Sweet-and-Sour Cabbage With Corned Beef only 2 Weight Watchers POINTS per serving
- Pressure Cooker Corned Beef – 5 Weight Watchers POINTS
- Corned Beef Hash – 6 Weight Watchers POINTS
Foodily serves up St Patrick’s Day right
Foodily.com has oodles of recipes for corned beef that would be perfect for your St. Patrick's Day menu. Here are a few that seemed divine:
- Apricot Glazed Corned Beef With Sauteed Cabbage And Colcannon from Closet Cooking
- Corned Beef, Sautéed Cabbage And Onions, And Roasted Carrots And Baby Fingerling Potatoes from For the Love of Cooking
- Home-cured Corned Beef from Nourished Kitchen if you’re interested in “corning” your own beef
- Orange Marmalade Glazed Corned Beef from Glutenfreeda.com
- Corned Beef And Cabbage Rolls from Whole Foods
But it’s not all about corned beef at Foodily. If you search Irish, you’ll find lots of other Irish inspired dishes:
- Irish Boxty
- Irish Champ
- Irish Beef Hand Pies
- Irish Porter Cake
- Irish Brown Soda Bread
- and I kid you not, Irish Egg Rolls
Create your own St Patrick’s Day menu
I’ve created “A somewhat healthy St. Patrick's Day feast” menu for you on Foodily. But it’s super easy to create your own menu. Here’s how:
- Go to Foodily.com and login with Facebook Connect. Or you can create a login account.
- Play around with recipes and find your favorites to create your perfect St. Patrick’s Day meal!
- Once you’ve selected a recipe save it to a menu. From the recipe, select the “save” button, save it as an appetizer, main, etc. Then you’ll be asked to name your menu, so create a special St. Patrick’s Day menu title.
- Continue adding recipes and saving to your St. Patrick's Day menu.
And when you’re done planning menus, cooking and eating, check out 5 ways to stay lean and green this St. Patrick’s Day.
Beannachtam na Feile Padraig! Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Disclosure: As a Foodily Brand Ambassador I’m compensated for my time and efforts.
I look forward to having corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day even though it’s high in fat and calories. (Every ounce of lean corned beef brisket has 53 calories and 2.2 grams of fat. Check the label to see what type you’re buying.)
To make it my slow cooker corned beef and cabbage a bit healthier, I’ll be adding more veggies like cauliflower along with those potatoes and carrot. I’ll also serve the vegetables as the main course, use the corned beef brisket as a side dish, and flavor the meat with Dijon mustard instead of the horseradish sauce from the recipe below.
I’ve also substituted no fat Greek yogurt for the crème fraiche in the original recipe. You can also use no fat sour cream.
Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 7 hr 20 min
Makes 10 servings
- 4 pounds lean raw corned beef brisket
- 3 tablespoons pickling spice (often included with brisket)
- 1 medium rutabaga, halved and cut into wedges
- 1 pound large carrots, cut into 4-inch pieces
- 1 1/4 pounds large fingerling potatoes
- 1 leek, white and light-green parts only, cut into 3-inch pieces
- 1/2 head cabbage, cut into wedges
- 1/3 cup horseradish, drained
- 1/3 cup no fat Greek yogurt or sour cream
- Place the corned beef in a large Crockpot or slow cooker and scatter the pickling spices on top. Layer the rutabaga, carrots, potatoes and leek in the cooker (in this order for even cooking).
- Add enough hot water (4 to 5 cups) to cover the meat by at least 1 inch, put the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high, 7 to 8 hours.
- Remove the meat and vegetables from the slow cooker and keep warm.
- Put the cabbage in a microwave-safe dish with 2 cups cooking liquid from the slow cooker, cover and microwave until tender, 7 to 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, boil another cup of cooking liquid in a small skillet until reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Mix with the horseradish and Greek yogurt or sour cream in a small bowl.
- Slice the corned beef and serve with the slow-cooked vegetables, cabbage and sauce.
- Reserve about a quarter each of the meat and vegetables and 1 1/2 cups cooking liquid for Corned Beef Hash.
One serving is about 6 1/2 ounces of corned beef per serving, veggies and horseradish sauce:
- Calories 550
- Calories from Fat 315
- Total Fat 35.0g
- Saturated Fat 11.6g
- Trans Fat 0.0g
- Cholesterol 178mg
- Sodium 2139mg
- Total Carbohydrates 22.1g
- Dietary Fiber 4.9g
- Sugars 7.7g
- Protein 35.9g
Nutrition Grade B from CalorieCount.com
Weight Watchers POINTS = 12
Last year I posted 5 ways to stay lean and green this St. Patrick's Day with some tips to avoid overeating during the holiday.
Remember drinking alcohol on an empty stomach can increase appetite and cause you to over-eat at mealtime. Alcohol is also high in calories, so keep track of your intake. Make sure to hydrate with a lot of water, and try to lighten up your choices, like turning your wine into a wine spritzer or choosing a light beer.
A quick guide:
- 12 ounces of regular beer: 2.5 POINTS values
- 12 ounces of light beer: 2 POINTS values
- 5 ounces of wine: 2 POINTS values
- 1 "shot" of 86 proof distilled spirits: 2 POINTS values
But if you must indulge, try these two corned beef and cabbage recipes from Weight Watchers. The recipes come from their new cookbook Now & Later – 160 Hearty Recipes that Turn One Meal into Two (available at Weight Watchers meetings).
Pressure-Cooker Corned Beef
- 1 (3-pound) low-sodium corned beef, trimmed
- 1 large onion, quartered through the root end
- 2 teaspoons pickling spice
- 1 ½ pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and halved
- ¾ pound rutabaga, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 (2-pound) head green cabbage, cut into 6 wedges
- ¼ cup whole-grain mustard
- Place the beef, onion, pickling spice, and enough cold water to cover in a 6-quart pressure cooker. Cover and bring up to high pressure according to the manufacturers’ instructions. Reduce the heat to maintain a gentle, steady release of the pressure. Cook until the beef is fork-tender, 1 hour, adjusting the heat as necessary to maintain constant pressure.
- Remove the cooker from the heat and reduce the pressure quickly according to the manufacturers’ instructions. With tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer the beef to a cutting board and cover loosely with foil.
- Place the potatoes, rutabaga, carrots, and cabbage in the cooking liquid. Return the cooker to the heat and bring to high pressure. Reduce the heat to maintain a gentle, steady release of the pressure. Cook until the vegetables are tender, 5 minutes. Remove the cooker from the heat and reduce the pressure quickly.
- Discard the cooking liquid. Cut the beef crosswise in half. Transfer half of the vegetables (6 cups) and half of the beef to a container and let cool. Cover and refrigerate up to 4 days for later use in Corned Beef Hash. Cut the remaining half of the beef across the grain into 12 slices. Serve with the remaining vegetables and the mustard.
Per serving (3 slices beef with 1 ½ cups vegetables and 1 tablespoon mustard): 279 cal, 6 g fat, 6 g fib.
POINTS value: 5
Note: I haven’t had the greatest luck with pressure cookers, probably because I live at high elevation. If you don’t own a pressure cooker, try cooking your corned beef in a crockpot using this recipe from Family Fun magazine.
Corned Beef Hash
The second recipe is made with leftovers from the first recipe. Not only can you lose weight with Weight Watchers, but you can save money, too.
- 1 ½ pounds reserved cooked corned beef and 6 cups reserved cooked vegetables from Pressure-Cooker Corned Beef
- 4 scallions
- 2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Coarsely chop the beef and vegetables; transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the scallions, mustard, and pepper.
- Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the vegetable mixture and spread evenly to cover the bottom of the skillet with a spatula. Cook, turning occasionally, until heated through and vegetables are golden, about 8 minutes.
Per serving (1 ½ cups): 307 cal, 2 g fat, 7 g fib.
POINTS value: 6
As I travel through the grocery store I realize that another eating holiday - St. Patrick's Day - is upon us. Here are five ways to cope when Irish tummies are growling.
1. Beer - If you must have a beer this St. Patrick's Day, choose wisely. Instead of that nasty green Bud Light, treat yourself to a Guinness, Harp, Beemish or Murphy's. The dark, rich stouts have only 3 Weight Watchers POINTS per 12 oz. bottle. Drink slowly and savor the flavor!
2. Drink your greens. There are so many ways to "tipple the green" besides having an Irish beer. One way to drink your greens is to try Naked Juice's Green Machine juice. (Don't have Naked Juice in your area? Try Ocala Superfood Micronutrient Fruit Juice Drink instead.)
Green Machine has several "superfood" ingredients including spirulina, chlorella, blue green algae, spinach, broccoli, and others. Sounds gross but its apple juice and pineapple juice base gives it a sweet flavor. One cup is 3 POINTS.
I love it and have a glass of it in the morning with my vitamins. Also, I think the superfood goodies have helped keep me healthy this winter, unlike the rest of my family who keep getting sick.
Green tea is another example. According to an article at MSNBC.com,
Green tea contains relatively high amounts of a type of phytochemical called EGCG, proven in laboratory studies to be a powerful antioxidant...studies show EGCG can increase production of enzymes that protect us from cancer-causing substances, decrease levels of a substance key to promoting cancer development, and increase cancer cell self-destruction.
3. Do your corn beef right. If you're cooking for your skinny relatives you can download St. Patrick's Day: Not just for the Irish, a history of the holiday, which includes traditional recipes. But don't worry, Weight Watchers is a great source of low POINTS corned beef recipes: Corned Beef and Cabbage Strudel (4 POINTS per serving) and Corned Beef with Cabbage and Boiled Vegetables (7 POINTS per serving, which you can slim down even further by omitting the potatoes). Click here for more St. Patty's Day Irish Weight Watcher recipes.
But I loved the Denver Post's Asian twist on corned beef - only 2 Weight Watchers POINTS per serving:
Makes 6 servings.
- 1 teaspoon canola oil
- 4 ounces deli sliced corned beef, cut into thin strips (You could use leftover corned beef from your St. Patrick's Day dinner.)
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons coarse Dijon- style mustard
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 6 cups shredded green cabbage (about 1 pound)
- 2 cups shredded carrots
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- In a large nonstick skillet with a lid, heat oil over medium- high.
- Add the corned beef and saute, stirring often, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add the water, vinegar, mustard and brown sugar. Stir to combine.
- Add the cabbage and carrots and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Check the vegetables midway through and add more water if necessary.
- Season with salt and pepper before serving.
4. Get your green on and MOVE! March in the St. Patrick's Day parade in your city. Take a Celtic dancing class. Put on some music by your favorite Irish band (U2 or The Dubliners, anyone?) and rock out. Or enjoy the warmer weather - and the greening parks - by getting outside, riding your bike or taking a walk.
5. Make yourself a weight loss or getting fit personal pot of gold. This marvelous idea comes from Weight Watchers. Write your accomplishments on slips of paper and keep them in a little black pot. When you're suffering from a momentary set back in your weight loss journey, take out the little reminders of past accomplishments. As you're more successful in getting healthy, the amount of "gold" in your pot will grow and inspire you!
Beannachtam na Feile Padraig!
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
For more Five Things/Ways advice articles, click here.