A healthy twist on traditional St. Patrick's Day fare


You don't have to pass on Irish classics like soda bread, and beef stew, or your annual St. Paddy's Day kegs and eggs with these healthy twists on traditional St. Patrick's Day recipes.

Irish Soda Bread


Perfect for soaking up those St. Patrick's Day cocktails, Irish soda bread can be a calorie and carb nightmare but this whole-wheat, whole-grain version is sure to sustain you from the morning parade to your St. Patrick's Day party.

Serves: 16

Prep time: 35 minutes

Cook time: 10-30 minutes


1 ½ cups Bircher mueslix (recipe to follow)

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup whole-wheat flour

1 tbsp. baking soda

1 tsp Maldon salt

1 tbsp. caraway seeds

2 oz. butter

¾ cup Granny Smith apple, grated

¾ cup dried apricots, julienned

¾ cup dried currants

¾ cup walnuts, toasted and chopped

2 oz. honey

8 oz. low-fat buttermilk

For the Bircher mueslix:

Adapted from New York Central restaurant at Grand Hyatt New York

1 container Quaker Rolled Oats

1 quart apple cider

1 ½ quarts skim milk

1 tsp. Ceylon cinnamon, ground

1/2 tsp. nutmeg, ground

1 ½ tsp. Tahitian vanilla extract

6 oz. honey


For the mueslix combine above ingredients and let sit overnight. Use for up to one week.

1. Preheat oven 380 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Sift flours with baking soda and place in mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add salt and caraway seeds.

1. Add diced butter and paddle until butter is pea sized. Add mueslix and paddle until very shaggy.

2. Add apple, apricots, and currants, paddle for 10 seconds to distribute.

3. Whisk together honey and buttermilk. Add to dough, mix until just combined.

4. Form 16 rolls with a scoop or large spoon and floured hands, or form 2 loaves and place on a parchment lined sheet tray.

5. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar and salt.

6. Cut an X on top of each roll or loaf

7. Bake rolls 10 minutes and loaves 30 minutes, until golden.

Nutrition score per serving (one roll or 1/16 of loaf):

Calories: 189

Fat: 6g

Carbs: 39g

Protein: 6g

Recipe courtesy of Executive Pastry Chef of the New York Central restaurant at Grand Hyatt Katzie Guy-Hamilton.

Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie


Comfort food classic shepherd's pie gets a healthy makeover by using vitamin-rich sweet potatoes in lieu of white potatoes. Swap in ground turkey breast for lean ground beef to cut even more fat and calories.

Serves: 6

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 60 minutes


For the filling:

3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1-½ lbs lean ground beef

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 medium carrots, finely chopped

2 celery stalks, finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic, chopped

½ tsp. cayenne pepper

2 tbsp. all-purpose or whole-wheat flour

2 tsp. soy sauce

1 tbsp. tomato paste

1 cup low sodium chicken stalk

1 cup chopped canned tomatoes

1 cup frozen peas

salt and pepper to taste

For the sweet potato purée:

4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into large equal sized chunks

2 tbsp. honey

1 ½ tbsp. soy sauce

¼ tsp. cinnamon

2 tbsp. unsalted butter

1 tbsp. olive oil

salt and pepper to taste


For the filling:

Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan and sauté the chopped onions, celery, and carrots for 5 minutes. Add in the finely chopped garlic and sauté for another 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the ground beef to the vegetables. Mix in and season again with salt and pepper. Let the meat release its juices.

When the meat starts to brown on the bottom add in the flour, cayenne pepper, soy sauce, chopped tomatoes, chicken stalk, and tomato paste. Mix and let simmer on medium low covered for 10 minutes. Take the lid off and simmer for another 10 minutes. Make sure to keep stirring because the meat can stick to the bottom. Check seasoning and stir in the frozen peas. Turn off heat and keep to the side until ready to assemble.

For the sweet potato purée:

Fill a large pot with water add the sweet potato chunks. Bring the water to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. When the potatoes are fork tender, strain them from the water.

Mash the potatoes with butter, olive oil, cinnamon, soy sauce, honey, salt, and pepper.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Fill the bottom of a 9-inch by 11-inch baking dish with the meat mixture. Top with the sweet potato purée and spread evenly getting all the way to the edges. Place on top of a baking tray (in case it spills over) and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve right away.

Nutrition score per 4-inch square serving or 1/6 of the recipe:

Calories: 400

Fat: 18.2g

Saturated Fat: 3.6g

Carbohydrates: 34.4g

Protein: 27.9g

Iron: 3.2g

Fiber: 6g

Calcium: 94g

Sodium: 526 g

Recipe courtesy of Eden Grinshpan, host of Eden Eats on the Cooking Channel.

Irish Stew with Beef and Guinness


What's more appropriate for St. Patrick's Day than a beef stew cooked with Guinness? Whole-grain barley cuts down on fat and calories but keeps this recipe hearty and healthy. Plus, this recipe provides 110% of your daily needs of vitamin A.

Serves: 8

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 55 minutes


3 tbps. canola oil

1 lb. lean beef stew meat, preferably top sirloin

1 tsp. fine sea salt

½ tsp. finely ground fresh pepper

½ cup pearl barley

28 fl. oz. water

12 fl. oz. Guinness

¾ lb. carrots

½ lb. yellow onion

1 tsp. dried thyme

2 tbps. Inglehoffer Extra Hot Horseradish


Trim all outer fat and cut the beef into ½-inch cubes. Season the beef with salt & pepper

Rinse the barley in cold water and strain.Thoroughly wash the carrots in cold water & cut into 1-inch lengths. Remove the outer layer of onion skin and finely mince. On medium high heat, in a cast iron or enameled Dutch oven, sauté the beef in the canola oil. Add the onion and sauté until caramelized. Add the water, 6 ounces of Guinness, and the barley. Cover the pot with baking parchment and place the lid over the parchment to seal. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to medium low.

Continue to cook for half an hour. Remove the parchment and lid .Add the carrots, remaining 6 ounces of Guinness and replace the lid. Cook for an additional 15 minutes on low heat. Return the stew to a rapid boil and add the thyme and horseradish. Stir to thoroughly incorporate the ingredients.

Nutrition score per one cup serving:

Calories: 200

Fat: 8g

Satruarted fat: 2g

Sodium: 270mg

Sugar: 4g

Protein: 11g

Recipe courtesy of Beaverton Foods.

Corn-Flake Crusted Fish and Chips


Corn flakes make these fish and chips crispy without the deep frier.

Serves: 6

Prep time: 50 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes


For the fish

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp.salt

1⁄4 cup hot sauce

1/4 cup buttermilk

4 cups corn flakes, crushed to make about 1 2/3 cups

6 Alaskan wild cod fillets (4-6 oz. each)

2 tbsp. canola oil

For the chips

48 small potatoes, red bliss, Yukon gold, or Peruvian blue

3 tbsp. olive oil

3/4 tsp. kosher salt, divided

ground pepper to taste

1⁄4 cup fresh herbs including chives, parsley, rosemary, thyme; minced


For the fish

1. In a shallow dish mix flour and salt. In another shallow dish, beat buttermilk and hot sauce with a fork. Place crushed cereal in a third shallow dish.

2. Dip fish in flour, coating well. Shake off excess.

3. Dip floured fish in buttermilk mixture and then in cereal, coating all sides completely. Place coated fish on an ungreased plate.

4. In a 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat until hot. Keeping at least 1-inch between fish fillets, cooking in batches, if needed. Cook fish in oil 3 to 4 minutes on each side, turning once, until well browned and fish flakes easily with a fork.

5. If needed, place cooked fish on paper towels on a cookie sheet and keep warm in a 225 degrees Fahrenheit oven while cooking the remaining fish.

For the chips

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash and scrub potatoes. Cut potatoes in half. Pat potatoes dry with paper towels. Place potatoes on a sheet pan and drizzle with 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil, 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt and pepper. Toss potatoes to evenly coat in oil and salt.

Place potatoes cut side down and put into preheated oven. Roast for 30 minutes until the bottoms are browned and the potatoes are soft.

While potatoes roast make an herb oil by mincing your herbs very fine and stir into the remaining oil with the last 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper. Stir well.

Once potatoes are roasted remove from the sheet pan and place in a bowl. Drizzle the herb oil over top and toss.

Nutrition score per serving (one cod fillet and eight potatoes):

Calories: 281

Fat: 6.5 grams

Carbs: 25.9 grams

Protein: 28.1 grams

Recipe courtesy of Chef Maxcel Hardy author of Recipes of Life.

Kegs and (Green) Eggs


If you're kicking off the festivities with kegs and eggs pass on the green bagel and add the festive color-and a nutrition boost to your eggs instead. Serve your eggs with a slice of whole-wheat bread and you're off to a good start! And before choosing your brew, be sure to consult our St. Patrick's Day beer calorie counter.

Serves: 2

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes


1 tsp olive oil

1 small sweet onion, thinly sliced

4 egg whites

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups tightly packed baby arugula or spinach leaves, or a combination

2 tbsp. grated Parmesan


red pepper


Coat a medium non-stick skillet with a thin layer of olive oil, and sauté the onions over a medium flame, stirring very infrequently. Once they soften and begin to brown on each side, return the flame to low and allow to slowly caramelize. During this time, it is important to make sure the onions are spread as evenly as possible across the pan.

Slowly crisp the onions for about 20 minutes. Every few minutes, scrape the bottom and redistribute the onions so each gains the maximum amount of surface area. The onions will sweeten by condensing in their own juices. If you stir too often, the onions will turn to mush.

Beat the eggs and egg whites together with ¼ teaspoon of salt and a pinch of red pepper. Push the onions to the side of the pan, and pour the eggs in the middle. Slowly scramble over low heat, scooping up the partially cooked pieces from the bottom and redistributing the raw egg. When the egg is almost entirely cooked, add the arugula and the cheese. Stir to combine and cook for another minute or so until the eggs are cooked, but not overdone. Taste for salt and serve immediately.

Nutrition score per serving (about ½ cup):

Calories: 152

Fat: 8g

Saturated fat: 2g

Carbs: 5g

Protein: 15g

Iron: 3mg

Fiber: 1g

Calcium: 90mg

Sodium: 325mg

Recipe courtesy of Big Girls, Small Kitchen.

Cabbage Soup


This soup contains some St. Paddy's day classics like cabbage and parsnips. To make it an even more Irish twist switch out ham for corned beef.

Serves: 4

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes


1 tsp. olive oil

1/2 cup onion, diced

1 cup cabbage, chopped

6 cups chicken broth

1 cup ham, cut in 1/2-inch dices

1 cup parsnips, cut in 1/2-inch dices

1/2 cup sunshine rutabagas, cut in 1/2-inch cubes

1 15 oz. can mixed vegetables, drained


In a medium size heavy-bottomed pot, heat the oil over medium heat and sauté the onions until transparent. Add the cabbage and stir briefly, then add the broth and bring it to a boil. Add the ham, parsnips and rutabagas. Return the liquid to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook 15 minutes. Add the mixed vegetables, and simmer another 5 minutes. Serve very hot with crusty bread.

Nutrition score per serving (1/4 of recipe):

Calories: 119

Fat: 1g

Carbs: 19g

Protein: 6g

Recipe courtesy of www.allens.com.

St. Patrick's Day Spinach Cake


Forget food coloring! This super moist cake gets its festive color, and an iron-boost, from naturally green spinach.

Serves: 15

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes


500g baby spinach, washed, drained (hint: 1 large container of baby spinach)

3 eggs

1/4 cup melted coconut oil, plus additional for oiling pan

1 1/4 cup honey

Juice and rind of 1 lemon

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups spelt flour, sifted

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda (note: this is to offset the acidity of the honey)

Plain nonfat Greek yogurt for garnish, optional


1. Preheat the oven to 375F.

2. Purée spinach in a food processor; set aside. Whisk egg and honey. Add oil, lemon juice and rind, vanilla and puréed spinach. Then add flour, baking powder and baking soda. Mix for a few minutes. Pour into an oiled rectangular cake pan.

3. Bake in oven for approximately 30 minutes. (TIP: Check with a toothpick to test doneness; bake until toothpick comes out clean.) Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

4. Once cooled, remove cake from pan. As an optional garnish, cut off sides of cake (about 1 inch wide) and process in food processor to create a powder; set aside. Slice cake when ready to serve and spread with Greek yogurt. Then sift cake powder over top.

Nutrients per serving:

Calories: 124

Fat: 5g

Saturated fat: 3.5g

Cholesterol: 33mg

Sodium: 150mg

Carbs: 17g

Fiber: 3g

Sugars: 2g

Protein: 4.5

Recipe courtesy of Sammie Kennedy, CEO & Creator of Booty Camp Fitness.