Colour the dinner table green for St. Patrick’s Day

There are so many beautiful shades of green — especially when it comes to food.

Sometimes we need a theme to freshen things up in the kitchen and in our menus. Have some fun as St. Patrick’s Day approaches by incorporating green into your food.

Along with the more common produce such as lettuce, cucumber or celery, try stepping out of the box and adding some less common green to grace your plate.

Here are some suggestions:

Avocado

Avocados are trending in the produce isle. We have loved them all whirled up into guacamole for years, but now these fruits (yes a fruit, not a vegetable) are showing up in salads, sliced as a main course garnish and in smoothies. Often referred to as a superfood, avocados offer nearly 20 vitamins and minerals and are high in good monounsaturated fat, which helps to lower bad cholesterol. I am learning to like avocado in a morning smoothie. It’s very different, but refreshing and healthy.

Green smoothie

  • 1 c. chopped romaine lettuce or any dark green lettuce 250 mL
  • 1⁄2 c. baby spinach 125 mL
  • 1 mint spring, with stem, optional
  • 1⁄2 avocado
  • 1/4 c. fresh squeezedlemon juice 60 mL
  • 1⁄4 c. ice cubes 60 mL
  • 1 c. water 250 mL

Optional, sweeten with a sprinkle of stevia or sugar to taste.

Place the ingredients in a blender, and mix on high until bubbly and smooth. Add more ice cubes if you want. Makes one large or two small glasses.

Source: The Plant Paradox Cookbook by Steven Gundry.

Lime

The pleasant zing that a squeeze of lime adds to food or drink is phenomenal. It is also a great source of vitamin C. This sparkling citrus drink really hits the spot when you are craving a sugar-filled pop or as a non-alcoholic cocktail.

Use this combination in a St. Patrick’s Day toast.

My favorite toast is, “may the road rise up to meet you and the wind be always at your back.” Cheers.

Citrus soda

  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Juice of one lime
  • Zest of half an orange
  • A sprinkle of stevia or sugarfor sweetness
  • 2 c. sparkling water 500 mL

Combine the lemon juice, lime juice and orange zest in a large glass. Add a touch of stevia or sugar and stir. Add about a 1/4 c. sparkling water and stir. Add ice if desired and then fill the glass with the remaining water.

Garnish with a lime wedge or some fresh mint leaves. Makes one large or two small glasses.

Note: You can increase the ingredient measures and make the drink in a pitcher. You could even add some spirits of your choice if you want a real kick. It’s a tasty mix with gin or vodka. Source: The Plant Paradox Cookbook by Steven Gundry

Dill

Fresh dill is now commonly found in grocery stores all year-round. I started growing some in a pot so I can snip the fresh stalks all winter. You can also use frozen dill greens. Try this combination to serve with fresh vegetables, ripple chips or crackers of your choice.

Creamy dill dip

  • 1 pkg. (250 g) Philadelphia brick cream cheese, softened
  • 1 c. finely chopped dill pickles, with 1 tbsp. pickle juice 250 mL
  • 1/2 c. sour cream 125 mL
  • 1 tbsp. fresh chopped orfrozen dill weed 15 mL

Mix ingredients until blended.

Refrigerate for 30 minutes and then serve with fresh-cut vegetables or chips of your choice. It pairs well with green beer.

Source: www.kraftcanada.com.

Cabbage

All of our family loves coleslaw. And with the new food guide recommending that half of our plates should be vegetables, I thought that I could tweak a vegetable-filled coleslaw recipe to include many shades of green and more variety. Cabbage as the main ingredient is readily available and very nutritious.

Coleslaw

  • 4 c. green cabbage,shredded 1 L
  • 1c. red cabbage,shredded 250 mL
  • 1 c. shredded carrots 250 mL
  • 1/4 c. choppedgreen onion 60 mL
  • 2 unpeeled green apples, cored diced 2
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice 15 mL

Dressing:

  • 1/2 c. mayonnaise 125 mL
  • 3 tbsp. white vinegar 45 mL
  • 2 tbsp. granulatedsugar 30 mL
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. lemon juice 25 mL
  • 1 tsp. salt 5 mL
  • 1/2 tsp. celery seed 2 mL

In a large bowl, combine cabbage, carrots and onion. In a small bowl, toss apple with lemon juice; set aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine the mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, lemon juice, salt and celery seed until smooth.

Pour dressing over cabbage mixture; toss to mix well. Add the apple. Refrigerate for at least two hours before serving. Serves four to six.

Source: Recipe adapted from www.allrecipes.com.

Green Pepper

Pepper Pot Soup

  • 5 c. water 1. 25 L
  • 4 tbsp. chicken bouillon 60 mL
  • 2 shredded potatoes 2
  • 2 shredded carrots 2
  • 1 chopped celery stock 1
  • 2 medium onions 2
  • 1 chopped green pepper 1
  • 1/2 c. flour 125 mL
  • 2 tsp. salt 10 mL
  • 1/ 2 tsp. pepper 2 mL
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika 1 mL
  • 1 c. water 250 mL
  • 5 c. milk 1.25 L

Mix the first seven ingredients in a large pot. Bring to a gentle boil, cover and let simmer for about 20 minutes.

Mix flour, salt, pepper, paprika and water together until smooth and then stir into the simmering mixture. Add milk and heat on medium, stirring often.

Adjust the seasonings to your own taste. Makes about three litres, or 12 cups.

Sprinkle with bacon bits and fresh chopped parsley or green onion just before serving if desired.

Adapted from www.companyscoming.com.

Green apples

An alternative to a red apple, these green varieties are often more tart and fibrous, which makes them powerhouses of taste and nutrition.

They also energize the decor of a kitchen counter when displayed in a beautiful bowl. There is just something about the colour green.

Green apple crumble

  • Eight to 10 peeled cored and sliced Granny Smith apples,(or similar green varieties) 8 to 10
  • 1/2 c. sugar 125 mL
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon 5 mL
  • 2 tbsp. flour 30 mL
  • dash of salt to enhance the apple flavour
  • 1/4 c. broken pecan or walnut pieces 60 mL

Topping:

  • 1 c. flour 250 mL
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar 125 mL
  • 1/2 c. butter, melted 125 mL

Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C).

Prepare the apples, add to a large mixing bowl and coat with the first amount of sugar, flour, cinnamon and a dash of salt and nuts. Place the fruit in a 23 x 33 centimetre pan (9 x 13 inch) or large casserole dish. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar and butter. Mix with a fork until the ingredients are crumbly. Spread over the fruit and gently press down. Bake for about 50 to 60 minutes or until fruit is tender. Serve warm with ice cream.

Hemp seed

Hemp seeds are becoming more readily available on grocery store shelves. Often packaged in a resealable bag, this little seed has much to offer. It’s high in healthy fats and essential fatty acids and is a good source of protein, vitamin E and many minerals. Easily sprinkled on a salad or over cereal, I love to make a yogurt parfait with all the nutritious fixings.

Hemp toppedyogurt bowls

Fill a small serving bowl with a yogurt of your choice, preferably a high protein variety such as Greek, which is also low in sugar (check the label but do not use any artificially sweetened yogurt). I prefer a plain, vanilla or honey flavoured yogurt. Oikos brand is my personal favourite.

Sprinkle yogurt with about two spoonfuls of ground hemp. Top with chopped nuts and any fruit. Choose the fruit in specific colours, like green for seasonal presentation, although I always throw on some berries for increased fibre and antioxidants.

Mint chocolate treats

What is a party without chocolate? In fact, having a chunk of chocolate each day is often recommended by doctors because it contains large amounts of polyphenols, flavonoids and fibre, which helps our bodies with inflammation. However, the chocolate must be dark, at least 70 perfect cocoa or higher to have any beneficial health effects. The amount is listed on the label.

Also watch the label for the words “fair trade chocolate,” which ensures the chocolate you buy is from cocoa harvested using a certified process designed to create sustainable incomes for farmers and their families.

Try the mint chocolate varieties for some St Patrick’s Day flare.

Jodie Mirosovsky is a home economist from Rosetown, Sask., and a member of Team Resources. Contact: team@producer.com.

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