Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Power Green Foods - PIH Health - Whittier, CA

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Published on March 16, 2015

Green Smoothie

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Power Green Foods

Green SmoothieTuesday, March 17 is St. Patrick’s Day – a day filled with the color green as well as an array of Irish foods like corned beef & cabbage, shepherd’s pie and much more. Those foods are tasty, that’s for sure, but may cause you to exceed your recommended caloric intake for the day. While it is unlikely that one day of overeating will ruin your diet or exercise program, it is easy to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by incorporating healthy power green foods into your meals, like:

  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Green beans
  • Cucumber
  • Celery
  • Avocado

Power green foods are low in carbohydrates, high in antioxidants, help with digestion and reduce glucose levels.

Looking for ways to incorporate these power green foods into the celebratory day? Well, you’re in luck. Here are some meal options that can be your “four leaf clover” to a healthy St. Patrick’s Day:

Breakfast

  • Spinach egg cups: These little mini frittatas are packed with protein and goodness. Ingredients include: egg whites, spinach, green bell pepper, pepper and low-fat cheese. Directions: Spray a cupcake tin with a zero calorie cooking spray; pour egg whites, spinach and chopped bell peppers into the tin; sprinkle a little pepper and a dollop of cheese on top. Bake on 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes. 
  • Green smoothie: Pour almond milk (or skim milk), spinach, kiwi, honeydew and cinnamon into a blender with some ice; blend and enjoy!

Snacks

  • Green tea
  • Green granny smith apple
  • Cucumbers and hummus dip or cucumbers with lemon.
  • Celery and low-fat ranch dip or peanut butter
  • Kale chips: Spray baking sheet with zero calorie cooking spray, add kale, sprinkle some low- or no-sodium seasoning, drizzle a little olive oil and bake on 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes (bake until the edges of the kale are slightly brown but not burnt).
  • Pistachios

Lunch

  • Green salad: Lettuce spring mix, avocado, green bell pepper, cucumber and lime vinaigrette (freshly squeezed limes, pepper, olive oil, clove, salt, cayenne pepper [optional] and whisk together), or purchase an over the counter cilantro salad dressing. Add a protein of your choice such as salmon, chicken breast or grilled shrimp.
  • Green pizza: Whole wheat pizza dough, basil pesto spread, part-skim mozzarella cheese, arugula and spinach. Bake according to pizza dough/base instructions. If you want to be extra healthy, use a low-carb tortilla as the base of your pizza pie.

Dinner

  • Pesto penne pasta: Whole wheat penne pasta, pesto sauce and chicken breast with a side of broccoli.
  • Green beans with pine nuts and salmon: For a salmon marinade, try pepper and Dijon mustard. Bake the salmon filet according to packaging. As for the green beans, spray a baking pan, place the green beans on the tray, top with pine nuts, drizzle olive oil, sprinkle some all-purpose seasoning (low sodium) and bake at 425 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
  • Salsa verde chicken: Boneless skinless chicken breasts baked in a tomatillo salsa verde sauce (look for this in the grocery store in the Mexican/ethnic food aisle). When the chicken is almost finished cooking, add some Monterey Jack cheese on top and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes. Once cooked, serve over some quinoa or brown rice and add cilantro on top.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

 

Danielle Halewijn RD CDE, PIH Health clinical nutrition manager and director of diabetes education reviewed and approved the above statements.

The information in Healthy Living Online is for educational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.  The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation, or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

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