St. Patrick’s Day turns March into a month-long celebration of all things green. Of course this includes things that, dare I say, should not be green, such as beer, eggs, and human skin.
With this in mind, I thought it was a great time to write a blog post to celebrate my Irish heritage and the fact that I’m now married to an Irishman, who makes an incredible corned beef and cabbage dish. Chris’ version is a Dijon mustard crusted corned beef with boiled cabbage and red potatoes. And, honestly, I’m not just saying this because he’s my husband, it was one of the most amazing dinners I’ve ever had. This year we are planning to prepare this dish on our slow cooker, one of my favorite wedding gifts.
This time of year is also a transition month from cold weather into warmer temperatures, so I want to encourage you to add more greens into your diet to safeguard your health.
Let’s all commit to adding some of my favorite greens at least five times each week to kick in spring with a healthy foundation of solid, essential nutrients.
- I’m CRAZY for Kale. I’ve devoted entire blog posts to this dark leafy veggie and I must reiterate: I am still crazy for kale! Just in the past month I’ve had it in salads mixed with pears, crumbled goat cheese, and sliced cherry tomatoes, added it to my slow-cooked chicken, vegetable, and rice-bone broth soup. (I just add it into the soup raw and let the heat of the broth soften it up instead of cooking it in the soup.) I’ve sautéed it, baked it, and blended it in numerous other home cooked recipes and shakes.
- Superb Spinach. Just behind kale as my runner-up is spinach. Like kale, I eat it raw (often times like I’m eating potato chips), in salads, omelets, as a side to most dinners, and, of course, in my morning shakes. The easiest way to insure I get my greens daily is to blend a handful in almond milk, blueberries, as well as some veggie protein powder like Isagenix. I don’t do soy or whey products because my body does not process those well. If you want to know more about the potential pitfalls of ingesting soy, I recommend an article on the website The Delicious Revolution.
- Parsley, basil, and mint. These are my three favorite green herbs. I add parsley to my shakes because it adds a boost to urinary tract health and keeps bacteria and even yeast to a minimum. I add parsley and mint to my teas all the time. One of my favorite drinks is mint, lemon, cayenne, and ginger smashed in ice and add water. If you add a drop of honey or Stevia it’s like spicy mint lemonade. Finally, basil in any dish makes it taste better. All three are not just ornamental herbs. They offer an abundance of beneficial antibacterial properties for health, healing, and nutrition. These bacteria-fighting herbs also boost the body’s immune system and each have antioxidant, antiviral, and anti-cancer properties. So eat them!
- Brussels sprouts. Topping off my favorite greens list are Brussels sprouts. I used to hate these guys simply because they were always boiled when I was younger. My sister-in-law kills it every year with home baked sprouts that are always perfectly crispy on the outside, moist and succulent on the inside. She also cooks them on the grill giving them a more rustic flavor. She simply mixes them with olive oil, salt and pepper but they seem to always come out better than when I make them. I’ve even shaved them and placed them on a baking dish to give them a little crispy texture and that’s how I cook them best. I dump them on my spinach salads as a topping over croutons or something high on the glycemic index and unnecessary carbs.
So for those of you Irish folk, and those who just enjoy green beer, I hope you will consider trying to add all of these greens on my list to some of your meals. See if you can get them all in by the end of the month in a recipe and share your recipe on my Fan page!
I’d never thought to actually eat corned beef (I used to associate it with the hash in a can my dad made me eat to punish me for disobeying one of his rules). It’s actually amazingly tasty. The texture is wonderful. And seeing it’s made with love from the most darling Irishman I’ve ever met, I suggest making it this year too. Enjoy!
Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you all.
Featured image courtesy of MusicOomph.com