Being on a diet doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy food and have fun preparing festive, healthy meals. Have a guilt-free (and tasty) fun this St. Patrick’s Day with three simple, Irish-inspired recipes that will keep you on track and maintaining your weight loss.
Black Currant Cider Sparkler
Start your Irish celebration off with this bright, refreshing, and diet-friendly non-alcoholic sparkler that will pair well with your savory Irish meal. The trick to keeping this spritzer healthy is choosing a “no added sugars” juice. Steer clear of juice cocktails, as they are mostly sugar and no fruit.
1. Combine black currant juice and lemon juice. Add sparkling cider. Divide between 2 glasses, and garnish each with a lemon peel.
Corned Beef and Root Vegetable Hash
This weight-loss friendly, hearty meal combines two proteins, and starchy vegetables and onion for the perfect, easy-to-make St. Patrick’s Day meal.
1. In a large saucepan, bring stock, potatoes, carrots, parsnips and turnips to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until just tender, about 6 minutes. Drain and keep 1/2 cup liquid; set aside.
2. While your vegetables are coming to a boil, heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the boiled vegetables and the reserved 1/2-cup cooking liquid. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are browned, about 25 minutes. Stir in corned beef and mustard.
3. Serve with two over-medium eggs on top and season with pepper.
Irish Soda Bread
We know carbs get a bad rep, but what’s great about this Irish soda bread recipe is it uses healthy, good-for-you ingredients such as raisins, caraway seeds and wheat bran. And instead of creating a loaf, this soda bread recipe uses individual serving sizes to keep your diet and weight loss on track.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and use parchment paper to line a baking sheet. Mix milk and vinegar in a small bowl, and let stand until thickened, about 5 minutes.
2. Whisk together flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl. Cut in unsalted butter with either a pastry cutter or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add bran, caraway seeds and raisins; stir to distribute.
3. Pour milk mixture into flour mixture; stir until dough just holds together but is still sticky. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into 16 equal pieces and, with floured hands, roll each into a ball. Transfer the balls to a parchment-lined baking sheet in 4 rows of 4, making sure each dough ball is touching the ones around it. With the tip of a paring knife, cut a 1/4-inch-deep X on each ball. Because the pull-apart rolls are smaller than a full loaf, the baking time is cut in half. Cool to room temperature before serving with plenty of salted Irish butter.
*All recipes are compliments of MarthaStewart.com