In case you missed it, St. Patrick’s Day is coming. I know this because my Facebook feed is full of preparations. I haven’t even dared to open Pinterest lately for fear of green splatter rolling off the screen and onto my sweater. It seems like people are a little extra excited about St. Patrick’s Day this year, Irish or no. I can’t say I blame them. Those of us in the perpetual snow belt this winter are ready for a little green. But is St. Patrick’s Day really that big a deal? Do I have to make sugar cookies (let’s face it, they’re a huge pain in the patootie)?!
In case you don’t know, St. Patrick’s Day began as a celebration of St. Patrick, who legend holds was largely responsible for bringing Catholicism to Ireland (that’s what was meant by driving the snakes out, and that’s all I’m gonna say about THAT). Over time, as so often is the case in a world full of people who are ready to celebrate something, St. Patrick’s Day has come to be a celebration of all things Irish, of leprechauns (magic and luck), and of green food (beer). So I guess we get to the sugar cookies by way of the green food thing and if you make them in the shape of clovers you get to cover all those bases. Personally, I’m not Irish, but I can get down with some Irish music, and if celebrating St. Patrick’s Day will bring a little joy into the slowly melting landscape, I’m all for it, but I’m not making sugar cookies (yes, I am that mean and that stubborn). My daughter has already asked what we’re doing for St. Patrick’s Day. In her mind, we must have a plan for all of these holidays.
So I’m thinking about a few courses of action, because honestly I could use a little celebration pick me up as well. Our Baby Steps styled St. Patricks Day may include Irish cultural fun, “going green” activities, and LOTS of green food (insert evil nutritious laugh here). For the cultural part I figure we’ll listen to Irish music all day. I have some traditional stuff that I bought years ago and if we get weary of that, there’s always Pandora – pretty sure they’ll be rockin’ the Irish and Celtic playlists that day. We’ll also learn about the history of the day, because I used to teach history and I’m annoying that way.
We’ll wear some green, but I also thought maybe we’d go a little greener. We’ll plant some seeds, maybe including some clover to be fun. We’ll recycle some trash into treasures (they made robots with cans, serious re-users my kids are). Perhaps we’ll pull out the fairy houses we started working on in the fall and see if we can’t incorporate our recycled treasures there.
And then there’s the food… could there be a holiday that’s more of a food whack Mom’s dream than St. Patrick’s Day? Mercy no don’t make cupcakes and color them green with food coloring. Prepare food that is naturally green and maximize that holiday participation advantage. They’ll do anything to celebrate a holiday, right? You don’t need no stinking food coloring (see why here). You’ve got green food. In case you think I’m nuts, I’ll give you a list of links. This is one of those moments when it’s all the marketing, especially if you have little ones. Talk about leprechauns, talk about clover, talk about everything green and then put it in your mouth. Yum.
Real Green Dishes – No Food Coloring Required
1. St. Patrick’s Smoothie – Easy, delicious, nutritious and a winner with all ages. You don’t need a shamrock shake. We’ve got more than one of these. Search on “green smoothie” if you want some other options. What a great way to say “Top ‘O the Mornin.'”
2. Roasted Cabbage – Green and traditional. Works for us!
3. Kale Salad – Pretty amazingly green, right?
4. Broccoli and Snap Pea Varia-Bowl – so many delicious green, springy, lucky veggies.
5. Company Good Pea Soup – So easy, so yummy, and so very very green.
6. Simple, Not Plain Green Beans – Includes advice on getting little people to eat them. ;-)
7. Herbed Zucchini Rice – This one’s green AND really fast.
8. Zucchini Noodles – Serve with some pesto and you’ve got a super green delish dish!
9. Broccoli Neatballs – These little suckers are so flexible. Eat them with everything.
10. Non-Dairy Creamed Kale – Don’t mind the nutcracker. I swear he’s not looking at you…
11. Food Hangover Kale Smoothie - In case green beer is a part of your St. Pat’s requirements, this might work wonders for the adults. Kids love it. What a great way to end a green celebration!
12. Zucchini Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies – If you do have the baking urge, why not make these truly green cookies. We love them!
There you have it folks – 12 ideas for green food to celebrate whatever part of St. Patrick’s Day rings your bells. Hope you and yours are finding plenty of nourishment and magic as the seasons begin to turn.