Eat Your Greens This Saint Patrick's Day

Don’t try pinching me this Saint Patrick’s Day! Keep to clean eating during this Irish themed holiday and enjoy some natural greens to help your diet efforts. When we mean green, we mean vegetables! 

Brief History of Saint Patrick’s Day

Many of your fellow friends and colleagues find this day a joyous excuse to pinch you, drink heavily, and participate in your local Saint Patrick’s themed parade. But what does this all have to do with the Irish culture?

Believe it or not, Saint Patrick was a real person and he wasn’t Irish at all. It is said that Saint Patrick, whose birth name was Maewyn Succat, was Christian missionary sent to Ireland to convert the Celtic pagans of the land. According to historical and religious texts, Patrick was born in present-day Dumbarton, Scotland with Roman lineage. At 16 years old, he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and forced to become a slave for six years. It is said he received a message from G_d that allowed him to escape and return home. But he returned years later, in his mid-40s, to Ireland with a holy mission in mind. 

He is believed to have died on March 17, 460 A.D. In Ireland, Saint Patrick’s Day or the Feast of Saint Patrick is a national holiday, allowing people to take off from work and gather with family and friends to celebrate his efforts and worship at church. People often partake to eating corned beef, cabbage and other traditional Irish foods in celebration. The first recorded Saint Patrick’s Day Parade was held in not in Ireland but in New York in 1762 and it seems the tradition has stuck.

The benefit of adding more veggies

It’s no secret that vegetables contain a significant amount of nutrients that can benefit most diet and wellness efforts. Here are some of our favorite veggies and how they can benefit you with added nutrients.

Green Beans 

This vegetable if cooked to perfection makes a great side dish alongside chicken. Green beans are a low carb veggie that will keep you on track during your diet. According to Organic Facts, green beans are also high in fiber and an easy source of vitamins A, C, K, B6, and folic acid. They are also a great source of calcium, silicon, iron, manganese, potassium, and copper. 

All these nutrients packed inside green beans makes for a great healthy side dish that can fit most diets. 

Here’s our favorite Green Bean Casserole recipe for you to try for lunch.

Ingredients

1 packet of Chicken & Vegetable Cream Soup Mix

3/4 cup of frozen, French cut green beans

1/4 cup of freshly sliced mushrooms

1 tsp onion flakes

1/3 cup of hot water

1/8 tsp ground marjoram

1/8 tsp ground rosemary

 Instructions 

  1. Combine green beans, mushroom and onion flakes in a small bowl with 2 tbsp. of water.
  2. Cover and microwave on HIGH for 2-4 minutes, until beans are cooked
  3. Add hot water, spices, and Chicken & Vegetable Cream Soup Mix
  4. Stir and Serve

Broccoli

This relative of cabbage and cauliflower makes for a great source of unique nutrients. It is low in carbs, fats, cholesterol and is a great source of protein and fiber. Broccoli also contains vitamins C, K1, Folate, Potassium, Manganese, and Iron. As a source of antioxidant, these nutritional vitamins and minerals help keep up a healthy immune system. According to Health Line, broccoli may reduce the risk of cancer, lower cholesterol, and improve eye health thanks to its nutrients.

Here are some of our favorite broccoli-rich recipes to keep your body full and vitamin-rich.

Broccoli Dip

Ingredients

1 packet of Chicken & Vegetable Cream Soup Mix

½ cup of chopped, cooked broccoli

2 oz of 1% fat cottage cheese

1/8 tbsp. garlic powder

Dash of cayenne pepper

2-3 tbsp. of water

Instructions

  1. Combine broccoli, cottage cheese, soup mix and spices in a blender or food processor.
  2. Blend on medium until smooth
  3. If too stiff, add water 1 tbsp. at a time to desired consistency
  4. Serve with celery sticks

Cheesy Broccoli and Mushroom Pasta

 Ingredients

1 packet of Cheesy Mac Pasta Mix

1 cup of water

1/2 cooked broccoli

1/4 cup sliced mushrooms

Instructions

  1. Combine mix and water in a medium-sized, microwave-safe bowl.
  2. Microwave on HIGH for 4 minutes
  3. Stir in broccoli and mushrooms. Microwave an additional 2-3 minutes until the pasta is tender.
  4. Serve and Enjoy 

Asparagus

This spring vegetable is a great source of fiber and nutrients! One cup of cooked asparagus only contains 4 grams of carbs, 4 grams of fiber and vitamins A, C, and K. Though this vegetable can be a hassle for kids to eat, it is a great side to any main course that any adult can appreciate.

Lemon Herb Asparagus Pasta

Ingredients

2 packets of ProtiWise Lemon & Herb Pasta Sauce

Your choice of high protein pasta

1 cup of cooked chopped asparagus

Water

1 tablespoon vegetable oil (or any cooking oil alternative)

Instructions

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil.
  2. Add pasta to boiling water and cook according to package instructions or until noodles are Al Dente
  3. Drain the water and set pasta aside. Preserve about 3 tablespoons of pasta water for the sauce.
  4. Empty the contents of the flavor into a bowl and add 3 tablespoons of water. Mix until smooth.
  5. On a skillet, add a tablespoon of vegetable oil and bring to medium heat.
  6. Add your pasta and sauce to skillet and sauté for one minute
  7. Add your asparagus and any other vegetables to the skillet. If you would like to add more protein you can add chicken or soy protein as well.
  8. Sauté for an additional two minute.
  9. Serve and enjoy

Spinach

This leafy green is not only Popeye’s favorite but ours as well. One cup of cooked spinach contains 7 grams of carbs, 4 grams of fiber, and is very high in vitamin K. It has been said that this vegetable can help improve eyesight thanks to its beta-carotene contents, maintain blood pressure, and strengthen muscles.

Creamy Chicken Spinach 

Ingredients

1 packet of Chicken & Vegetable Cream Soup Mix

4 oz of water

1/8 tsp. Garlic Powder

2 oz Chicken Breast, boneless, skinless, pre-cooked

1 cup Frozen Leaf Spinach

Instructions 

  1. Combine soup mix with boiling water. Stir well
  2. Add vegetables and garlic
  3. Place sauce mixture over warmed chicken
  4. Serve and enjoy

Avocado

This one is not exactly a veggie and is technically a fruit. This high-fat fruit is great for those who are on high fat, low carb diets. One cup of chopped avocados provides 3 grams of carbs, 10 grams of fiber, and contains vitamin c, folate, and potassium.

Brussel Sprouts

This miniature cabbage veggie contains a high amount of vitamins C and K. Studies have suggested that Brussel sprouts due to their nutritional content, may reduce the risk of cancer development. This low carb veggie would be a great substitute for cabbage if you are making any traditional Irish dishes.

Other “Green” Veggies you can add to your meals

Cabbage, Bell Pepper, Cauliflower, Kale, Celery, and Artichokes. 

No Need for Green Beer

If you are to drink during this celebration for a Catholic saint, please do so responsibly. But for those who decided against drinking, there are always healthier alternative drinks you can have. Instead of a color dyed beer, opt for a kale smoothie or one of our cold drinks.

Enjoy your Saint Patrick’s Day the right way by sticking to your diet and celebrating amongst friends and family. Don’t forget to wear green!

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