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Healthy St. Patrick’s day recipes celebrate the spirit and flavors of the holiday, while allowing revelers to maintain a lighter diet.
What’s worse than a St. Patrick’s Day hangover? A St. Patrick’s day food coma, topped with the guilt of overindulgence. Stay happy-go-lucky and keep your kilt fitting great with these 13 healthy St. Patrick’s day recipes.
The irony of the unlucky number 13 in association with St. Patrick’s day is not lost on me. I assure you though, it was unintentional. Maybe.
Healthy St. Patrick’s Day? Why Bother?
I have gotten this question for years: “It’s Saint Patty’s day! (Or Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, Independence Day, Tuesday…) Why don’t you let go a little and eat some normal food?”
If you’re reading this, you, like me, have probably made a commitment to eat healthfully whenever possible. Or maybe you’re trying to start. Either way, good for you! Whether for medical, moral, or fitness reasons, I’m glad you’re here.
But let’s be honest. The days when everyone else is chowing down on festive food and drink are rough. Temptation is everywhere! Sometimes all it takes is one little day of eating what we’re told is “normal food.” Before we know it, we’re back to making food choices we don’t feel good about.
The truth is, you can enjoy the flavors and traditions of St. Patrick’s day in healthy ways by using lighter, healthier recipes. You get the flavors and festivity of Irish-inspired food and drink, without the guilt of sabotaging your healthful eating plans.
The 13 recipes below are pulled from my favorite healthy food blogs and websites. Some are vegan. Some are gluten-free or dairy-free. However, they are all lighter on sugar and fats than traditional St. Patrick’s day dishes. A few are full-on, full-fat decadent, and I’ve suggested some tweaks to make those light and healthy.
Healthy St. Patrick’s Day Appetizers
Avocado Deviled Eggs from This Mama Cooks on a Diet. These festive, gluten-free deviled eggs are slightly less devilish than the original version. They use avocados, which are full of healthy fats, and yogurt to round out the filling. The article points out that you shouldn’t make these too far in advance. Otherwise, the avocado will turn brown.
Irish Potato Bites from Home. Made. Interest. Okay, these aren’t exactly light. But the secret is in the portion size. These teeny, tiny potato bites are filled with cheddar cheese, corned beef, and a little dollop of sour cream. Made with full-fat ingredients, they’re flavorful enough to be satisfying. Just don’t eat too many!
Ombré Veggie Tray from One Charming Party. St. Patrick’s day is all about green everything. Hence, it’s an awesome excuse to force everyone to eat vegetables. Throw together cucumbers, celery, broccoli, green peppers, snap peas, and zucchini for an on-point, healthy St. Patrick’s day appetizer.
Healthy St. Patrick’s Day Main Dishes
Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage from Fit Slow Cooker Queen. This healthy St. Patrick’s day dish is paleo and whole30. While cabbage is the top-billed veggie, it also features carrots and potatoes. You can’t have St. Patrick’s day without corned beef and cabbage! Interesting trivia for your St. Patty’s day party – corned beef and cabbage actually originated in America.
Vegan Irish Stew from It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken. Jam-packed with veggies and spiked with stout beer, this stew will stick to your ribs (Not your hips!). It’s perfect by the fire, with a bottle of Guinness and good friends.
Healthy St. Patrick’s Day Sides
Irish Creamy Cauliflower Soup from A Spicy Perspective. This simple soup isn’t a healthy St. Patrick’s day recipe as written. Why? Because it has full-fat shredded cheese blended in! That sounds amazing, but it would be enough to send me into an IBS tailspin. Lighten up this recipe by subbing shredded cheddar made with 2% milk, and enjoy.
Cauliflower Colcannon from Wallflower Kitchen. Colcannon is a traditional Irish side dish, usually made with mashed potatoes and kale. This vegan, paleo-friendly version uses cauliflower instead of potatoes, and a little olive oil instead of mounds of butter. As a result, fat and calories are slashed, and you’ll still have the energy to do a jig after you down this tasty side!
Green Power Salad from For Rent. Veggies strike again in this healthy salad. If your guests groan at the mention of the word “salad,” just smile and remind them that it’s all green. It features almost every green vegetable you can think of. Grapes and pistachios are hiding in there, also!
Healthy St. Patrick’s Day Desserts
St. Patrick’s Day Jell-O Parfait from Life Love Liz. These fun and festive mini-desserts are the perfect end to your St. Patty’s day buffet. They’re super simple to make, and they look great. Switch to sugar-free Jell-O and light whipped topping to cut down on calories.
Healthy Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie from Sizzling Eats. This delicious smoothie uses banana, almond milk, and spinach. You read me right! Spike it with Bailey’s, and it’s an instant healthy St. Patrick’s day hit.
Healthy Irish Banoffee Pie from My Darla Clementine. Your first thought was probably the same as mine… WT-? Think of it as a caramel-y banana pie. This recipe is vegan, grain-free, and dairy free. It has a fair amount of sugar, so enjoy a small slice with your Irish coffee.
Fruit Rainbow with Lemon Dip from Yummy Healthy Easy. This simple fruit platter will add tons of color (Besides green) to your St. Patty’s day spread. The lemon dip’s not a pot of gold, but it’ll do. It uses lemon pudding, fat-free milk, and fat-free Greek yogurt. As a result, it’s light and filled with protein.
Mint Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Dip from The Busy Baker. This recipe is somewhat decadent – it’s filled with powdered sugar and cream cheese. But Greek yogurt saves the day (again). I’d opt for fat-free Greek yogurt and reduced-fat cream cheese. Break out fresh fruit or vanilla wafers, and dip away.
St. Patrick’s day should be 100% celebration, 0% guilt. These healthy St. Patrick’s day recipes will help you revel in the spirit of the holiday, while maintaining a healthy diet. What’s your favorite St. Patrick’s day recipe? Have you tried giving it a healthy makeover? Let me know in the comments below!