Each year we hold a St. Patrick’s Day celebration – with the entire event centered around a grand Irish dinner. There is no better way to celebrate an Irish festivity than by creating a feast any Irishman would be honored to sit down to. Irish food has a tendency to be a little hearty and may not fair well with your waistline. However, healthy Irish food is plentiful if you know the right recipes. Here are my top three favorite Irish recipes that won’t leave you with a sense of guilt.

Dressed Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is an Irish staple and it has some fantastic health benefits that are often overlooked. Sauerkraut is actually considered a SuperFood by many and is an immune booster loaded with phytochemicals. These phytochemicals (which are produced during fermentation) are natural immune boosters. Sauerkraut is also a cancer fighter, flu fighter, and digestive aide. So why not get a heaping plate of all these amazing benefits? Here is my favorite dressed sauerkraut recipe. It takes the traditional pork sausage and replaces it with  chicken sausage.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4-5 links of chicken sausage cut into inch thick slices (organic if available)
  • 1 medium organic yellow onion sliced
  • 3 medium organic Yukon Gold potatoes cut into 1/4th inch pieces.
  • 1 1/2 cups organic sauerkraut (can be fresh or canned_
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine of your choosing
  • 1 teaspoon cracked peppercorn or black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1-2 bay leaves

Directions:

  1. Oil a skillet and slightly grill the onions until tender. You will notice the onions start to turn transparent when ready.
  2. Add in chicken and cook for 3 minutes until pieces start to slightly brown.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.
  4. Turn down heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and remove bay leaves and serve.

Ploughman’s Lunch Platter

The working Irishman knows how to eat on the go. You can make a nice finger food tray or individual platters for a healthy and visually appealing meal option. The Ploughman’s Lunch Platter is courtesy of Cooking Light.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 3 (3-ounce) links chicken apple sausage, cooked and sliced diagonally
  • 4 ounces reduced-fat cheddar cheese (such as Kerrygold), sliced
  • slices Brown Soda Bread, each cut into quarters
  • 2 ounces cornichons
  • 3/4 cup Tomato Chutney

Directions:

  1. Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring well.
  2. Slowly drizzle oil into vinegar mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk.
  3. Add lettuce; toss to coat.
  4. Arrange salad on a platter with sausage, cheese, Brown Soda Bread, and cornichons.
  5. Place Tomato Chutney in a bowl; add to platter.

Shepherd’s Pie Vegetarian Style

For the vegetarians celebrating St. Patrick’s Day – you won’t be left out. This tasty vegetarian take on a traditional Shepherd’s Pie is fantastic.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound organic Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large organic yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded organic carrot
  • 3/4 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 14-ounce can vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked or canned or prepared lentils

Directions:

  1. Boil potatoes until tender.
  2. Add milk, lemon juice, pepper, butter, and half the salt.
  3. Mash potatoes and set aside.
  4. Add onions and carrots to a saucepan and about a tablespoon of water.
  5. Cook until tender about 5 minutes.
  6. Add in corn, thyme, and remaining salt.
  7. Cook for about two minutes stirring constantly.
  8. Add in flour and coat veggies. Stir in broth and lentils and cook for about 3 minutes stirring consistently
  9. Pour broth mixture into 8 inch broiler safe baking dish and top with mashed potatoes.
  10. Place in broiler and broil for 7-10 minutes turning halfway through.
  11. Pie is done when the mashed potatoes begin to brown. Serve and enjoy!

Do you prepare a traditional Irish feast for your St. Patrick’s Day celebration? If so, what is your favorite dish?