Friday, March 14, 2008

Have a Greener St. Paddy's Day!

St. Paddy's is a wonderful day to celebrate drunkenness by way of green beer and food comas by way of corned beef. But there are ways to partake in the debauchery without falling off the proverbial health wagon. Here are a few tips to have a greener and healthier St. Patty's day this year!
  • St. Paddy's Day morning, start off with a healthy glass of green juice by Odwalla, Naked, Trader Joe's or Bolthouse Farms. You will get a few of your daily servings of hearty veggies in one glass as well as boost your immune system for later, not so healthy action ; )
  • Walk or ride your bike to your local Irish pub to save up some calories, gas and the environment as well as to help save lives after to much green fun ; )
  • If you have to work that day, bring in some delicious and healthy Zucchini Muffins to keep with the green theme:
Zucchini Muffins with Cinnamon-Crumb Topping
Dry ingredients:
2 cups white whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Wet ingredients:
1 1/2 teaspoons Ener-G egg replacer
2 tablespoons water
1 1/4 cup shredded zucchini, packed
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon agave nectar (or other liquid sweetener)
1 1/4 cups fat-free soymilk or other non-dairy milk

Optional Cinnamon Crumb Topping:
1 teaspoon margarine
1/2 tablespoon demerara sugar
1/2 tablespoon flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
(Use a fork to combine until crumbly.)

Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a muffin pan with paper or silicone liners or spray well with non-stick spray.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, whisk the Ener-G egg replacer powder with the water until foamy. Add the remaining wet ingredients and stir to combine.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir just until combined. Do not over-stir. Batter will be very heavy. Spoon into muffin cups, dividing batter equally among the cups. Sprinkle the center of each muffin with a little Cinnamon Crumb Topping, if desired, and bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 20 minutes.

As a special tribute to St. Patrick's Day, sprinkle them with green sugar.
(recipe by SusanV)
  • Host a delicious dinner before the liquor starts to flow like this Vegan Irish meal of Corned Beef & Cabbage, Red Dill Potatoes and Irish Soda Bread:
Vegan Corned Beef and Cabbage
2 medium onions, cut into wedges
1/2 head cabbage, finely chopped or shredded (I used red cabbage this time)
4 carrots, cut into 2-inch lengths and quartered
2 ribs celery, thickly sliced
4 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon rubbed sage
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon mild horseradish
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
6-8 ounces vegetarian "beef" or seitan or reconstituted TVP chunks (I used Lightlife Strips)
2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon red wine or cooking sherry (really adds great flavor)

Sauté the onion in a large, non-stick pot until it starts to brown. Add the remaining vegetables, the broth, and the seasonings. Cover and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes. Add the "beef," cover, and cook for 15 more minutes, until vegetables are soft.

Use a slotted spoon to remove the vegetables and "beef" to a serving plate and keep warm. Return the broth to the heat. In a small cup, combine the flour, water, and wine. Gradually stir the flour mixture into the simmering broth. Cook and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan, until the broth has thickened, about 10 minutes. Pour the gravy over the "beef" and vegetables to serve.

Roasted Red Potatoes with Dill
Preheat oven to 400 F. Cut small red potatoes in half, larger red potatoes into quarters (all should be about the same size). Allow about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds of potatoes for 4 servings. Place in a non-metal baking dish and spray lightly with canola oil (optional). Bake until potatoes are lightly browned and tender, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with salt and dill weed, to taste.

Vegan Irish Soda Bread
2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plain soy yogurt

Preheat oven to 400 F. Mix the dry ingredients together. Add the yogurt and use your hands to mix it in well. (Add more flour if the dough is sticky, more yogurt if it's too dry.) Shape into a ball and put on cookie sheet. Bake until golden brown, about 25-30 minutes.
(recipes by SusanV)
  • Keep the calories low with these festively colorful libations:
Hard Limeade
(yields 1 glass)
3 limes, juiced
Lemon/lime seltzer
Square One Organic Vodka
Superfine sugar, to taste (I like Stevia)

Combine all ingredients in a glass with ice cubes.

Green Tea-Ni

1.5 oz. Square One Organic Vodka infused with green tea
1 oz. fresh lime juice
3/4 oz. organic Agave nectar or to taste
1/2 oz. orange liqueur

Put all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with crushed ice. Shake vigorously for 15 seconds. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with a little zest of lime.

Or throw some organic green food coloring into some organic, low cal beer!!

And have a safe and happy St. Paddy's Day!!!

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