I wasn’t planning to celebrate St. Patty’s this year…when you give up alcohol for Lent, there isn’t much appeal in being doused in green beer and surrounded by lime jello shooters before noon, it turns out. Huh.
But then I started to think of all the amazing green foods out there…and one thing led to another…and the inception of and all-green dinner party at 2pm led to a lovely meal with friends on the table at 7:30.
Clockwise from the top of the plate:
Lemon-Garlic Broccoli – packed with potassium, calcium, fiber, and Vitamin’s C & K, you can’t go wrong. Vitamin K is best absorbed with fat, so the olive oil will help you get the max benefit here:
- 4 c raw broccoli, chopped roughly
- ~3Tbsp olive oil
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- 2 cloves fresh garlic, roughly chopped
- Juice of 1/2 a lemonSpread the broccoli and garlic on a tray, sprinkle with salt & pepper and drizzle with olive oil, then roast at 425F for around 40 minutes until tender to a fork. Squeeze lemon juice over and toss in a bowl
Parsley-Pepita Pesto – High in Vitamins A & C, and excellent for improving breath odor, parsley is an awesome addition to this pesto. (And isn’t overpowering, for people who aren’t partial – like me!) Pepitas are Mexican pumpkin seeds – fantastically high in protein and fiber!
- 1/2 c pepitas
- 1/2 bunch (~1c) fresh parsley leaves
- 1 c frozen kale
- 1/2 c parmesan cheese
- 1/2 c olive oil
- 1/4 c water
- 1 clove raw garlicPuree all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Serve with cooked pasta, or as a dip for crackers and cheese.
Goat Cheese Cucumber Sandwiches – These are beautiful, easy little guys; just thinly slice some cucs and spread with herbed goat cheese!
Golden Chicken with Cilantro-Lime Dressing – Never underestimate the power of your blender to make a sauce and knock out a serving of veggies you’ll barely notice you’re eating…this recipe is a perfect example!
- 2-4oz chicken breasts, broiled or otherwise cooked
- 1 avocado
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 2 cloves garlic, raw
- 2 limes juice
- 1/3c olive oil
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 2 tomatillos
- 1/4c balsamic vinegarDirections: Roughly chop chicken into cubes. Blend all remaining ingredients in a blender or food processor. Toss to coat.
Kiwi – A word about the kiwi fruit: you don’t have to peel it. Trust me. Just cut off the ends and slice…I was dubious at first, but now I eat them like an apple on the go! Ups the fiber and vitamin content to keep the skin on! If there is ever a time that lazier = healthier, DO IT.
Flourless Chocolate-Pistachio Cake with Ricotta Marble– No dinner party is complete without dessert, but I don’t think dessert should be a nutrient throwaway. Adapted from this recipe, adding pistachios and part-skim ricotta cheese takes the protein and fiber content up a notch! Bonus: the batter is made in a blender, so clean up is easy and fast.
- 6 eggs
- 3/4 c cocoa
- 1/2 c honey (or sugar)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 c pistachios
- 1/2 c ricotta cheese, plus more for servingPreheat oven to 325F. Pulse the nuts in the blender until they’re a fine powder, then add all other ingredients except the ricotta and blend on medium until evenly combined. Pour batter into a 9″ round pan, and add ricotta in 5 dollops, evenly spaced. Using a knife, make S-shaped curves until it’s evenly spread, but not so much that it blends into the batter completely. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cake doesn’t jiggle in the middle when you move it. Serves 12 modest slices; add a spoonful of ricotta and some pistachios as a garnish.
I think you need to see this a little closer:
Gorgeous, yes? It tastes rich without being too sweet, and goes great with an end-of-meal coffee.
Lesson learned: you can plan and pull of a lovely party in just a few hours with a single inspiration. Wishing you a happy, classy, healthy St. Pat’s!