St. Patrick’s Day Recipes

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St. Patrick’s Day Recipes

St. Patrick’s Day is one of the unassuming holidays that tends to get overlooked. With a little bit of effort, though, it can turn into one of your child(ren)’s favorites. After all, what’s not fun about prankster leprechauns, gold coins, and lots of luck?

My kids love to eat all things green that day and turning everything green elevates our typical meals to something more entertaining. It also gets me out of my standard meal rut and fires up my creative brain cells.

But first, no St. Patrick’s Day morning is complete in our house without a mad dash to the bathroom. You read that right. A friend of mine passed on her family’s tradition to me several years ago and now it’s become one of our own. A few drops of green food coloring in the toilet turns the water green and gives everyone a laugh. Of course the leprechaun couldn’t flush the potty – he was too small to reach the handle!

Then it’s on to the breakfast table for green smoothies. This simple recipe is a fan favorite:

Leprechaun Smoothie

2 cups spinach

2 cups water

1 cup frozen mango chunks

1 cup pineapple

2 bananas (ideally frozen to make the smoothie extra chilly)

Blend the spinach and water until all chunks are gone. Then add the fruit and blend until smooth.

If you’d like to up the nutritional content and own a good blender, throwing in some chia seeds with the spinach and water will add protein and good fats. You could also try substituting milk for the water.

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If you’re short on time, a few drops of green food coloring turns pancake syrup green or orange juice into “leprechaun juice.” Not a fan of artificial food coloring? Spinach blended well with water makes a juice that can be stirred into just about anything. Be sure to remove all chunks and add a few drops at a time to avoid making everything taste like spinach!

Lunch

Lunchtime brings a whole host of green options! You can serve sides of cucumbers with the peel intact, snap peas, peas, green grapes, pickles, kiwi, or green apple slices. Hummus makes a delicious dip for tortilla chips or pita, and a hard-boiled egg died green is a fun and surprising treat. You can also use a green spinach-flavored tortilla to make a St. Patrick’s Day turkey and cheese wrap. If your children are adventurous, a few drops of green food coloring or spinach juice into mac and cheese makes a festive meal.

Dinner

My husband is like the Dr. Seuss character – “I will not eat green eggs and ham! I will not eat them, Sam I Am,” so turning “regular” food green would mean a lot of uneaten food at the dinner table. Instead, you can make a green meal that kids and adults alike will love.

Spinach Pesto Pasta

1 ½ cups baby spinach leaves

¾ cup fresh basil leaves

½ cup toasted pine nuts (you can substitute walnuts or almonds)

½ cup grated parmesan cheese

4 cloves garlic, peeled and quartered (adjust to preference)

¾ teaspoon kosher slat

½ teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon lemon juice

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Blend the first 8 ingredients plus 2 tablespoons olive oil in a blender or food processor until nearly smooth, scraping down the sides with a spatula as necessary. Drizzle the remaining olive oil into the mixture while processing until smooth. Serve over your favorite pasta and enjoy!

Broccoli and salad make the perfect green sides. Some delicious rolls paired with green butter rounds out the meal.

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There’s no shame in picking up a jar of pesto from your local grocery store. Whatever gets dinner on the table and people fed!

Treats

No holiday is complete without a treat! Okay, that attitude is probably why the gym is overrun after December, but let’s go with it.

There are loads of already-green treats out on the market if you’re looking for a quick surprise: mint chocolate chip ice cream, key lime pie, green jello, cupcakes with green frosting or even green skittles or m&ms (you can eat the other colors).

If you have a little bit of time to spend, you might want to try out one of these recipes:

Lucky Charms Treats

3 cups marshmallows

4 cups Lucky Charms cereal

¼ cup salted butter

In a large pot, melt butter on medium. Add marshmallows and stir constantly until melted. If you begin to see browning, take the pot off the stove – the marshmallows will continue to melt from the residual heat. Add cereal and stir well to combine. Pour mixture into a well-greased dish and let cool.

St. Patrick’s Day Chocolate Covered Strawberries

2 cups white baking chips

1 tablespoon shortening

18 large strawberries

green icing or sprinkles for decoration

Heat white baking chips and 1 tablespoon shortening in a saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until chips are melted. Dip each strawberry into the melted chips and place on waxed paper-covered cookie sheet. Drizzle with green icing or dust with green sprinkles. Refrigerate uncovered for 30 minutes or until coating is set.

What is your favorite St. Patrick’s Day recipe for kids?

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