no avatar

Go green for St. Patrick’s Day

Elizabeth Hall, Community Contributor • Mar 13, 2019 at 4:30 PM

We celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with parades, special foods, and by wearing green of course! This year, serve up a fun and festive spread by going green with your food as well.

Go green with leafy greens

Dark leafy greens are rich in vitamins C and K as well as antioxidants including beta carotene, the precursor for vitamin A. These nutrients help remove free radicals from the body and protect against chronic disease. Darker colors mean more nutrients, so get creative by choosing a variety of greens for different colors and textures. Try adding watercress to your sandwich or wrap, or arugula to the top of a homemade pizza. For a crisp texture and nutritious kick, make salads with romaine lettuce instead of iceberg lettuce. Add spinach to smoothies, soups, salads, sandwiches and more.

Go green and festive

Cut green bell peppers crosswise near the pointed end to make slices shaped like shamrocks. Use your “shamrocks” to top mini pizzas with English muffins, pizza sauce, and low-fat cheese. You could also try a lucky leprechaun rainbow theme! Serve a variety of fruits and vegetables of all colors for a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals.

Go green naturally

Vegetables and herbs can provide the perfect green color for your St. Patrick’s Day festivities without the addition of artificial food coloring. Try using herbs such as basil to make a pesto or add pureed leafy greens, avocado or broccoli to dips and sauces. Packed with whole grains, vitamins and minerals, this Broccoli Pesto Pasta recipe is sure to get you in the spirit this St. Patrick’s Day!

Broccoli Pesto Pasta

Serves 4


1 head broccoli, chopped

1 lb. whole wheat pasta

1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbsp. basil pesto

3 Tbsp. olive oil

1/4 tsp. dried chili flakes, optional

Parmesan cheese, shredded


Cook pasta according to directions. In the last two minutes, add the chopped broccoli to soften. Drain. Combine garlic, pesto, olive oil and chili flakes. Toss with pasta and broccoli. Top with parmesan cheese.
 Recipe from foodcity.com.

Elizabeth Hall, MS, RDN, LDN Food City Registered Dietitian