Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with Good Irish Food

March 14th, 2019

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with Good Irish Food: Not what you might expect!

By Laura Ali, MS, RDN, LDN

My husband and I took a vacation in Ireland last fall.  It was a wonderful trip full of beautiful scenery, nail biting country drives and wonderful food.  Yes, wonderful, delicious food.  I know, Ireland is not known for its culinary delights.  Most Americans think of heavy, bland food, but from our first day there we found it to be anything but bland and enjoyed many delicious meals.

St. Patrick’s Day is a perfect time to celebrate the rich Irish culinary heritage by indulging in some traditional Irish foods.  I’ve asked some of my RD friends for their best St. Patrick’s Day recipes and we’ve lightened them up where we can.  These will help you celebrate throughout the weekend and host a fun holiday with a surprisingly delicious spread!

What’s for Breakfast?

Breakfast in Ireland is one meal that everyone takes their time over and enjoys. It is perfectly fine to sit and relax with a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy the meal. From good hearty whole grain breads, like these mini whole-wheat Irish Soda breads or a big bowl of Irish oatmeal, along with eggs and sausage, the Irish breakfast is definitely designed to “break-the-fast”.  But, if you are looking for something a little lighter and healthier, this 3 Green Smoothie from Helen Agresti at ProNutrition Consulting might be just what you are looking for before you head out to watch the parade.


Warm Up With Lunch

Vegetable soup and cheese sandwiches are typically on the menu in every pub in Ireland and are a great choice after spending the morning seeing the sights. Traditional soups are rather light and cheese sandwiches are the perfect accompaniment.  Try one of these delicious soups to warm up after watching the parade and you’ll be ready to head back out for more festivities!

  • This Potato and Leek Soup from Kelly Jones adds kale for a nice splash of green and gives it a good antioxidant boost!
  • If you want to try something lighter, try this twist on a Potato Soup using cauliflower from Helen Agresti, RD.


Don’t Forget Dinner

Dinner is the heaviest meal and while we were in Ireland we enjoyed a lot of fresh fish along with rich and hearty vegetable beef stews, fried fish and chips, lamb, and potatoes of course!

  • Corned Beef and Cabbage is one of the more traditional St. Patty’s Day meals, in this country. But if you are like me you never get through that whole head of cabbage!  If you don’t know what to do with the extra, Teaspoon of Spice has you covered with these delicious recipes!  Not one piece of cabbage will go to waste!
  • Colcannon – try Kelly Jones’ delicious twist on this classic potato and cabbage dish. She’s added a lot of color and made it dairy free as well.
  • These healthier single serving Shepherd’s Pies from Heather Mangieri would be a delicious way to warm up after watching the St. Patty’s Day parade!

Afternoon Tea and some Treats – Scones were always on the menu with a cup of tea if you needed an afternoon break. For some sweet treats to end your day – Dietitian Jess and Teaspoon of Spice have you covered.  Give this Shamrock Shake a try, or my personal favorite, these delicious Mint Chocolate Guinness Ice Cream Shooters from Deanna Segrave-Daly and you can enjoy a little indulgence by keeping the portion small!

Whichever of these you choose, have a happy, safe and healthy St. Patrick’s Day!


Laura Ali, MS, RDN, LDN is a food and nutrition communications professional, recipe developer and brand ambassador for the StarKist Co. She loves learning about food, exploring how food has shaped our culture, and teaching people how to enjoy the food they eat. On weekends she can be found exploring local food shops, wineries, and walking trails with her husband.  You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter @LauraAli_RD




Posted by: Julie Stefanski

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