What is beer-infused and green all over? A St. Patrick’s Day dish, of course!

By Amy Elvidge

What better place to be than Boston on St. Patrick’s Day!  And what better way to celebrate (and save some green) than cook up delicious Irish fare.  Whether you want to keep it traditional, cook with beer or go with a green theme, these two recipes feature healthful ingredients to celebrate with this March 17th.  Both recipes are affordable and can be easily adapted to serve a couple or a crowd.

Red Potato Colcannon

This classic Irish potato-and-cabbage combination is made with steamed red potatoes, sautéed cabbage and a touch of butter.

Makes 4 servings, 1 cup each

Time: 30 minutes

Estimated cost: $6.00

Ingredients

1 lb. small red potatoes, scrubbed and halved

1 Tbsp. butter

½ cup onion, thinly sliced

½ head green cabbage, thinly sliced

1 cup low-fat milk

1 tsp. salt

¼ tsp. white pepper

Preparation

  1. Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a Dutch over.  Place potatoes in a steamer basket and steam, covered, until just cooked through (about 15 minutes).  Transfer to a large bowl and cover to keep warm.
  2. Meanwhile, heat butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium head.  Add onion and cook until translucent (2 minutes).  Add cabbage and continue cooking, sitting occasionally, until the cabbage begins to brown (5 minutes).
  3. Reduce heat to slow and stir in milk, salt and white pepper.  Cover and cook until the cabbage is tender (8 minutes).  Add the cabbage mixture to the potatoes and mash with a potato masher or large fork to desired consistency.

Nutrition

Per serving: 182 calories; 4 g fat; 11mg cholesterol; 31 g carbohydrates; 6 g protein; 5 g fiber; 653 g sodium; 842 g potassium

150% DV Vitamin C, 24% DV Potassium, 20% DV Fiber, 15% DV Calcium

Cheddar Ale Soup

Source: SeriousEats.com

Source: SeriousEats.com

This cheese and beer lover’s potato soup has a fraction of the sodium and fat of the traditional recipe, using low-fat milk and a little oil.  The flavor is strong and zesty with sharp Cheddar cheese.  Precooked diced potatoes will make for super speedy cooking, regular diced red potatoes will increase the cooking time but work just fine.

Makes 6 servings, 1¾ cup each

Time: 35 minutes

Estimated cost: $18.00

Ingredients

1 Tbsp. canola oil

1 large onion, 1 shallot and 2 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 12oz bottle excellently flavorful ale beer (try Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale)

2¼ lb. Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into ½ inch pieces and boil until tender (15 minutes)

20 oz. vegetable or reduced-sodium beef or chicken broth

2½ cups low-fat milk

¼ cup flour

2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided (I recommend a mix of Dubliner and aged extra sharp cheddar—go local with Cabot)

1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped

Dash of crushed red pepper

3 splashes Worcestershire Sauce

* Option to add 4 slices of bacon, cooked in microwave and crumbled on top for serving

Preparation

  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add onion and cook, stirring until softened (3 minute).  Add beer; bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes.  Add potatoes, broth, and crushed red pepper; cover and return to a boil.  Reduced the heat to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender (4 minutes).  Remove from the heat and mash the potatoes with a potato masher to the desired consistency.
  2. Whisk together milk and flour and add to the soup.  Bring to a simmer over medium high heat and cook until thickened (3 minutes).  Remove from heat and stir in 1 ¾ cups Cheddar and Worcestershire Sauce, stir until melted.  Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with remaining ¼ cup of cheese and bell pepper.

Nutrition

Per Serving: 389 calories; 12 g fat; 32 mg cholesterol; 50 g carbohydrates; 16 g protein; 5 g fiber; 408 mg sodium; 238 mg potassium

34% DV Calcium, 32% DV Vitamin C; 19% DV Vitamin A

Amy Elvidge is a first year, 1/4 Irish individual who can’t wait to experience St. Patrick’s Day in traditional Boston.

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