Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Healthy St. Patrick's Day Lunch Menu (No Green Food Coloring!)

Get a mini Irish Flag toothpick and stick it in the middle for added flair!


This is a time of year that I love the fact that I'm about 1/4 Irish 'cause I get to feel totally legit in this kind of odd way. I loved wearing the "Kiss me; I'm Irish" stickers as a teen 'cause I really was Irish! Me máthair's maiden name comes from Ireland and there's many a Patricia in the family line. Anyway, for weeks I've been trying to figure out how I would celebrate this spirited holiday if we weren't already planning to do something for Kate's first birthday. Especially since St. Patty's Day falls on a Saturday this year! It really opens it up for menus that can be served at any time of day.

I know for a lot of you, celebrating St. Patty's Day doesn't go far beyond wearing green and sporadically blurting out something said by the Lucky Charms leprechaun, so I'm giving you something just a step or two beyond that this year. :) I've seen a lot of green food-colored pancakes on other blogs, so I thought maybe I'd steer clear of breakfast, and I feel like I need to try more Irish main courses before I feel comfortable providing you with a St. Patrick's Day dinner menu. That left me with lunch. I knew I didn't want to use food coloring or make everything green since monochromatic meals usually turn me off. So I decided to bring orange and white onto the scene, too, in reference to the Irish flag, and before long I had concocted a very easy and nutritious lunch menu that you'll feel great about serving your family or guests!

Here's the breakdown and the first recipe:

Irish Flag Lunch Menu
Main Dish: Irish Flag Sandwich
Sides: Golden Greek Yogurt Parfaits, Pistachios, and Carrots
Drink: William of Orange Water
Dessert: Rainbow Fruit Tart

This is a non-recipe recipe because you really don't need measurements.
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Irish Flag Sandwich
Makes 4+ sandwiches

Ingredients:
Loaf of quality whole-grain bread, toasted
Mayonnaise
Dijon mustard
Sharp cheddar cheese, sliced
1/2-3/4 lb Oven roasted turkey
Spinach and mixed greens
1 Green apple, sliced

Directions:
Spread mayo on one slice of bread and the dijon mustard on the other slice. On the mustard side, top with cheddar and then turkey. On the may slice, top with mixed greens and then then about 4 slices of green apple. Eat while the bread is still warm!

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And, there you have it: the Irish flag!
An alternate bread option would be a spinach wrap, which is usually more fun for kids, but it won't show off the flag colors as well. Just throwin' it out there. :)

Why this menu works:
  • It's absolutely nice enough for special guests, but casual enough for those of you who tend to opt for a low-key St. Patty's Day.
  • It's very, very healthy. Nearly every ingredient in the menu is pure and natural. We love the taste of organic mayo, and organic turkey blows the processed stuff out of the water. (Though the deli was closed when I went to the store, so, unfortunately, what you see in the photos is the processed stuff...)
  • Besides the dessert, this menu takes virtually no prep time, so all of your energy can be spent on your guests!

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