We’re all about celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with some green grub. We also strongly prefer healthy recipes. And sorry, folks — that dyed green beer and bagel aren’t winning any health awards. (In fact, that food coloring may have some not-so-great side effects.) Here are 32 recipes to celebrate being green the healthy way.
1. Green Smoothie
Spinach and kale give this delicious beverage its beautiful green hue. Plus, they offer tons of antioxidants and vitamins (namely iron and vitamins A and C). The addition of banana, mango, and ginger create a distinct, crave-able flavor (and add even more nutritional power).
2. Green Egg Casserole
This breakfast dish is perfect for feeding a crowd. Simply throw together some eggs, frozen spinach, milk, whole-grain bread, and cheese and bake until cooked through! Add any other green veggies you like, too (pepper or jalapeno would be especially tasty).
3. Matcha Green Tea and Almond Flour Mini Muffins
Green tea and almonds — two of our favorite superfoods! Better yet, that matcha powder is a great (natural) way to turn just about anything green. Is this the new St. Patrick’s Day celebration staple? We think so.
4. Shamrock Smoothie
Kiwi and grapes take center stage in this pale-green breakfast smoothie, packed with vitamin C and fiber. (Just please forgo the optional green food coloring the recipe calls for.)
5. Savory Green Pancakes
When classic buttermilk and maple syrup just won’t do, take pancakes the savory route. (They’ll probably go better with that naturally-dyed green beer, too). These cakes get their color from spinach (or any leafy greens) and are flavored with cumin, yogurt, and green onion. Eat up!
6. Matcha Green Tea Coconut Pancakes
Made with coconut flour, matcha powder, buttermilk, and egg whites, these pancakes are winning the healthy flapjack game. Serve up a stack of these bad boys topped with Greek yogurt, crunchy pistachios, and a drizzle of honey.
7. Detox Pancakes
Rolled oats add some extra fiber to these cakes. Spinach creates the festive color, while banana and cinnamon give them some special flavor.
8. Pear and Arugula Smoothie
A squeeze of fresh orange brightens up this green smoothie. Greek yogurt gives it a protein-rich body, and peppery arugula lends an atypical flavor (which is balanced out by the sweetness of the pear).
Also check out: 34 Healthy Breakfasts for Mornings on the Run
Soups, Salads, and Sides
10. Crispy Green Beans with Pesto
These lightly sautéed green beans go perfectly with fresh, homemade pesto. This dish is fancy enough to satisfy the foodies at any St. Paddy’s Day get-together and also simple enough that the green-bagel-loving crowd won’t be scared away.
12. Minted Pea Mash
This is one simple, healthy, and delicious side dish that will go well with just about any St. Patrick’s Day celebration meal. Plus, it’s bright green. It’s simple to make, too: just a dab of butter, frozen peas, mint, salt, and pepper!
13. Green Tomato Mozzarella Stacks
No, these green tomatoes are not fried. But they still take a delicious center stage in this fun salad recipe. Layer thick slices of fresh green tomatoes with equally sized slices of fresh mozzarella cheese, and drizzle the top with herb-packed green goddess salad dressing.
14. Fresh Fava Bean Almond Spread
This simple spread is perfect for sharing with a crowd. Plus, it’s easy to customize with whatever type of beans or peas you have available. Fava beans give a nice creamy texture while chopped almonds add some crunch.
15. Cucumber Feta Rolls
Super-thin cucumber slices give these rolls a festive outer layer. Inside, there’s a protein-rich Greek yogurt, feta, sun-dried tomato, and olive filling.
16. Green Falafel
Falafel is one of those go-to drunk foods. Or, basically, the perfect St. Paddy’s afternoon snack! These little guys are full of protein- and fiber-rich chickpeas, parsley, garlic, and cilantro.
18. Avocado Cornbread
While this quick bread won’t exactly be bright green, the avocados do give it a slightly green hue (certainly enough to celebrate). Plus, the addition of avocado allows you to cut out the other fats in this recipe.
19. Avocado Fries
Yes, you read right. Full disclosure: This recipe calls for frying the breaded fingers of green deliciousness, but we bet that they would work out just as well baked. Give it a try! Similarly, try making the cilantro-lemon dipping sauce with plain Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise.
20. Fresh Green Pesto Dip
This cashew-based dip is perfect paired with roasted sweet potato fries, chips, raw veggies, or whole-grain bread. Greens of your choice — parsley, cilantro, mint, spinach, or any combination — give it some festive color.
21. Leprechaun Dip
White beans make a protein-packed base for this green dip, while kale gives it some color. Cashews, tahini, and parsley all make a flavorful appearance, too!
22. Cucumber Cups with Spicy Crab
When they’re cut into 2-inch chunks and scooped out in the middle, cucumbers make great little edible serving cups! This slightly spicy, creamy crab filling is the perfect mix of decadent, while still tasting fresh and light.
23. Polenta Rounds with Greens and Goat Cheese
Toasted polenta rounds are a great gluten-free alternative to crackers. These snacks are packed with nutrients, too, with a hearty swiss-chard and goat cheese topping. Feel free to sub in any other favorite leafy greens — kale, spinach, or arugula would all be delish.
Lunch and Dinner
24. Green Mac n’ Cheese
This one’s sure to be a crowd pleaser. The ultimate comfort food with a healthy twist (spinach puree!) is still just as decadent and smooth as the original, with some added nutritional powers. Use whole-wheat pasta for even more protein and fiber!
25. Green Pizza
Yes, pizza can actually be healthy. Whole-wheat dough and a bevy of bright green toppings make this favorite more nutritionally sound. Try broccoli, arugula, and pesto on top of that pie next time you’re tossing around some dough.
26. Chilean Dogs with Green Sauce
Chileans know how to top a dog. This simple green sauce — more like a relish or salsa made of onion, parsley, oil, salt, and lemon juice — brings the classic hot dog to a whole other level.
27. Salsa Verde Chicken
The green sauce for this chicken dish is packed with healthy herbs and other goodies. Basil, cilantro, parsley, and jalapeno give it color and some kick, while a squeeze of fresh orange and lime brighten up the flavors.
28. Winter Greens and Gruyere Tart
This tart is like a heartier, healthier quiche with an awesomely rustic crust made from cornmeal and whole-wheat flour. The filling — kale or other greens, shallots, eggs, and cheese — is super smooth and indulgent, but still healthy enough that a small slice would make the perfect brunch or light lunch.
29. Mint Chocolate Chip Yogurt Ice Cream
Who doesn’t love a bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream? This one’s different though — it’s super healthy! The base is simply frozen bananas, the green color comes from (what else?) spinach, and the creaminess comes from Greek yogurt. Some mint extract and dark chocolate chips round it all out. No need to feel guilty for having a few scoops of this treat!
30. Leprechaun Cake
Who’s ever heard of putting kiwi in cake? Now you have! This recipe combines avocado, kiwi, and lime for a slightly green and perfectly tender cake. The leprechauns will certainly come searching for a platter of these!
31. Avocado Ice Cream
Greek yogurt and ripe avocado make up the base of this ice cream, and just a bit of heavy cream gives it a decadent-but-still-healthy texture. Try one of these methods if there’s no ice cream maker handy.
32. Semi-Healthy Mini Shamrock Cheesecakes
The filling for these mini minty cheesecakes is made a bit healthier by using Greek yogurt. The recipe calls for a cookie crumb crust, but try using a mixture of ground nuts and cocoa powder for a healthier twist!
How will you be celebeating St. Patrick's Day? Share your favorite green recipes with us in the comments below, or shoot us some pictures of your healthy green creations to share on Twitter or Instragram!
This article originally posted on March 15, 2013 and was updated on March 11, 2014.