Top o’ the mornin’ to ya!
With St. Patrick’s Day just around the corner, you’re probably all set for whiskey – but what about the grub? Drinking on an empty stomach is efficient, but you’ll quickly fizzle out without some sustenance.
If you can’t stomach haggis, try these three St. Patty’s day meals:
An Irish Breakfast
Ask any person from Ireland about what they miss about the motherland, and they’ll probably say breakfast.
“A good Irish breakfast … gives me a feeling of comfort,” says Stuart O’Keeffe, author of The Quick Six Fix Cookbook, who’s been featured on the Food Network’s Private Chefs of Beverly Hills and other TV shows.
What’s an Irish breakfast? A classic one includes sausage, bacon, fried eggs, grilled tomatoes and brown soda bread with Irish butter. And while it may not seem like the healthiest breakfast, one study including 50,000 adults found that those who front-loaded their calories – or, ate large breakfasts – had lower body mass indexes than people who “saved” big meals for lunch or dinner.
Shepherd’s pie is a common midday or dinner meal in Ireland. The hearty dish is characterized by a savory meat pie topped with mashed potatoes – though if you’d like a lighter option, you can swap the potatoes for a cauliflower mash. You can also go for leaner meats over fattier alternatives. And if you really want to Irish it up, add Irish vegetables like peas and broccoli.
“When you notice how much better you feel cooking from scratch with real, wholesome ingredients,” says Kathleen Henderson, founder of Cohu Nutrition, a nutrition practice in Northern Ireland, “the extra effort doesn’t seem like so big a sacrifice.”
On St. Patrick’s Day, we’d me amiss not to consider beer a meal.
Guinness – the undisputable beer of choice this holiday – is only 125 calories per 12-ounce serving, which is just 15 more than your average American light beer.
“Guinness is also a source of iron and was actually once prescribed by doctors for pregnant women to take if they were low in iron,” Henderson says.
Related: The Surprising Upsides of Beer
Nowadays, no doctor will advise a pregnant woman to drink, though the Irish tradition of drinking and eating in good company will never disappear.
“Gather around a table, eat together, talk, laugh, tell stories, enjoy moments – this is something the Irish have taught me,” Henderson says. “Food is meant to be shared; it’s not only sustenance or nourishment – it’s family, it’s community. That is the Irish way!”
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