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Healthy St. Patrick's Day recipe ideas

It's the time of year to wear green, drink beer, and celebrate Irish heritages.  St. Patricks day began in the 1600's as a religious feast day.  Today, it's a celebration of the Irish culture.  It's also a holiday known for rich, high fat dishes like corned beef.

Here are a few recipe ideas to enjoy the festivities a little healthier:

Whole wheat Irish soda bread (courtesy of eatingwell.com)


Ingredients:

* 2 cups whole-wheat flour
* 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 2 1/4 cups buttermilk

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and sprinkle with a little flour.


2. Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in buttermilk. Using one hand, stir in full circles (starting in the center of the bowl working toward the outside of the bowl) until all the flour is incorporated. The dough should be soft but not too wet and sticky. When it all comes together, in a matter of seconds, turn it out onto a well-floured surface. Clean dough off your hand.


3. Pat and roll the dough gently with floury hands, just enough to tidy it up and give it a round shape. Flip over and flatten slightly to about 2 inches. Transfer the loaf to the prepared baking sheet. Mark with a deep cross using a serrated knife and prick each of the four quadrants.


4. Bake the bread for 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 400° and continue to bake until the loaf is brown on top and sounds hollow when tapped, 30 to 35 minutes more. Transfer the loaf to a wire rack and let cool for about 30 minutes.

This bread provides healthy whole grains and is very low in fat.

Healthier Corned Beef Hash (courtesy of eatingwell.com)

4 servings

Ingredients:

* 2 teaspoons canola oil
* 1 large onion, chopped
* 4 cups diced cooked potatoes, or frozen hash-brown potatoes
* 1 cup chopped lean corned beef brisket, (4 ounces, see Tip)
* 1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
* Salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
* 4 large eggs

Directions:

1. In a large cast-iron skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion until it starts to brown, 5 to 8 minutes. Add potatoes and cook, stirring, until they brown in spots and become crusty, about 8 minutes more. Stir in corned beef and broth and cook, scraping up any browned bits, until liquid is absorbed, 5 to 8 minutes. Add parsley and season with salt and pepper.


2. Meanwhile, fill a large skillet with 2 inches salted water and bring to a gentle simmer. Break eggs, one at a time, onto a saucer and slide into the simmering water. Poach eggs until set to desired firmness, 4 to 5 minutes.


3. Divide hash among 4 plates. Place eggs on top of hash.

This dish is a healthier alternative to traditional high-fat and high-sodium recipes.

Slainte!

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