Well, ’tis that time of year – green is all around us. If you are thinking St. Patrick’s Day, you would be correct. The history of Irish food is rich and long. There is literature which dates the food of modern Celts back to the 1st century B.C. They ate a lot of meat, some more meat, extra meat, and then some more meat. And with their hands. Times, they have changed, but the love of meat goes deep with the Irish. And they do marvelous and delicious things with all types of meat.
The consumption of meat on a regular basis was essential to survival thousands, and even hundreds, of years ago. It kept families’ stomachs full, their bodies warm, and connected clans. We have learned over all these many years that eating meat is not necessary to keep people full, and we have sophisticated shelter to keep us warm, and people can socialize while eating veggie burgers. We have also learned that eating fatty meat all the time is not good for the human body.
Now, if you have ever had an Irish sausage, you have been to pig eating paradise. It is incredibly delicious. Made with pork, seasonings, and bread crumbs, it is as smooth as butter. Pork may be a word the health conscious person does not want to read, but all things in moderation make life worth living. If you decide to treat yourself, just serve it with cabbage, and red potatoes rather than russet potatoes. Use a butter substitute in the mashed potatoes. You still have the fat from the pork, but have reduced the starch and fat using a different potato. If you are a fan of Shepherd’s Pie, not to worry. Use the leanest ground beef you can find and red potatoes. Red potatoes are better alternative to the traditional russet as they have less starch. If you really want to lean your meal, use white meat ground turkey and sweet potatoes instead of the usual ingredients. It tastes delicious either way. Another Irish food that is full of comfort is Colcannon. Made from mashed potato, cabbage, and ham or bacon. You can again, use the red potatoes, or you can use cauliflower. Seems weird, but you can make a silky replacement for potatoes to add to the healthfulness of this recipe. Try this recipe and replace the ham or bacon with turkey bacon. You still get the comfort and taste, but you lower the calories.
You can not have a holiday without a sweet treat, right? Here is an amazing Bailey’s Irish Cream cheesecake recipe that will become a holiday tradition, Irish roots or not. Just replace the regular cream cheese with a lower fat choice or Neufactel creamed cheese. Also, change out the regular sour cream for the lower fat version. It will still have the great taste, just less fat. No matter where you are from, this a day that unites people who love the Irish. There’s an old saying, “There are only two kinds of people in the world, The Irish and those who wish they were.” Slainte!