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Nutrition Articles  ›  Seasonal & Holiday Tips

13 Naturally Green (and Good-for-You) Recipes

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with These Healthy Dishes

-- By Stepfanie Romine, Staff Writer
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St. Patrick's Day is the one day of the year when it's easy to be green! Unfortunately most of the popular green foods are simply tinted with dye… and aren't very nutritious. While a green beer can have a place in an otherwise healthy eating plan, we thought it would be more fun to round up food that are naturally green--and good for you!

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Artichoke-Spinach Dip
: This creamy, dreamy dip is packed with two green veggies. Good hot or cold, it's the hit of any party.

Basil-Avocado Spread
: What do you get when you mix guacamole with pesto? This delicious spread, which is equally scrumptious on sandwiches, pasta and crackers as it is with raw veggie dunkers.



Classic Spinach Dip
: This classic dip is made healthier with a whole package of frozen spinach, plus water chestnuts for crunch. Serve it cold in a whole-grain bread bowl, and tear off bits to eat with the dip.


Creamy Asparagus Soup
: This spring vegetable yields a rich yet light soup that's the perfect hue for a St. Paddy's Day bash. We like it topped with chopped ham.


Creamy Pesto
: While pesto is usually heavy on the oil, this version swaps in a light cheese--and adds plenty of garlic and spinach for a nutrition boost. You could serve it over pasta (we like penne) or with crackers for a snack.


Greek Spinach Pie (Spanikopita)
: Make flaky pastry and salty feta a bit healthier by adding a whole bunch of spinach to the mix. Suddenly a savory pastry becomes a more saintly dish.  


Mushy Peas with Dill
: Instead of mashed potatoes, try mashed peas, which pair perfectly with fresh summertime herbs like dill or parsley. These "mushy" peas are a traditional side in the emerald isle.


Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus
: Paper-thin slices of salty prosciutto are the perfect contrast to crisp, fresh asparagus. This easy dish turns a cherished vegetable to festive hors d'oeuvres without many calories.



Spinach Cheese Pie
: Spinach and cheese are such a great pairing that we had to share two versions. This recipe yields a cross between spanakopita and a quiche, making it a filling side dish.




Tabbouleh
: Brighten up bulgur with fresh herbs and chopped vegetables. This hearty salad is a nice balance to salty corned beef.



Tomatillo Salsa Verde
: The mild flavor of tomatillos pairs well with other green ingredients like cilantro and jalapenos. This salsa is great with veggies and chips--or use it as an enchilada sauce!


Vegan Cilantro Pesto
: Cilantro lightens and brightens olive tapenade to create a fun take on pesto. Spread on crackers, use as a pasta sauce, or add a dollop to grilled chicken or fish.


Vegetarian Collard Wraps
: Ditch the tortilla and wrap your burrito in a steamed collard leaf to cut calories and carbs. You can actually use this tactic for all your favorite sandwiches and wraps. These are a fun presentation for a St. Patrick's Day party--or any special occasion.
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About The Author

Stepfanie Romine Stepfanie Romine
A former newspaper reporter, Stepfanie now writes about nutrition, health, fitness and cooking. She is a certified Ashtanga yoga teacher who enjoys running, international travel and all kinds of vegetables. See all of Stepfanie's articles.

Member Comments

  • We plant potatoes on St. Patrick's Day. I am interested in trying the spinach recipes. I love my spinach and mushroom quiche, but I'm interested in making it healthier. These recipes might offer some alternatives. - 2/26/2014 6:49:34 AM