The sound of Irish music (and loud kiddos) in the background, my spirulina handy on the island**, Irish recipes littering my table, and miscellaneous St. Patrick’s Day unit studies strewn about the dining room. Yep, it’s that wonderful day when all things green are just so much more fun!
**It’s been a while since my post on the health benefits of spirulina – here’s a link to my original post for your convenience.
My original plans were to have an Irish feast today, but the problem with that vision is that I forget just how slow starting we are in the mornings. Anyone who knows us well enough knows our breakfast is more like a hobbit’s idea of breakfast.. it just goes on and on, and runs into snack time, “11sies”, early lunch, lunch, etc. Throw in a nursing baby, a few dirty diapers, school time, and “clean up” time (which just hasn’t happened yet), and we have a full day..every day. Including this awesome Irish holiday. But why St. Patrick’s Day? What’s all the big fuss? True, we’ve got Irish heritage – but my amazing “Ma”, who’s gone to be with Jesus, really planted that love for all things Irish in me. She used to have a saying – “a pinch of Irish blood purifies the rest.” And I say this to myself all the time. Truly, she was on to something there! From an early age, potatoes were my favorite food, Irish music always inclined me to start dancing up a storm, and vision of those immense, beautiful green fields of Ireland well.. it’s always been a dream to visit there and run through it barefoot for myself.
So, back to today – I was hoping for some grassfed bangers and cauliflower “mash”, shepherd’s pie, corned beef with cabbage, shortbread cookies, asparagus mushroom sautee, and broccoli cheese soup. I know, right? What was I thinking???
So I settled for the 2 easiest today, and added the fun “green foods” for the kiddos. For breakfast, I started everyone with my famous green smoothie! Trust me guys, you’ll want to try this one for yourselves, it’s everything the body needs and more!
So for this smoothie, I included 3 kinds of greens: organic kale (and lots of it!), radish greens from our garden, and parsley. I know what you’re probably thinking, sounds YUCK! And what kind of kids would drink that??
Next, I added 3 Tbsp hemp hearts, and 1 Tbsp flax seed. I also added a handful of fermented cacao nibs, 1 Tbsp rose hips powder, 1 tsp stinging nettle powder, 2 tsp spirulina (green green green!), 2 Tbsp bee pollen, a handful of goji berries – and to cover all that healthy stuff up, 2 bananas, 1 C frozen pineapple chunks, and about 1 C combined strawberries and blueberries. If you’re worried about the taste guys, remember, pineapple covers it ALL. Plus it supplies you with bromelain, which helps your body break down and digest all these nutrients!
Follow it up with some coconut water, blend, and serve!
Ok, so by the time I got the smoothie finished, the kids were wanting more. (Because that smoothie, plus the yogurt, plus the fruit they had already, just weren’t enough). Protein time! I took a tip from Dr. Seuss and made up some green scrambled eggs – again guys, the spirulina does ALL the work for you! Just use sparingly when adding to eggs or you’ll start to see those picky noses go up in the air. There isn’t much give when there isn’t anything sweet to cover that algae taste.
After school was finished, craft scraps were cleaned up, and the corned beef and veggies were thrown in the crock pot, it was on to sweeter things. The cookies!
Here’s my sweet (healthy-ish) gluten-free shortbread cookie recipe:
1 3/4 Gluten free flour blend
3/4 C Powdered Sugar
1/4 tsp Celtic Sea Salt (yes, Irish salt makes all the difference)
2 Sticks Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter (again, the Irish butter really makes it that much more)
Approximately 1/8 tsp Organic Spirulina (play around with the amounts to make the cookies as green as you like, but don’t use so much it overpowers the sugar in the cookie dough)
Mix the dry ingredients, then beat the butter in until you have a well mixed dough. I rolled about 1 1/2 inch (diameter) balls in the palm of my hand, then had the kids gently stamp them down with our ceramic Celtic knot stamp.
Bake at 375 for about 10 minutes, and let sit on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack. Now you’ve got a sweet (healthy!) treat everyone will enjoy!
As for the other Irish meals I planned, they’ll just have to follow over the course of the next few days – but at least tonight is taken care of!
Follow it up with our traditional viewing of the 1959 classic “Darby O’Gill and the Little People”, and we’re a happy group over here!
What are your St. Paddy’s Day traditions? Got recipes, or ideas to share? I’d love to hear them!
Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday, and remember to watch out where you toss your wash water – you may just end up with a changeling tomorrow! 😉