Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with My Favorite Green Foods

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with My Favorite Green Foods

I’m seeing Green these days for a variety of reasons. Some of my assistants are MSU Spartan basketball fans, so they’re gearing up for March Madness, which starts Tuesday.

Then there’s the spring-like weather that’s been flirting with us lately on the East Coast. We really did see some grass peeking out from beneath the heaps of snow recently and we know it will be green, soon! And, of course, St. Patrick’s Day is brewing.

All this green has me thinking about my favorite green foods and some great recipes in my Paleo Cookbook for Dummies.

Here, I present my top green foods, what you can do with them and why they’re good for you.

  • Kale. I like to make Crispy Kale Chips (serve these — click here —  at your next March Madness gathering), Sautéed Kale with Bacon and Mushrooms and Kale Salad (with bacon). But one of my all-time fave recipes is  Kale Apple Cherry Cashew Salad. The title alone reveals what awaits. Click here for the recipe.

Nutrition Bonus: Kale’s health benefits are primarily linked to the high concentration and great source of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K.  Kale is also rich in eye-health-promoting compounds. Bottom line: Eating a diet rich in the powerful antioxidant vitamin K can reduce the overall risk of developing or dying from cancer, according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

  • Limes. Oh, do I use a lot of lime in my cooking, from its leaves in a Thai Green Curry Chicken recipe to its juice in several concoctions. One of my favorite recipes is Citrus Carnitas, which basically involves placing cumin, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a bag and adding a boneless pork shoulder. Once it’s coated, I add it to a stockpot with enough water to just cover the meat. And then, ahhhh … I add in ½ cup of lime juice and ½ cup of lemon juice. After about two hours of cooking and simmering, the pork goes into a skillet atop some hot coconut oil. Once browned on all sides, you get perfection, and it’s all because of that lime juice! I swear! Also, one of the biggest responses I ever got from my readers if from my Chipotle Lime Wings. This recipe if full of my love affair for limes. If you want a super lime tasting dish, this is it. Scroll to the end of this post for more on limes.

Nutrition Bonus: Those sea-faring folk of centuries ago knew what they were doing when they’d pack limes in their carry-on while crossing the ocean. The reason? Limes were proven to help prevent scurvy, a disease caused by severe vitamin C deficiency. I like this fruit for its micronutrients, but I’m crazy about its phytochemicals, which can help protect the body against cancer.

  • Avocados. I don’t really go a day or two without popping a slice of avocado in my mouth or blending it into a variety of dishes. Use avocado oil for salads and nibble on avocados for snacks or slice up and put in salads.

Nutrition Bonus: Avocadoes are favored sources of monounsaturated fats. 

  • Green Peppers. Yeah. It’s hard to decide between corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day or … my all-time best recipe for Stuffed Bell Peppers. Click here to see how to mix ground bison, peppers, spinach, tomatoes and more into one gorgeous stuffed green pepper!  Incidentally, these peppers are the perfect go-to lunch, so make plenty! They’re easy to carry and easy to heat up.

Nutrition Bonus: The bell pepper provides some 30! different members of the carotenoid nutrient family, many of which are antioxidants.

  • Zucchini. There are literally hundreds of ways to incorporate zucchini into your diet, from my favorite zucchini “pasta” or “lasagna,” vegetable soups to latkes! But as this is March, I’m still craving something heart-warming that falls into the comfort-food category. Spring might be coming this month, but it’s going out like a lion where I live, and thus, I’m craving this hearty dish.

Nutrition Bonus: Zucchini contains quite a bit of folate, potassium and Vitamin A. Bravo!

Cheers! And if you must make a toast or two on St. Patrick’s Day, skip the beer and go for a Margarita. The NorCal Margarita, made famous by Paleo guru Robb Wolf, is one of the tastiest and Paleo-friendly options you can find behind a bar. Based on tequila and lime juice, the recipe follows: Just blend a shot of 100 percent agave tequila with the juice and pulp of one fresh lime. Shake with crushed ice, pour into a tall glass and top off with club soda. Garnish with a fresh lime wedge and enjoy!

Keep thinking big and living bold!

-Dr. Kellyann