Turn your St. Patrick’s Day celebration into a chance to enjoy Irish heritage with hearty foods and a lively atmosphere.
When it’s the one day each year it’s acceptable to pinch non-conforming friends and family, it’d be a shame not to go all out.
These few simple tips can help you put together the perfect party to revel in all things green – and tasty.
Decorate with purpose.
Everyone knows that green is the color of the day, but go one step further by incorporating it into different items. Banners and streamers work fine, but setting out green candles or even adorning your light fixtures with green bulbs can help you take an extra step forward.
Create active fun.
Instead of limiting your guests to dining and conversation, plan some simple activities to help the fun flow. Games like a “treasure hunt” for gold coins, limerick-writing competitions or even just turning up Irish-themed music can help get the party started.
Turn your party’s food and drinks into true Irish dining with some delicious recipes like this American Irish Stew, which includes beef, onion, carrots and potatoes for a tasty cultural meal to fill all of your hungry guests.
American Irish Stew
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1-1/4 pounds beef, top round, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
- 2 medium parsnips, cut into large chunks (optional)
- 3 cups low-fat, reduced-sodium beef broth
- 4 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 leek, coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
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- In large pot over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add beef and garlic. Cook, gently stirring until meat is evenly browned. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add onion, carrots and parsnips. Cook 3-4 minutes. Stir in broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer about 75 minutes, or until meat is tender.
- Stir in potatoes and simmer another 30 minutes. Add rosemary and leeks. Continue to simmer, uncovered, until potatoes are tender. To avoid potatoes falling apart, do not overcook.
- Serve hot and garnish with parsley, if desired.
Nutritional Information Per Serving:
8 g total fat
2 g saturated fat
43 g carbohydrate
32 g protein
6 g dietary fiber
427 mg sodium
Irish Pork Stew
Hearty and flavorful, this stew’s flavor changes depending on what type of beer or stout you choose.
- 2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 4 large onions, peeled and sliced 1/2-inch thick
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1 teaspoon caraway seed
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 10 1/2-ounce can chicken broth
- 1 12 oz bottle imported stout or beer
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- In a bowl combine flour, salt and pepper. Coat pork cubes.
- Heat oil in Dutch oven; brown meat over medium-high heat.
- Add onions and garlic. Cook and stir 5 minutes.
- Stir in remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil.
- Cover; medium-low heat for 1 to 1 1/4 hours or until meat is very tender. Stir occasionally.
Recipe Yield: Makes 8 servings
Nutritional Information Per Serving:
Fat: 9 grams
Saturated Fat: 3 grams
Fiber: 1 grams
Sodium: 653 milligrams
Cholesterol: 67 milligrams
Protein: 21 grams
Carbohydrates: 14 grams
We have more recipes for Saint Patrick’s Day right here: Diabetic St. Patrick’s Day Recipes 
Sources: For more hosting tips and the perfect themed recipes for any occasion, visit culinary.net . American Irish Stew photo courtesy of Getty Images; Family Features. American Irish Stew recipe courtesy of the American Institute for Cancer Research. Irish Pork Stew courtesy of NPC.