by Melissa Jaramillo
Whether you like to dress up in green or plan on celebrating as a family at home or your favorite local watering hole, there's nothing like ringing in St. Patrick's day with festive cheer.
We've rounded up five edible treats that are even leprechaun approved! These "green" dishes, drinks and desserts serve up lots of delicious flavor without packing in too many extra calories!
When I first heard of kale chips, I envisioned a swampy, bitter combination. Was I pleasantly surprised! Baking kale transforms it into a light and luscious healthy treat. When you cook the leaves just long enough, they crunch between your teeth. You taste the olive oil, sense the crackly crunch of the chip and touch of salt on your tongue. Delicious, simple and chocked full of nutrients!
What's cheesy and crunchy on the outside while perfectly roasted on the inside? These tasty baked zucchini sticks, that's what! Even your most health-conscious guest won't be able to help themselves and will savor these indulgent, yummalicious treats. What's the secret to the "yum factor?" They're baked instead of fried! To make this the perfect appetizer, combine it with your favorite marinara sauce. It doesn't matter if bought or homemade, you won't be able to keep enough of these sticks on the plate!
Quiche -- it's easy to make and sure to be a hit in any family. You can even make a vegetarian version like this one and the "carnivores" will eat it. It's that good! The dish is versatile. You can make asparagus, mushroom, and tomato quiches and use various cheeses, from cheddar to feta to Swiss. Fresh herbs like parsley, chives, and basil are wonderful additions. This particular quiche is made with spinach, onions, and Gruyére cheese and baked to crispy, golden perfection. Just look at that crispy, cheesy top. How can anyone say no? Serve it as part of a Sunday brunch and then tomorrow pair it with a leafy green and tomato salad for dinner.
If you've ever been known to get behind a taco, burrito, or head with your chips toward the dip, then you've probably enjoyed some spicy guacamole. Have you tried making your own? It can turn an everyday meal into adventurous occasion. All you really need for is ripe avocados and salt, but a few more ingredients improve a good thing! The next most important ingredient is lime juice; then cilantro, chiles, onion, and tomato.
What could be more perfect to round out your Saint Patrick's Day feast than a batch of fresh from the oven shamrock cookies! We can't think of anything, can you? Maybe chocolate. Nah. We adjusted the recipe a bit to make it healthier, but invited "wee folk" to add a sprinkle of enchantment. These slice-and-bake treats come together quickly. You'll be out of the kitchen faster than a leprechaun can leap. Have your own wee child help form the four-leaf clovers for extra luck.
Happy St. Patrick's Day!