St. Patrick’s Day is an iconic holiday for Irish American’s. Initially, it was a day for Irish immigrants to remember their heritage in their new home. Today, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated by anyone who wants to claim a connection to Ireland. Parades, Catholic Mass, family time, and food are all part of St. Patrick’s Day for those with Irish ancestry. Even those of us who don’t have any connection to Ireland celebrate with shamrocks and wearing green. If you’re craving a way to remember your Irish roots a little more this holiday, or just want to discover more about Ireland, here are a few ways to feel a little more Irish this St. Patrick’s Day.
It’s one thing to talk about Shamrocks and leprechauns. It’s another to learn about the contributions and experiences of the Irish American’s in our country. Irish immigrants were faced with harsh prejudice, but overcame that prejudice to contribute in large ways to the American landscape. They helped build railroads, canals, and cities across America. Learning about their experiences can help you understand the holiday and the people behind it.
Irish food is more than just cold brews and green tinted foods. For the true Irish experience, try your hand at one (or more) of these authentic Irish foods.
- Colcannon. It’s a beloved Irish food made from mashed potatoes that are mixed with cabbage or a similar green
- Irish soda bread
- Corned beef and cabbage
Shepherd’s Pie is the perfect combo of Ireland’s favorites – meat and potatoes. Try this healthy twist on the traditional Irish dish.
- 1½ pounds lean ground beef (90% lean or higher)
- 2 large carrots, peeled and shredded (about 2 cups)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- One 15-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- One 14½-ounce can all-natural tomato soup
- 1½ cups shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese
- 1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cups mashed potatoes
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly oil or coat a 9 x 13-inch baking pan or dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
- Place a large Dutch oven or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef, carrots, garlic powder, and onion powder and cook, breaking up the large pieces, until the meat is no longer pink and the carrots are tender, about 5 minutes. Drain excess fat.
- Stir in the beans, tomato soup, cheese, and corn. Simmer until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Arrange the meat mixture evenly in the prepared pan. Spread the mashed potatoes evenly on top, and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.
- Bake until the meat mixture starts to bubble and the potatoes are heated through, about 15 minutes. Turn the oven to broil and broil until the top turns golden brown, 2 to 4 minutes.
Serving size: 1 slice
Calories: 370; Total Fat: 10; Saturated Fat: 5g; Sodium: 520mg; Total Carbohydrates: 41g; Protein: 7g.
Wearing all green, catching Leprechauns, and making shamrock cookies or crafts may not be authentically Irish, but it sure is fun. Kids and adults alike love adding a little fun to the holiday. Need a few ideas to liven things up? Try these.
- Frost sugar cookies shaped like shamrocks or rainbows
- Dress in green
- Make a St. Patrick’s Day craft
- Build a Leprechaun trap
Music can make anything more exciting. Thankfully, the internet is full of traditional Irish music. Embrace Irish favorites such as the The Wolf Tones and The Dubliners.
Whether your ancestry is Irish or not, you can do a few things to embrace your Irish side this St. Patrick’s Day.