Luck of the Irish! Find out the health benefits of corned beef, cabbage
If you’re planning a traditional St. Patrick’s Day meal Sunday, you’ll be pleased to know the Irish fare is full of nutritional value. In fact, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics nudges us to eat hearty corned beef and cabbage throughout the year. (Just hold off on dying your beer green and placing special Shamrock Shake orders at McDonald’s year-round).
Here are the health benefits of a St. Patrick’s Day dinner and simple modifications you can make to go for the nutritional gold.
- Corned beef: Look for beef that is low in sodium and skimpy on fat. When you get it home, trim the extra fat off. Stick to about 3 or 4 ounces of meat and fill up your plate with veggies. For reference, 3 ounces is about the size of your palm or a deck of cards.
- Steamed carrots: These nutritional all-stars are not just low in calories, but they also are a good source for beta carotene that converts to Vitamin A in the liver. The veggie contains phytonutrients that is associated with good vision and healthy eyes.
- Cabbage: Load it on your plate. The Vitamin C in cabbage helps boost your immune system. It’s also low-calorie and helps lower cholesterol. If you have extra leftover, add it into an egg white omelette Monday morning.
- Red potatoes: Eat the skins for extra nutritional punch. These little potatoes are fat-free, sodium-free and are packed with fiber, iron and potassium. If you’re watching carbs, don’t go for a second serving. Instead of lathering your potatoes with butter, give them a flavor boost with herbs like rosemary or dill.
Need an easy dessert idea that is light on calories? Check out this “blarney stone bar” recipe with toffee bits and pecans that has green frosting to make it special. One serving is just about 100 calories and 5 grams of fat.
Want to eat corned beef and cabbage year round? The meal is great when it’s prepped in a slow cooker. (Here’s a good recipe courtesy of Food Network). And, here are a few of our favorite slow cookers on the market.
- Bella programmable slow-cooker. You can set a timer so you’re food will be ready when you get home from work. (Macy’s, $29.99)
- Crock-Pot 6.5 quart slow-cooker: This bad boy has touch-screen technology and removable oval stoneware that is dishwasher-safe.(Bed, Bath and Beyond, $79,99)
- Ninja 3-in-1 cooking system: This slow cooker allows for stove-top cooking and steam roasting, too. (Sears, $161.99)
Photo courtesy of Food Network, where you can get 7 percent cash back.
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