St. Patrick's Day is one of my favorite holidays because everyone goes to the local pub, drinks beer, and is in a great mood. It's also a fabulous time to meet guys, so this year I'm inviting all my single ladies over for appetizers before we head out to the bars. Since some of my girlfriends are vegetarian, I'll offer a meat-free menu of green snacks. To start there's green goddess dressing with green crudités like celery sticks, green beans, edamame, and sugar snap peas. A warm spinach artichoke dip is decadent, but healthy when served with pita wedges. Slices of pizza topped with fresh pesto and arugula are delicious and filling.
Broccoli soup is pretty and portable when placed in small tea cups or shot glasses. To look at these green themed recipes, perfect for any St. Patty's Day soirée,
1/2 cup packed parsley leaves
1 to 2 anchovy fillets, optional
1 scallion, coarsely chopped
1/2 small garlic clove
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1 tablespoon white-wine vinegar
Coarse salt and ground pepper
- In a food processor, pulse parsley, anchovies, scallion, and garlic until scallion and parsley are finely chopped.
- Add mayonnaise, yogurt, and vinegar; pulse until combined. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with grilled shrimp, fish or crudités. If storing, cover and refrigerate up to 5 days.
- Dips, Appetizers
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
3 cloves garlic
1 (9-ounce) package artichoke hearts, defrosted, rinsed and dried
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted, excess liquid squeezed out.
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 cup (4 ounces) Neufchatel cheese (reduced-fat cream cheese)
2 ounces (about 1/2 cup) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Heat the oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook an additional 3 to 4 minutes, or until onions are light golden but not browned. Remove from heat and cool.
- In the bowl of a food processor combine artichoke hearts, spinach, sour cream, mayonnaise, Neufchatel, mozzarella and salt and pepper. Process until smooth. Add cooled onion-garlic mixture to the food processor and pulse a few times to combine.
- Transfer mixture into an 8-inch glass square baking dish or 9-inch glass pie plate which has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until heated through.
- Serve with pita wedges or crudites.
- Dips, Appetizers
1/2 store bought pizza dough
5 tablespoons store-bought pesto
One 3-ounce package thinly sliced prosciutto, torn into pieces (optional)
2 to 3 handfuls arugula leaves
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Invert a large baking sheet and place it on a rack in the lower third of the oven; preheat the oven to 500°. Invert a second baking sheet on a work surface and cover it with a sheet of parchment paper. Stretch the pizza dough to fit the parchment paper.
- Using the back of a spoon, spread the pesto over the dough.
- Slide the pizza and the parchment from the cool baking sheet to the hot baking sheet in the oven. Bake until golden, about 7 minutes.
- Top with the prosciutto (if using), arugula and Parmesan, and cut into pieces.
Makes one 10x16 inch pizza.
- Main Dishes, Pizza
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 large white onion, chopped
3 small celery ribs, thinly sliced (1 cup)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 pounds broccoli, cut into florets
3 1/2 cups water
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Cheddar crisps, optional for serving
- In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, celery and garlic and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 7 minutes.
- Add the broccoli and water to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat until the broccoli is tender, about 10 minutes.
- Transfer the contents of the saucepan to a blender and puree until smooth.
- Season the soup with salt and pepper and serve with the Cheddar Crisps, if desired.
- Main Dishes, Soup