Blog Update!
For those of you not following me on Facebook, as of the Summer of 2019 I've moved to Central WA, to a tiny mountain town of less than 1,000 people.

I will be covering my exploits here in the Cascades, as I try to further reduce my impact on the environment. With the same attitude, just at a higher altitude!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Have a green St. Patty's Day dinner

Irish Soda BreadTraditionally, people all over the U.S. like to have a green St. Patty's Day. But, in contrast to the tradition, which must be the result of someone's fervent love of the shades of shamrock, I'm wishing you all an environmentally green holiday.

So, how do you go about greening up St. Patty's Day?

1. Go ahead and eat green food. Just make sure it is naturally green. Try to add in spinach, peas, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, green onions, kiwis and avocados (whatever has the least carbon imprint for you area).

2. I don't advocate adding green food coloring to anything, no matter how much you want to have it fit the "theme". If you must color it, make sure you choose a product that is "natural", using vegetable and plant extracts only.

3. Choose an organic or natural corned beef. This may be hard to come by, depending on where you live, but check with your local natural foods market or a Whole Foods. The search is definitely worth it.

4. Make sure your spuds are green. No, not the green potatoes with toxins. But those grown sustainably with no chemicals. Your liver will thank you.

5. Make your own Irish Soda Bread. It's pretty damn simple and oooooh, so much better than what you can buy in the stores. Unless you live in Brooklyn. Don't forget to make your own butter.

6. Get your head on straight and buy organic cabbage. Even if you believe the argument that eating organic cabbage isn't as important as choosing organic for the dirty dozen, it's the agricultural practices and their problems that you need to consider, not just how contaminated the food is with pesticides.

7. Speaking of head, don't forget the beer. I have to admit I'm not a big beer fan, but I do like me some Guinness. Look for a local brewery who does an organic beer.

8. Make sure you don't use disposable dishes, glassware, silverware or napkins. If you don't have enough, ask your guests to bring some to the party.

9. Try a St. Patty's Day fun run or walk if there's one in your area and it's not too late to enter. How is this green? Well, maybe the extra exercise will inspire you to eat less for dinner. The result is you'll have more leftovers to reduce your food impact later in the week. Also, you'll not only burn off a little of the excess corned beef if you do go overboard, but you'll be just a tad healthier for it.

10. Enjoy the time you have with friends and family, enjoying great food and company. What could be more green friendly than that?


Unknown said...

So, your saying that to honor my part Jewish, part Irish heritage which celebrate St. Patty's and Purim inside the same week, I should not, as planned, dye my hamentaschen green? What if I make them with my own homemade butter and dye that green?

Crunchy Chicken said...

Karen - only if you use natural food coloring :) But, I'm afraid the green and the orange will combine to make gray. Which doesn't make for the most appetizing cookies.

Unknown said...

Oh dear, gray hamentaschen - ugh - every feeling revolts, even my crunchy side and especially my Jewish side and my Irish side gets nothing out of the deal. I wonder if I could fill them with something green?

Anonymous said...

I am going to try my hand at the soda bread this morning with my little helper monkeys. I am even going to fight my natural mama instinct to swap out the white flour for whole wheat. Caraway seeds? Is that typical?

Anonymous said...

If you can't find local pasture-raised corned beef, you can corn your own.

This is one recipe, but I bet they're all over the web. This one advocates gathering juniper berries around the neighborhood, even.

Anonymous said...

Just so your readers know, Guiness is NOT a vegan beer choice. It uses fish byproduct for clarifying after fermentation. You can find a list of vegan beers at if you want eco happy beer for the celebration.

Anonymous said...

Karen -- you could make lime hamentaschen...I bet that would be really good. I don't know if limes are local for you, though.

Chile said...

#3: ...or make your own vegan corned beef! I made it and it's delish.

Unknown said...

I don't understand the green dying. We just drink too much, eat chocolate cake (we put a potato in it to keep it moist) and talk about how it's been too long since we had an Irish holiday. One year a whole gang of friends and relations met up for dinner at a Chinese restaurant, run by Timorese, where the vegetarian dish was Japanese. So in the spirit, we drank Australian wine and toasted our forebears!