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RECIPE INCLUDED: Celebrating St. Pat's doesn't have to equal high fat

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by ANGELA SHELF MEDEARIS, The Kitchen Diva
St. Patrick’s Day celebrates all things Irish, including the color green. Why not enjoy the holiday by going green and healthier with your traditional St. Patrick’s Day feast?
Corned beef and cabbage is a favorite meal on St. Patrick’s Day, but some folks may want to cut back on the fat and calories. Brisket is naturally high in fat, but there are ways to reduce it. One way is to trim away any excess fat from the meat before it is cooked. Another is to cook the meat a day ahead of time and refrigerate it. Once the meat cools, the fat will harden and can be skimmed off.
The type of brisket you buy also makes a difference. A flat half brisket would have 191 calories and 6 grams of fat per 3.5 ounce serving. The same amount of point half brisket has 244 calories and nearly 14 grams of fat. Whole brisket has 218 calories and 10 grams of fat. Leaving a 1/4-inch trim of fat almost doubles the calories in all of the brisket cuts. One of the lowest-calorie briskets is the one in which all the fat is trimmed.
Potatoes are another favorite Irish food. Potatoes are not very high in calories and have no fat, but making them with lots of butter and high-fat milk adds fat. Keep the holiday tradition alive but reduce the calories by serving a side of low-fat buttermilk mashed potatoes. The secret is the buttermilk, which adds a creamy texture and buttery flavor.
Save calories by baking two large potatoes in the oven or microwave, then quartering and peeling them (or leave the skins on if you’d like). Place the potatoes in a deep bowl and add 2 tablespoons of butter and 2/3 cup of 1/2 percent- or 1 percent-fat buttermilk. Use a potato masher or mixer to blend the potatoes. Season to taste.
Enjoy St. Patrick’s Day with this tasty, but reduced-fat meal!

CORNED BEEF BRISKET WITH CABBAGE

2 stalks celery, halved
4 carrots
1 medium onion, cut in 4 wedges
1 4-pound corned beef brisket
2 tablespoons steak sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
4 to 6 cups low-sodium beef broth
1 tablespoon corned beef spices or pickling spices (or spices that come with the brisket)
1 medium head cabbage, cut into 6 wedges
Grainy mustard for serving

1. Place celery, carrots and onion in the bottom of a large slow-cooker or crock pot. Rinse the corned beef brisket. Season brisket and vegetables with the steak sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and salt and pepper. Place the brisket on top of the vegetables. Pour in the beef broth until it barely covers the brisket. Cover and cook on low for eight to nine hours.
2. Remove the meat and vegetables from the pot and cover with foil to keep warm. Increase heat to high and add the cabbage to the slow cooker. Cook cabbage until softened but still crispy, about 20 to 30 minutes.

3. Remove any excess fat from the brisket. Slice brisket across the grain. Serve with the vegetables and the mustard and a side of the low-fat buttermilk mashed potatoes. Remove any excess fat from the cooking liquid. Pass the extra cooking liquid at the table. Serves 6 to 8.
TIP: Powdered buttermilk, which can be found in the baking section of the grocery store, allows you to use what you need without wasting the rest.
(Additional information provided by Tammy Roberts, MS, RD, LD, Nutrition and Health Education specialist, Bates County, University of Missouri Extension).
Angela Shelf Medearis is an award-winning children’s author, culinary historian and the author of seven cookbooks. Her new cookbook is “The Kitchen Diva’s Diabetic Cookbook.” Her website is www.divapro.com. To see how-to videos, recipes and much, much more, like Angela Shelf Medearis, The Kitchen Diva! on Facebook and go to Hulu.com. Recipes may not be reprinted without permission from Angela Shelf Medearis.