In addition to copious amounts of green-tinted beer, St. Patrick's Day celebrations always include classic Irish comfort foods like colcannon, Irish soda bread, shepard's pie and corned beef with cabbage. It's no surprise that these dishes traditionally contain plenty of butter, salt, calories and carbs—you've gotta soak up all of that alcohol with something, right?
If you want to celebrate the luck of the Irish but don't want to bust your gut doing so, try these skinny recipes that deliver all of the flavor of the traditional Irish dishes without an excessive amount of calories, fat and carbs.
Skinny Recipe 1: Shepard's Pie
A classic Irish comfort-food dish, Shepard's Pie is a stick-to-your-ribs recipe made with rich, gamey ground lamb and topped with pounds of buttery mashed potatoes (often made with egg yolks to get that pleasing golden hue). While it's a wintertime favorite for many, one serving of the traditional recipe can contains nearly 500 calories—mind you, that doesn't include the two pints of beer you wash it down with. Lighten up this St. Patrick's Day fave with lean ground turkey and a topping of cauliflower and potatoes made tangy and flavorful with low-fat Greek yogurt and sour cream.
Ingredients3 teaspoons olive oil
1 pound lean ground turkey
1/2 pound portabella mushrooms, cleaned with stems and gills removed
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground sage
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup low-sodium beef broth
2 cups frozen peas
1 head cauliflower, boiled and cut into florets
1 large Russet potato, peeled, boiled and cut into chunks
1/2 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons low-fat sour cream
2 tablespoons yogurt butter Earth Balance butter substitute
1 cup reduced-fat sharp Cheddar cheese, optional
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a large casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.