Green your St. Patty’s Day celebration this year by serving food and drink that’s better for the environment. A few simple choices can help lead you to a more planet-friendly holiday — check out our favorite tips to green your traditional St. Patrick’s Day menu:
7 Ways to Rethink Meat & Potatoes
‘Tis the season for a St. Patrick’s Day favorite, corned beef and cabbage! This holiday, consider making small changes to your go-to recipe to help minimize your eco-footprint. Here’s how:
Play with Proportions: Can’t find local cabbage but have plenty of organic potatoes on hand? Simply increase the amount of potatoes used in the recipe. Use what you’ve got to minimize potential waste and support what’s in season.
Make Slow Food: Instead of simmering the corned beef on the stovetop, consider slow cooking instead. Small appliances, like slow cookers, actually waste less energy. And if you like it, you’ll have a new eco-friendly cooking technique to use year-round!
Whip Up Your Own Condiments: Even though condiments like spicy mustard often come in recyclable glass or plastic containers, you can take a step closer to zero waste by whipping up your own sauces in bulk. This will not only give you more control over the ingredients but should save you money on your grocery bills, too!
Get Creative With Leftovers: When food ends up in a landfill, it rots and becomes a source of methane, a greenhouse gas1. Avoid landfill waste by turning last night’s dinner into tomorrow’s breakfast. Reheat leftover corned beef in a skillet, pair it with an egg, and you’ve got a quick and delicious breakfast!
Bonus Leftovers Tip: To save energy and money, be sure to cook your egg and corned beef over a burner the size of your pan — it makes for better heat distribution, and less wasted energy.
Make It Meatless: If corned beef is impossible to find, switch it up and make it a meatless meal with in-season produce. If you’re looking for an authentic Irish experience, try your hand at a veggie Shepherd’s Pie, a versatile casserole that is satisfying, easy to assemble and a great use for leftovers! Stew locally sourced veg (I love using lentils and mushrooms), top with mashed potatoes, and bake.
Support Local Farmers: Whether meat or produce, by sourcing organic ingredients from your farmer’s market, you’re supporting your local economy, getting fresher food, and reducing the reliance on chemicals, since they weren’t needed to prolong shelf life.
Check out this map to see what’s fresh in your area this St. Patty’s Day. >
One Way to Improve Your Toast
Cheers! …or shall we say, “Sláinte!” Porters, red ales, and some lagers are traditional Irish beers appropriate for St. Patrick’s Day. Keep with the spirit of the holiday by choosing a porter from you local brewery instead of reaching for a cross-country brand. By choosing a locally-sourced beer, you’re reducing carbon emissions caused by transportation. Showing support for your local brewery can only help.
Check out this interactive map to see where to sip local this holiday. >