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Weekly Diet News Digest

by John McGran, Columnist

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If you're always after your Lucky Charms on St. Paddy's Day, then perhaps this year it's time to skip the sugary green clovers and opt instead for a plate of much-healthier greens and a steamy bowl of Irish Stew.

Eat Greens on St. Patrick's DayWe asked registered dietitian Shauna Schultz for a bit of good advice to help make this holiday even more fun for your waistline.

Shauna wants you to include greens rather than simply wear them today!

"Dress yourself and your plate with green this March 17th and avoid getting pinched!" she says.

"Another bonus, you'll get to enjoy nutrient packed greens! You've probably heard that greens are nutritious and well, they sure are! Just take a look at the benefits of eating greens."

What are greens?

Greens include spinach, collard greens, mustard greens, kale, dark green lettuce, Swiss chard, mache, escarole, beet greens, bok choy, cabbage, endive, dandelion greens, radiccho, turnip greens, watercress, arugula and broccoli.

Greens are known to many as a "superfood" " take a look at the benefits!

-- Excellent source of vitamins A and C, which may help reduce the risk of certain cancers.

-- Low in calories!

-- Good source of calcium, iron, magnesium, folate and fiber.

-- Spinach, kale, Swiss chard, lettuce, bok choy and collards are a rich source of the antioxidants lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene. These antioxidants help promote eye health and keep your heart ticking!

-- Cruciferous greens such as broccoli, kale and cabbage contain the sulfur-rich phytochemicals sulforanes and indoles. They help promote eye health and keep your immune system healthy!

Hot Potato!

Another staple in Irish cooking " potatoes! Although you can enjoy potatoes year round, why not dish some up this St. Patrick's Day? While higher-protein diets have labeled potatoes as "bad carbs," it just isn't true! This starchy vegetable is among the "good" carbs and has a lot to offer.

Benefits of Potatoes

-- Good source of fiber

-- Good source of vitamin C

-- Sweet potatoes are a good source of beta-carotene which helps protect eyes, skin and may help reduce the risk of cancer.

-- Low in calories and fat

-- Good source of potassium and vitamin B6

Pick your Favorite Spud!

Potatoes come in so many different varieties and each is unique and delicious. Take a look at the different varieties and uses for each.

Russet or Baking Potatoes: starchy and low-moisture content, fluffy and dry when cooked. Good for baking, mashing, frying or used in gratins.

Yukon Gold Potatoes: moist flesh and hold their shape well. Good for mashing, used in gratins, cubed in soups, stews or potato salads.

Red Potatoes: high moisture, low-starch content and waxy, dense flesh. Do not fall apart easily when cooked. Good for roasting, boiling and for use in soups or potato salad.

Sweet Potatoes: sweet and moist with a vibrant orange color! Good for baking, mashing or for use in soups and stews.

St. Patrick's Day Menu
Irish Stew
Seared Greens
Strawberry Rhubarb Angel Food Cake

Irish Stew

2 lb lean lamb
3 tablespoons flour, seasoned
3 large onions, diced
8 oz carrots, sliced
3 oz parsnips, sliced
3 medium leeks, washed and sliced
5 large potatoes peeled & sliced or 15 baby potatoes washed & halved
1 yam or sweet potato peeled and diced
4 tablespoons of pearl barley
Hot water
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Parsley for garnish

1. Cut away all excess fat from meat and cut into pieces, and then dip into seasoned flour. Put a layer of meat into the bottom of a large non-stick ...    Continue

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