Wednesday, March 18, 2015

My Very Own Pot of Gold

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  Yes, I realize it's an Americanized holiday that's only celebrated by half of our country's population, and for mostly the wrong reasons (when everyone is "Irish for a day" some of the authenticity is surely lost).  But despite the reality that it's a religious holiday that was basically hijacked in part by the partying masses, I still LOVE St. Patrick's Day.  It's great to celebrate our Irish heritage and is just so FUN.

I'm a girl who's always appreciated a good parade and music that makes me move my feet, so St. Patty's Day in Cleveland has never disappointed. While I've outgrown the drunken debauchery that generally takes over the city every March 17, I'll admit there are a few traditions I still try to uphold every year:

1.  The Spectating of the Parade - Working downtown typically allows me the opportunity to sneak out over lunch to see the mounted police, bagpipers, giant wolf hounds and Irish dance troops march past.  Sadly, I missed this year's parade, but I'll be sure to check out the photos online.  They're always good for a laugh.

2.  The Dancing of a Jig -  I wish I could claim some traditional Irish "Lord of the Dance" moves, but oh boy, do I love me some good old fashioned Irish tunes.  How can you NOT want to dance a jig when the fiddle and the drums play?  I'm making the hubs take me out for a spin on the dance floor tonight, to be sure.

3. The Drinking of a Green Drink - In years past, I'd typically let myself indulge in one (or two) of my favorite green beverages: Green beer and a McDonald's shamrock shake.  Now that I'm older and a bit more health conscious, this year I'll be skipping the green beer and will take a pass on McDonald's frankenshake with all of its scary ingredients, but I'd be lying if they didn't both sound good to me right about now.

The good news is that I had a rare moment of genius today and created my very own minty shake that meets all of my healthy eating tenets.   Dare I say it's magically delicious?  Perhaps there was a wee leprechaun involved in my moment of inspiration?  In any case, I'm telling you, this shake is so good it was like finding my very own pot of gold! 

The recipe is below in case anyone is interested.  It's vegan, gluten free and kid-friendly, using only fruit as a sweetner so there's no guilt involved, with the added bonus of actually having hidden vegetables in it.

So whether you stay home tonight and enjoy a corned beef sandwich on your couch, go all-in at a local pub, or something in between, have a very Happy St. Patrick's Day!  May you find your very own pot of gold, whatever form it takes.


Kelly's Mean Green Shamrock Shake
(vegan, sugar-free, gluten-free, kid-friendly)

1 cup rice or almond milk (or milk of your choice)
1 frozen banana
handful frozen spinach and/or kale
1 tbs cashew butter (optional, but it did give it a nice flavor and consistency)
1/8 - 1/4 tsp peppermint extract (food grade), depending on how minty fresh you want your shake. A little goes a long way, so best to start small and add more if you like.
2-3 ice cubes

Directions:  Blend, baby, blend!

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