Looking to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with some green? As an alternative—or a complement—to the flashy green clothing, shamrock pins, and green beer typically associated with St. Patty’s Day, green your plate with yummy emerald-hued eats. And since meat’s not green (the meat industry has a devastating impact on our environment), these greens are all good for you, good for animals, and good for the planet. Now that’s something to celebrate!
Broccoli is one of the healthiest veggies out there. Ounce for ounce, broccoli contains more vitamin C than an orange and as much calcium as a glass of milk, and broccoli is rich in fiber and vitamin A. Additional broccoli benefits are its cancer-fighting properties and its ability to protect against strokes and cataracts. Get you broccoli boost with a tofu and broccoli stir-fry.
One of my favorite greens is the leafy and hearty kale. Kale is packed with B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium, iron, and fiber. I enjoy blanching kale and then making a salad with it, or throwing it into a smoothie. Another personal favorite is sautéed kale as a tasty and healthy side dish.
There’s a reason that Popeye relied on spinach to keep him strong … this nutrient-dense green is full of antioxidants such as vitamin C and beta-carotene and vitamins A and K. Spinach contains cancer-fighting flavonoid compounds and a cartenoid that combats ovarian and prostate cancers. A true multitasker, spinach also improves brain function and cardiovascular health. Honor Popeye—and your own health—by making Popeye’s Spinach Pie. And if you’re in the mood for something richer, whip up some creamy spinach dip or creamed spinach (both vegan!).
Which green will you eat this St. Patrick’s Day?
This article was written by Lauren Gordon and originally appeared on PETA.org.