I must say #TeamFabio, when I first moved to America and found out about St. Patrick’s Day, I was surprised. A holiday that celebrated drinking beer while having the potential of being pinched all over if you weren’t wearing green. I quickly warned my kitchen staff at the time that If I was pinched, somebody would end up with a wedgie and their head stuck in a toilet. Needless to say, nobody messed with me when I came dressed in black. Like I always say it ain’t easy being green, and we still all enjoyed a beer after our shift! So to all my pinchers out there, beware. I’m very nice until someone starts to pinch me, unless it’s my mom – she has rights that other people just don’t have. Love you mom, but carefully how much you pinch me. Remember, I do cook your food like a good son ; )
St. Patrick’s Day happens on the 17th of March every year, as we pay tribute to the patron Saint of Ireland. My assistant Megan, she is Irish and she never works for ST. Patrick’s… and I get it. But America, as an Italian, why are you celebrating Ireland’s holiday? Oh well, guess I’ll stay confused on that one because I celebrate it too. Here are a couple of fun facts about The Luck of the Irish special day.
- Do you like parades? The very first St. Patrick’s Day parade wasn’t in Ireland like some might think. It was held in the streets of Boston back in 1737. Talk about old Leprechauns! (what the heck is a Leprechaun anyway)
- St. Patrick’s color was actually blue. The reason people started to associate green was due to a legend that fairies and immortals wore this color. This color symbolized encouragement towards crops to grow. As a chef, I approve of healthy crops. Maybe I should be wearing more green…even if again it ain’t easy being green.
- Catholic church-goers, statistically attend morning mass before going to the Parades. Gotta have those priorities in order – God then Beer. #BOOM I guess you feel less guilty to get plastered after a blessing ? I will never understand it but whatever makes your beans happy it’s a go for me.
From a kitchen perspective in keeping with the green theme, I want to fill you guys in on the awesome benefits of incorporating more green into your diet and your pocket. Follow the Green don’t follow the Dream is a good tactic that I have been following in business and in the kitchen… Like the sound of that? Eating green vegetables on a daily basis has been shown to help reduce cholesterol, increase blood circulation, and boost immune systems nationwide! That’s the power of green and you can still dream. Buying green veggies, whether canned, fresh, or frozen can put some money back into your pocket. Leafy green are typically half the cost of fruits and meat as a whole. Maybe that’s why doctors tell us to load up on this stuff. Good for your backside anyway you look at it! Here are 3 of my favorite greens and a couple ways you can dress them up for mouth-watering pleasure.
- Kale – Rich in fiber, antioxidants, calcium, and iron, Kale hits a home run every time. Enjoy sliced thin tossed with olive oil, pomegranate, and orange slices. If you like it cooked, sauté with diced pancetta and roasted garlic for 2 minutes. Have a hangover? Kale is a great detox food. Keep that in mind the next time your liver might be in trouble!
- Spinach – Raw or cooked, baby or not, Spinach never ceases to surprise me. Full of nutrients and taste, I go for this year ’round. Especially in the winter though. Great in soups, braised with meats, or on its own with sea salt and cracked pepper. Here’s some food for thought though – Cooking Spinach can increase the health benefits of it by allowing the body to better breakdown the components in the body. No wonder Grandma always put it in my Minestrone Soup. She really does love me. #italiankisses
- Collards – Low in calories and high in soluble and insoluble Fiber, these greens are so good for our bodies. They contain anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and immune boosting attributes. Anytime a food can help fight against colon, cervical, or breast cancer, that’s a food I will let my family know about! You guys deserve the best. Heat up some chicken stock, wash the collards, chop them, and let them cook. Add salt, pepper, diced carrots, and shredded chicken. Wait about 30-40 minutes and your body boosting soup is complete!
Buying green vegetables, unfortunately, isn’t a staple in America’s households as much as a fast food hamburger. And no, iceberg lettuce on tacos doesn’t count either. I love those two just as much as the next person, but guys, we have to think about our health here! I want you to live and get the most out of your life. Enjoy a hamburger every now and again, but pack on those greens. I remember being sick a couple years ago due to work exhaustion. I spent the next month taking a green shake every morning. And only two weeks later, I noticed my vision being sharper and my body being more apt for kitchen combat. This is good stuff America – you know you can always trust Uncle Fabio! So do you have a favorite type of green? How do you sneak them into your kids diet? Let me know. I want to hear from you via Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Send me a picture, tell me a story, and keep me wanting more! I love interacting with you guys. So whether you are enjoying St. Patrick’s Day for the green beer or green vegetables, just make sure to live your life the best way you can – THE GREEN WAY! #StPatricksDay
PS: It ain’t easy being green.