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Do you think St. Patrick was gluten-free?

on March 17, 2012

Okay – so I’m not Irish. Not even a little. But I did attend catholic school, and grew up around lots of Irish people – so I know the basic plot. Still, I was surprised last year at age 35 when someone pinched me for the first time because I wasn’t wearing green. Who thought of that??

I’m from the east coast. We didn’t pinch each other on holidays. Instead, someone’s mother would invariably prepare a box full of sugary “Irish Potatoes” and send them to school to be shared with the class. True, they’re probably not even Irish – but hey! A tradition’s a tradition. They are all I really remember about St. Patrick’s Day as a kid, and they’re the only thing I usually get around to making these days. My coworkers certainly seem to appreciate the effort.

Irish potatoes! Photo not mine - it's late, and I'm tired.

You can Google this wonderful little confection and turn up a handful of variations, but if you want to make them my way, here’s how:

You’ll need

8oz of cream cheese (one package)

about 1/2 cup butter

two tablespoons of vanilla extract

4 cups confectioner’s sugar (I just use the whole bag)

3-ish cups of shredded coconut (again, I just use the whole bag)

a few tablespoons of cinnamon for rolling

Cream together your butter and cream cheese. A stand mixer is wonderful for this recipe, but not necessary. Add in vanilla extract, then beat in sugar. Finally, stir in your coconut until well combined. This stuff is sticky, so I would stick it in the fridge and let it chill for at least 30 minutes. You’ll then roll the mixture into little balls (they’re quite rich, so a little goes along way); again, chill after rolling. After they’ve firmed up a bit, roll them in cinnamon and you’re done! Take some to work with you – you don’t want to keep too many of these around the house.

Just in case you’re feeling more festive than I am, I wanted to share some recipes that I’ve come across this week. Most are gluten-free, since that’s how we’ve been eating lately. Enjoy!

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

The beautiful dish pictured above is a Cauliflower Crust Pizza with Pesto, Butternut Squash, and Spinach. Ohmigosh – seriously? Who ever thought of making a pizza crust out of cauliflower? Danielle at Against All Grain, that’s who! This is one of the entries in her St. Patty’s Day Recipe Roundup – and it’s definitely worth a look.

Gluten-free Irish Soda Bread from Gluten-Free Goddess.

I hear people talk a lot about Irish Soda Bread around this time of year. Are you one of those people? Then check out the recipe for a gluten-free version at Gluten-Free Goddess. She has a number of other delicious-looking recipes “inspired by Celtic tastes”…

PaleOMG Southwest Turkey Sliders over Spicy Avocado Slaw.

Okay so these aren’t “Irish” – but the slaw is green, and I’m currently obsessed with this blog. PaleOMG. If you’re not into the idea of “Paleo” eating – then just think of it as “extreme gluten-free”. Really great stuff to be found here.

Vegan Colcannon. Don't let the "vegan" fool you - you can totally add some sausage to this.

Finally, from Choosing Raw – this Colcannon dish looks pretty delicious! Potatoes, kale – what’s not to love? I may be inspired to get cooking this weekend after all…

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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