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Simply Nutritious, Quick and Delicious

Jenna Smith, Extension Educator brings you helpful tips to make meals easy, healthy and tasty!

Corned Beef and Cabbage for St. Patrick's Day

Posted by Jenna Smith - Holidays

When I looked at my calendar this morning I realized that today is Registered Dietitian Day. I'll go ahead and give myself a pat on the back for choosing to become an RD because the truth is, I can't see myself doing anything else. I'm committed to improving the health of our communities and that includes you! Thank you for reading my blog, but mostly for caring about your own health and your family's health.

Now on to the good stuff...This Saturday is St. Patrick's Day. And to some people, the day just wouldn't be the same without corned beef and cabbage. But how does it stack up on nutrition?

Whether bought raw or in a can, corned beef brisket is very salty. One 3 ounce serving of cured corned beef has 964 mg of sodium, 40 percent of your daily value of sodium. In addition to sodium, corned beef is generally made from the fattier brisket areas, so the fat and cholesterol levels tend to be on the high side when compared to some of the more commonly available beef cuts. But don't be in too much despair; despite the fact that corned beef isn't the healthiest of dishes, there are a few steps to take that can help lessen its overwhelming fat and sodium stats. First, look for extra-lean corn beef and ask the butcher to trim off the top layer of fat from the brisket. Before cooking, cut off any additional visible fat. Try steaming or boiling the meat for a mouth-watering and tender dish.

To decrease sodium content, discard any seasoning packet that comes with the beef brisket. If buying corned beef in a can, drain the beef with a mesh strainer and rinse with cold water. Boiling the raw or canned meat in water can also help decrease the sodium content, but remember these strategies only lower the level of fat and sodium somewhat. If you are on a strict low sodium or low fat diet, corned beef is not a good option for you. However, for the rest of the group, an occasional indulgence can still fit into a healthy eating plan.

Braised Cabbage

1 Tablespoon trans-fat free margarine

1 Tablespoon low sodium chicken broth

1 pound green cabbage (1/2 medium head), cut into ¼ inch strips

¼ teaspoon crushed thyme

1 Tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves

Pepper to taste

  1. Melt margarine in large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add broth, then cabbage and thyme.
  3. Bring to a simmer; cover and continue simmering, stirring occasionally until cabbage is wilted but still bright green, about 7 to 9 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle with parsley and season to taste with pepper.

Yield: 8- ½ cup servings

Nutritional analysis per ½ cup serving: 23 Calories, 1.5 grams fat, 2 grams carbohydrate, 33 milligrams sodium, 1 gram protein



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