Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Did you know that the tradition of eating green food on St. Pat’s day can be traced at least back to 1933 and the Chicago Tribune, according to Slashfood?

While it’s true that green beer is just as full of gluten as regular beer-colored beer, most other traditional St. Patrick’s treats are either naturally gluten-free or easily convertible. It’s easy to wear your green and be gluten-free, too – whether you’re Irish every day or only on March 17th.

The Smithsonian Zoo's Mandara enjoys a gluten-free fruit kabob for St. Pat's

A traditional St. Patrick’s day feast would have a few key components. Of course there’s the beer – let’s get that out of the way first. We write about beer fairly often, and if you have some gluten-free food coloring on hand you could turn any light-colored beer green in no time flat.

Or, you could just make sure the label is green. I’ve only had Green’s gluten-free beer once, but I thought it was tasty (and it’s undoubtedly festive).

And once you’re hungry from all that drinking? Gluten-free Irish Soda Bread, of course! The linked recipe, courtesy of the Gluten-free Goddess, uses sorghum and millet. I also love this recipe for gluten-free potato bread, also called fadge, from About.com – they’d be yummy with a hunk of sharp cheddar any time of year. You can use your gluten-free four of choice here; it’s really just a binder to hold together all the mashed potatoes.

Ah, but if you’re going to make a little bit of mashed potatoes for the bread, what to do with the extras? If you’re inviting me over for dinner, then my vote goes to shepherd’s pie. Both Martha Stewart and Rachel Ray’s recipes call for a bit of flour, so make sure you substitute your favorite gluten-free variety here (your gluten-free grocery guide will have plenty of options).

Probably the most renowned St. Pat’s dish is corned beef and cabbage. It’s sometimes cooked with beer, so be sure to ask about that if you’re at a restaurant or a friend’s house.

Funnily enough, King Arthur Flour’s recipe for cooking up the accoutrements to store-bought corned beef is really simple and contains no flour or other gluten. Just be sure both the broth and the beef are gluten-free.

If you want to cook your own corned beef and cabbage and have a slow cooker, the Food Network’s instructions are fairly simple – but double check the pickling spices included with your brisket!

And if you really want to go all out (or can’t find an appropriate set of pre-packed pickling spices), this recipe from Jim’s Deli is a gluten-free classic.

What are you doing to celebrate St. Pat’s?