Robin’s Healthy Take: Get Creative With Easter Leftovers

by in Robin's Healthy Take, April 25, 2011
Robin's post-Easter feast

When I cook for holidays, I always have loads of leftovers. I actually plan it that way, because I like revamping tasty ingredients into completely new dishes. After Easter, it’s mostly ham and hard-boiled eggs (and most of the eggs have multicolored whites from the dye)! Since both don’t stay fresh for more than about 3 days in the fridge, I get to morphing pretty darn quick! Check out my favorites.

Oh, and P.S., if you want to make these dishes and you only have raw eggs, here’s how to hard-boil ‘em: Place whole eggs in a saucepan; pour over enough cold water to cover; set pan over high heat; bring to a boil; reduce heat to simmer and cook 12 minutes; drain and plunge into ice water.

Asparagus and Ham Salad with Cheddar, Lemon and Egg
Serves 4

Ingredients:
2 bunches fresh asparagus
2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and diced
1 cup diced cooked ham
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 lemon, juice and zest
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon honey mustard

Directions:
Immerse asparagus bunches (with rubber bands still on) in a pot of boiling water. Cook 2 minutes, until crisp-tender. Drain and immerse in ice water to prevent further cooking. Drain, trim woody ends and cut spears into 2-inch pieces. Transfer asparagus to a large bowl and add eggs, ham, cheese and parsley; set aside. Whisk together 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon finely-grated lemon zest, oil and mustard; add mixture to asparagus mixture and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Spaghetti Carbonara with and Green Peas
Carbonara is a classic Italian dish that often contains bacon, eggs, milk and cheese. In my healthier version, I use ham instead of bacon, flour instead of eggs (to thicken) and low-fat milk.

Serves 4

Ingredients:
12 ounces spaghetti
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup diced cooked ham
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 cups low-fat milk
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup frozen green peas, keep frozen until ready to use
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:
Cook spaghetti according to package directions; drain and set aside. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add ham and garlic and cook 3 minutes, until golden brown. Whisk flour into milk and add to pan; simmer 1-2 minutes, until thickened. Add cooked spaghetti and peas and cook 1 minute to heat through. Remove from heat, stir in cheese and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Ham and Cheese Quesadillas With Pickled Peppers
Serves 4

Ingredients:
Cooking spray
8 medium/soft taco size flour tortillas, regular or whole wheat
12 ounces thinly sliced cooked ham
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup thinly sliced pickled jalapeno peppers

Directions:
Coat a stovetop griddle or grill pan with cooking spray and preheat to medium-high.
Arrange four tortillas on a flat surface; top with ham, cheese and peppers. Top with second tortilla. Transfer to hot pan and cook 3 to 5 minutes per side, until golden brown and cheese melts.

Spinach Salad with Grilled Salmon and Eggs
Serves 4

Ingredients:
Cooking spray
4 salmon fillets (about 5 ounces each)
5-7 ounces baby spinach, chopped
2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
8 strips regular or turkey bacon, cooked until crisp and chopped
1/3 cup light balsamic vinaigrette

Directions:
Coat a stovetop griddle or grill pan with cooking spray and preheat to medium-high.
Season salmon with salt and freshly ground black pepper and grill 3 minutes per side, until fork-tender; chop into 2-inch pieces. Combine spinach, salmon, eggs, bacon and dressing in a large bowl; toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Robin Miller is a nutritionist, host of Quick Fix Meals, author of “Robin Rescues Dinner” and the busy mom of two active little boys. Her boys and great food are her passion. Check her out at www.robinrescuesdinner.com.

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