Among the big holidays, Easter isn’t traditionally associated with excessive eating. But any family gathering has the potential to lead to overindulging. The best strategy: Plan your menu around fresh, healthy and seasonal recipes.
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With so many delicious ways to use the leftovers, you might want to make some extra ham this Easter.
Ham gives this whole-grain dish some extra protein and a salty bite.
Recipe: Barley Risotto with Ham and Mushrooms (above)
These perfectly-portioned sliders will make a brown bag lunch extra special.
Recipe: Ham Club Sandwich Sliders
With the weather warming up, and the sun peeking out just a little bit more day by day, our meals are lighter and include more fruits and veggies. For a satisfyingly fresh lunch, I’ve combined fresh spring asparagus and spinach — with nori seaweed as a surprise ingredient — into a lovely spring salad. Instead of store-bought salad dressing I use tahini for creamy flavor and texture. Lemon juice and fresh ginger add bold flavor without excess calories and fat. Slivered almonds provide filling healthy fats to keep you satisfied all afternoon. Bring this salad to an outdoor spring picnic party, or serve it as an Easter side dish. Read more
- Provencal Potato Gratin
- Light Scalloped Potatoes With Roasted Chiles
- Roasted Sweet Potatoes With Honey and Cinnamon
- Oven Roasted Red Potatoes With Rosemary and Garlic
- Fennel Potatoes
Food Safety Basics
Eggs are considered a potentially hazardous food that may cause illness if they’re not handled correctly. Raw and undercooked eggs have been associated with salmonella poisoning. Most folks infected with the salmonella bacteria develop symptoms about 12 to 72 hours after infected. Most people can recover but if symptoms are severe, hospitalization may be required especially in those with a compromised immune system (like the very young and old). Proper handling, cooking, and hand washing can prevent most of the issues.
Keeping Eggs Safe
Egg safety begins at your market and continues until the time when you reserve leftovers.
- Purchasing: Inspect egg cartons at the market. Don’t purchase cracked or dirty eggs and be sure to check the sell-by date. Eggs should always be refrigerated, even when on display.
- Storing: Be sure to get those eggs home quickly. They shouldn’t sit at room temperature longer than 2 hours—1 hour if it’s above 90 degrees. Once home, place the eggs in your refrigerator immediately.
- Preparing: When preparing eggs, wash your hands, any utensils, and surfaces that will come into contact with the eggs. If you’re not sure if the eggs are safe to eat, toss them. Once the equipment is used for the eggs, be sure to wash them with soap and warm water immediately. Don’t use them for another prep task (that’s cross-contamination!).
- Cooking: Always make sure that your eggs are safe to eat. For hard-boiled (or any cooked) eggs, you want to cook the eggs until both the white and yolk are firm. Learn how to make perfect hard-boiled eggs.
- Leftovers: Hard-boiled eggs can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. They shouldn’t be frozen.
It’s time to start planning your Easter menu and it can be challenging to accommodate relatives with special dietary requests. If cooking for a diabetic is on your to-do list, we’ve got healthy, spring-inspired recipes with 30 grams of carbohydrates (or less) per serving.
How about Easter brunch? That’ll leave you free for more family time and (hopefully) a little time to relax at the end of the day. A spread of breakfast fare, lunch dishes and some veggie-heavy sides will please everyone.
I love peas; I enjoy them whole and juiced but my favorite way to munch on them is in this spring salad. There is so much green in this dish: mixed greens, avocados and peas. No dressing from a bottle here! Sherry vinegar and freshly squeezed orange juice make this salad flavorful without the added calories and fat of traditional store-bought dressings. I also like to throw in some flax oil for an added dose of healthy fats. Serve this salad for lunch or as a side at dinner.
Whenever a crowd gathers for a holiday celebration, there are bound to be guests with various dietary considerations or food allergies. Accommodate everyone on your Easter celebration guest list this year with these seasonal treats.
Creamy rice pudding is teamed up with sweet cherries for a magical (and gluten free) combination.
Recipe: Rice Pudding with Cherries (*see note)
Low in saturated fat and cholesterol, this down-sized classic will make your guests swoon.
Recipe: Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes
There’s just something special about the bright and tangy goodness of a lemon. Sprinkle in some sweet elements and your taste buds get a wake up call. Celebrate spring with any of these lemony Healthy Eats-approved treats.
- Mini Olive Oil Cakes with Lemon Glaze
- Lemon Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Glaze
- Lemon Cake
- Angel Food Cake with Lemon Honey Yogurt Sauce
- Meyer Lemon Granita
- Lemon Icebox Bars
TELL US: What’s your favorite lemon dessert?