I always look forward to gathering with family and friends on Easter. I just love the smells and the feeling of Spring, and any chance to gather as a family is exciting for me, especially as Tad man is getting older. I also enjoy all the pastel colors and the bright and cheery Easter Outfits!
However, Easter by American standard is also a time for sugar, cakes, cookies, ham and potatoes. Which for everyone is more than you should consume in any meal or week for that matter. So in an effort to help you save your waistline but still enjoy your family gathering I have prepared a list of my favorite recipes that you can offer to bring to your Easter gathering that are delicious but easy on the calorie count!
I urge you to enjoy your day with family and friends but also be mindful of what you are eating otherwise you will spend the next week cardio-ing yourself back to your previous self. As a Beachbody coach, I’m all about maintaining a healthy lifestyle all year round, with a few indulgences of course, but there’s no reason why we Easter dinner can’t be healthy and tasty, without being full of fat. For me, clean eating is about creating a lifestyle that takes many favorite dishes and gives them a healthy spin.
Here are just a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing for how you can make your Easter dinner healthier and less full of fat and sugar:
- Add more fresh, leafy greens! Greens are the perfect spring elixir after months of heavy, winter food. Ideas? Do a stir fry using fresh bok choy, sauté kale or collard greens or roast fresh asparagus (yes, I know, it’s not exactly leafy but it is delicious)
- Make two veggies dishes instead of one! I know how easy it is to fill up on simple carbs but why not try to veggie dishes instead. Something with a little starch, like sweet potatoes, is a wonderful accompaniment to a dish featuring greens and yet, still so healthy.
- Add flavor to your dishes by using orange or lemon zest or fresh herbs. You can ditch high calorie ingredients like butter in this simple way yet add lots of flavor that your guests will love
- Skip all the sweeteners – glazed ham or sugary sweet potatoes can easily add on unnecessary calories. Think about roasting sweet potatoes and sweetening with fresh orange juice, cinnamon and nutmeg instead. Add if you’re making a ham, why don’t create your own glass from pure maple syrup or locally grown honey instead of what you’ll find in the grocery store
- Make a healthy dessert. Instead of lots of sugary choices and too many options, make one dessert with high quality ingredients that features a natural sweetener like pure maple syrup. Or even better, have a fresh fruit salad!
Here are some of my favorite recipes:
Clean eating baked almond and asparagus
-1 lbs broccoli
– 1 tsp garlic powder
– 1/2 cup almonds chopped
– 1 tsp olive oil
– 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
– 2 tsp dried basil
Place all ingredients in a food processor (except asparagus) and process. Spread asparagus on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spray lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle asparagus with the nut mixture. Bake at 350 degrees until it reaches the done-ness that you prefer!
Clean Eating Side Salad
– Spring mix salad or I even like all Spinach in mine
– Sliced Strawberries
– Slivered almonds
-light balsamic vinaigrette dressing (Ken’s doesn’t have high fructose corn syrup)
– red onion
Toss all ingredients together and put the dressing on the side so that you can determine how much you want to put on your salad! This a great light and refreshing salad that is healthy and everyone will enjoy.
For dessert the double chocolate macaroons are delicious and everyone raved about them.
- 8 oz dark chocolate (60% cocoa or greater) chopped, divided
- 1 3/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1/2 cup organic evaporated cane juice
- 3 tbsp natural unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup liquid egg whites
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp pure almond extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small microwave safe bowl, melt 3 o chocolate in microwave on high for 45 seconds. Stir and continue to microwave on high for 15 second intervals, stirring after each, until melted. Set aside and cool.
- In a large bowl, whisk coconut, cane juice, cocoa powder and salt until well blended. Stir in melted chocolate until just combined.
- In a small bowl, whisk egg whites and vanilla and almond extracts until combined. Add egg white mixture to coconut mixture and stir until well blended. Scoop level 1 tbsp and pinch into a low pyramid shape; transfer to baking sheet. Repeat with remaining batter making 24 macaroons. Bake for 14 to 15 minutes, until outer layers are firm, bottoms are lightly browned and centers remain soft. Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
- In a microwave safe bowl, melt remaining 5 oz chocolate in microwave for 45 seconds. Stir and continue to microwave in 15 second intervals, stirring after each, until melted. Carefully holding each macaroon upside down by its base, dip peaks into chocolate. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet in the refrigerator until chocolate is set, about 30 minutes. Then store in an airtight container in refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Yummy Punch Recipe:
In a big punch bowl I mixed 2 bottles of seltzer water, 2 bottles of organic blueberry raspberry juice with no artificial sweeteners and a bag of frozen raspberries with ice! Clean and super easy!
Clean Eating Cinnamon Fruit Kebobs
You can use many different fruits with this recipe, whatever your little heart desires.
1 fresh, ripe pineapple
6 white nectarines
2 Ripe Mangos
Basting Sauce Ingredients
Juice from the fruit
1 tbsp. honey or agave
1 tsp. cinnamon
Cut all your fruits into bite-sized chunks. Be sure to cut them over a large bowl (the bowl that holds the fruit before you skewer it). You want to save as much of the juice as possible for the basting sauce.
Put them on skewers. If you use wooden skewers soak them in water first so they do not burn.
Put the kebobs on the grill and, using a basting brush, baste the kebobs with the basting sauce.
The kebobs are done when they have a nice golden brown color. I BBQ’d mine for approximately 30 minutes. But use your judgment. The fruit should be nice and caramelized.
Clean Eating Sweet Potato Casserole
(Makes 8 small servings)
1 cup pecan pieces
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tbsp. safflower oil
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3 lbs sweet potatoes
1/2 cup clean orange juice
1-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tbsp. honey
– In a large mixing bowl, combine all topping ingredients together using a wooden spoon. It will be clumpy and sticky.
– Spread out mixture the best you can on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
– Bake at 350 degrees F. for approximately 10-15 minutes. The mixture should have a nice golden color to it.
– Remove from oven and allow to cool.
– Transfer small portions to a large cutting board and chop roughly. Set aside.
– Wash the sweet potatoes and rub with oil. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake until easily pierced with a fork (about 30-40 minutes).
– Remove from oven and allow to cool until you can handle them without burning yourself.
– Peel the potatoes and place the inside in a large mixing bowl.
– Add all other filling ingredients and mash with a potato masher or blend with a hand blender.
– Transfer the potato mixture to a serving bowl. Sprinkle the pecan topping evenly over the potatoes.
Note: you will most likely have some topping left over depending on the size of the dish you use. The leftovers are great for topping oatmeal or mixing in with granola.
Eat and Enjoy!
Clean Eating Deviled Eggs
- 6 hard-boiled eggs
- 3 tbsp of fat free Greek yogurt
- 1 ½ tsp of Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp of fresh chopped dill
- Salt and pepper to taste
- A few pinches of cayenne pepper or paprika
Cut hard-boiled eggs in half-length wise. Separate egg yolks from the egg whites and place in a small bowl.
Add yogurt, and Dijon mustard to the yolks and combine well. Stir in dill and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Fill each egg white half with a heaping tablespoon of yolk mixture. Sprinkle with cayenne pepper or paprika and enjoy!!
Makes 6 servings.
One thing I did not mention was your HAM! What type of meat do you eat on Easter Sunday? If you eat ham like my family there is one way to avoid all the over processed meats by getting an all natural ham that is not cured. You don’t have to add additional flavoring! They do cost more but it’s so worth it!!
Please share any healthy recipes that you have for the holidays in the comments section!
Have a Happy Easter!