I have so many childhood memories from our Easter celebrations. From dying the eggs to waking up to find our beautiful Easter baskets. Then hunting for candy filled eggs and dressing up in our floral printed dresses, complete with white gloves and hats of course. We were fancy. The day always ended with a beautiful display of food which lined the white linen covered table, sprinkled with pastel décor, honey ham and my mother's world famous potato salad.
As an adult I've taken on the responsibility aka pressure of presenting such a feast to my children. We typically have honey ham as a must for Easter, like turkey for Thanksgiving. The sides are what gets my creative juices flowing. I know it's a holiday and I should shout "Use the real butter and go crazy!". If you're reading this I can only assume you're looking for healthier versions to curb the quarantine weight most of us have found over the last year. I like to think that if I make healthier food options for the main meal, then the jelly beans I sneak from my kids all day won't really hit my thighs as hard. It's called balance folks.
Let's start with the horderves and snacks! We usually put these out during lunch time instead of actual lunch. It's a good idea to put these options out and grab a kid as they run by to make them eat a carrot or two in between the chocolate bunnies and jelly beans. Again, balance.
Deviled Eggs- If you don't make deviled eggs during Easter then I can't help you. Kidding, it's your choice but I for one look forward to these every year. Eggs are a good source of protein and are overall healthy. However, mixing in cups of mayonnaise for the filling might be the killer as far as the scale of healthy vs non-healthy. To "health" it up, I recommend using THIS as your mayo of choice. Or, and here's a wild thought... make your own! It's so easy, especially if you have an immersion blender. I use a 1/4 cup of walnut oil (I like the taste of this rather than avocado oil), one raw egg... then blend. Seriously... it's that easy.
Veggie Tray with Ranch Dip- A veggie tray is pretty straight forward. If you want to get creative, you can shape them out in the form of a bunny or an egg. Fresh veggies always taste best! The kicker here is the dip. For a healthy dip replacement, I use plain greek yogurt instead of sour cream. Yes, it's still dairy but the protein content is high and is a bit more filling than your average sour cream. I use THIS yogurt as a sour cream replacement. This brand is great as it is low in sugar and the plain is very similar to sour cream. You are welcome to use your own spices and create a flavored dip. For the sake of time I will tell you that the hidden valley ranch dip mix works just fine.
Fruit Tray with Strawberry & Honey Dip- I personally don't usually dip my fruit since it's pretty sweet on it's own so you are welcome to have one big beautiful fruit tray without the dip. If you like a good dip, use THIS as your base. I add about 1-3 tablespoons of honey to start. If I don't get the pazazz of flavor I'm looking for, I'll puree some strawberries and mix that in as well.
Chips! It's a holiday... I'll allow this as a snack option. If this is a must have, I highly recommend using THIS brand. There isn't a single one of these we've tried that hasn't been delicious. It's grain free with natural ingredients but you can't tell by how bold the flavors are!
Roasted Vegetables- This one is super easy. The End.
1 small/1 cup Sweet potatoes
2 celery stock
2 carrots peeled and chopped
6 oz brussel sprouts, trimmed and quartered
1 onion, chopped
1 head of broccoli, chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tsp oregano
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or Ghee, or bacon fat which I tend to use because well... bacon)
Set your oven to 425 then coat all of the veggies in 2 tablespoons olive oil. Toss with all of your spices until evenly coated. Spread the veggies on your sheet pan and pop in the oven for 15 minutes. After the first 15 minutes, remove and stir the veggies up a bit. Return to the oven for an additional 15-25 minutes (look for the sweet potatoes to be fork tender). Depending on the size of your pan, you may want to stir them once more in this last leg of the race. I like to drizzle a tiny bit of balsamic vinegar before serving.
Healthy Potato Salad- I was worried it would be a challenge taking my mom's famous potato salad and turning it into a healthy version. I will say this version did not disappoint!
8 large red potatoes
6 hard boiled eggs
1 1/3 cup mayo (use the brand above OR make your own!)
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 tsp pepper
2 tsp salt
1 tablespoon mustard
1 cup chopped celery
Make sure you make this ahead of time so it has time to chill in the fridge. I've had warm potato salad before and I do not recommend it...
Wash, peel and chop the potatoes in to bite size pieces, then boil. In a separate pot, boil your eggs to your liking. I typically boil for about 6 minutes, then drain and run cold water over them as to not over cook. In a mixing bowl, combine mayo, mustard, vinegar and spices and set aside. Chop your celery and eggs (once cooled). Mix the potatoes, eggs, celery and mixture in one big bowl. Store in the fridge and cool before serving. Feel free to garnish with bacon bits or parsley!
Spring Salad with homemade Dressing- Save some time, buy the bag of spring salad mix. Tell everyone you hand selected each type of lettuce and prepared it yourself. Hide the evidence, it's OK. The dressing is the most important piece of this side dish because you WILL be making it from scratch! Hooray for you! Fine, if you don't want to make it from scratch, us THIS brand as a healthy replacement. If you want to take the adventurous route, this is how you do it! I need you to sing "This is how we do it" by Montell Jordan while you make this. It improves the flavor. Fact. Not really, but it's fun.
1/3 cup vinegar blend, half balsamic, half apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons water
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
2 tablespoons honey
Mix all of the dry ingredients in one bowl, with the wet ingredients in another. I use a mason jar for the final mixture so I can tighten the lid and mix freely while dancing and singing to "This is how we do it" and not spill any of the yummy dressing. Top your salad with Avocado, fresh cucumber slices and strawberries! My mouth is watering... Fun fact, you can use this as a marinade as well!
I hope this helps with your upcoming Easter menu! Please let me know if you've tried any of these recipes by leaving a comment below!