Easter is near, and that means a rich roasted turkey dinner or a honey-glazed ham (or both) and all the high-fat fixings. Is it possible to have a delicious Easter dinner that’s also healthy?
Absolutely! The key is to find recipes that incorporate healthy ingredients and use light preparations. Give my Easter recipes a try and see if you can’t transform your holiday dinner into a healthy feast.
Italian Roasted Leg of Lamb – serves 6 (with leftovers)
All over the world, grilled or roasted lamb is the star at Easter dinner tables. Lamb is high in vitamins such as A, B3, B6 and B12, as well as being an excellent source of protein. This simple boneless leg of lamb recipe has only eight grams of fat and a mere 175 calories per three-ounce serving, making it a healthier meat option than the traditional honey-glazed ham.
- 3 lbs boneless leg of lamb
- 6 large cloves of garlic, peeled
- 2 tablespoons of fresh rosemary leaves, removed from their stem
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup of dry white wine
- 1 ½ teaspoons of salt
- ½ teaspoon of cracked black pepper
- Preheat your oven to 450F.
- In a blender or food processor, combine the garlic cloves, rosemary, salt, pepper and olive oil. Puree until smooth.
- Tie the leg of lamb together using butcher’s twine. If you don’t know how to do this, have the butcher tie the lamb for you.
- Spread the garlic and rosemary paste evenly over the lamb.
- Place the lamb in a roasting pan and cook for 20 minutes, uncovered.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 375F.
- Add the wine to the roasting pan and continue to cook the lamb for 40 minutes, or until the thickest part of the meat reaches an internal temperature of 140F, which is medium.
- Allow the lamb to sit for 15 minutes before carving.
Lemon and Thyme Foil Wrapped Bass Filets – serves 4
Whole fish is another Easter favorite in many parts of the world. Aside from being healthy, fish has a spiritual representation that makes it a perfect accompaniment for any Easter meal. I’ve modified the traditional recipe by using individual filets, which brings it to only 160 calories and five grams of healthy fat per serving.
- 4 filets of striped bass, deboned and skin removed
- 16 slices of lemon
- 16 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 4 teaspoons of drained capers
- 2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil, divided into four separate ½ teaspoons)
- 1 teaspoon of salt (divided into four separate ¼ teaspoons )
- Cracked black pepper to taste
- Preheat your oven to 400F
- Place four separate 6-inch square sheets of tinfoil on a clean countertop
- Lay two slices of lemon and 1 sprig of thyme in the center of each foil square
- Season the bass filets on both sides lightly with extra virgin olive oil, followed by salt and pepper
- Place the seasoned filets on top of the lemon slices and thyme sprigs.
- Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of capers on top of each filet
- Lay two more lemon slices and one final sprig of thyme on top of each filet.
- Fold the side edges over created a pocket around the fish.
- Bring the top and bottom of each foil square together in the center and fold the foil down towards the fish, stopping about 1 inch before reaching the filet, sealing the fish in the foil.
- Bake the foil-wrapped filets for 10-15 minutes (depending on thickness) until just done.
- Remove from the oven and allow them to sit, still wrapped, at least 5 minutes before serving.
- Serve the filets still wrapped in foil and have your guests unwrap them at the table.
What about traditional deviled eggs that are so popular during Easter? Try my delicious, healthy spin on deviled eggs that replace heavy mayonnaise with nonfat Greek yogurt.
For a bright, healthy side salad, I recommend my family’s holiday favorite, green beans with feta and cranberries, tossed in a light apple-cider vinaigrette.
It’s not hard to incorporate healthy, delicious food into your Easter-day celebration. With a few simple tweaks, you can have a feast that won’t turn into flab.