Healthier Easter Recipes

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JLP Staff

Holiday /

This year Easter and Passover fall on the same weekend in April, which means most of us will be spending the weekend surrounded by family….and lots of delicious food.
For those who will be setting up Easter egg hunts and preparing for a weekend filled with food and celebration, here are some tips to eating a little healthier this Easter Sunday. 

Ham & Cheese Breakfast Casserole - Instead of going for the rich and creamy breakfast pies, make a ham & cheese breakfast casserole.  This recipe replaces a few egg yolks with egg whites and uses nonfat milk!  

Makes: 6 servings
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 cup nonfat milk
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 5 cups chopped spinach, wilted (see Tip)
  • 4 cups whole-grain bread, crusts removed if desired, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 1/2 pound, 4-6 slices)
  • 1 cup diced ham steak, (5 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup chopped jarred roasted red peppers
  • 3/4 cup shredded Gruyère, or Swiss cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat a 7-by-11-inch glass baking dish or a 2-quart casserole with cooking spray.
  2. Whisk eggs, egg whites and milk in a medium bowl. Add mustard, rosemary and pepper; whisk to combine. Toss spinach, bread, ham and roasted red peppers in a large bowl. Add the egg mixture and toss well to coat. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and push down to compact. Cover with foil.
  3. Bake until the custard has set, 40 to 45 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with cheese and continue baking until the pudding is puffed and golden on top, 15 to 20 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.
Make Ahead Tip: Prepare casserole through Step 2; refrigerate overnight. Let stand at room temperature while the oven preheats. Bake as directed in Step 3.
Tip: To wilt spinach, rinse thoroughly with cool water. Transfer to a large microwave-safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and punch several holes in it. Microwave on High until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Squeeze out excess moisture before adding the spinach to the recipe.

Lemon-Chive Roasted Vegetables – We know those buttery side dishes are tempting, but these lemon-chive roasted veggies are half  the calories, and won't disappoint your taste buds.  

Makes: 12 servings
  • 1 1/2 pounds small red potatoes, halved 
  • 1 1/2 pounds small fingerling potatoes, halved
  • 1 pound baby carrots 
  • 2 medium Vidalia or other sweet onions, each cut into 8 wedges
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon rind 
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 
  • Cooking spray
  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; toss well to coat. Arrange vegetables in a single layer on 2 jelly-roll pans coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 30 minutes, turning after 15 minutes or until tender and lightly browned.
  3. Combine vegetables, chives, and remaining ingredients in a large bowl; toss gently to coat.

Rosemary and Garlic Smoked Pork Roast  - A brown sugar or hongy glazed ham is known to be an Easter favorite, but if you're trying to cut the fat from the ham and lose the extra sugar from the glaze, try this flavorful smoked pork roast. 

Makes: 8 servings
4 cups apple or hickory wood chips
1 (2 1/2 pound) boneless pork top loin roast (single loin)
  • 2 tablespoons snipped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
1/2 lemon or lime
  • Aluminum foil
  1. At least 1 hour before grilling, soak wood chips in enough water to cover. Drain wood chips after soaking.
  2. Trim fat from meat. For rub, combine the snipped rosemary, the olive oil, garlic, pepper, and salt. Sprinkle rub evenly over meat; rub in with your fingers. Insert a meat thermometer into the center of meat.
  3. For a charcoal grill, arrange medium coals around a drip pan. Pour 1 inch of water into drip pan. Test for medium-low heat above the pan. (Hold your hand, palm side down, in the place where the meat will cook. Count "one thousand one, one thousand two," etc. Being able to keep your hand there for a count of five is equal to medium-low.) Sprinkle half of the wood chips over the coals; sprinkle rosemary sprigs over chips.
  4. Place meat on grill rack over drip pan. Cover; grill for 1 to 1-1/4 hours or until meat thermometer registers 155 degrees F. Add remaining wood chips halfway through grilling.
  5. For a gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium-low. Adjust for indirect cooking; following manufacturer's directions. Grill as above, except place meat on a rack in a roasting pan.
  6. Remove meat from grill. Squeeze juice from lemon or lime over meat. Cover with aluminum foil; let stand for 10 minutes before carving.

Lighter Carrot Cake – This Carrot Cake makeover recipe shaved about 1,000 calories and 36 grams of fat of the original recipe! See how by clicking HERE!  

Makes: 20 servings
  • 10.1 ounces all-purpose flour (about 2 1/4 cups) 
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 2 cups grated carrot 
  • 1 cup granulated sugar 
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar 
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened 
  • 3 large eggs 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • Cooking spray
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened 
  • 1 ounce fromage blanc
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened 
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt 
  • 3 cups powdered sugar 
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted 
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. To prepare cake, weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, ground cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add 2 cups grated carrot, tossing to combine.
  3. Place granulated sugar, brown sugar, and 6 tablespoons butter in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until combined. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
  4. Spread batter into a 13 x 9-inch metal baking pan coated with cooking spray.
  5. Bake at 350° for 28 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
  6. Cool cake completely on a wire rack.
To prepare frosting:
  1. Place softened cream cheese and next 4 ingredients (through 1/8 teaspoon salt) in a medium bowl.
  2. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until fluffy.
  3. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at medium speed until combined (don't overbeat).
  4. Spread frosting evenly over top of cake.
  5. Sprinkle evenly with toasted pecans.

Low Carb Tropical Mimosa - If you're a fan of the morning Mimosa, this low carb mix is great served during an Easter breakfast or brunch. 

  • 4 ounces dry sparkling wine
  • 4 ounces V8 Diet Tropical Splash


Happy Easter!


Categories: Holiday, Recipes
About The Author
Screen shot 2016 08 11 at 1.30.46 pm

Joan Lunden’s in-house research and writing team works with Joan to create content that complements her focuses and the interests of her fans. The team is dedicated to creating a thriving community through content and conversations, and hopes their work, like Joan’s, can make a difference in the lives of her readers everywhere.

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