Healthy Easter Recipes

Easter is almost here! YEAH!  In my family that always meant putting on a new dress and white shoes and going to church.  After that, we had a huge Easter dinner consisting of ham, mashed potatoes, corn and dinner rolls, all followed by a bunch of desserts like chocolate pie or coconut rabbit cake.  That was all on top of the huge Easter baskets loaded with chocolate and candy.  Oooh, those were the days.

That was our family tradition, one which I, unfortunately, carried on with my own children.  But now that I am older and my children are older, we are trying on some new healthier traditions.   I thought I would share a few with you.

Instead of the traditional cured ham that is full of sodium and nitrates, we are going to try a honey-baked pork roast, mashed cauliflower and roasted asparagus with almonds.  I’ll give you the recipes I am going to use.

HONEY-BAKED PORK ROAST

1 5 lb. bone-in pork picnic half roast
6 ½ tablespoon organic honey
¼ cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1/3 cup veganaise
¼ cup dijon mustard
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
3/8 teaspoon ground red pepper

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Trim tough outer skin layer from pork, leaving as much fat as possible intact. Discard skin.  Rub 2 ½ Tablespoons of honey over pork.  Combine sugar, salt, pepper, cinnamon, ginger and cloves in a bowl.  Rub evenly over pork.  Place pork fat side up on a foil-lined broiler pan.  Bake at 300 degrees until internal temperature registers between 170 and 180 degrees, about 3 – 31/2hours.  Remove from oven and let stand for 15 minutes Combine remaining 1/4 cup honey, veganaise and remaining ingredients in a bowl and serve sauce with the pork.

ROASTED ASPARAGUS WITH ALMONDS

1 pound asparagus, trimmed
2 teaspoons olive oil
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
3 Tablespoons toasted sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Drizzle asparagus with olive oil.  Bake at 450 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring once after 5 minutes. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and almonds.

CAULIFLOWER AND GREEN ONION MASH

1 teaspoon olive oil
3 pounds fresh cauliflower cut into florets
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
I cup chopped green onions
1 cup low-fat milk, or coconut milk or almond milk
2 tablespoons butter
¾ teaspoon ground pepper
½ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.  Toss oil, cauliflower, and garlic on a jelly-roll pan.  Bake at 500 degrees for 20 minutes or until lightly brown, stirring occasionally.  Place cauliflower mixture in a large bowl.  Add onions, milk, butter, salt and pepper to the mixture.  Mash with a potato masher.

And to make the Easter basket healthier, try replacing candy with pieces of fruit and plastic eggs filled with nuts rolled in cocoa.  And never forget the hard-boiled eggs – decorated of course.

HAVE A HAPPY, HEALTHY EASTER!

Barbara Schrader
April 5, 2017

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