IT IS FINALLY SPRING! I do not know how to express to you how happy (and relieved) I am that at long last, the calendar has finally rolled around to this time of year. But you know you've had “Cabin fever” pretty bad when you feel like hugging all the robins that come flying into your yard like long lost friends. Okay, it was bad, but maybe not that bad!
Anyway, with Spring now here the official first holiday that will kick off the season will be Easter. And in fact it is only a couple of weeks of way, (STAY AWAY FROM THE PEEPS!) It’s a time where the temperatures start to warm up and we start switching out the winter wardrobe for more appropriate “Spring” type apparel. However, it’s not just the wardrobe we think about switching out—but also our menus we’ve been relying on to get us through the winter. Somehow that big pot of chili that sounded so good in November does not entice me at all come April. Ugh! I’m so over that! How about you?
So in honor of the first holiday of the season I am going to take a little break from my normal type of blog and I am going to share some recipes that I think sound good for Easter dinner. After all, holidays are for celebrating and I plan on doing just that. However, anyone who regularly reads my blogs knows that I don’t think it wise to throw all self control out the window and overindulge either.
Now, in my household Easter dinner wouldn’t be Easter if it didn’t involve a ham so I will share my favorite recipe that I found somewhere on the internet years ago that I like to use. Also, I will share a tasty and healthier version of Deviled eggs to help you use up those extra colored Easter eggs you might have left over from breakfast.
AWESOME BAKED HAM
- 15 lbs whole bone-in ham
- 1 lb brown sugar (approx. 2 1/4 cp)
- 1/2 cp yellow mustard
- aluminum foil
- In a medium size bowl mix yellow mustard and brown sugar until it is a thick paste.
- Take all wrappers off of ham and trim away excess fat.
- Line baking pan with Aluminum foil for easier cleanup.
- Connect 3 large pieces of foil together securely along the long edge of each piece to make one very large sheet.
- Place ham on large sheet of foil and spread brown sugar/mustard paste on top. (Yes, it will seem like a lot of mixture.)
- Bring sides of foil up around ham and fold edges down and seal securely.
- Place ham in baking pan.
- Bake at 350° for 4 hours.
- Let ham set for about 1 hr. then carve. (DO NOT OPEN FOIL UNTIL AFTER 1 HR.)
- Enjoy one of the best tasting hams you have ever had.
- 1 bunch thin asparagus spears, washed and trimmed.
- 3 Tbsp olive oil. (or less according to diet)
- sea salt to taste
- Preheat oven to 425°
- Place asparagus on baking sheet with sides
- Drizzle olive oil and toss to coat.
- Sprinkle with salt.
- Bake 15 min. or until tender.
* This is a basic recipe. However, you can play around with it and add other seasonings such as pepper, garlic, Parmesan cheese, etc. I only use olive oil and salt because that’s the way my family likes it and we bake it longer also because we like the heads of the asparagus to be crispy.
DEVILED AVOCADO EGGS
- 6 hard boiled eggs (peeled)
- 1 large avocado
- 1 tsp. fresh cilantro
- 2 Tbsp. minced red onion
- 3 tsp. lime juice
- pinch of salt/pepper
- Halve the eggs length-wise, remove the yolks and set aside.
- In a bowl, mash the avocado and 3 whole egg yolks with a fork until desired consistency.
- Mix in lime juice, red onion, cilantro, salt and pepper according to taste and mix well.
- Spoon or pipe the mixture into the egg white halves.
- Sprinkle with dash of paprika for color.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
*This also is a basic recipe so if you like to spice it up go ahead. Try adding some garlic, cumin, or even jalapeño.
SPRING STRAWBERRY SPINACH SALAD WITH POPPY SEED DRESSING
Ingredients for salad
- 1 bunch of spinach, rinsed, drained, chopped
- 10 large strawberries, sliced
- toasted pecans
- red onion, slivered (amount depends on taste)
Dressing (You will not use all of the dressing, remainder lasts 2 weeks in fridge)
- 1/2 cp. sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/3 cp. white wine vinegar
- 1 cp. canola oil
- 1 tsp. ground mustard
- 1 Tbsp. poppy seeds
In a large bowl, mix salad ingredients. For the dressing: In a blender, place all dressing ingredients except the poppy seeds and blend until smooth and thick. Stir in the poppy seeds. Pour desired amount of dressing over salad.
*Just a friendly reminder to go easy on the dressing or it will quickly turn into a not so healthy salad.
And now, I am going to share a dessert that I have had for years that I believe was originally shared by somebody in Weight Watchers and is usually a big hit whenever I make it. I hope you will enjoy it too.
BANANA SPLIT CAKE
- 16 graham cracker squares, finely crushed
- 1 large (6-oz) pkg. sugar-free vanilla flavored instant pudding mix
- 2 3/4 cps. milk
- 4 bananas, sliced
- 1 (8-oz) carton “lite” whipped frozen topping, thawed
- 2 cps. sliced fresh strawberries
- 2 (8-oz) cans crushed pineapple
- 4 oz. flaked coconut
- Spread cracker crumbs evenly in a 13 x 9 inch pan.
- In medium bowl, mix pudding with milk approx. 2 min.
- Pour mixed pudding over crumbs.
- Layer sliced bananas over pudding.
- Cover with whipped topping.
- Add layer of strawberries, then pineapple. Sprinkle with coconut.
- Refrigerate until serving time. (Tastes better when allowed to chill at least a couple of hours.)
Well, there you have it — An Easter dinner full of “Spring” flavor. And while it’s not all totally low-cal, there is an abundance of nutritious and healthy food for the choosing. By keeping in mind portion control and being wise with your other meals throughout the day you will be just fine enjoying these dishes. And, even more so if you incorporate a nice brisk walk into the days activities. So with that being said, I wish you a “Happy Spring and a Happy Easter!”