With all the sweets received and given on Easter, healthy food menus can provide a counterbalance to all the sugar overload. Healthy Easter menus focusing on light, fresh flavors are fairly simple. Spring vegetables can be worked into nearly every dish, and even eggs can make an impression if presented in the right manner.
In modern Western society, Easter is both a religious and seasonal celebration. Spring is a season of rebirth, and seasonal vegetables are the main players in Easter buffets for color, taste and lightness juxtaposed with heavy sweets. The bright greens of spring asparagus and shelled peas add color to the Easter bounty. Consider offering baked asparagus wrapped in pancetta or steamed asparagus sprinkled with a little lemon and salt -- skewers make for easy finger food. Shelled peas aren't as easy to eat, so try hollowing out grapefruit halves and fill with a mixture of peas, grapefruit juice, salt and olive oil. Be sure to provide spoons. Raw vegetables, such as sliced carrots, celery stalks and broccoli, pair well with healthy dips such as hummus for an appetizer. After all, the Easter Bunny needs to eat too.
It isn't Easter without hard boiled eggs. After dyeing, use the eggs to make a healthy mayonnaise-free egg salad. You can serve the salad on toast points, in small finger sandwiches or as a dip with crackers and bread slices. Stuff eggs inside hollowed peppers or zucchini rounds, or simply try them whole.
For a healthy mayonnaise-free egg salad, coarsely chop 1 dozen hard boiled eggs and set aside. In a skillet with a bit of olive oil, bay leaf, pepper and salt, saute 1 (chopped) large eggplant with 4 (chopped) small zucchini and 1 ½ cups of frozen peas. Allow to cool. Mix the sauteed vegetables with the chopped eggs and add 1 tbsp. spicy or plain honey mustard. Mix and serve.
No party is complete without protein. Pork is ideal for party food as it can be eaten cold. Roasted pork tenderloin cut into small slices can be layered on pieces of toasts. Galettes can also be made savory (and individually sized) with cooked chicken, pork or lamb and a selection of vegetables, such as asparagus.
It is undoubtedly a challenge to make a dessert without sugar, as the idea of a dessert is sweet. Aside from providing a variety of healthy fruits and cheeses, such as fresh melon and brie, consider making recipes that use low-sugar ratios or incorporate sugar substitutes such as honey into your favorite recipes. Carrot cake is an Easter classic, though most recipes and store-bought cakes are loaded with sugar. For a healthy, reduced fat, reduced sugar carrot cake recipe, please refer to the link "carrot cake" in the resources listed below. Other healthy options to consider are whole wheat or bran muffins; blueberry, poppy seed and lemon make for great light Easter flavors.