4 healthy Easter side dishes your guests will devour!

FoodGirlUK Easter Feast

During Easter we are surrounded by delicious temptations and many of us will over indulge the whole week of Easter seeing most putting on a bit of extra weight around the middle! (On average 5-10lbs over the week!). Gaining these pounds over the holidays and having your weight bounce up and down even by 5lbs is dangerous for your heart. So I have put together the perfect lower calorie and sugar free accompaniments to round out your Easter meal that will provide you and your guests with a heap of fresh nutrients instead of bogging your bodies down with heavy, sugary, fatty foods! These fresh ideas make a picture-perfect spring addition!

Bountiful Broccoli Crunch Salad

IMG_6903

Ingredients

Serves 8 people as a side dish

  •  1 pound turkey bacon (or real lean organic bacon)
  • 1 cup light mayonnaise (preferably homemade)***
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup stevia
  • 2 pounds fresh broccoli, broken into florets
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup roasted cashews or toasted almonds
  • 1 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1 cup fresh cooked peas

*** For the mayonnaise:

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups flavoured oil (I like to use a toasted sesame oil)

Instructions

  1. Place the bacon in a frying pan lightly sprayed with coconut oil or olive oil, and cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until evenly browned and crisp. Rest the bacon slices on a paper towel-lined plate and pat to soak off excess oil. Cool bacon and crumble into pieces.
  2. Whisk together the ***mayonnaise, cider vinegar, and sugar in a mixing bowl until the sugar has dissolved. Add the broccoli, peas, raisins, cabbage, pomegranate, onion, and crumbled bacon. Stir until evenly coated. Cover and refrigerate the salad for at least 2 hours. Let stand at room temperature 15 to 20 minutes before serving. When ready to serve sprinkle the cashews/almonds on top.

***Directions or the mayonnaise:  

You can make mayonnaise easily in a food processor — do not use a blender which will heat the eggs too much and begin to cook them.

1. Blend the yolks

2. Mix the lemon juice and vinegar into the egg mixture. The acid is important for your mayo to emulsify.

3. With the food processor running, take the oil and begin slowly drizzling it into the egg mixture. It’s important to add the oil slowly for a stable mayo that doesn’t break.

4. Keep adding oil until what you have is the consistency of mayonnaise. What you have now is indeed mayo.

IMG_6920

 

 

Asparagus, Feta and Toasted Almonds drizzled with aged Balsamic

FoodGirlUKs balsamic-asparagus-feta-tomato-almond

Ingredients

  • 1 lbs asparagus, trimmed
  • 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups halved grape tomatoes
  • 1 clove fresh garlic
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 3 tbsp crumbled feta
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsps aged balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp toasted almonds

Instructions:

  1. Steam asparagus for 2 minutes or until crisp-tender.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add tomatoes and minced garlic; cook 5 minutes. Stir in vinegar; cook 3 minutes. Arrange asparagus on a platter; top with tomato mixture. Sprinkle with cheese, salt and pepper.

Tomato-Basil & Parmesan Cheese filled Courgette Boats

FoodGirlUK Courgette Boats

Ingredients:

  • 4 large courgettes
  • 1/2 cup of fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 tablespoons of breadcrumbs (whole-wheat if you can find them – I also prefer using PANKO)
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • fresh chopped basil
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Make about a 1/2 inch slice vertically down the side of each zucchini, then using a melon baller, scoop out the insides of the courgette until you’ve created about a 1/4 inch trough.
  3. Brush the courgette inside and out with a little olive oil, then place 4 cherry tomato halves inside each zucchini boat, sprinkle with cheese, top with the breadcrumbs, and add a pinch of salt and pepper.
  4. Bake for roughly 25 minutes, or until the zucchini is tender.
  5. Top with fresh chopped basil.

 

 

Hot Cross-Buns (of steel not flab)!

Adapted from Cooking Light

FoodGirlUK's Sticky Hot-Crossed Buns of Steel

These sweet yeast bread delights are a fresh-baked English tradition on Good Friday. Topped with a cross of creamy white icing, these treats are more like cakes, filled with lots of buttery goodness, candied fruits, and warm spices. But each sweet little bun can set you back about 270 calories, and that’s if you stop at just one. So I took the challenge to try and lighten up this buttery Easter favourite, while keeping all the irresistibility of the original version.

The Original Recipe                            VS.                   The Remodel 
• 268 calories per roll                                                      • 179 calories per roll
• 4.8 g saturated fat                                                       • 1.4 g saturated fat
• 227 mg sodium                                                              • 111 mg sodium

Makes 24 buns

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (divide out ¼ cup for coating surface for kneading dough)
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup whole-grain pastry flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • 1 tsp. grated orange zest
  • 1 package quick-rise yeast
  • 1 cup warm fat-free milk
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 large egg white
  • Cooking spray (I use coconut oil spray)
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried currants
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup warm orange juice
  • 1/4 tsp. grated whole nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup honey (or favourite alternative like Raw Organic Palm Syrup)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted light butter, melted

For the Glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp fat-free milk
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

Instructions:

  1. Mix together the raisins, currants and orange juice in a small bowl and let stand for 10 minutes. Drain fruit in a colander over a bowl, reserving fruit and juice. Meanwhile, sprinkle yeast over 1/4 cup of warm water and allow it to sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Combine flours, salt, lemon and orange zest, cinnamon, nutmeg and yeast in a bowl and mix until combined.
  3. Combine reserved orange juice, milk, honey, butter and eggs in a bowl, stirring with a whisk. With your mixer on in the flour, slowly add in milk mixture to the flour mixture and mix at medium-low speed for about 7 minutes. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and add reserved fruit by kneading it into the dough.
  4. Knead dough for about 2 minutes until smooth and elastic; add the remaining all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent sticking. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, cover and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size. Then, punch the dough down, cover and let rest for 5 minutes. Divide dough into 24 equal portions; roll each portion into a ball and place rolls in muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise for 1 hour or until almost doubled in size.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine 1 tablespoon water and egg white and stir with a whisk. Gently brush rolls with egg white mixture. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until golden brown, rotating pans once during baking. Remove from pans and cool for about 10 minutes on a wire rack.
  6. To prepare glaze, combine powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon of milk and 1 tsp. lemon juice, stirring well with a whisk. Microwave on high 20 seconds or until warm. Spoon glaze into a sealed zip-lock baggy and snip a tiny hole in one corner of the bag. Pipe a cross on top of each warm roll. Enjoy!

 

Posted on April 17, 2014, in Healthy Diets, Heart Health, Recipes, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. WOW JEN! These look DELISH!!! I’ll be making that salade and those zucchini boats for sure!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 5,005 other followers