Easter celebrates the resurrection of Christ, the final sacrificial Passover lamb. When families gather to celebrate this day, there is an abundance of jellybeans, chocolate rabbits and deviled eggs. To offset the sugar in Easter candies and avoid egg overload, you can prepare healthy recipes by substituting ingredients low in fat and sugar. 

What you will need:

  • • Splenda sugar packets – 24 packets equal one cup of sugar (or buy Splenda in 16 oz. bulk canisters)
  • • Greek yogurt to replace sour cream and mayonnaise
  • • Whole white wheat flour (preserves the flavoring of traditional white flour) Most flour (whole or refined) comes from red wheat. White flour has been bleached to give the flour its white appearance. White whole wheat flour is made from white wheat. When choosing flour, avoid flours that have been processed, refined or bleached. The refining process removes the essential germ and bran nutrient. When using whole white wheat, use 7/8 of a cup instead of a whole cup. Whole flour is denser that refined flour.
  • • Olive oil
  • • Egg beaters

Carrot Souffle

This is actually not a traditional soufflé. The carrots are whipped to the consistency of mashed potatoes and baked after adding the remaining ingredients. This recipe, adapted from MyRecipes, substitutes healthier ingredients, and makes 8 1/2 cup servings.

  • • 7 cups chopped carrots (about 2 pounds)
  • • 16 packets of Splenda (2/3 cup granulated sugar)
  • • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt or fat-free sour cream
  • • 2 and 2/3 tablespoons whole white wheat flour
  • • 2 tablespoons olive oil 
  • • 1-teaspoon baking powder 
  • • 1-teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • • 8 tablespoons Eggbeaters Original (replaces 3 large eggs) lightly beaten 
  • • Cooking spray 

Preheat oven to 350°.

  • • Cook carrot in boiling water 15 minutes or until very tender; drain.
  • • Mix on high speed until carrots are the consistency of a mashed potato. Add remaining ingredients and mix on medium setting.
  • • Spoon mixture into a 2-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes or until puffed and set.

Herb Roasted Leg of Lamb

Exchange the high sodium, high saturated fat of ham for lamb. Lamb is the easiest meat to digest because of its low saturated fat content and contains essential fatty acids, B vitamins, iron, zinc, and selenium.  

When purchasing leg of lamb, plan on 1/2 pound per person. If you are serving more than 12, consider purchasing two boneless legs of lamb roasts.

Allow the leg of lamb to reach room temperature before cooking and do not remove the netting. This ensures the leg of lamb cooks thoroughly. To avoid overcooking the leg of lamb use a meat thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the roast after applying the herb coating. Lamb is best served medium rare (130 to 135 degrees F), or medium (140 to 145 degrees F).

Herb seasoning

  • • 3 cloves garlic, minced (use more or fewer according to taste)
  • • 1 teaspoon dry rosemary leaves.
  • • 1/4 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
  • • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • • 2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice

In a small bowl, combine garlic, rosemary, and pepper. Add olive oil and lemon juice. Mix until all ingredients are combined.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees

Pat the leg of lamb dry and coat the outside of the lamb roast with the seasoning.

Place the lamb roast on a roasting rack in a roasting pan at least 3 inches deep.

Brown the lamb roast for 15 minutes at 450 degrees. Turn the oven to 325 degrees F and cook for approximately 15 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 120 degrees. At 120 degrees, remove the lamb roast from the oven, cover with aluminum foil, and let sit approximately 15 to 20 minutes. The lamb roast continues to cook as it sets. The temperature will rise to 130 degrees (medium rare) after 15 to 20 minutes. To reach medium temperature (140 to 145 degrees) allow 5 to ten minutes longer.

When the desired temperature is reached, remove the netting with a scissors and discard.  Slice meat and serve.

Dill Vegetable Dip

  • • 2 cups Greek yogurt
  • • 1-teaspoon lemon juice
  • • 2 tablespoons parsley flakes
  • • 1-tablespoon dill weed
  • • 2 teaspoons of onion juice scraped from an onion
  • • 2 tablespoon Beau Monde

Mix ingredients and refrigerate overnight. Serve with carrots, celery, snap beans and cherry tomatoes.

Spinach Salad

  • • 2 pounds of fresh spinach
  • • 16 ounces matchstick carrots
  • • 16 ounces of mushrooms, sliced
  • • 16 ounces of strawberries, sliced
  • • 8 ounces crumbled feta cheese
  • • 8 ounces of sliced almonds

In a large serving bowl, tear spinach and remove stem tails. Add the remaining ingredients and refrigerate. Serve with your family’s favorite dressing.

Pineapple Cake

Make this simple Pineapple cake substituting whole white wheat flour, Splenda, and fat free cream cheese.

  • • Use 1 3/4 cups of whole white wheat flour. Whole flour is denser than refined processed flour and is usually measured a 7/8 of a cup for one cup of refined flour.
  • • Instead of 2 cups of sugar, use 48 packets of Splenda.
  • • Choose pineapple packed in its own juice
  • • For the icing, instead of butter, use one 8-ounce package of fat free cream cheese and another 3 ounces of fat free cream cheese.
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