Incorporating Healthy Foods into Easter Brunch

Incorporating healthy foods into Easter brunch

Easter is a time to celebrate the re-emergence of green in the landscape; the renewal of life itself. Easter brunch should embrace the vibrant colors and fresh spring flavors of the season, reflecting the joy of the holiday.

No Easter celebration is complete without eggs on the menu. Scrambled eggs simply won’t do, though. Guests expect the visual impact of whole eggs. From Easter egg hunts, to plastic Easter eggs nestled in children’s baskets, eggs have come to signify the promise of new life emerging from darkness. They’re a subtle reminder of the link between the Christian resurrection and ancient celebrations of life’s annual renewal.

 

Here, fresh spinach added to ordinary deviled eggs heightens the visual impact of these perennial-favorite party foods, while boosting their nutritional profile.

 

Deviled Spinach Easter Eggs

 

  • 1 doz. large white-shelled eggs
  • 1/4 C. mayonnaise (or prepared salad dressing), or more to taste
  • 1 tsp. prepared Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. classic yellow mustard OR brown mustard
  • 1 package frozen, chopped spinach (thawed and thoroughly drained) OR 1 bag fresh spinach, blanched in boiling water for 1 minute then thoroughly drained and chopped
  • 4 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

 

Place eggs in a large pot. Cover with cold water. Bring to a near full boil. Immediately turn heat down to simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes, then remove eggs and plunge into ice water. (This prevents the formation of unsightly green rings around the yolks). When eggs are cool, remove shells, rinse, and cut eggs in half longwise.

 

Remove yolks and place in a separate bowl. Arrange egg white halves on a platter. To yolks, add remaining ingredients, except spinach and Parmesan. Mix thoroughly until smooth, then fold in chopped spinach. Spoon or pipe yolk mixture into egg halves. Top each with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. Chill before serving. Serves 8 or more.

 

Spring Salad with Roasted Beets, Feta, and Walnuts

 

A bright, healthful salad for Easter brunch is a no-brainer. Taking advantage of early spring greens, and perhaps the last of the season’s stored beets, this salad features heart-healthy walnuts, beets and spinach to deliver satisfaction and health benefits.

 

Ingredients

 

  • 4 medium beets, roasted, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 1 package pre-washed baby spinach leaves
  • 1 package mixed spring greens
  • 1/2 C. walnuts, toasted
  • 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar de Modena
  • 1/3 C. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 small shallot, peeled and chopped
  • 4 oz. crumbled feta cheese

 

Preheat oven to 425° F. Wrap beets tightly in aluminum foil and roast in oven for approximately one hour. Reduce heat to 325° F. Remove beets, allow to cool, then remove skins, and cut into small wedges.

 

Toast walnuts. Place walnuts on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper, then bake in 325° F oven for 5-10 minutes, until toasted, but not scorched. Remove and let cool.

 

To a measuring cup, add olive oil, mustard and balsamic vinegar. Whisk thoroughly with a handheld electric whisk attachment or electric beater until a stable emulsion forms (the mustard is key to this transformation—do not omit). Stir in chopped shallots.

 

Serve mixed greens topped with chopped beets, walnuts, and crumbled feta cheese. Serve balsamic vinaigrette on the side.

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