Easter marks a beautiful time of year. Signs of spring are beginning to show themselves- warmth, beautiful blooms, and new life starting a new cycle. This year Easter signifies a whole year since the pandemic became a reality for our country. We’ve all developed new habits and worked to adjust to different schedules and routines. One of the most difficult factors to maintain has undoubtedly been a gym routine and weight management. The “Quarantine fifteen”, describe weight gain many have experienced through the quarantine, and it highlights how being home more often can impact fitness and wellness. Today we will share several more recipes for the Easter holiday that focus on healthy eating that supports your body’s function. And, don’t forget to check out our weekly exercise posts for ideas on how to stay active at home; you’ll be surprised how little equipment (if any!) is needed keep a sound fitness regimen.
Bruschetta chicken breast
Easter is typically celebrated with a meal that showcases a delicious ham. Delicious, no doubt, but also loaded with sodium which can impact blood pressure levels, and put you at risk for heart disease and stroke. Chicken, on the other hand, also provides loads of protein, has much less sodium, and can be made in many delicious ways, including this bruschetta version. Tasty herbs and fresh tomatoes and basil make this main dish one you won’t forget.
Citrus and herb roasted chicken
This recipe will fill your home with the beautiful scent of herbs and citrus. It is coated with olive oil and the herb mixture before roasting. By using olive oil you’ll benefit from the healthy fat and avoid the saturated fat and sodium that butter contains. This recipe pairs well with any vegetable side dish (check out our list of healthy Easter side dishes that we previously shared for ideas).
Brown sugar glazed salmon
It sounds decadent, but the glaze that covers this salmon only contains two ingredients: brown sugar and Dijon mustard. While it is obviously not ideal to add sugar to your food, keep the glaze on the light side and fill the rest of your plate with other super foods (like this spinach, butternut squash salad), and enjoy, it’s all about balance. Salmon is loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids (read more here), which support brain health, fight inflammation, and can lower blood pressure.
This recipe is loaded with flavor- it contains everything from balsamic vinegar that cooks down beautifully, to basil, parsley, a bit of gorgonzola cheese, lemon, and garlic, to name a few ingredients. The accompanying salad balances this out beautifully. Keep your serving size on the conservative side- while delicious, eating too much red meat has been linked to a higher risk of heart disease due to the saturated fat.
Chili lime chicken
This chicken recipe will put a unique spin on any Easter meal. With a bit of spice from the jalapeno chilis, it also contains lime and garlic that add a fresh, full flavor. This is a fantastic recipe to keep on hand for lunch dishes too- cube the chicken and add it to a quinoa bowl like this one, or layer it on a salad for a boost of protein.
Clementine pork tenderloin
Dubbed the “other white meat”, in reference to its much more popular counterpart, chicken- pork is a great option when seeking a lean protein. Also rich in thiamine, iron, and zinc, pork helps support bodily function. This recipe packs flavor with cumin, fennel, and citrus.
Vegetarian stuffed acorn squash
Not all main dishes have to contain meat! This vegetarian option contains many ingredients that help support your body’s function and is also beautifully served in the acorn squash. The stuffing is made with quinoa, a tasty grain that is high in protein and contains all 9 essential amino acids. Mixed in are also pepitas (pumpkin seeds), which contain high levels of magnesium, antioxidants, and can also lower blood sugar levels.
Roasted leg of lamb
In moderation, lamb is an excellent source of protein and contains vital nutrients like iron, zinc, selenium and vitamin B12. One ounce of lamb, grass-fed, has the same number of calories as grass-fed beef but actually has more health-promoting Omega-3 fatty acids. But, it does have higher levels of saturated of saturated fat than beef, so keep the portions on the smaller side. This recipe pairs well with several of the side dishes we shared before, like a five-bean salad or a cucumber cabbage salad (find the recipes here).
We hope you find some inspiration from these recipes as you plan your healthy Easter meal. Next week, we’ll share a group of healthy Passover meals, then finish off this series with healthy(er) Easter dessert recipes. Have any recipes you’d like to share? Comment below!