Hosting your friends for Easter lunch this year, but still wanting to stick to your health goals? We have you covered with these 3 easy tips for a healthier, yet still delicious, meal!
Switch up your protein! Instead of choosing a protein loaded with saturated fat like ham or brisket, look for a lean protein option like roasted chicken or turkey. If you’re pressed for time, you can grab an organic rotisserie chicken. If you are cooking at home, you can use the Lemon Dill Dressing (recipe below) as the perfect flavor punch.
Clean up your sides! Side dishes are the best way to add nutrients to your meal. Instead of only choosing mac’n’cheese, mashed potatoes, or creamed corn, add a variety of vegetables to the meal! Cook with small amounts of olive or avocado oil instead of using butter, and add flavor with fresh herbs, spices, or Young Living vitality oils instead of cheese and excess salt. Try out the recipes below for ideas!
Reduce added sugar. Sugar can find its way into the meal from Easter egg candy to the dressing on the salad. Avoid sugar-sweetened beverages, consider stuffing the basket with a little less or healthier choices of treats, choose desserts without refined sugar, and make your own sauces and dressings!
Ginger Thyme Roasted Carrots
½ lb carrots, sliced
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 drops Thyme Vitality
1 toothpick swirl Ginger Vitality
½ clove garlic, minced
Salt & pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Mix olive oil, vitality oils, garlic, salt, and pepper.
Toss carrots in the olive oil mixture and lay flat on a baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until carrots are cooked through.
Hasselback Sweet Potatoes
4-5 small to medium sweet potatoes
1 ½ Tbsp coconut oil, melted
½ clove garlic, minced
2 drops Basil Vitality
2 toothpick swirls Nutmeg Vitality
2 toothpick swirls Cinnamon Bark Vitality
Preheat oven to 425 F. Cut a small portion off the bottom of each sweet potato, so they sit flat. Then, cut thin slits in the sweet potato ¼ inch from the bottom. Set on a baking sheet.
Mix coconut oil, garlic, and vitality oils. Pour over sweet potatoes, opening the slits to allow mixture to cover as much as possible.
Bake for 40-45 minutes, until sweet potatoes are cooked through. Optional: garnish with fresh parsley, chives, or green onions!
Lemon Dill Dressing
This dressing is the perfect addition to a simple, spring salad, or it can be used to flavor meat, asparagus, roasted potatoes, and more!
½ cup olive oil
1 drop Dill Vitality
1 clove garlic, minced
3 Tbsp dijon mustard
1 tsp honey
3 Tbsp lemon juice
Salt & pepper, to taste
Mix all ingredients together until they are blended. Serve immediately, or store in the refrigerator and re-mix before serving.
Healthier Carrot Cake
This recipe is adapted from the Laura Lee Balanced Dreamiest Carrot Cake.
1 cup raw walnuts
2 ½ cups all-purpose gluten-free flour (Like Bob’s Red Mill)
1 cup almond flour
1 ¼ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp sea salt
½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
2 cups shredded carrots
8 oz container crushed pineapple in juice (not syrup)
¾ cup honey
3 large eggs
½ cup avocado oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 drops Cinnamon Bark Vitality
1 drop Nutmeg Vitality
16 oz dairy-free, original cream cheese (Ex.: Kite Hill Brand)
½ cup butter (can sub vegan butter here too)
½ cup honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray a 10” deep quiche pan (ideally with removable bottom) with oil spray or grease with a thin layer of oil. Spread walnuts on a parchment paper-covered baking sheet. Roast 10-12 minutes, until slightly fragrant and toasted. Set aside when done.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients, except coconut and walnuts. Add grated carrots to a blender and pulse until finely chopped (not pureed!). Add to a medium mixing bowl, along with remaining wet ingredients. Whisk thoroughly to combine.
Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Roughly chop walnuts and add ¾ cup to the batter, along with the shredded coconut. Mix well.
Add batter to the prepared pan and spread in an even layer. Bake for 33-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean. Allow to cool at least 1 hour before removing from pan.
With a sharp knife, slice the cake into two discs. Laura Lee recommends to use a large, sharp knife and to push it into the center of the cake (from the side) then gently move the knife in a circle. Let the halves bake another 30 minutes.
To make the frosting, combine all ingredients in the bowl of your standing mixer or in a mixing bowl, if using a hand-held mixer. Start on your lowest setting to mix the ingredients together, then increase the speed until the frosting is soft and fluffy. Frost the cake and assemble layers once it has cooled! You can top the cake with walnuts, shredded coconut, and/or crushed pineapple! If not serving immediately, store in the refrigerator.