Food is indeed a focal point of holiday celebrations and Easter is certainly no exception. And, as a health expert, lifestyle blogger and avid foodie, I’m always on the hunt for simple solutions that make healthier eating especially easy, effortless and delicious during holidays and special occasions. Now, when it comes to Easter brunch and dinner celebrations, it’s typically all about the main course.
So, if you’re trying to steer clear of that traditional honey-baked ham and have a healthier Easter meal, here are five main course options worth considering.
Leg of Lamb
For traditional and symbolic reasons, leg of lamb is generally enjoyed by many as a main course on Easter day. It also happens to be incredibly nutritious housing a rich supply of high-quality protein and vital micronutrients including essential B-vitamins and potent antioxidants like selenium and zinc. Grass-fed lamb is indeed the best choice, as it’s relatively higher in these nutrients and also contains a heftier dose of omega-3 fatty acids.
I recommend seasoning your leg of lamb with a blend of extra-virgin olive oil and herbs like mint, parsley, rosemary and garlic, and then braising or roasting it for this special day. Need help? Check out these tasty, easy-to-follow recipes.
A tender, juicy, freshly carved rotisserie chicken is a quick and convenient yet healthy choice for any Easter meal. In addition to its rich content of protein and selenium, rotisserie chicken is packed full of important B-vitamins. In fact, a single 4-ounce serving contains nearly a day’s worth of niacin (vitamin B3), which does wonders for digestive health. If you’re watching your weight, be sure to remove the skin and opt for the whiter breast meat as doing so can lower its overall calorie count by as much as 50%.
Now, you can make your own oven roasted rotisserie-style chicken, easily prepare one using a countertop rotisserie oven or even pick one up a day in advance at a local Costco or Sam’s Club.
For a flavorful twist on the classic rotisserie chicken, maybe even try out one of Boston Market’s seasonal sweet and savory offerings. I highly recommend their Sweet & Spicy Apple rotisserie chicken, as it’s a healthier alternative to the old honey-baked ham. If you’re watching your carb or overall sugar intake, try the Parmesan Tuscan rotisserie chicken, as it’s equally delicious. Since they’re open on Easter Sunday, you can order ahead and pick up your chicken(s) fresh!
Bison may sound like an unusual, maybe even too exotic choice for an Easter meal, but it makes a deliciously wholesome main course. Since bison is organically raised and primarily grass-fed, it’s indeed one of the healthiest red meats you can eat. In and of itself, bison contains a relatively high ratio of polyunsaturated fats to saturated fat and has up to four times more of the disease-fighting omega-3s, which have potent anti-inflammatory effects.
It’s also among the most flavorful of meats around. So, put a new spin on Easter tradition and add some bison to the menu. Curious or convinced but clueless? Check out these delectable, easy-to-follow recipes.
- Mighty Meat Bison with Mushroom and Onions
- Roasted Bison with Velvety Pan Gravy
- Juniper-Marinated Bison Flank Steak
During my nearly 3-year stint as a vegan, meatloaf was among my top choices for a holiday main course and I still highly recommend it for those who’ve adopted primarily plant-based diets. When it comes to ‘meatless’ meatloaf, fiber-rich legumes (beans, peas and lentils), nuts and grains generally make for some of the most flavorful bases. I personally prefer bean curd (fermented tofu) due to its ‘meat-like’ texture and superior composition of high-quality protein and good fats.
But, I won’t be biased in my recommendations here. So, whether you’ve completely gone meatless or want to try something new for Easter, check out these tasty ‘meatless’ meatloaf recipes, all of which I’ve tried and love!
For those of you who follow pescatearian diets or want to try something different for the Easter holiday, wild salmon is a winning main course! It can be herb-rubbed, glazed and/or marinated to suit your taste for sweet, savory or a blend of both. And, you probably already know about the cocktail of nutrients salmon contains (omega-3s, protein, B-vitamins, vitamin D, and selenium) which collectively benefit the heart, muscles, bones, skin, hair, and virtually every organ of the body.
Let me emphasize the words “wild salmon”, as its overall nutrient content is the most potent.
Now, when it comes to Easter, I’m not talking about simply adding salmon croquettes to the brunch menu. Do something different and try one of these three recipes using wild salmon.
- Herb-Crusted Wild Salmon with Sautéed Bok Choy and Mushrooms
- Salmon with Brown Sugar and Mustard Glaze
- Balsamic-Glazed Salmon Fillets
And there you have it! Five main course options worth considering for Easter celebrations.
While I hope my ideas and information can be of some value to you, I’ll be the first to admit that the big challenge comes when you’re either collaborative cooking or not cooking anything at all. Plus, with all the complementary main courses and decadent sides that surround you during Easter celebrations, sometimes it can be difficult to fully abstain. In these situations, eat what you must in moderation but definitely focus more on the joy and togetherness of the day.
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Disclaimer: The information provided is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Any reader who is concerned about his or her health should contact a physician for advice.