Monday, 26 March 2012

Healthy Easter Dinner For Your Fit Lifestyle

Easter morning traditionally is a time for discovering chocolate bunnies and eggs hidden around the home. This year you can keep the surprises coming into the evening as the not-so-traditional Easter dinner is being served. Introducing more nutritional dishes will not only have your guests surprised by the look but also the amazing tastes that come along with it. With spring in the air it's time to stop eating the carbohydrate heavy winter foods and move to the more crisp and delightful spring and summer sensations.

Main Protein Source
Common dishes for Easter dinner are Racks of Lamb or ham. This is the good part of the meal because they are are relatively good choices to have and will keep you trim. Below you'll find the highlights of each

Lamb (More Info)
The Good: Low in sodium. Good source of protein, vitamin B6, vitamin A, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B12, Iron, Zinc, Copper, and Selenium.    
The Bad: Very high in Cholesterol

Ham (More Info)
The Good: High in protein, Thiamin, Niacin, Phosphorus, Copper, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, and Zinc

The Bad:  Very High in Sodium and very high in cholesterol
Healthy Alternative: Roasted Pork Loin -This is a low sodium cut of meet that is high in protein with similar vitamins and minerals as the traditional ham.

Not-So-Classic Healthy Side Dishes

Fresh Vegetables with Yogurt Dip: The first step is to gather a wide range of fresh vegetables from the supermarket or local farmers market as the selection has become bright and vibrant at this time of the year. If the option to purchase local produce is available I would recommend that because the produce will be fresher. Selecting all colors in the spectrum will not only make the plate look exciting, but it'll also give you a wide range of vitamins that accompany them. Green Broccoli, Celery, Green Peppers, Green Beans, Peas, Red tomatoes, radishes, Orange Carrots, White: Mushrooms 

The Yogurt Dip: Add nonfat plain yogurt, fresh dill, ground black pepper, finely chopped onion, and a small amount of sea salt in to a bowl and mix, place in a bowl next to the vegetables.

Grilled Zucchini: These will blow your guests away and they are easy to make. Start by cutting zucchini down the middle length wise. Depending on the thickness of your zucchini, you'll want to slice them so that they are approximately 1/2 inch thick. Normally you'll get 3-4 slices per zucchini. The second step is to make a wet rub that will be placed over the zucchini. Place Olive Oil, ground Pepper, and Paprika into a bowl and mix. Follow that by drizzling the mixture over the zucchini. Grill both sides till they begin to brown and heat the contents of the vegetable. This will lock in the warm water (juice) of the vegetable and give you a mouth-watering flavor when you bit into it.   

Maple Mashed Sweet Potato: Simply boil sweet potatoes until tend and mash them together in the pot. As you are mashing, pour in milk or unflavored soya milk, 1/2 suger free maple syrup, and a dash of Cinnamon. No real magic tricks needed in this one, simply an amazing tasting side that is packed with healthy complex carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Portion control is everything when it comes to carbohydrates, so make sure that you do not take more that 25% of your plate with this dish.

Fresh Fruit Salad with a Hint of Mint: Top off your Easter dinner with a healthy dessert that packs a punch. Cut up fruit and berries such as: blue berries, black berries, raspberries, strawberries. pears, grapes, and bananas. Mix them in the bowl so that they are completely random. Once that's complete, squeeze a fresh orange or two over top of the fruit to keep it from browning from the air. A small amount of lemon juice can be used as well. Top off the fruit salad with fresh mint leaves and serve the dish chilled.


Photo Credits: Ham:, vegetables:, Zucchini:, Sweet Potato:, Fruit Salad:  

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