Here is an article to use for this year and years to come. My dietetic student, Gabriela Isper, wanted to share these delish delights with the planet!
Easter & Passover Celebrations
This weekend some celebrate the Christian holiday of Easter, while others will celebrate the Jewish holiday of Passover.
Both Easter, which is traditionally celebrated at sunrise, and Passover, traditionally celebrated at sunset, are family gatherings where occasional friends are invited to join in a special and ritualized meal. As at any family gathering, at both Easter dinners and Passover Seders food will be the star.
Regardless of which holiday you will celebrate, this is the perfect time to celebrate life and health. The act of eating is as much about pleasure and communion as it is about nutrition and health.
Take this time to start paying more attention, making the effort to be present in the moment. Make a note to be mindful to all food you eat, understanding that the food you eat will be the fuel that nourishes your body and that gives you life.
Celebrate life, food, family and friends and more importantly be in the moment!
Even though you may have your favorite family recipes, here are a few fresh ideas for your celebrations this weekend. Enjoy!
POTATO, LEEK AND SPINACH GRATIN
Bubbly, cheesy gratin dish is the perfect recipe for family celebrations and get-togethers such as Easter Sunday! But when we think of serving a rich gratin dish, guilt can come to mind since it’s usually loaded with fat and high on calories. With this light and healthy Potato, Leek and Spinach Gratin, you won’t be missing the rich flavor and get all the same satisfaction without the extra calories and fat.
Not only are this recipes is easy to make, but you can also feel good about serving the nutrient-loaded dish to your family. Enjoy!
2 pounds potatoes, preferably Yukon Gold (4-6 medium), peeled and sliced
2 cups sliced leeks, (3-4 medium)
2 cups spinach
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
2 cups reduced-fat milk
4 cloves garlic, peeled and slivered
1 bay leaf
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, preferably freshly grated
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup grated Gruyere, or sharp Cheddar cheese (2 ounces)
Preheat to 425°F. Coat a 1 1/2- or 2-quart gratin dish or other shallow baking dish with cooking spray.
Combine milk, garlic, bay leaf, nutmeg, salt and pepper in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan; bring to a simmer, stirring, over medium-low heat. Gently slip in potatoes, partially cover and simmer gently over low heat, stirring often, just until potatoes are tender, but not soft, and the milk has thickened, 10 to 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat; add leeks and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add spinach and sauté for another 5 minutes.
Transfer half of the cooked potatoes mixture with a slotted spoon to the prepared gratin dish, discarding bay leaf. Cover with leek spinach mixture. Spread remaining potatoes over leeks. Add sour cream and mustard to milk remaining in the saucepan and whisk to blend; spread over the gratin. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake until bubbly and golden on top, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve.
Per serving: 221 calories; 5 g fat (3 g Sat, 2 g Mono); 17 mg cholesterol; 36 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 9 g protein; 3 g fiber; 287 mg sodium; 709 mg potassium.
VEGETARIAN MOCK CHOPPED LIVER
This recipe is perfect for vegetarians or for those avoiding animal protein this week. There are so many variations on meat-free chopped liver, but this one made out of mushrooms, walnuts and onions is very similar to the real thing. It is a delicious option for an appetizer or side dish but without the added fat, extra calories and animal protein of real liver. The Vegetarian Mock Chopped Liver is packed with vegetables and full of fiber, vitamins and minerals. Enjoy with crackers or crunchy celery sticks!
¼ cup vegetable broth (or water)
½ cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ cup walnuts
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Black pepper, to taste
Garnish: fresh parsley
Serve with: 6 stalks celery, cut into sticks, and matzo crackers
In a large skillet, heat vegetable broth (or water) over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and sprinkle with a few pinches of the sea salt. Sauté for 10 minutes, adding a touch more vegetable broth (or water) if the onion begins to stick to the skillet.
Add the mushrooms and another few pinches of sea salt. Add a little bit more vegetable broth if needed. Cook and stir for 5 more minutes, or until the mushrooms have softened.
Place the cooked vegetables, remaining sea salt, walnuts, balsamic vinegar and black pepper in a food processor. Blend until well-blended but not completely smooth. Adjust seasoning to taste.
Place in a serving bowl. Garnish with fresh parsley. Serve with celery sticks and matzo crackers.
Per Serving (1/3 Cup) Calories: 144, Protein: 6 g, Total Fat: 8 g, Saturated Fat: 1 g, Carbohydrates: 14 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 254 mg, Fiber: 5 g, Sugar: 3 g
RAW BERRY CRISP WITH CHIA AND DATES
Making dessert for large groups of people can be stressful. It can make it even more difficult if the recipe is complicated. This super simple, no-bake dessert is not only scrumptious but loaded with health benefits from nutrient dense foods like berries and nuts. It is full of antioxidants from the berries, loaded with omega-3 fatty acids from the walnuts and fiber from the dates and chia seeds. Enjoy!
2 pounds (about 8 cups) berries quartered
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons orange juice, divided
1 cup pitted dates
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup chia seeds
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Toss berries with vanilla and 2 tablespoons of the orange juice. Spoon into an 8-inch-square dish and smooth the top. In a food processor, combine dates, walnuts, chia seeds and cinnamon and process until coarsely ground. Pour in remaining 1 tablespoon orange juice and pulse until combined. Spoon chia mixture evenly over the top of berries and serve, or cover and refrigerate up to 3 days.
Per Serving:220 calories (70 from fat), 7g total fat, 0.5g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 0mg sodium, 38g carbohydrate (8g dietary fiber, 27g sugar), 5g protein