Thursday, April 10, 2008

7 Healthy Easter Recipes

(recipes from lifescript)

Ham, Gruyere & Spinach Bread Pudding

An elegant dish that's simple to prepare, high-quality smoked ham complements the spinach, peppers, rosemary, and Gruyere perfectly. To make this recipe ahead of time, prepare the pudding through Step 3 and then refrigerate overnight. Let stand at room temperature while the oven preheats, and bake as directed in Step 4.Serves: 6 Preparation time: 30 minutes

For the custard:
4 large egg whites
4 large
cup skim milk
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon minced fresh

the bread & filling:
cups (4-6 slices) whole-grain bread, crusts removed if desired, cut into 1-inch cubes
5 cups chopped spinach, wilted (see Tip)
1/2 cup chopped jarred roasted red peppers1 cup (5 ounces) diced ham steak

For the topping:
3/4 cup shredded Gruyere cheese

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat an 11"x7" glass baking dish or a 2-quart casserole with cooking spray.
2. To prepare the custard whisk egg whites, eggs and milk in a medium bowl. Add mustard, pepper and rosemary and whisk to combine.
3. Toss bread, spinach, roasted red peppers, and ham in a large bowl. Add the custard and toss well to coat. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and push down to compact. Cover with foil.
4. Bake until the custard has set, 40 to 45 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with cheese and continue baking until the pudding is puffed and golden on top, 15 to 20 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.Enjoy!

Nutrition FactsPer serving 276 calories 10 g fat (4 g sat, 3 g mono)169 mg cholesterol 25 g carbohydrate 21 g protein 3 g fiber746 mg sodium422 mg potassiumNutrition Bonus: vitamin A (70% daily value), folate (37% dv), calcium (30% dv), vitamin C (20% dv)

Tip: To wilt greens, rinse thoroughly in cool water. Transfer them to a large microwave-safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and punch several holes in the wrap. Microwave on high until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Squeeze out any excess moisture before adding to the recipe.

Mint-Pesto Rubbed Leg of Lamb
What better way to celebrate Easter than with this traditional spring dish, but with an Italian twist. Have your butcher "butterfly" a boneless leg of lamb (that is, open it up to a large, flat cut of meat), and ask that any visible fat be trimmed off. To toast the pine nuts, use a small dry skillet over medium-low heat. Stir constantly, until the nuts are fragrant and lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes.

Serves: 12

Preparation: 2 hours

1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves1/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves1/4 cup packed fresh parsley leaves2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts 2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil1 clove garlic, peeled1 teaspoon salt, divided1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper1 3 1/2-pound boneless leg of lamb, butterflied and trimmed of fat

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Sprinkle lamb all over with 1/2 teaspoon salt.
3. Place basil, mint, parsley, pine nuts, cheese, oil, garlic, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper in a food processor and process until fairly smooth. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the pesto; spread the rest over the top side of the lamb and roll it closed. (It will not be a perfect cylinder.)
4. Tie kitchen string around the roast in five places; do not tie too tightly or the pesto will squeeze out. Rub the reserved pesto over the outside of the lamb and place in a roasting pan.
5. Roast the lamb until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 140°F for medium-rare, about 1 hour 20 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board; let rest for 10 minutes. Carve the lamb, leaving the string in place to help hold the roast together.Enjoy!

Nutrition FactsPer serving
(3 ounces)192 calories10 g fat (3 g sat, 5 g mono) 76 mg cholesterol 1 g carbohydrate25 g protein0 g fiber228 mg sodiumNutrition Bonus: selenium (37% daily value), zinc (29% dv)

Asparagus Topped with Creamy Tarragon Sauce

Your Easter table just wouldn't be complete without spring greens such as asparagus. Dress up tender spears with our luscious tarragon sauce, similar to a rich bearnaise, but without all the calories and fat.

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 15
2 bunches asparagus, tough ends trimmed
1/2 cup low-fat plain
tablespoons reduced-fat
teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon or
1 teaspoon dried1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon water
2 teaspoons Dijon mustardSalt & freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Put asparagus in a steamer basket, cover and steam until tender-crisp, about 4 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, whisk yogurt, mayonnaise, tarragon, lemon juice, water, mustard, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Drizzle the sauce over the asparagus. Serve warm or cold.Enjoy!

Nutrition FactsPer serving
114 calories 7 g fat (1 g sat, 2 g mono); 8 mg cholesterol 10 g carbohydrate 4 g protein 2 g fiber 350 mg sodium 336 mg potassiumNutrition Bonus: folate (42% daily value), vitamin A (25% dv)

Minted Peas & Rice with Feta
The flavors of fresh mint and feta liven up traditional peas. Toss any leftovers with grilled shrimp for a satisfying, easy lunch the next day.Serves: 4 (3/4 cup each)

Preparation time: 25 minutes

1 1/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup instant brown
1/2 cups (6 ounces) frozen peas
3/4 cup sliced
/4 cup finely crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup sliced fresh mintFreshly ground pepper to taste

1. Bring broth to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add rice and bring to a simmer; cover, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 4 minutes.
2. Stir in peas and return to a simmer over high heat. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook until the peas are hot and the rice has absorbed most of the liquid, about 6 minutes.
3. Remove from heat and stir in scallions, feta, mint, and pepper. Cover and let stand until the liquid is absorbed, 3 to 5 minutes.Enjoy!

Nutrition FactsPer serving
134 calories3 g fat (1 g sat, 0 g mono)8 mg cholesterol22 g carbohydrate7 g protein4 g fiber321 mg sodiumNutrition Bonus: vitamin A (30% daily value), iron (15% dv), vitamin C (15% dv)

Potato & Sweet Potato Torte
Layers of potatoes and sweet potatoes meld into an impressive vegetable "cake" that forms a golden crust during baking. Serve as a vegetarian centerpiece or alongside your Easter lamb. Short on time? The torte will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat, covered, in a 350°F oven.

Serves: 6

Preparation time: 1 hour

1tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 large leeks, trimmed, washed and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to tasteFreshly ground pepper to taste1 pound (about 2 small) sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices
1 pound (2-4 medium) Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices

1. Position oven rack at the lowest level; preheat to 450°F. Coat a 9 1/2-inch, deep-dish pie pan with cooking spray. Line the bottom with parchment paper or foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.
2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add leeks and thyme; cook, stirring often, until tender, about 5 minutes. (If necessary, add 1 to 2 tablespoons water to prevent scorching.) Season with 1/8 teaspoon salt and pepper.
3. Arrange half the sweet potato slices, slightly overlapping, in the prepared pie pan and season with a little of the remaining salt and pepper. Spread one-third of the leeks over the top. Arrange half the potato slices over the leeks and season with salt and pepper. Top with another third of the leeks. Layer the remaining sweet potatoes, leeks and potatoes in the same manner. Cover the pan tightly with foil.
4. Bake the torte until the vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the torte to loosen it. Invert onto a serving plate. Remove paper or foil and serve.Enjoy!

Nutrition FactsPer serving 144 calories3 g fat (0 g sat, 2 g mono)0 mg cholesterol30 g carbohydrate4 g protein4 g fiber221 mg sodiumNutrition Bonus: vitamin A (240% daily value), vitamin C (50% dv), potassium (35% dv), fiber (16% dv)

Carrot Cake
This timeless favorite has a healthier nutritional profile, but is still as moist and delicious as ever. You can find whole-wheat pastry flour in large supermarkets and in natural-foods stores. It contains less gluten than regular whole-wheat flour and is just as tender in delicate baked goods.

Serves: 16

Preparation time: 1 hour, 10 minutes + 1 hour cooling time


For the cake:
1/2 cup chopped
cups whole-wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 large
1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup nonfat buttermilk
1/2 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 20-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained, juice reserved2 cups
(4-6 medium) grated carrots
1/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut

For the frosting:
2 tablespoons coconut chips or flaked coconut
12 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese,
softened1/2 cup confectioners' sugar,
sifted1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

To prepare cake:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9"x13" baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Toast walnuts in a small baking pan in the oven until fragrant, 5 to 10 minutes.
3. Whisk flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Whisk eggs, sugar, buttermilk, oil, vanilla, and 1/4 cup of the reserved pineapple juice in a large bowl until blended. Stir in pineapple, carrots and coconut. Add the dry ingredients and mix with a rubber spatula just until blended. Stir in the nuts. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, spreading evenly.
4. Bake the cake until the top springs back when touched lightly and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

To prepare frosting & finish cake:
1. Place coconut in a small baking pan and toast in the oven at 300°F, stirring several times, until light golden, 5 to 10 minutes.
2. Beat cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Spread frosting over the cooled cake and sprinkle with the coconut.Enjoy!

Nutrition FactsPer serving344 calories17 g fat (5 g sat, 6 g mono)56 mg cholesterol43 g carbohydrate6 g protein; 3 g fiber349 mg sodiumNutrition Bonus: vitamin A (40% daily value), fiber (12% dv)

Ruffled Phyllo Tart with Spring FruitStrawberries and rhubarb are a familiar seasonal pairing, but adding apricots to the mix takes it to new heights. The day before you plan to bake the tart, thaw the frozen phyllo in the refrigerator.

Serves: 8

Preparation time: 3 hours


For the filling:
/2 cup plus
2 teaspoons
1 tablespoon honey
1 pound (about 3 cups) fresh rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup cornstarch mixed with 3 tablespoons cold water
1/2 pound (about 4 medium) fresh apricots, pitted and quartered
1 cup strawberries, hulled and halved
1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the crust:
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
9 sheets phyllo dough, thawed
1 tablespoon dry unseasoned breadcrumbs
Confectioners' sugar for

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-inch pie pan with cooking spray.

To prepare filling:
1. Combine 1/2 cup sugar, honey and rhubarb in a large saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the rhubarb is juicy and softens slightly, about 5 minutes. Increase heat to medium; gradually add the cornstarch mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, until the juices thicken, 2 to 3 minutes.
2. Combine apricots, strawberries, orange zest, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Mix in the rhubarb.

To prepare crust & bake tart:
1. Mix oil and butter in a small bowl. Cover phyllo with wax paper or plastic wrap and a slightly damp kitchen towel to prevent it from drying out. Center one sheet of phyllo in the pie pan, letting the edges hang over; gently press it into the pan. Dampen a pastry brush with water and lightly brush some of the oil-butter mixture over the phyllo. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon breadcrumbs over the bottom. Repeat with 5 more sheets of phyllo, laying each at a 45° angle to the previous one and sprinkling each with breadcrumbs.
2. Scrape the filling into the crust. Brush one of the remaining phyllo sheets with oil-butter mixture. Place another sheet on top at a 45° angle. Repeat with the last sheet. Place the stack on the filling. Fold the overhanging phyllo up around the tart, creating a ruffled border. Dab any remaining oil-butter mixture on top. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 teaspoons sugar. Cut 4 slits in the center for venting.
3. Place the tart on a baking sheet and bake until nicely browned and bubbling slightly, 45 to 55 minutes. Cool on a wire rack to room temperature (about 1 1/2 hours). Dust with confectioners' sugar.Enjoy!

Nutrition FactsPer serving268 calories9 g fat (2 g sat, 4 g mono)8 mg cholesterol44 g carbohydrate4 g protein2 g fiber150 mg sodiumNutrition Bonus: vitamin C (30% daily value), vitamin A (15% dv)

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