We got a lot of mileage out of our Easter dinner... and that is good for my budget! We had "ditto" one night; the hubby and the kid had turkey while I reheated 2 of my meatless Salisbury steaks to serve with the mashed potatoes, dressing, and all the rest of the feast. YUM!
Speaking of my Salisbury steaks, I had 2 left so I served them as hamburger patties with all the traditional fixings, homemade fries and a side spinach salad. I a thrilled to have found a veggie based option for the upcoming BBQ season. I will, however, be trying out a few other veggie burgers, including one from my favourite celebrity chef - Michael Smith.
Now on to my Easter Feast!
My dressing is made up of sautéed diced onion and celery, organic this time. Then a healthy teaspoon of thyme a tablespoon of sage and several grinds of pepper and a teaspoon of salt. Then sliced dried apricots, Thompson's raisins and dried cranberries are sautéed with the onion/celery mix until everything is fragrant and heated through. This wonderful mix was tossed with half a loaf whole wheat and a half loaf whole grain bread, cubed, 3 Macintosh apples, cubed and a little olive oil and mayonnaise. I will have to work on a plant based option, but we will get there! An oval roasting pan was lightly greased with some olive oil and covered with foil and then tossed into a 375 F oven for 45 minutes.
Jello Fruit Salad
My husband Randy grew up with a Jello fruit salad served with his celebration dinners, raspberry Jello is his favourite. Typically this salad was made with Jello and tinned fruit cocktail. This year, I cleaned up the traditional recipe by using fresh fruit instead of the tinned stuff with BPA liners. I chose green grapes, apples, and pears because these fruits are reminiscent to the fruit cocktail I have always used. Next time I want to try my hand at a home made jelly using homemade raspberry juice and agar, assuming I can find it!Then, it will be a totally cleaned up! Ultimately, my main goal is to have a plant based alternative but to have a "jello" that is free from fake flavours and to cut back on the sugar is a definite PLUS!
Angel Food Cake
This time, I made 2 kinds of lemon curd. For my traditional one, I used egg yolks (saved the whites in the freezer), lemon juice from organic lemons, regular white sugar, and of course butter. The result was a smooth and lemony spread. Very good. Next time, I will see how Earth Balance Vegan Spread works, and organic cane juice, just to clean up the traditional version a little.
For both versions of the curd, I didn't bother straining to remove the lemon zest. I don't mind it, but if you are looking for a perfectly smooth product, press through a fine mesh strainer.
|Vegan Lemon Curd On the LEFT; Traditional on the RIGHT|
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cold water
- 1/2 cup organic evaporated cane juice
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tbsp freshly grated lemon zest
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 5 tbsp dairy free spread (I used coconut oil)
- 3 to 6 pinches of turmeric for colour (optional)
- Dissolve the cornstarch in the water
- Put almond milk into saucepan.
- Whisk in the starch/water slurry and turmeric if using.
- Cook on medium for around 2 minutes.
- Add the lemon juice, lemon zest and sugar.
- Stir constantly until the mixture starts to bubble.
- Remove from heat and stir in non-dairy spread.
- Cool in the fridge and enjoy.
So as you can see, there are all kinds of baby steps to improving your every day diets. Even the fancy feasts can still be mouthwatering AND still reflect better food choices. It just takes a little planning and experimenting.