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3 Healthy Side Dishes for Your Easter Dinner

Whether you are hosting, or attending a celebration, there is one thing that's certain: there can never really be too many  side dishes. 

And with the number of allergies or specific diets that people need to follow, the more side dishes, the better! Who doesn't like to have options?

To help you out, we want to provide side dishes that are perfect, whether you are hosting your own celebration, or attending a gathering at a family or friend's house. 

Here are 3 healthy side dishes for your Easter dinner!

1. Roasted Vegetables

Serves approx. 10 (appetite depending!) 

This can be your go-to for nearly any fall-through-spring dinner event. Cost effective and easy, roast vegetable are one of the best additions to any table: they bring colour, added nutrients and a warming component that just makes any gathering that much more cozy. 

3 Healthy Side Dishes for Your Easter Dinner

Ingredients: 

  • 2 large Sweet potatoes
  • 2 parsnips
  • 5 beets
  • 2 cups brussel sprouts
  • 3 tbsp. dijon mustard
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil 
  • 2 tbsp. tahini
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • A few grinds of cracked pepper
  • 1 tbsp. turmeric 

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400° and line 3 baking sheets with aluminim foil 
  2. Wash and chop sweet potatoes and parsnips into approximately 1" cubes
  3.  Wash and chop beets into quarters (depending on size; but generally they should be the same size as the potatoes and parsnips) 
  4. Chop brussel sprouts in half then rinse 
  5. Mix together dijon mustard, olive oil, tahini, salt, pepper, and turmeric either using a small blender or whisk
  6. In a big bowl; or two bowls, pour in dressing and mix thoroughly
  7. Spread evenly on baking sheets
  8. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, then flip. Continue checking until they are brown and your desired texture

2. Vegan Scalloped Potatoes

Serves 8
Recipe adapted from Lazy Cat Kitchen 

If you know you have gluten or dairy intolerances, or are catering to a vegan diet, these are the perfect, yet classic, addition to any Easter celebration! 

3 Healthy Side Dishes for Your Easter Dinner
Photo courtesy of Lazy Cat Kitchen 

Ingredients: 

Sauce (makes about 750 ml / 3 cups)
  • 2 cups raw cashews (soaked overnight OR in boiling water for 1 hr)
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice, adjust to taste
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1 heaped tbsp white miso paste
  • 4 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • grated nutmeg, to taste
  • ½ tsp salt, adjust to taste
  • 1 tbsp tapioca starch (you can also use regular flour if there are no gluten allergies)

Remaining ingredients:

  • 1 lb sweet potato
  • 1½ lb regular potatoes
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 2 fat garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • generous amount of black pepper, adjust to taste
  • salt
  • sweet paprika or chilli powder, optional

Directions: 
Sauce:  

  1. Place rinsed cashews in an upright blender with approximately 300 ml / 1¼ cup water. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  2. Season with garlic, lemon juice, miso paste, nutritional yeast, nutmeg, salt and pepper and process until super smooth and creamy.
  3. Transfer 2 cups of this sauce to another bowl. Add a level tablespoon of tapioca starch to the remaining sauce left in the blender, process until smooth.

Potatoes

  1. Cut peeled (or unpeeled if their skins are in good condition) potatoes into 3mm thin slices. 
  2. Heat up 2-3 tbsp of olive oil in a very large frying pan. Add diced onion and fry until softened (about 5 minutes).
  3. Follow up with chopped garlic and chopped rosemary (you could also layer small rosemary sprigs in between potato layers during assembly) and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add 2 cups of cashew cream to the pan and regular potatoes. Toss them together and simmer for about 7 minutes.
  5. Add sweet potatoes and toss them in the cream mixture gently.
  6. Pre-heat the oven to 300° F fan forced (or 340° F regular setting).
  7. Brush a baking dish with a little bit of olive oil and set aside.

How to assemble: 

  1. Transfer pre-cooked potatos into the prepared baking tray. Arrange them in layers, sprinkle with a little bit of chopped rosemary (or place small rosemary sprigs – that will need to be removed before eating – in between potato layers), salt and pepper between layers.
  2. Cover the top with the sauce thickened with tapioca starch. Sprinkle with paprika or chilli powder.
  3. Bake for 50 minutes, then switch the oven fan on (or increase the temperature by 20° C / 70° F) and bake for another 5-10 minutes until the top is nicely browned.

3. Tomato and Green Bean Casserole 

Serves 8 
Adapted from Eating Well

Long gone are the days of cream-filled and bread-crumb-topped casserole dishes that could have been their own main dish! This green bean casserole is fresh, and full of good fats!

3 Healthy Side Dishes for Your Easter Dinner
Photo courtesy of Eating Well

Ingredients: 

  • 2 pounds green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • ½ cup chopped fresh herbs, such as cilantro, parsley and/or chives
  • ½ cup salted roasted shelled pistachios, divided
  • 1-3 tablespoons chopped jalapeño pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • ½ cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
 

Directions: 

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add green beans and cook until crisp-tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  2. Position a rack in upper third of oven; preheat broiler to high.
  3. Combine herbs, ¼ cup pistachios, jalapeño to taste, lime juice, garlic, cumin and salt in a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped, scraping the sides once or twice. With the motor running, add oil and process until well combined.
  4. Pat the green beans dry and transfer to a 9-by-13-inch broiler-safe pan (or similar size 3-quart baking dish). Add the sauce and tomatoes and toss to combine. Sprinkle with cheese.
  5. Broil the casserole until the cheese is melted and beginning to brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Chop the remaining ¼ cup pistachios and sprinkle over the top.

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