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Whether you're tackling Easter yourself this year or just trying to bring an Easter-worthy side-dish to your next dinner, these tips and tricks will help.
While not as food-based as Thanksgiving or Christmas, there are plenty of Easter dinner traditions out there. Here are a few more ideas to add.
Depending on when Easter falls in the year, you may find that certain produce comes into full force. Using this to your advantage, you can create fresher salads and better side dishes. Keep an eye out for what is showing up at the grocery store about a week before Easter to see what you'll be able to score.
While ham is traditional, there's nothing stopping you from using a leaner protein like baked chicken, roasted turkey or even pan-seared fish. This lighter alternative can help you feel better about all that Easter candy that you've been picking at for the last few days, right?
Tackling the Side Dish Problem
Just because it's a holiday doesn't mean you have to be stuck with heavy side dishes. Instead of a traditional stuffing or heavy potato side dish, why not try a light pasta salad with spring vegetables? Fruit salad also makes for a sweet treat that is sure to please both kids and adults.
Looking for something sweet to counteract the saltiness of your Easter ham? Easy! Grilled or baked pineapple helps offer a great balance of sweet-and-tart that can cut through the saltiness of a traditional Easter meal.
If you want to tie in the Easter theme, why not try some deviled eggs? These are a quick fix side-dish that can be made the night before and stashed in the fridge. Plus, it's a great way to use up all those boiled, colored eggs.
Things to Make Ahead
Whether you do a potluck style Easter or just prefer not to do all of your cooking in one day, there are a ton of things that you can make ahead. Here are a few ideas.
As long as you don’t dress your salad, you can easily assemble it (minus any proteins such as chicken or steak) and take it where you need to go. Then when you get table-side, toss on your dressing and serve up.
Casseroles are another quick-fix that can be made ahead of time and then tossed in the oven to heat up before you need to go. Some even argue that they taste better after a few days in the fridge.
If you haven't invested in a crock pot, holiday cooking is a great reason to get one. Crock pots easily allow you to create all kinds of foods—such as soups, stews, casseroles and even stuffing—the night before, and safely leave them cooking on the counter top. Not to mention the long and slow cooking time, which helps to develop flavors that are hard to come by otherwise.
Now that you've got these tips under your belt, why not try them out on your Easter dinner? And, if you have some special tricks of your own, please share!