Easter is one of my favorite holidays, because my family celebrates it as a competitive holiday. Our egg-themed games range from an Easter egg hunt to an egg toss... which I now realize don't sound abnormal or crazy at all, but I promise it is. I have a fond memory of being 12 years old and getting hip-checked out of the way by a grown man reaching for the same egg. There is no mercy. Our eggs are filled with awesome non-food treats, like lotto cards and $1 coins. It is so much fun, and definitely one of the California events I miss the most living in Alabama.
Another great part of Easter (and all family celebrations) is the food! I fully believe in going full on #treatyoself on holidays, but I also think it's more satisfying to build your plate with a balance of rich, holiday foods and healthier, fresh side dishes.
Lucky for you, I called on some of my Registered Dietitian friends to provide you with 10 of our favorite healthier spring celebration side dishes! Most of these sides can also be made into entrées by adding a protein, which is a plus! Please note: they are listed in no particular order.
1. Vegan Roasted Cabbage Caesar Salad
This recipe from Stephanie McKercher, RDN brings a vegan twist to the classic caesar salad! The non-dairy dressing is made from silken tofu to add protein and creaminess. Read more about the recipe here!
2. Triple Berry Quinoa Salad
Imagine how beautiful your table will look with this bright berry salad on it. Exactly. Get the recipe, created by Marie Dittmer, RD, here!
3. Avocado Deviled Eggs
No Easter appetizer table is complete without deviled eggs! This one skips the mayo in favor of a healthier fat - avocado! These deviled eggs pack a punch of flavor with the addition of salsa and lime juice as well. Get the full recipe from Tracee Yablon Brenner, RD, CHHC here!
4. Asparagus Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing
I've never met a tahini dressing I didn't like. I'm sure if you've tried one, you feel the same way. That's why I am so excited about this recipe from Katie Pfeffer-Scanlan, RD. The shaved asparagus paired with a fresh, citrusy dressing is sure to brighten up any spring plate! Full recipe here.
5. Cheesy Cauli-Hashbrown Casserole
Now obviously, this doesn't look healthy. It looks cheesy and amazing and I can practically taste it when I look at it. But, it is secretly healthier! Andrea Mathis, MA, RD, LD created this recipe to include hidden cauliflower and plain non-fat Greek yogurt in place of sour cream. I bet your family won't even know the difference! Try it here!
6. Asparagus, Pea and Feta Salad
I love the idea of bringing a bright, green veggie-centric salad to a family celebration. Everyone will take some to be nice, and then end up loving it! That is the exact scenario I imagine happening with this salad recipe from Kara Lydon, RD, LD, RYT, which you can access here!
7. Twice-Baked Chipotle Sweet Potatoes
Spice up your sides with a little chipotle in your sweet potatoes! These twice-baked dreamboats have a pop of plant-based protein from black beans and will help fill you up with complex carbs. Get the recipe here from Dara Gurau, RD!
8. Citrus Quinoa Salad with Prunes
Adding citrus into a salad is a great way to freshen up the flavor and bring in some color! This citrus quinoa salad from Amy Gorin, RD balances the sharpness of the arugula with a citrus-forward dressing! Find the recipe here.
9. Vegan Cream of Asparagus Soup
Lauren Blake, RD created this vegan soup using cashews, nutritional yeast, sautéed veggies, and more! Your friends will be wowed with what you can do with plant-based power! Recreate the recipe here!
10. Roasted Herbed Carrots
You know we couldn't have a post right before Easter without carrots on it! This recipe from Christy Wilson, RDN is packed with herbaceous flavor. Try it for yourself here.