Your Easter Table

What comes to mind when you think of a traditional Easter Holiday?

Kids gathering candy during the Easter Egg Hunt, then running around on a sugar high?

A table set with dishes included Baked Ham from a tin with pineapples baked in?   Asparagus laden with Hollandaise?  Lemon-scented Easter breads with frosting?

For me, not having grown up in a particularly religious family, I don’t recall there being much of any special meal in particular, until I started cooking it, that is! We had Easter Baskets, and one year a neighbor even gave me a chocolate bunny but alas, when I woke from my nap, it was gone… and my mom explained it had hopped away to its mommy. (I’ve shared before about how my mom did her best to keep her daughter sugar-free, preservative-free and only eating organically, to the best of her ability!).

Because of my love of all things culinary, I recall one Easter when I was about fifteen when I sifted through several cooking mags in order to prepare a meal that was definitely all about Easter, and definitely far from Paleo (again, this was over ten years prior to me even knowing what Paleo living was!)

Traditional Easter foods around the world include:

  • Hot Cross Buns, whose cross shape on top serves to represent…the cross.
  • Eastern block countries serve their traditional pastries of Czech babobka and Polish baba, while Greeks and Portugese serve round, flat loaves marked with a cross and decorated with Easter eggs. Syrian and Jordanian Christians have honey pastries.
  • The shape of a pretzels indicate the torso of a person with arms folded, praying.
  • The roast lamb dinner that many eat on Easter Sunday represents the sacrificial lamb.
  • And here, in the states, ham is a traditional Easter food, with its history stemming from the simple fact that before refrigeration, a cured meat made sense.

So what, then, can we serve for a Paleo Easter?

  • Let’s start with the obvious- skip the breads and pastries
  • Pastured pork or naturally raised lamb will do a perfectly Paleo job as the piece de resistance.
  • While copious amounts of leafy greens might not be something that we see as an Easter tradition, there’s certainly no good reason not to include them. I’d suggest kale, of course as well as some blanched asparagus and a mixed green salad, or whatever veggies you fancy!
  • For the kids, you can keep the focus of the Easter Egg Hunt on items other than sweets and treats. Perhaps you can create an obstacle course with (non-candy) prizes for all the kids who complete it, rather than having them focus on who finds the most candy.
  • If eggs are part of your family’s diet, here’s a great opportunity to make eating hard-boiled eggs fun for the little ones. Spend the afternoon coloring the eggs with a food-based egg coloring kit (so they’re safe to handle and eat) found at your local health food store.

Click here for my recipe for Herbed Pastured Pork Tenderloin with Ginger-Cherry Puree!

Happy Easter!