Traditional, "natural foods" Easter dishes?

In the interest of advance menu planning, I’m wondering if you can share your favorite Easter recipes and treats that use whole, natural ingredients. (No white flour, refined sugar, Crisco, canned cream of mushroom soup, etc.) It would be extra-special if you could describe how these recipes are part of the Easter tradition in your culture or family. :slight_smile:

It’s fine if they’re heavy on the butter, cream, and natural sweeteners… it’s a feast, after all!

[quote=maryceleste]…No white flour, refined sugar, Crisco, canned cream of mushroom soup, etc. …

That doesn’t leave very much, does it?

my neighbors always made something with chopped egg and fresh horseradish I believe it is a Slovak tradition, clean out your sinuses for a year with it, has some type of symbolism, I don’t recall what.

In our family we had leg of lamb or lamb shanks, rice pilaf, homemade mint jelly (nothing like you buy from a jar), green salad with bitter greens such as dandelion with a vinaigrette dressing, and spring peas with pearl onions and butter. My dad frowned on using prepared mixes or canned soups etc, and my mom detested crisco, they were very much cook from scratch people. don’t know why it was tradition except my mom said lamb was the traditional Passover meal so most appropriate, and according to my dad those were the proper accompaniments for lamb.

Bakeries in Cleveland always had lamb cakes for Easter, I am quite sure full of all your banned ingredients. They also sold a braided bread with colored boiled eggs embedded in the braids, I believe that is a Polish tradition. Slovenian nut bread, potica (puhtitza) was also prevalant at Easter. Lots of butter, finely ground nuts, and a yeast dough, I think.

tried lamb one year and in-laws complained so much I always made ham thereafter with baked sweet potatoes, baked beans, coleslaw and German potato salad. If I tried any other menu I got complaints so that is as far as the tradition goes.

My ginger snap ham would be right out - but it sure is tasty!

There goes the lamb cake…

…ever thought about a wheat-flour carrot cake, with cream cheese icing made with honey?

Canned soup from those organic places in the supermarket specialty aisle OK? Just how “whole” and “natural” do you want to go?

You wouldn’t like our tradition…cold cuts, eggs of all types, different breads, and enough Fannie May to create cavities in the teeth of one and all. If it’s warm enough, we have our first grillin’ of the season, and put on steaks.

[quote=JB.]That doesn’t leave very much, does it?

Just the paltry few foods God made. :wink: I imagine that Catholics must have managed to have bountiful feasts for many centuries before Pillsbury and Kraft came along… big hunks of roasted meat with vegetables and gravy, salads, cheese, fresh bread & butter, beer, wine, nuts, dried fruit with whipped cream and honey… mmmm. :smiley:

Thanks to all who’ve posted suggestions. We made a savory Polish sauce last Easter, and it was wonderful served with crunchy little spring radishes and greens. It also went well with the lamb, and the traditionally-cured country ham (truly one of life’s greatest pleasures!). I’ll have to hunt for the site where I got the recipe.

We also made a Paska, a molded eastern European dessert made from dry-curd cottage cheese, eggs, honey, and dried fruit. It looked lovely, but nobody could eat more than a little bite. It was too sweet and rich for our North American tastes – health-food and junk-food eaters alike. Maybe we’ll try a less-sweet cheesecake with a cookie crust this year. (Hmm… if I baked gingersnaps for the cheesecake, then I could use some for kage_ar’s ham dish! :slight_smile: )

Breads and cakes seem to be the trickiest part. I’m sure some of the ethnic ones were originally made with whole grains, but those recipes seem to be lost in the mists of time. I guess I’ll have to do some adapting.

At any rate, I have no plans to deprive my family of delicious food. We started grinding our own whole-grain flour for health reasons, but we’ve found that we prefer the taste, so white flour products wouldn’t be much of a treat for us. Besides, when our feast dishes are nutritious, we can enjoy them in generous amounts throughout the Easter season. :slight_smile: (It’s one thing to make a lamb cake for Easter Sunday… but 50 days of it would pretty much do me in. I’d be praying for Divine Mercy! :eek: )

Last year I roasted a ham and basted it with apple cider every 20 min, then glazed it with a mustard/brown sugar mix (you could substitute molasses). I also made an asparagus and gruyere quiche, which could easily be made “natural” with whole-wheat crust and organic ingredients. Mom brought a couple of salads (one fruit, one tossed greens), and for dessert I made an amaretto cheesecake with chocolate crust (which you could make with organic dairy and chocolate cookies from the health store) and served it with cherry port wine from a Michigan winery.

Truly a memorable feast. :slight_smile:

PS- you can buy white whole-wheat flour, which I believe is ground from a wheat that is naturally lighter in color. I think Hodgson Mill or King Arthur sells it- I’ve seen it in every supermarket in my area- and it might be a way to healthify the traditional breads.

you can also make your pie crusts from finely ground nuts, spices and butter.

better check out the threads on peeps and Cadbury creme eggs if you want to talk about disasters

[quote=puzzleannie]you can also make your pie crusts from finely ground nuts, spices and butter.

Just make sure your guests aren’t allergic to the nuts, or serve one dessert with and one without nuts. I’ve had to avoid so many innocent looking desserts upon learning that finely ground walnuts or pecans were in the crust. :frowning:

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