Joyful Easter wishes

By Marcia Kyle | Apr 09, 2009

Cherry blossoms, Easter egg hunts and the end of mud season are a few of my favorite spring things. My childhood memories of Easter morning are searching for the hidden basket of treats and my mom's kitchen filled with the yeasty smell of hot cross buns cooling on the kitchen table.

This year for Easter dinner I have decided to prepare one of my husband's favorite meals: lamb chops. This recipe keeps the fat content down without sacrificing flavor. Using sugar-free syrup keeps the carbohydrate content down in the maple-glazed carrots. Round out the meal with baked potatoes, freshly tossed salad and chilled fruit cups for a light dessert. Save those calories and carbohydrates for your favorite chocolate treat!

Marinated Lamb Chops

Red wine and raspberry vinegar add a fruity flavor to traditional lamb chops.

Number of servings: six
Serving size: 3 ounces

½ cup dry red wine
¼ cup raspberry vinegar
2 T Dijon mustard
fresh ground black pepper and salt to taste (pinch)
2 pounds lamb chops

Preparation instructions:

Combine the first four ingredients. Add the lamb chops and marinate in the refrigerator for one to two hours. Grill or broil the lamb chops until done as desired.

Nutrition information amount per serving. Calories: 135. Calories from fat: 58. Total fat: 6 g. Saturated fat: 2 g. Cholesterol: 56 mg. Sodium: 86 mg. Total carbohydrate: 1 g. Dietary fiber: 0 g. Sugars: 1g. Protein: 17 g.

Maple-Glazed Orange Carrots

This recipe is provided by Cary's Sugar Free Syrup

Preparation time: four minutes
Cook time: six to eight minutes
Number of servings: five
Serving size: one-fifth of recipe

4 cups baby carrots (1½ pounds)
5 T Cary's Sugar Free Syrup
2 T orange juice
1 T butter or margarine
1 T orange zest

Preparation instructions:

1. Toss all ingredients together in microwave-safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Microwave on high for five minutes. Toss and cover. Microwave on high for additional one to three minutes. Carrots should be fork-tender with a hint of crispness. Toss and serve immediately.

2. Variations: This vegetable dish is a tangy, colorful, healthy and flavorful side dish for any poultry, meat or fish. Substitute lemon juice and lemon zest for the orange. Grapefruit juice and orange peel make a great combination with the carrots.

Nutrition information amount per serving. Calories: 74. Calories from fat: 18. Total fat: 2 g. Saturated fat: 1 g. Cholesterol: 0 mg. Sodium: 103 mg. Total carbohydrate: 11 g. Dietary fiber: 2 g. Sugars 0 g. Protein: 1 g.

Keeping Easter eggs safe

Before your little ones hop on down the bunny trail, follow these tips to keep Easter eggs safe to eat.

Cooking hard-boiled eggs: Bring fresh eggs and cold water to a rapid boil, remove pan from heat and let stand for 15 minutes. Run cold water over eggs until cool.

Wash hands carefully before decorating and handle with care to avoid cracking. Cracked eggs invite bacteria.

Store cooked eggs in the refrigerator at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or less. Remember, no high-protein foods should be left unrefrigerated for more than two hours. That means not hiding eggs more than one hour in advance. Throw away eggs that are cracked, dirty or left unrefrigerated for more than two hours. Better yet make two sets of eggs -- one for hiding and one for eating.

Discard eggs after one week. Hard-boiled eggs -- in the shell or peeled -- do not keep as well as raw eggs.

Have a joyful Easter celebration while staying safe and eating healthy.
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