Monday, September 22, 2014
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Celebrate Easter with these festive, low-cal recipes

Use this lightened up carrot cake recipe to bring to your Easter celebration.
Use this lightened up carrot cake recipe to bring to your Easter celebration. iStockphoto

This Easter, put down the chocolate bunnies and marshmallow peeps and try some more wholesome and creative meals to add some balance to your spring menu.

Whether you’re having a large family brunch or dinner, be creative and cook some traditional items without going overboard on the calories! With swim suit season approaching just a few months away, you may be cautious about munching on too many calorie-laden foods. Instead, celebrate with these guilt-free meals, which range from grilled salmon to herbed potato salad – made without mayo! End your meal with a carrot cake that uses less oil and no butter without compromising its rich taste.

There’s something for everyone to enjoy with these 5 dishes below, all less than 400 calories:

1. Ham and asparagus frittata

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  • In this traditional egg-based dish, lower-sodium ham, fresh spring asparagus, and whole eggs and egg whites are mixed together. Serve with fruit and toast for a wholesome brunch meal.

    Per serving: 251 calories, 9.2g fat, 9.6g carbohydrates, 31.3g protein, 2g fiber

    View recipe >

    2. Grilled wild salmon and vegetables

    Get your fix of omega-3s and spring veggies in this protein-packed dish. Serve this seafood entree, which also includes potatoes, onion, fennel, and spinach, as one of the main dishes.

    Per serving: 307 calories, 16.2g fat, 15.7g carbohydrates, 24.3g protein, 2.8g fiber

    View recipe >

    3. Herbed potato salad

    Low-fat yogurt and reduced-fat sour cream are combined for a creamy dressing that doesn’t even need mayo. Dill, parsley and onion are also mixed in to add extra flavor to this low-fat potato salad.

    Per serving: 168 calories, 4g fat, 30.1g carbohydrates, 4.2g protein, 2.6g fiber

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    4. Asparagus whole-wheat pasta with lemon dressing

    This guilt-free pasta dish with whole-wheat penne has spring written all over it: fresh asparagus, sun-dried tomatoes, and a light lemon dressing. It’s also meat-free and full of fiber.

    Per serving: 387 calories, 13g fat, 58g carbohydrates, 17g protein, 12g fiber

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    5. Carrot cake

    Although carrot cake can be high in fat and calories, this version has about 40 percent less calories and 50 percent less fat than most versions. Less oil is used in the batter, and no butter is contained in the frosting.

    Per serving: 342 calories, 17g fat, 43g carbohydrates, 6g protein, 3g fiber

    View recipe >

    Lauren Mennen Philly.com
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