unique, non-traditional easter meal ideas

If you are considering breaking away from a traditional Easter dinner this year, we found some surprisingly scrumptious recipe ideas that are sure to please everyone at your table. Our recipe selection includes ideas for brunch, lunch, or dinner along with some amazing desserts to finish off your feast.


Skillet Scramble with Kale and Garlic – great meal for Brunch
1 large (10 ounce) organic Yukon gold potato
1 tablespoon butter
4 eggs, lightly whipped
4 cloves roasted garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 cup steamed, chopped kale
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
Gently boil whole potato (skin on) until tender. Drain; when cool enough to handle, cut into 1/4-inch cubes.
Melt butter in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet or ovenproof sauté pan.
Turn heat to medium-low and add potatoes.
Cook slowly until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Season with salt.
Preheat broiler. Move potatoes in a pile to one side of skillet.
Pour eggs into other side and lightly scramble.
When eggs are not quite fully cooked, add garlic and kale and fold together with potatoes.
Season to taste. Top with goat cheese (or your favorite white cheese) and lightly brown under broiler.
Serves 2. Prep tip: To roast garlic, instead of cooking in oil as is the common method, put peeled, whole cloves in an ovenproof dish and cover with water. Cover with foil and cook at 375 degrees for at least one hour, or until cloves are very soft. Serving tip: Serve atop toasted whole-grain pita or naan.
Per Serving: 428 cal, 51% fat cal, 24g fat, 13g sat fat, 461mg chol, 23g protein, 30g carb, 4g fiber, 304mg sodium

Jerusalem Artichoke Soup – a sensational idea to start the feast
1 lb Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and diced
2 shallots, chopped
2 large cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
10 coriander seeds
2 sprigs thyme
1 large potato (3 oz), peeled and diced
2 celery stalks, diced
½ large bulb celeriac, peeled and diced
3 cups good vegetable broth (or water)
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp crème fraîche
Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
For the garnish ~ 1 oz mixed mushrooms per bowl (about 5 ounces total), lightly brushed clean and sliced thickly
minced garlic to your taste (1-2 cloves) – Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped – White truffle flavored olive oil
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large heavy bottomed pot (such as a dutch oven). Add the shallot and garlic and cook with the coriander seeds and thyme on medium heat for a few minutes, until shallots and garlic are golden.
Add the root vegetables and celery and cook on medium heat for about 8 minutes
Add the broth (or water) and bring to a boil. Season with a few generous pinches Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Cover and simmer for about 20 min, until the vegetables are fork-tender.
While broth and vegetables are simmering, heat one tablespoon olive oil in a small sauté pan and sauté ~1 teaspoon garlic for ~30 seconds. Add mushrooms and ~1 tablespoon chopped parsley and salt and pepper to taste, and sauté for another minute or two.
Remove the dutch oven from the heat and use a stick blender to purée (or puree in your food processor).
Add the cream and adjust seasonings to taste.
Serve soup topped with a couple tablespoons of the mushroom mixture, and a drizzle of truffle oil, a couple pinches of chopped Italian parsley.
Serve hot.
Asparagus, Tomato & Basil Fritatta – a fresh and easy entrée idea (vegetarian)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
12 pieces asparagus, sliced on the bias
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup basil, julienned
12 egg whites, lightly beaten
Salt and pepper to taste
Basil leaves, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350°F
Heat oil in a 6-inch nonstick using oven-safe pan
Sauté onions and garlic for 1 minute on medium-low heat
Add asparagus, sauté for 30 seconds
Then add tomatoes and basil and season with salt and pepper to taste
Add egg whites to pan and mix briefly
Place in the oven for 8-10 minutes, or until done
Garnish with basil
Tip: Serves 4 / This flavorful, one-pan dish is both healthy and simple to prepare. Prep time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 12-15 minutes
Per Serving: Calories 117, Fat 4, fat 28, Cholesterol 0, Carb 8, Protein 13, Fiber N/A, Sodium N/A
Spring Vegetable Risotto with Toasted Pine Nuts – another veggie entrée idea
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
12 ounces mixed baby squash (green and yellow pattypan squash, baby zucchini), halved lengthwise
12 ounces asparagus, trimmed and cut diagonally into 2-inch lengths
4 ounces baby carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
3 tablespoons water
4 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup minced shallots (about 2)
11/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/8 teaspoon saffron powder
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
2 lemons, cut into sixths
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a deep, wide skillet or saucepan over medium-high heat.
Add squash, asparagus, and carrots. Sauté 3 minutes, tossing occasionally.
Reduce heat, add water, and simmer, covered, 4 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. (Pattypan squash may need an extra 1—2 minutes.)
Remove with a slotted spoon. Dry skillet.
Meanwhile, microwave broth in a medium bowl until hot, 6—8 minutes. Remove and cover.
Heat butter and remaining 2 tablespoons oil in original pan over medium-low heat.
Add shallots and cook, stirring, until softened, 3—5 minutes.
Stir in rice until coated.
Add wine, increase heat, and boil for 2 minutes or until absorbed.
Reduce heat to medium-low; add saffron and 1 cup hot broth.
Stir and simmer gently until broth is nearly absorbed.
Repeat with remaining broth (1 cup at a time), stirring after each addition, for about 20 minutes total.
While rice is still moist and a bit of liquid remains, stir in vegetables until heated through – remove from heat.
Stir in cheese and sprinkle each serving with pine nuts and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Serve hot.
Serves 6. A comforting, vegetable-studded dish. Ingredient tip: If you can’t find baby vegetables, regular ones will do; just cut into 2-inch pieces. Prep tips: If baby carrots are thicker than your pinky, halve them lengthwise. When making risotto, aim for consistent, medium-low heat. Use high-quality Parmesan cheese and freshly toasted pine nuts for best flavor.
Per Serving: 372 cal, 34% fat cal, 14g fat, 2g sat fat, 3mg chol, 9g protein, 52g carb, 2g fiber, 328mg sodium.
Fettuccine with Asparagus and Wild Mushrooms – scrumptious veggie entrée
1/2 pound thin asparagus stalks
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 cup sliced wild mushrooms (such as chanterelle, enoki, morel, or shiitake), fresh or dried and reconstituted
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
Salt and pepper
1/2 pound fresh fettuccine
20 nasturtiums (cut in half if large)
Grated manchego cheese
Trim asparagus stems. Cut stalks into 2-inch segments. If stalks are fairly thick, cut in half lengthwise.
In a large skillet, heat butter and oil.
Add asparagus, onions, and mushrooms and sauté over medium-high heat for 2 minutes.
Stir in garlic and white wine and cook 2-4 minutes longer, or until asparagus is bright green.
Season with salt and pepper.
While asparagus is cooking, cook fresh fettuccine in boiling salted water until al dente, about 1 minute.
Drain, reserving 1/2-cup cooking water.
In a large bowl, combine pasta with asparagus mixture and cheese.
Toss to mix, adding reserved pasta water if needed to keep moist.
Stir in nasturtiums and serve immediately.
Serves 6. Fresh nasturtiums add a bright, peppery flavor to this simple but special dish.
Roasted Chicken on bed of vegetables – easy and tasty meat entree
One 4 to 4 1/2 pound chicken
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled (smash with the side of a chef’s knife, makes it easier to peel)
6 thyme sprigs
3 medium-sized rutabagas (also called “swedes”), ends cut and discarded, rutabagas peeled, and any outer tough layer discarded, then rutabagas cut into 3/4-inch wedges
2 medium-sized turnips, prepared the same way as the rutabagas
4 medium-sized carrots, peeled and cut in 2-inch segments
1 small yellow onion, peeled, roots cut off but core kept intact (see the photos for Frenching onions), other end cut off and discarded, the onion then cut into quarters
8 small red-skinned new potatoes
About 1/3 cup olive oil or grapeseed oil (Keller uses canola oil, we prefer olive or grapeseed oil)
4 Tbsp butter, room temperature (spreadable)
Large (11-inch if you have it) cast-iron frying pan
Kitchen string
Preheat oven to 475°F.
Use a paring knife to cut away the wishbone from the neck/breast area of the chicken. You will probably have to use your fingers to feel around for it. This is a little bit tricky, but if you can remove the wishbone first, it will make the chicken easier to carve after it is cooked. (This ease of future carving is the only reason to take the bone out, so you can leave it in if you want.)
Generously season the cavity of the chicken with salt and pepper.
Add three of the garlic cloves and 5 sprigs of the thyme to the cavity, using your hands to rub the thyme and garlic all around the cavity.
Truss the chicken with kitchen string. To do so, start by cutting a 3-foot section of cotton kitchen string. Place the chicken so that it is breast up, and the legs pointing toward you. Tuck the wing tips under the chicken. Wrap the string under the neck end of the bird, pulling the string ends up over the breast, toward you, plumping up the breast. Then cross the string under the breast (above the cavity and between the legs). Wrap each end around the closest leg end, and tie tightly so that the legs come together.
Place the vegetables, onions, garlic, and remaining thyme sprig into a bowl. Add 1/4 cup of olive oil (or grapeseed or canola oil) and toss with your hands until well coated. Season generously with salt and pepper.
Slather the chicken with oil and season well with salt and pepper.
Create a bed of the root vegetables in a large cast iron pan (or use a regular roasting pan if you don’t have a cast iron pan.) My father likes to leave out the potatoes at this stage and arrange them around the chicken. Place the chicken on the bed of vegetables. Slather the top of the chicken breasts with butter. (Note that we added some extra sprigs of thyme to the top, probably because my dad forgot to add them to the vegetables! But it still worked.)
Place the pan in the oven and roast the chicken for 25 minutes at 475°F. Then reduce the heat to 400°F and roast for an additional 45 minutes, or until the thickest part of the thigh registers 160°F on a meat thermometer and the juices run clear.
Transfer the chicken to a cutting board, cover with aluminum foil and let rest for 20 minutes before carving to serve. You can keep the vegetables warm by keeping them in the now-turned-off oven while the chicken is resting. Stir to coat the vegetables with the cooking juices before serving.
Cut the chicken into serving pieces. Place vegetables on a serving platter with the chicken pieces arranged on top.
Serves 4.
Roasted Beef Brisket to Perfection – a scrumptious meat entrée
This is an easy and simply the best brisket recipe ever. The secret is to make it a day before and let it rest overnight in the cooking gravy before reheating and serving. To make cleanup fast and easy, use a disposable foil roasting pan. To make this gluten-free, choose a certified GF chili sauce and use Bragg’s Liquid Aminos instead of Worcestershire sauce.
Combine one can whole cranberry sauce, one bottle chili sauce, and a dash of Worcestershire sauce; set aside.
Place a 5-pound kosher beef brisket in a roasting pan and fill with 1/4-inch water. Season brisket with seasoned salt and brown for 30 minutes at 350°. Take brisket out of the oven, pour cranberry mixture over top, cover tightly with foil, and bake at 325° for at least 4 hours.
Remove from the oven and let sit for 30 minutes. Slice the beef against the grain, and put it back in its juices. Refrigerate overnight. Remove solidified fat and reheat at 350° for 45–60 minutes. Remember: You can’t overcook a brisket!
Serving; 4-ounces meat, 2 tablespoons sauce. 321 Calories, 2% Fat, 15g Fat, 5g Saturated Fat, 105mg Cholesterol, 34g Protein, 12g Carbohydrate, 194mg Sodium


Kale and Black Olive Salad with Pinto Beans and Mango Salsa – amazing vegetarian side dish
1 large bunch of kale (about 1 pound) cut into ribbons
1/2 cup black olives, pitted and chopped
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
Salt and black pepper
1 cup of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup of your favorite mango salsa
Combine the kale, olives, and Parm in a large bowl.
Add the pinto beans and mango salsa
Drizzle with the oil and vinegar, sprinkle with sale (not too much) and lots of black pepper and toss.
Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
Serve immediately, or refrigerate for up to an hour. Serves 4. Romaine or Napa cabbage or mustard greens can be used instead of Kale.
Drop Scones with Rose Petals and Pistachios – delightfully unique dessert
2-1/4 cups unbleached white flour
2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2-3 pinches cinnamon
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup shelled pistachios, lightly toasted and coarsely ground
1 cup cream
1 teaspoon rose water
A good handful of rose petals
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon rose jelly, or 1 tablespoon of red currant jelly mixed with about 2 teaspoon rose water
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl and blend thoroughly.
Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal.
Sir in pistachios. Set aside.
Stir cream together with rose water.
Rinse rose petals, pat dry, and shred finely (there should be about 2 tablespoons).
Stir rose petals into cream, then stir liquid ingredients into dry ones to form a soft dough.
Drop dough by heaping tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased baking sheet.
Bake scones for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown.
Prepare icing while scones are baking:
Combine confectioners’ sugar, jelly, and water in a small bowl and whisk until smooth.
Add another teaspoon water if icing seems too thick, keeping in mind that icing will melt a little if applied while scones are warm.
Remove scones to a baking rack to cool slightly, then drizzle with icing.
Tips: They are best served warm, right after baking. If preparing scones in advance, cool completely without icing and store in an airtight container. Wrap them in foil and gently reheat at 325°F for 10-15 minutes. Drizzle icing over them while they are warm. Makes 2 dozen / Serve these buttery treats warm at Sunday brunch, paired with slices of fresh melon and chilled hibiscus tea mixed with sparkling water.
Per Serving: Calories 124,Fat 7,Perfat 47,Cholesterol 19,Carbo 15,Protein 2,Fiber 0,Sodium 116
Brown Butter Cakes with Rhubarb-Strawberry Compote – silver bullet dessert
Recipe makes 12 – prep tips: the key to really red compote is a preliminary maceration (marinade) in sugar. This helps set the color and pull out some of the juice in the fruit. Serving tips: The compote can be added to the cake in two ways: A tablespoon of purée dropped on top of the batter before baking will settle nicely into the cake, or you can use it more like a sauce. I also recommend a little soft, sweetened whipped cream or crème fraîche.
10 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons)
2 1/2 ounces ground almonds (about 2/3 cup ground)
2 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour (about 2/3 cup)
2 cups confectioner’s sugar (lightly spooned)
3/4 cup egg whites (5-6 eggs)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 pound rhubarb, sliced into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup natural cane sugar
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons port
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup strawberries (leave small ones whole; cut large ones in half)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste
Make compote:
Combine rhubarb, sugar, salt, and port in a nonreactive (nonaluminum) saucepan.
Leave to macerate for at least 1 hour and up to 12 hours, tossing occasionally.
Add vanilla; cook on medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring every so often to discourage sticking.
Stir in strawberries and cook 5 more minutes.
Adjust taste with lemon juice and more sugar, if desired.
Make cakes
Cook butter gently in a saucepan over medium heat until solids in the butter become dark brown. This will take between 10 and 20 minutes depending on your stove. Slower is best. The butter will start to caramelize as moisture evaporates. I like to make the butter very dark. Be sure to scrape all the solids into your batter.
Combine ground almonds, flour, and sugar in a large bowl.
Stir in egg whites, vanilla, and salt with a wooden spoon.
Add browned butter and all its bits in a steady stream, stirring constantly.
Coat muffin pans generously with cooking spray.
Fill 2/3 full with batter.
Bake at 350˚ for 20 minutes.
Serve on dessert plates, topped with compote.
Per Serving: 267 cal, 42% fat cal, 13g fat, 6g sat fat, 25mg chol, 4g protein, 34g carb, 2g fiber, 29mg sodium
Green Tea Granita with Ginger and Citrus – a simple and unique dessert
This delightful treat is packed with immune-enhancing green tea, oranges, lemons, and ginger. And it’s a great way to soothe a dry throat. For kids, try making it with decaffeinated tea and freezing the mixture in Popsicle molds.
Heat water to nearly boiling.
Steep tea bags in hot water for 2 minutes.
Discard bags and let tea cool.
Press minced ginger through a clean garlic press, catching ginger juice in a medium bowl.
Discard remaining ginger solids.
Add cooled tea and remaining ingredients to ginger juice; stir.
Adjust sweetness if necessary.
Pour mixture into an 8×8-inch shallow pan and place in freezer.
Fluff ingredients with a fork every 30 minutes or until the mixture is icy and fluffy, about 2-1/2 hours.
Serves 4. Per Serving: Calories: 79 calories, % fat calories: 2, Fat: 0g, Saturated Fat: 0g,Cholesterol: 0mg,Protein: 1g,Carbohydrate: 21g,Fiber: 0g, Sodium: 2mg
Rosemary Pecan Cookies – another surprisingly delightful dessert
Makes 24 / Rosemary adds a surprisingly sumptuous flavor to these button cookies, while almond flour provides protein and nutrients. They are less sweet than a typical cookie, but highly addictive! Ingredient tip: Grapeseed oil lends a buttery taste.
1 1/4 cups blanched almond flour
Pinch of sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
2 tablespoons agave nectar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
½ cup pecans, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 350º.
In a medium bowl, combine almond flour, salt, and baking soda.
In a small bowl, whisk together oil, agave, and vanilla.
Mix wet ingredients into dry.
Fold in rosemary and pecans.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Form dough into ½- to 1-inch balls and press onto prepared baking sheet. (If batter gets sticky, wet hands before forming cookies.) Bake for 6–7 minutes, until golden.
Recipes and photos courtesy of New Hope360 / Delicious Living, SpoonfulBlog.com, SimplyRecipes.com, and TheCookingRookie.com

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Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 60’s, Tom developed a strong desire to create positive change for people and planet.

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