Portland News

Health Coach Erika Schlick Brings Paleo Recipes to Your Easter Family Dinner

With Easter fast approaching, it’s time to prepare to eat mountains of food and copious amounts of chocolate. This time of the year can be enjoyable for those who find great social comfort through family meals, but it can also be challenging for those with certain dietary requirements. 

When it comes to meal preferences — whether it be veganism, paleo, or low sodium — often the greatest challenges come not in sustaining your own willpower, but in managing the social situations. You might feel like a nuisance and decide to eat something you never normally would, or just opt to cook something that everyone will like, but whether you are a guest looking forward to bringing your own dish, or simply the host preparing food for friends and family, there are thousands of recipes out there that can (and will) work for everyone. 

Personal health coach and author of cookbook Wandering Palate, Erika Schlick, says that for the first big family gathering of the year, there are a number of springtime paleo favorites that will keep visitors happy and healthy as the weather warms up. “Here’s the truth, Paleo is not a fad, because at one point in time, it wasn’t a diet, it was a way of life,” she says. The paleo diet consists of lean meats, fish, fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds—the types of food our ancestors ate in the paleolithic era. “This way of eating created an agile, fit, strong body,” Schlick says, “which is why, even millions of years later, more and more people are choosing a Paleo diet.”

Here are four recipes she promises will go down a storm at your Easter dinner.

To Start – Whipped Cream Cheese & Cucumber Salmon Bites

“Cream cheese and smoked salmon are a match made in heaven,” Schlick says. The recipe is simple, refreshing, and a great all-rounder starter that most people can get on board with. All it requires is for cream cheese to be beaten until light and fluffy before adding ranch mix, fresh dill, and sea salt. Spread or pipe the mixture onto chunky cucumber slices with a few capers for a salty punch. Then, place a small slice of smoked salmon on the cream cheese, and garnish with another dash of fresh dill or capers. You can find the full recipe here.

For Brunch – Spinach and Feta Quiche

If you’re opting for a late morning Easter gathering instead, this is a great option to satisfy all tastes and cravings. “The best way to get a tender quiche is to incorporate fat,” Schlick says. “In this case, cream helps the eggs bake into a custard-like texture, but you can substitute with half-and-half or dairy substitutes like coconut milk with equal success. Serve this for your Easter brunch or lunch with a tossed green salad and fresh fruit!” Prep time is just 20 minutes, and it will be cooked and ready to serve within 45-50 minutes. We love that this recipe is packed full of flavor, from onion and garlic to crumbled feta and mozzarella. You can find the full recipe and instructions here.

On to Mains – Rosemary Steak

At Easter, most people opt for lamb. However, it can be quite an intense taste for those who aren’t attuned to its flavor. In these cases, steak is a great all-rounder option that can be spruced up with Rosemary to still give it that Easter pep. “This rosemary steak is made with just a few simple ingredients and is simple to prepare,” Schlick says.” The key is to let it marinate in olive oil, rosemary, salt, and garlic, and then cook on a cast-iron skillet before thinly slicing it. Almost everything goes with steak, so you can pair it with several sides that will suit your guests.

Dessert – Pavlova

Aptly described by Schlick as “among the simplest yet most elegant desserts to make,” Pavlova only requires eggs whites, sugar, cream, and the fruit of your choice. It’s the perfect balance of crispy and chewy textures, as well as light and refreshing flavors to conclude your Easter celebration. It’s best to serve with berries that are in season where you live. Find Schlick’s recipe here.

Easter is a time to enjoy food with family and friends and not feel guilty about sudden changes in diet. Pre-plan and find something everyone likes to ensure Easter meals are fun and stress-free this year.

For most Easter recipes, including sides and beverages, check out Erica Schlick’s blog. 

Opinions expressed by Portland News contributors are their own.