(10 seconds each to read and are almost that quick to prepare)
By Lisa Messinger
Food and Cooking at Creators Syndicate
Have you ever thought of extending Easter Sunday all week long? Thanksgiving is the holiday that gets all the attention when it comes to leftovers, however, Easter, with its traditional selections of ham, lamb, fresh spring vegetable sides, and luscious desserts - or perhaps a bountiful buffet brunch
- should be a major contender, too. There are split-second transformations you can make to holiday fare to make it even fairer, like a minty lamb stir-fry pepped up by pesto, sweetly stuffed hot cross buns that won't leave anyone cross and waffle cones doubling as an Easter basket for leftover holiday candy layered with ice cream and hot caramel sauce.
Food preparation can be easy, nutritious, inexpensive, fun - and fast - as these sensations prove. They take just 10 seconds each to read and are almost that quick to prepare
. The dishes are delicious proof that everyone has time for tasty home cooking and, more importantly, the healthy family time in the kitchen that goes along with it! Another benefit: You effortlessly become a better cook, since there are no right or wrong amounts
. These are virtually-can't-go-wrong combinations, so whatever you - or your kidlet helpers - choose to use can't help but draw "wows" at your next livened-up leftover get together. HAMHamming It Up
Ham salad is not eaten as often as chicken, tuna or egg salad, but the meat's zip makes it a delicious choice over those blander options. Cut leftover cooked ham into bite-sized pieces and combine with light mayonnaise, spicy mustard, finely diced drained pineapple, finely diced green bell pepper, golden raisins and slivered almonds. Serve as mini sandwiches on leftover dinner rolls.LAMBLeftover Lamb Legacy
Stir finely chopped fresh mint into store-bought pesto, place in a wok or skillet and heat. Carefully stir in cooked leftover lamb that's been cut into bite-sized chunks and coat with mint-pesto mixture. Keep stir-frying until heated through. Serve over wild rice that includes finely chopped peanuts and cashews. FRESH SPRING VEGETABLESEven More Vibrant Veggies
Take your leftover spring vegetable solo dish or medley and mix it with nonfat sour cream, freshly chopped dill, parsley and curry powder, drained flaked canned tuna and chopped dried cherries and wrap in a whole-grain tortilla. HOT CROSS BUNSBundles of Sweetness and Light
Hot cross buns - sweet, spiced rolls studded with raisins or candied fruit and a white cross along the top - are often eaten worldwide on Good Friday, but now are being sold year-round in the UK and other locales. Slice leftovers in half, spread with a mixture of almond butter and apple butter, sprinkle with ground cinnamon, and place in microwave wrapped in paper towels for 10 seconds, or until just slightly warmed.BRUNCHCroutons That Capitalize on Breakfast Baked Goods
Sprinkle leftover French toast, pancakes or waffles with ground cinnamon, freshly ground black pepper and dried basil. Toast in a toaster oven or a broiler, being careful not to burn. Once cool, chop into bite-sized squares and use as croutons in slightly sweet salads or soups, like salads containing greens, dried and fresh fruit like strawberries and drizzled with raspberry vinaigrette, or sweet potato or tomato soup. Whether soup or salad, finish the dish with a tiny drizzle of pure maple syrup.EASTER CANDYWaffle Cone as Easter Basket for Luscious Leftovers
Create an Easter candy ice cream parfait. In a large waffle cone, place a few pieces of Easter candy, top with ice cream, whipped cream, hot caramel and repeat layers, finishing with a piece of Easter candy and a sprinkling of dried pineapple on top.QUICK TIP OF THE WEEK:
Lots of people are surprised to learn that their favorite lemon-lime or orange regular or diet sodas don't have any lemon, lime or orange juices in them and also often contain caffeine. A deliciously refreshing way to stack things in your favor is to squeeze in your own citrus juices. Mexican fast food chain Taco Bell has an excellent assortment of soft drinks that include fresh fruit, like the Frutista line that blends real strawberries with sparkling beverages and traditional limeade that they note is prepared from Sierra Mist soda with some squirts of real lime juice. You can easily emulate that limeade at home, even their cherry limeade, too, by stirring in some of a healthful juice, like Trop50 Pomegranate-Blueberry with no added sugar and half the calories and carbohydrates of maker Tropicana's regular juices. For a real homemade splash, pour two cans of no-caffeine diet lemon-lime soda into a large glass, followed by squeezes of fresh lime, lemon, Minneola (a super-sweet widely available tangerine-grapefruit hybrid) or tangelo (just as sweet similar hybrid between a tangerine and a mandarin orange) and a quarter cup of a juice like the Trop50 Pomegranate-Blueberry.
Lisa Messinger is a first-place winner in food and nutrition writing from the Association of Food Journalists and the National Council Against Health Fraud and author of seven food books, including the best-selling The Tofu Book: The New American Cuisine with 150 Recipes (Avery/Penguin Putnam) and Turn Your Supermarket into a Health Food Store: The Brand-Name Guide to Shopping for a Better Diet (Pharos/Scripps Howard). She writes two nationally syndicated food and nutrition columns for Creators Syndicate and had been a longtime newspaper food and health section managing editor, as well as managing editor of Gayot/Gault Millau dining review company. Lisa traveled the globe writing about top chefs for Pulitzer Prize-winning Copley News Service and has written about health and nutrition for the Los Angeles Times Syndicate, Reader's Digest, Woman's World and Prevention Magazine Health Books. Permission granted for use on Dr.Laura.com.