Easter was always a holiday that I looked forward to as a child. It was just like Christmas except that the presents came in the form of food. I would wake up in the morning and rush downstairs to see what the big bunny had left me in my basket. It was always the same thing, cheap tasting chocolate bunnies and sugar coated marshmallow peeps. I would immediately get to work eating some of the chocolate, I really didn’t like the Easter candy that much, but it was the only day of the year that I was allowed to eat half a pound of chocolate for breakfast, so I took full advantage.
From there the day got even better. We would go to my grandparents’ house where we would feast on our traditional Easter dinner, which really was not all that different than Thanksgiving dinner. We always had turkey, cornbread stuffing, giblet gravy, sweet peas, and Waldorf salad, followed by even more chocolate in the form of a bunny shaped chocolate cake that my grandmother baked and decorated. After dinner we would have an egg hunt, and the eggs were filled with, you guessed it, more chocolate!
I really wish that I could say that I was carrying on some of these traditions with my kids, but so far that has not been the case. This will be Minda’s third Easter, and each year we have spent the day in a different place. This year we are spent Easter at the Houstonian Hotel. It is situated on a beautiful nature preserve, and we found the well-manicured front lawn was the perfect place to hide some Easter eggs among the blooming Azaleas. We also packed an Easter picnic. With no kitchen at my disposal, I was not able to prepare a traditional Easter dinner, but roasted turkey does not really appeal to my vegetarian sensibilities anyhow. I did however want to incorporate some part of my childhood traditions into our day. I was able to work with what I had in our hotel room, and make a Waldorf salad.
The Waldorf salad that my grandmother made was pretty simple, apples, celery, and walnuts in a creamy mayonnaise based dressing. I chose to up the nutrition in my version by adding some baby spinach to the mix, and substituted Greek yogurt dressing for the mayo. Then in true Texitarian style, we wrapped it all up in whole wheat flour tortillas. It was a delicious way to spend the day.
2 Gala apples, diced
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 cup grapes, halved
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup raw walnut halves and pieces
5 cups baby spinach
½ cup 2% Greek yogurt
Juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons honey
½ teaspoon salt
10-inch whole wheat flour tortillas for wrapping
Combine the apples, celery, grapes, cranberries, walnuts, and spinach in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, lemon juice, honey and salt. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Place a spoonful of salad onto a flour tortilla and roll it up. Repeat and eat!
Even though we don’t have many Easter traditions yet, maybe being untraditional is more our style. I know that it does not matter so much where we are, as long as we are spending the day as a family, having fun and making memories.
Do you have a favorite Easter tradition?