Adapt Easter holiday favourites to meet diet restrictions

A little adapting to the menu offers food that everyone can enjoy when family or visitors have food restrictions.

Ham and scalloped potatoes are often traditional Easter foods. For those avoiding milk, the cheesy potato bake may be a good alternative to the scalloped potatoes. I’m lactose intolerant, but can enjoy cheese. For those who can’t eat cheese, omitting it from the sauce and just sprinkling a little on top of the potatoes may be an option.

Use vegetable broth rather than chicken broth for a vegetarian version.

Orange Mustard Glazed Ham

The orange and mustard glaze makes a tasty addition to the ham.

  • 1.7 kg. precooked Black Forest or honey ham
  • 1/2 c. frozen orange juice concentrate, slightly thawed 125 mL
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 1 tbsp. honey, melted 15 mL
  • 1 tbsp. prepared mustard 15 mL
  • or 2 tbsp. grainy honey Dijon mustard 30 mL

Mix the concentrated orange juice, honey and mustard. Place ham in slow cooker on high, spoon the orange juice mixture over the ham and put on the lid. Cook on high for three hours or low for five to six hours. Heat to 140 F (60 C) internal temperature.
Spoon the glaze over meat twice and add a little more juice if necessary. Slice and serve. Serve remaining sauce over the meat.
This recipe can also be baked in the oven. Cut a diagonal pattern just through the surface of the ham on one side to create a decorative pattern.
Place cut side down in a roaster, pour orange mustard glaze over ham and cover with foil.
Bake at 350 F (180 C) for 30 minutes, turn ham over, spoon sauce over the meat and cover with foil.
Bake an additional 30 to 50 minutes until internal temperature is 140 F (60 C). Remove from oven, allow to stand 10 minutes covered and then slice. Garnish plate with parsley or kale leaves.

Crisp Lemon Snap Pea Salad

This is an excellent vegetarian salad because the quinoa provides a complete protein. Serves six.

  • 2 c. water 500 mL
  • 1 c. quinoa 250 mL
  • 2 c. sweet snap peas, cut diagonally 
into thirds 500 mL
  • 1 1/2 c. button mushrooms cut into quarters or eighths 375 mL
  • 1/2 c. red or yellow 125 pepper, cut into 1/2 inch 
(1 cm) square chunks mL
  • 1/3 c. thinly sliced 75 mL
  • red onion, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) lengths (optional)
  • 1 tbsp. fresh dill, chopped 15 mL
  • 1/3 c. white balsamic vinegar 75 mL (the red balsamic vinegar can be used but it gives the white quinoa a brown colour)
  • 1/4 c. olive, flaxseed or canola oil 60 mL
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest 5 mL
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice 15 mL
  • 1 tsp. pure maple syrup 5 mL

Combine the water and quinoa in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside to cool completely.
Combine the peas, mushrooms, pepper, onion (optional) and dill in a medium bowl. Whisk together the vinegar, oil, lemon zest, lemon juice and maple syrup. Pour over the cooled quinoa in the saucepan and stir until evenly mixed. Add to the vegetable mixture, toss and serve.
This salad is even better the next day after the dressing has completely soaked into the mushrooms.
The recipe is adapted from Quinoa Revolution by Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming.

Cheesy Potato Bake


This is my daughter-in-law Leanne’s recipe and is a family favourite.

  • 2 1/2 tbsp. butter 37 mL
  • 1/4 c. flour 60 mL
  • 2 1/3 c. chicken or vegetable broth 575 mL
  • 2 c. marble cheese, grated 500 mL
  • 5 – 10 potatoes, depending on potato size, peeled & thinly sliced (optional is to scrub the potatoes well and leave the peels on)
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced or onion powder to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chili powder to taste

Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Grease nine by 13 (22 x 33 cm) glass baking dish.
Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat, add flour and cook, stirring constantly for two minutes or until bubbly. Add broth and stir until sauce comes to a boil.
Add 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) cheese. Stir until combined and cheese is melted.
Arrange one-third of potatoes, overlapping slightly, to cover base of baking dish.
Sprinkle with salt, pepper, chili powder and onion powder or sliced onions. Spoon one-third of cheese sauce over potatoes. Repeat with another layer of potatoes, seasoning, onions and sauce two more times.
Sprinkle top with remaining cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 1 1/2 hours.
Uncover and bake for an additional 20 minutes. Potatoes should be tender and top should be golden brown.

Moist Chocolate Cake

This is a delicious gluten-free or vegetarian diet dessert option that everyone will enjoy.

  • 2/3 c. white or golden quinoa 175 mL
  • 1 1/2 c. water 325 mL
  • 1/3 c. milk 75 mL
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract 5 mL
  • 3/4 c butter, melted and cooled 175 mL
  • 1 1/2 c. white sugar 375 mL
  • 1 c. unsweetened cocoa powder 250 mL
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder 7.5 mL
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda 2 mL
  • 1/2 tsp. salt 2 mL

Bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cover, reduce to a simmer and cook 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave on the burner for another 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and cool.
Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C) Lightly grease two eight-inch (20 cm) round or square cake pans. Line the bottom with parchment paper or place papers in muffin tins for 24 cupcakes.
Combine the milk, eggs and vanilla in a blender or food processor. Add two cups (500 mL) of cooked quinoa and butter and blend until smooth, scraping the sides of container as needed.
Whisk together the sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Add the eggs and quinoa mixture and mix well. Divide between the two pans or the muffin cups and spread batter evenly. Bake on the center oven rack for 40 to 45 minutes for the cakes or 20 to 25 minutes for the cupcakes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and cool completely in the pan before serving. Dust with icing sugar or frosting or top with fresh fruit or yogurt.
Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to one week or freeze for up to one month.
The recipe is adapted from Quinoa The Everyday Superfood 365 by Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming.

Betty Ann Deobald is a home economist from Rosetown, Sask., and a member of Team Resources. Contact: