Heavenly Deviled Eggs

deviled eggs makeover

Confession. I am not a fan of deviled eggs. Scrambled and poached are my eggs of choice. Especially with really good toast.  Love ‘em. But not deviled.

Nevertheless, my personal tastes aside, these little darlings are the most popular thing to make with colored Easter Eggs after the dying project is complete, so I wanted to offer you a healthier version to try if you’re so inclined! This recipe gets lightened up by using canola mayonnaise (and less of it, as some of it is replaced with plain Greek yogurt). These also have a nice little kick from Sriracha – good stuff.

Try them for yourself! I’m curious, though. Left to your own devices, what do YOU do with the  colored eggs after Easter?

Heavenly Deviled Eggs
adapted by Cooking Light

Serves: 8

Ingredients:

8 large eggs
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons plain 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons canola mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon Sriracha (hot chile sauce, such as Huy Fong) or hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives

Directions:

1. Use hard-boiled eggs from Easter decorating. Remove shells.
2. In a small bowl, combine the water, vinegar, and sugar and microwave for two minutes. Once the mix is boiling, stir in the onion and let it stand for fifteen minutes before draining.
3. In another bowl, mix the yogurt, mustard, mayonnaise, Sriracha, pepper, and salt together. Set aside.
4. Cut each egg in half lengthwise. Remove the yolks.
5. Add six of the yolks and 2 Tbsp. of the drained red onion to the yogurt mixture and combine until smooth.
6. Spoon the mixture into the egg whites and garnish with chives and remaining red onion.

Joy…and Pain

be truly glad joy

Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings. It’s hard to believe it’s been a year already. As a runner, I was shaken to my core when I saw the finish line of that race transformed into a triage site. I wrote about it in this post last year. And now, while a year has passed and we’re healing, we haven’t forgotten. We’re all #BostonStrong today.

I’m always amazed and inspired by the process of healing after a tragedy or loss. I lost my dear Aunt Jean just over a year ago and I’ve only recently been able to speak her name without crying. It’s not that I’ve been distraught day in and day out, but the emotional weight of the loss would break through with each memory of her and the tears would flow. As the year passed, I could more often remember her with a smile instead of through tears, but it took time. I think we try to rush through our grieving…and it simply won’t be rushed.

Less than three weeks ago, my dear friend and colleague, Stefanie Stevenson, lost her husband in a tragic skiing accident during a family vacation. Paul Cohen was a 45-year-old husband, father and neurosurgeon in the prime of his life. By all accounts, and there have been many, he was an incredible human being. He left a nine-year-old son, twin eleven-year-old daughters, and an amazing wife. Their lives are upside down and they will stay that way for a long while as they heal and adapt and find their way forward. We’re all holding space for them, and loving them, and praying for them, but we’re not going to rush them.

Because grief takes time.

Yet the irrefutable truth is this. Even after the coldest of winters and darkest of nights, warmth and light return.  On the other side of tragedy, joy emerges…gloriously, beautifully, radiantly. Flitting amid the grief and the pain, joy shows itself. It breaks through with increasing frequency, shining its light into our darkest places, lifting our hearts out of hiding, reconnecting us with life.

If you’re hurting today, or grieving, or wondering when the light will return, please look for those glimpses of joy that peek through the darkness beckoning you forward. They’re your glimmering guide into to the life that awaits you. Take just one tiny step toward tomorrow, and let the light in.

Not Your Ordinary Carrot Cake

carrot cake makeover recipe

Carrot cake is an Easter favorite, because bunnies like carrots, obviously, but despite the inclusion of a vegetable in its name, it’s not exactly a health food. Most of the time, those poor carrots are swimming in oil and butter and sugar and buried under an inch of cream cheese. Delicious, but still. When it comes to desserts, I normally advocate eating “the real thing” in smaller portions…but consider that one popular online recipe for carrot cake weighs in at 1,460 calories and 28 grams of saturated fat in one three-layer slice. Oy. This version has 284 calories per slice and just 5 grams of saturated fat. I know.

So, to start this carrot cake makeover,  you’ll get out a 9X13 pan (instead of the round pans you’d use for a layer cake) and by so doing,  you’ll reduce the ratio of icing to cake in each slice. (I’m sorry to break it to you, but the icing is the biggest culprit when it comes to the sugar and fat content of any cake. Well, except for cheesecake…but I digress.)

You’ll still use all the familiar, natural ingredients, like butter, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and cream cheese, just in altered proportions from the old standby. There’s one unusual addition the icing, an ounce of fromage blanc, which adds something lovely, but if you can’t find it, I’ve given you a substitution suggestion below.

So this Easter, have your cake and eat it too! May I suggest leaving a piece for the Easter Bunny….why should Santa have all the treats?

Not Your Ordinary Carrot Cake
adapted from Cooking Light

Yields: 20 slices

Ingredients:

Cake:
13 x 9 inch metal baking pan
10.1 ounces all-purpose flour (about 2 1/4 cups)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups grated carrot
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
6 tablespoons butter, softened
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
Cooking spray

Frosting:
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 ounce fromage blanc (or sub 1 more ounce cream cheese)
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Directions:

Cake:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
2. In a small bowl, mix the flour, cinnamon, and salt with a whisk. Add the grated carrot and stir.
4. In a separate bowl, beat the granulated sugar, brown sugar, and butter at medium speed with a mixer.
5. Once the ingredients are combined, beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla.
6. Grease the 9X13 pan and bake at 350 F until a toothpick comes out clean (usually 27-28 minutes) and then allow to cool.

Frosting:
1. Beat the softened cream cheese, fromage blanc, butter, vanilla, and salt at medium speed with the mixer.
2. Once the mixture is fluffy, add the powdered sugar slowly and beat until mixed.
3. Frost the cake and scatter toasted pecans on top.