March 23, 2024

When I think about Easter, I think of ham … but also all the sides! From green bean casserole to mac and cheese, there are so many options to include. While our Easter plate is composed mainly of sides, sometimes we may lack a variety of vegetables. Think about what you usually put on your plate during Easter… how many of these dishes include vegetables? If the answer is none or not very many, below are some tips and tricks to add vegetables to your Easter in a fun and unique way!

Start by visualizing your plate before the big Easter meal happens. Your plate should consist of ½ plate vegetables, ¼ plate protein, and ¼ plate of carbohydrate. Looking at the different food choices available can help you mentally pick your plate to make sure you are getting enough veggies. Another tip: Try to eat your vegetables first. All veggies are chock full of fiber! Fiber helps slow down the digestion of food in your stomach, leaving you feeling fuller for longer. After you have your fill of veggies, grab a protein option, like turkey or ham. This can help prevent overeating or feeling “stuffed” after a big meal.

Vegetables can come in many different forms including salad, roasted vegetables, or raw vegetables with a dipping sauce. The texture of different vegetables can either encourage or discourage individuals from trying them. Here’s a recommendation: If there’s a vegetable you have tried before and it has not been your favorite, try roasting it! Roasting vegetables lightly tossed in olive oil and your favorite seasonings at 450 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes brings excellent flavor and texture to the table! Finally, if you have any kids who are picky about vegetables, try getting them involved in the kitchen! Making a veggie tray in the shape of a bunny head and serving with their favorite vegetable dip can make food “fun” and can help kids try to accept new foods and food groups.

One of the easiest ways to add a vegetable to your Easter table is through a salad! Salads can be served as an appetizer, giving you something to satisfy your stomach before the main meal. They can also help subdue cravings throughout the day. But salads don’t just have to be a pile of leafy greens! One of my favorite salads is Shaved Asparagus Garden Salad. This salad combines sweet and savory flavors together while also packing in nutrients. Plus, asparagus is one of the first spring vegetables to come in season! Some of asparagus’ nutrients include antioxidants, fiber, vitamin K and folate, which in turn can help with our immune function, inflammation and much more. Try serving this at your Easter table to impress your guests and your taste buds!

Shaved Asparagus Garden Salad
Serves 6 (1 cup each)

All You Need:
12 oz asparagus spears
2 cups tightly packed baby arugula
¾ cup thinly shredded purple cabbage
2 whole red radishes, thinly sliced
1 tbsp finely chopped basil
1 tbsp finely chopped mint
½ cup blackberries
¼ cup honey-roasted sliced almonds
¼ cup Soiree traditional feta crumbled cheese
¼ cup Brianna’s champagne style vinaigrette dressing

All you do:

  1. Trim asparagus spears. Cut off tips and place in large bowl of ice water.
  2. Shave remaining asparagus into ribbons using a vegetable peeler. Add ribbons to bowl of ice water; let stand for 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. To assemble, drain asparagus well. Toss together asparagus tips and ribbons, baby arugula, shredded purple cabbage, sliced radishes, basil and mint in another large bowl.
  4. Arrange asparagus mixture on a large serving platter. Top with blackberries, almonds and feta cheese crumbles.
  5. Garnish with additional basil and mint leaves, if desired. Drizzle with champagne vinaigrette.

Recipe source: March/April 2024 Hy-Vee Seasons magazine. Are you ready for more tips and inspiration to incorporate nutrient-dense foods into your diet? Not only are vegetables good for you, but they can help stabilize your blood sugar. If you’re ready to take a deeper dive when it comes to regulating your blood sugar, check out our Balancing Your Blood Sugar program, an action-based group program for those with prediabetes or diabetes, but also for individuals looking to lower inflammation, reduce their sugar intake and control their cravings. To learn more, reach out to your Hy-Vee dietitian today or head to The information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.