Why throw get-togethers at Christmas and birthday milestones only, when every day is cause for celebration? The upcoming Easter holiday is a good excuse to invite close friends and family over for a scrumptious, flavour-filled Easter lunch.
My motto: Celebrate life together all the time!
Hailing from the UK, I love the European tradition of Sunday lunches, and just can’t go past a late afternoon roast dinner. This was reinvigorated on my recent travels, where Sundays were spent gathered around the kitchen table, swapping stories and eating and laughing.
With that in mind, I’ve drafted a doable Easter Lunch menu for you inspired by world cuisines. Get ready to flex your cooking muscles because the phone calls have been made, timings arranged and all of the feel good ingredients ordered for a lunch-table of fresh food and peak seasonal produce. Whether casual or outdoor, indoor or formal the dishes and bold flavours guarantee a heaven-sent celebration. Preparation can be done in advance so you can enjoy more time for merriment and laughter.
Just because it’s Easter it doesn’t mean the day needs to completely revolve around a sickly fest of copious amounts of refined sugar and processed chocolate and now that I have your appetite’s attention, I’ve hunted and gathered a selection of my favourite recipes, one direct from Bollywood which features in my new book Eat Clean, Green and Vegetarian, and a delicious Asian inspired red prawn stir fry. I’m rounding it off with a gooey raspberry chocolate cake, every chocoholics dream.
To begin, my exotic Red Onion Bhajis with Minted Raita will get your taste buds tingling. The mint provides a fresh burst of flavor to these delicious Indian inspired morsels of flavor.
Serve them on a share plate and pass around or as an individual serving with a crisp leafy salad for extra crunch and greenery.
Red Onion Bhajis with Minted Raita (pictured above)
WF GF SF VEG
- 120 g (41/4 oz/1 cup) superfine besan (chickpea flour)
- 1/2 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
- 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 cm (3/4 inch) piece of ginger, finely chopped
- Celtic sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil or ghee, for frying
- 130 g (41/2 oz/1/2 cup) full-fat
- 2 tablespoons chopped mint
- 1 small garlic clove, crushed
- To make the raita, mix all the ingredients together and place in a serving bowl.
- To make the bhajis, sift the besan and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the spices, garlic and ginger and season with salt and pepper. Add 150 ml (5 fl oz) of cold water to make a thick batter, then add the onion and stir until it is well coated.
- Heat the coconut oil in a heavy-based frying pan over medium heat. Add a tiny bit of mixture to test the oil temperature – if it bubbles, the oil is hot enough. Cooking several bhajis at a time, add a heaped tablespoon of mixture and shallow-fry until golden brown on each side; I like to form a tablespoon of the mixture into a patty before frying to help keep the shape.
- Transfer to a paper towel to soak up the excess oil and cook the remaining batter.
- Serve with the minted raita.
A simple to make and delicious Stir-Fried Red Prawn recipe is next, which is served on a bed of Asian Greens. I like to use a variety of greens including baby bok choy, Chinese broccoli and Choy sum. Asian greens are surprisingly high in vitamin c, iron and calcium and are more readily absorbed than in traditional greens such as spinach and silver beet.
Try and buy your prawns as fresh as possible, ideally on the morning of consumption, and begin the marinating process. Not only is the vibrant pink colour in the prawns stunning to look at set back amongst the Asian greens, but the natural pink pigment is a powerful antioxidant, helping to protect skin against sun damage and improving elasticity. Hello youthful healthy glow!
Stir-Fried Red Prawns
WF DF GF SF
- 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) peeled and deveined prawns
- 2 tablespoons red curry paste
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- juice from 1 lime
- 400 ml(14 fl oz) additive-free coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 medium handful basil leaves
- Asian greens, to serve
- Combine the prawns, red curry paste, garlic, ginger and
- lime juice in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Remove the prawns from the fridge. Heat coconut oil in
- large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the prawns
- and sauté for a couple of minutes. Pour in the coconut
- milk and basil and cook for a further minute.
- Serve immediately on a bed of Asian greens
Your Easter Banquet won’t be lack-luster affair this year as it involves chocolate but the kind of chocolate that has minimal plastic and cardboard packaging! Wow your friends and family with my Gooey Chocolate Cake with Raspberries and have them leave feeling happy and healthy. Because it’s overflowing with raw cacao, the antioxidants and minerals within the cacao will give your guests an added buzz.
Gooey Chocolate Cake with Raspberries
Makes one cake
- 125 g (41/2 oz) organic butter, at room temperature, plus extra, for greasing
- 200 g (7 oz) coconut sugar or xylitol
- 25 g (1 oz) coconut flour
- 125 g (41/2 oz/11/4 cups) almond meal
- 11/2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- pinch of Celtic sea salt
- 55 g (2 oz/1/2 cup) raw cacao powder
- 4 organic eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon alcohol-free vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons organic butter or light olive oil
- 2 tablespoons brazil nut and linseed butter, or other nut butter
- 100 ml (31/2 fl oz) additive-free coconut milk
- 125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) almond milk
- coconut cream and raspberries, for topping
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4) and grease a 16 cm (61/4 inch) cake tin.
- Use an electric mixer to cream the butter and coconut sugar or xylitol.
- Add the coconut flour, almond meal, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and cacao to the bowl.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and vanilla together.
- Add the butter or oil, brazil nut and linseed butter and coconut milk and stir well to combine.
- Slowly add the wet mixture into the dry, finally adding the almond milk.
- Spoon the batter into the cake tin and bake for 40–45 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool before icing.
- Once cool, top with the coconut cream and raspberries.
- The cake will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
I hope you enjoy your Easter this year surrounded by your loved ones or friends.
I would love to hear how your Easter Lunch goes?
Comment below, send me a message or upload your pictures and tag me. It’s so fulfilling and inspiring seeing your creations!