Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Day: Spinach Salad, Simple Gluten Free Lemon Bars, and Raw Carrot Cake Bites

We had Easter brunch at my parent's house this year. I was asked to bring a vegetable, but I decided to bring a vegetable and a gluten free dessert because I actually had extra time this week to bake! Both my mom and I both try to avoid wheat, and my aunt, uncle, and cousin are completely gluten free, so I figured I might as well bring a tasty gluten free treat. My dad's birthday was on Wednesday and I also wanted to make something that he would enjoy. I thought about attempting a gluten free carrot cake (his favorite dessert) but soon realized that would likely take more time than I had (I would have had to make time for a test run!). I also thought about making raw carrot cake bites, which I had made for a party earlier in the week, but I figured my dad wouldn't be happy with this "pseudo carrot cake" (although they were fantastic).

Instead I decided to make lemon squares.

I found this recipe for easy lemon squares on (my knew favorite recipe website) and simply modified it by using brown rice flour instead of all-purpose wheat flour. VOILA! Gluten free (and whole grain!)

Hint: When you make these bars use a glass dish so you can make sure that the crust is even when you press it down. If the crust isn't even then the filling won't be even either, and you'll end up with a half over-baked and half under-baked batch of lemon bars. Take it from me, it's not fun.

These bars were delicious. They were so delicious that Nick even ate my failed batch! While they would have tasted better right out of the oven (or at least somewhat warm), even after being cooled with 24-hours they were packed with lemon flavor and a starchy/sweet aftertaste.

I also made a spinach salad. Who doesn't like a spinach salad on Easter Sunday?!

Easter Spinach Salad
(Serves 6)


6 cups raw baby spinach
6 hard-boiled eggs
1/2 large red onion, sliced
1.5 cups raw mushrooms, sliced
1 cup of your favorite croutons
Dressing of your choice, we used a balsamic vinaigrette (hot bacon dressing is the best!)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in the order shown above.

No Easter ends without some good chocolate. My Aunt JoAnn made chocolate peanut butter eggs (with dark chocolate. Shhh...don't tell Nick!). They were sinfully delicious and I may have had three. She also made chocolate coconut "nests". Cute, right??

What is your favorite Easter candy (or if you don't celebrate Easter, what's your favorite Spring dessert)? Least favorite Easter candy? Mine favorite is the humble PEEP (although it's no longer unique as an Easter candy because you can get them throughout the year). My least favorite Easter candy is jelly beans (aside from the Starbust ones!).

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  1. both the lemon square and the spinach salad look delicious! I love adding eggs to salad! :)
    we don't celebrate easter.. but I got a bunny chocolate which was quite fun! :)

  2. I want that salad! I'm not really a candy person, especially since I can't eat dairy. BUT I can say in all certainty that my least favorite candy is Dip n Sticks. Colored sugar in a packet with a sugar dipping stick?! GAH!

  3. Belated Happy Easter Gina. Looks like a great time. My favorite? Cadbury mini eggs. Least favorite? Fake chocolate anything. Have a wonderful week.

  4. oh those carrot cake balls sound DIVINE! one of my fav flavors is carrot cake. after spumoni, cannoli and tartuffe hahahaha but you already knew that. give me a big bag of jelly belly beans and i'm a happy camper. too bad deej major failed and got dollar store brand which taste like soap. bahhhh

  5. I like black jelly beans but I didn't have any this year! Yippe for me.

  6. Mini Cadbury eggs and jolly rancher jelly beans!! :)
    Your Easter contribution is PERFECT. The salad nice light and springy and the lemon bars...YUM!!! Nothing says spring better! Hope you had a FABULOUS holiday weekend!

  7. I don't like the hard candy-shelled chocolate eggs, but I love just plain Hershey miniatures.
    Your lemon bars look lovely! I'm glad everyone got to enjoy a delicious gluten-free dessert. But what was the failed batch like?

  8. I love eating gluten free snacks and this recipe is surely a must try. It looks so scrumptious and I know it wouldn't ruin my diet.