Tammy Kelly: Healthy leftover ham
Easter is almost upon us and that means it’s time for the traditional Easter Sunday lunch, and that often means ham. In the United States, ham is a traditional Easter food.
In the early days, meat was slaughtered in the fall. There was no refrigeration, and the fresh pork that wasn’t consumed during the winter months before Lent was cured for spring. The curing process took a long time, and the first hams were ready around the time Easter rolled around. Thus, ham was a natural choice for the celebratory Easter dinner.
Many of us will purchase and cook a large ham and will have some leftovers. Here are some healthy recipes for using that leftover ham.
Easy Chicken Cordon Blue
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and tenders removed
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup shredded Swiss cheese
2 tablespoons reduced-fat cream cheese
1/4 cup coarse dry whole-wheat breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or thyme
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/4 cup chopped ham
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon pepper and salt. Combine cheese and cream cheese in a bowl. Combine the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper with breadcrumbs, parsley (or thyme) and 2 teaspoons oil in another bowl.
Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a large, ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook the chicken until browned on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Move the chicken to the center so all pieces are touching. Spread with the cheese mixture, sprinkle with ham, then top with the breadcrumb mixture.
Bake until the chicken is no longer pink in the center and an instant-read thermometer registers 165 degrees, 5 to 7 minutes.
Ham and Cauliflower Hash
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets (5 cups)
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 pound baked or deli ham, chopped (2 cups)
1 teaspoon paprika
Kosher salt and pepper
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cauliflower and onion and cook until browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the ham, season with the paprika, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper, and cook, tossing, until tender, 10 to 15 minutes; transfer to a plate.
Reduce heat to medium and heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in the skillet. Fry the eggs to the desired doneness, 2 to 3 minutes for slightly runny yolks. Serve on the hash and sprinkle with the parsley.
Skinny Ham Salad
1 cup chopped cooked ham
1 tablespoon grated onion
2 teaspoons mustard
2 tablespoons of sweet pickle relish, or chopped dill pickles 2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
2 tablespoons nonfat plain Greek yogurt
Place the ham in a food processor or blender and pulse until finely chopped.nAdd the remaining ingredients and pulse to combine. Place the spread in a covered container, and chill.
Enjoy as a sandwich filling or topping for cucumber slices, party rye bread slices or crackers.
Variation: Mix the 1 cup chopped ham with 1 tablespoon light mayo, 2 tablespoons nonfat Greek yogurt, 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish, and 1 tablespoon mustard instead of the ingredients specified above.
Healthy Ham and Cheese Casserole with Apples
For the pasta:
1 pound whole-wheat penne
12 ounces diced ham
3 medium sweet apples, cored and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh sage leaves, thinly sliced, dived
For the sauce:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small yellow onion, chopped
3 teaspoons garlic
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups nonfat milk
1/4 cup half and half
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1 cup freshly grated sharp white cheddar cheese
For the bread crumb topping:
3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the pasta to the water and cook until al dente, according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and lightly grease a 9-by-13 or similar baking dish.
Melt the butter in a Dutch oven or similar large, deep pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until beginning to soften, about 6 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour and garlic, then cook whisking often, until the flour is golden brown, about 2 minutes. Gradually pour in milk, whisking constantly, then the half and half. Continue to cook until the sauce simmers and thickens, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat, then stir in the salt and nutmeg, then the Greek yogurt, cheddar, and 1/2 the total amount of sage. Add the drained pasta, apples and ham, toss gently to coat, then transfer to the prepared baking dish.
Combine the breadcrumbs and olive oil in a small bowl and sprinkle over the top of the pasta. Cover the dish with foil, then bake for 10 minutes covered, then uncover and bake 10 additional minutes, until the crumbs are golden and the pasta is hot and bubbly. If necessary, turn your broiler to high to finishing browning the crumbs, watching them carefully so that they do not burn. Remove baked pasta from the oven, sprinkle with remaining sage, and serve.
Asian Ham Salad
1 cup brown rice
1 cup frozen shelled edamame
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Kosher salt and black pepper
1/4 pound baked or deli ham, chopped
6 radishes, sliced
4 scallions, sliced
2 tablespoons chopped roasted, salted peanuts
Separately, cook the rice and edamame according to the package directions.
In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oils, red pepper and ¼ teaspoon each salt and black pepper. Add the rice, edamame, ham, radishes and scallions and toss to combine. Top with the peanuts.
Kinston (N.C.) Free Press columnist Tammy Kelly is director of the Lenoir County Cooperative Extension Center. Reach her at Tammy_Kelly@ncsu.edu.