Let me share some delicious tips so that this holiday season will sit well both on your stomach and with your weight. What's most important is to think of NOT RESTRICTING ANYTHING, but to think of adding healthy, delicious, special options to the regular holiday fare. Enjoying healthy options, one ends up eating less of the buttery/fatty, sweet dishes.
Let's think of the holiday meal:
My tip number 1 is to include at least three dishes that are based on plants, either vegetables or fruits. Let´s try to make one with raw fruits or vegetables, for example an appetizer with mango, shrimp and Latin-Asian flavors. You can find that recipe in Un Mundo de Comida con los Ingredientes del Ecuador. Another healthy option, full of anti-oxidants is a roasted beet recipe, with the special, flavor trick of orange rind and cloves, also in that same cookbook. Or a luscious flan based on pumpkin, also in the book.
Since each vegetable or fruit´s color gives us a different anti-oxidant we want to eat the rainbow in our holiday meal. Tip 2 is to make sure that each of the three dishes is based on a vegetable or fruit of a different, bright color.
Tip 3 guarantees that the vegetables or fruits are of the best quality and thus have optimum quantities of micro-nutrients. Buy only organic or agro-ecological produce directly from growers. And if you live in a great, warm country, perhaps you have produce right in your own garden or you can exchange with a neighbor.
Eating whole grains, not processed or refined, give us fiber as well as micro-nutrientes. Thus tip 4 is have at least one dish based on a whole grain. Here I present you one of my favorites, based on quinoa, also from that book Un Mundo de Comida con los Ingredientes del Ecuador.
Tip 5 is to make delicious, economic drinks that use healthy ingredients. For children and those who don´t want alcohol, you can prepare a gorgeous pink bubbly drink. First make a thin syrup of organic lemon juice and your favorite sweetener. Pink it up with a concentrated infusion of hibiscus flower; top it off with bubbly mineral water and you will marvel at your healthy substitute to sodas. This one tastes real and everyone love it.
For those who´d like a tropical mulled wine, follow the recipe in Un Mundo….. With lots of Andean ingredients, such as the dried flower of the cinnamon tree (“ishpingo”) this mulled wine has always been a winner at my holiday parties. AND, you can make it from inexpensive wines.