Christmas meetings and dinners are just around the corner and you find yourself in a triple dilemma. You want to keep taking care of your health in these holidays, but not restrict. You want to surprise your guests with something spectacular, but not spend hours and hours in the kitchen. And, if you’re like me, maybe you’re concerned about the origins of animal products, but you don’t want to give them up.
I’ve created 3 menu options that meet all those requirements you’re looking for. The first one is the most similar to the most classic versions, but reinvented so it’s healthier and eco-friendly (sorry, this is better explained in the Spanish version, where I offer specific places and products to buy, but they aren’t useful if you don’t live here). The second one is the Mediterranean. And the third one is a very original vegan option. They all have starters, main course and dessert. You can choose one of them or make your own combination to create your ideal menu.
Your guests are arriving, the main course is in the making, and they need to snack on something while those who hadn’t seen each other for a long time (perhaps since last Christmas) catch up. What can they find on the table?
1) Iberian repertoire
The most carnivore, pure-blood Spanish, or just hungry people will enjoy a platter with charcuterie products, the most popular one at any dinner in Spain. There are supermarkets (for example, Carrefour here) that have developed a broad selection of organic meats, guaranteeing animal wellbeing, which in turn also makes the quality higher. So everyone wins.
- Serrano ham: the king, indispensable in this platter. Most ready-made options are filled with nitrites and nitrates, so look for one that doesn’t, that’s just meat.
- York ham: I know it’s controversial to include it here, but I’d put it, because not all of us like the strong flavors of the products that come next. Most of the hams we find at supermarkets are frankly horrible: less than half of it it’s actually meat (or they use strange mixes of meats, with little real ham) and the rest of it it’s made of additives and sugar. So be careful.
- Chorizo (light): I don’t like these kind of products, but hey, no need to demonize them. They have a bad reputation because of its high content of calories and saturated fats, so its consumption should be moderate. A way to reduce these things is to choose a light version. Again, you need to take a look at the ingredients to ensure they’re high-quality.
- Loin fillets
- Mature or semi-mature cow, goat and/or sheep cheese: my favorite part!
- Bread: choose whole wheat (it’s not enough to trust what the package says, it should have more than half of whole wheat flour in the ingredients) and with as few additives and added sugars as possible. If you want to be more original, you can choose variations like rye bread.