a balanced christmas dinner
For my holiday menu, I like to keep it comforting, simple and balanced. And by balanced, I mean that I splurge on some dishes while being mindful on others, therefore serving options that will not leave me feeling like I over did it. Also, a menu like this one leaves room for your guests to bring their favorites as well, in this case I would let them know that they can bring some appetizers. I used to make a full-on menu and then it would turn out to be way too much food. We would have so many left-overs that I would end up eating a not-so-healthy menu for days and making it difficult for me to reign back in.
For this menu, I chose a Cuban pernil (roasted pork) over a honey-baked ham. For me, growing up in the Caribbean, pork and rice (hence the olive and bacon rice) can’t be missing on a holiday table. And I love the sweetness of honey-baked ham but I wanted to keep the sugar content down a bit so that we could splurge on some amazing cocktails.
For the second side, I chose this fun salad. The best thing about it is that it incorporates black beans and green veggies, which go perfect with the olive an bacon rice and I make sure to get a good portion of vegetables in.
Lastly, but definitely not least, is this healthy cinnamon flan. It is very festive with the red of the raspberries and its velvety texture has nothing to envy on a full fat flan.
As far as cooking and prepping go, this is a pretty easy menu. I make the flan the night before, it need to sit in the fridge overnight to really firm up. While the flan is in the oven, I prep any veggies that I will need the next day, then the rice and salad are an easy thing to trow together day of. Just make sure to plan accordingly for the cooking of the pernil, it does take a long time, but after seasoning it, you do not have to man it much.
Like I always say, it is all about planning so that you are not left running last minute, but it also takes planning to assure that you have a balanced dinner.