Christmas is almost here, and even now you’ve probably been going to parties left and right while secretly wondering how you’ll shed all your holiday weight. If you feel that you’ve had too much of those steaks, then maybe it’s time to go back to that good old Filipino Christmas menu. Here are five healthy and traditional Christmas dishes that you can serve during Noche Buena.
1. Lumpiang Sariwa
Start your meal off with something light. Lumpiang Sariwa is a medley of vegetables rolled in an egg-based wrapper and accented by peanut-and-garlic sauce. It takes time to do the wrapper from scratch, but you can always get ready-made ones from the market or the grocery.
2. Arroz Valenciana
The Filipino version of the Arroz Valenciana hails from the central plains of Luzon, and has been perfected by the Bulaceños and the Kapampangans. The star of the dish is the sticky rice or the malagkit, which brings together all other ingredients including chicken and chorizo de bilbao, among others. Since the malagkit is heavy on the tummy, you’ll probably get full easily, so take it easy on the servings!
Morcon is another dish that we got from Spain, but while the original is basically a chorizo, the Filipino version is more of a meat roll stewed for a delightfully long time. Lean beef is used for this recipe, so you can be sure that you won’t be encountering much fat while chowing this down. To make it healthier, you take out the hotdog and can skip the second frying.
4. Rellenong Bangus
If the Americans have stuffed turkey for Thanksgiving, Filipinos have Rellenong Bangus for Noche Buena. Part and parcel of the traditional Christmas spread, the Rellenong Bangus consists of fish meat, green peas, carrots, raisins, tomatoes, and your mother’s secret spices all stuffed inside a milkfish.
5. Buko Pandan
For dessert, have a refreshing cup of Buko Pandan. It’s very easy to prepare, and it makes for a great ending to your Christmas buffet as the fragrant pandan helps cleanse the palate.
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Charlene works for a popular greeting card company, hoping that what she writes makes some big, burly man somewhere cry. She's into MMA, and when she's not watching armbars on YouTube, she also writes for a tech blog or naps with her cat.