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Cooking Healthy: Spanish Cuisine

The enticing cuisine native to Spain is rich all on its own, and not to be confused with Mexican, Latin or Caribbean food. Many ingredients are healthy and can be purchased fresh for you to prepare at home, like fish, vegetables, olives and beans. You could easily cook healthy Spanish foods in your kitchen, while ignoring the heavily fried options altogether.

General Suggestions For Healthy Recipes

  • Keep your focus on the recipes containing lots and lots of vegetables. The Spaniards love their peppers, so spice it up by choosing a recipe with fire-roasted peppers. A highly preferred dish particularly in warmer weather is gazpacho. This cold soup is made entirely from raw ingredients, and you can prepare this in your kitchen in a snap with vegetables and a blender. Ultimately you can toss in whatever you want, but standard gazpacho recipes include: tomato, onion, pepper, scallions, garlic and celery. Also add in vinegar, lime or lemon juice and olive oil.
  • Sink your teeth into the array of fresh seafood dishes that Spanish cuisine is internationally known for. You can choose from grilled prawns or salmon, and create smaller bites, called tapas, such as tuna and anchovies. 
  • Many Spanish recipes may encourage you to use oils for cooking. If you must use oil, stick to olive oil as opposed to the less healthy alternatives that contain trans and saturated fats.

Grilled Prawns

Grilled prawns are a quick dish to whip up for your family or a dinner party. Mix together a small portion of olive oil (half a cup should suffice) with the juice from one lemon and salt. Coat the prawns in this preparatory sauce, and put them in a pre-heated skillet. One minute of searing on each side should be enough. Allow the fish to cook for another minute on each side, and voila; a fresh fish dinner in just minutes.

Bacalo

Bacalo is another popular Spanish fish option that is dense in protein and low in fat. This white fish has a neutral taste so it won't turn off people who turn up their noses at a fishy smell. Its taste is similar to tilapia or cod. The stew it is most commonly known for contains a combination of olives, onion, garlic, avocado and spices like chili pepper and oregano. 

Tapas

If you decide to order tapas, the smaller portions will serve you well in keeping your health goals, just make sure you don't order too many tapas. Since the portions are smaller, it is easier to lose sight of how many you're eating.