If the holidays have left you feeling lethargic and mentally stagnant, then Spain is the place to go to reboot. Regional dishes that are full of flavour are created with simple ingredients, and can be an excellent way to embark on a new lifestyle of ‘clean eating’.
A detox tour of Spain’s culinary delights will introduce you to the benefits of heart-healthy olive oils, the freshest seafood and vegetables, as well as rich red wines – in moderation, of course!
This traditional Valencian rice dish combines an array of stunning flavours in a one-dish meal that feels like comfort food. The health benefits of Paella simply come down to science. The base ingredient of the dish – rice – is a complex carbohydrate that’s rich in fibre. When paired with a high protein source, such as fish or chicken, the nutritional impact is enormous. Traditionally Paella is cooked over an open fire and, as with all good foods, should be eaten with good company straight from the paellera.
This famous regional soup has ancient origins that date back to the Ancient Romans. The modern variations of the soup are very different in comparison to its original recipe, which involved stale bread, olive oil and garlic. Today Gazpacho comes in a rainbow of different colours and an array of flavours.
Gazpacho is the ultimate dish of raw and fresh ingredients. Its simplicity is the soup’s greatest asset, which only makes use of single source ingredients. The freshest vegetables are chopped and placed in a large container, where they are blended together to the desired consistency. Chilled water, vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper are then added to taste, resulting in a beautiful medley of flavours in this cool and refreshing soup.
Tapas are a wonderful way of introducing a new style of eating that could soon become a healthy habit. Although the portions are small, each bite makes for an explosion of exquisite flavours in your mouth. The range of choices when ordering tapas is endless: many places also do not shy away from rich fatty meats and cheeses, so it is important to order carefully. Again, tapas are intended to be shared with good company, allowing everyone to sample something from each plate. They should be lingered over, savoured slowly, and preferably supplemented with a glass of regional wine.
The variety and versatility of Spain’s regional dishes means that your taste buds are in for a treat at every meal. The opportunity to practice healthier eating habits in the sundrenched environs of this beautiful country couldn’t be better.
If reading about Spain’s excellent cuisine has titillated your taste buds, be sure to check out Part 4 of our detox series to find out where to head next on your quest for flavour and health!