For most of us Christmas is the most important lunch of the year.
To bring to the table a menu worthy of the occasion, we spared no expense. This is confirmed by an analysis by Coldiretti, who estimates the budget for the purchase of food at 140 euros per family (the same as last year). And never mind if, after the binge, many find themselves dealing with feelings of guilt: almost 1 in 3 people, according to the forecasts of the Nutrimente Onlus association that deals with the prevention and treatment of eating disorders.
You may not be able to to agree the desire to celebrate with the hope of not gaining weight? We turned the question over to our nutrition experts, asking them what they will put on the table. There are those who will have an eye more on the line and those on tradition. Who to conviviality and who to solidarity.
- "My December 25 in the sign of robin foood"
Dr. Carla Lertola dietician in Milan, Savona and Gallarate (Va)
Il fish has always been the protagonist of my Christmas table. This year I will prepare a simple but very tasty one pasta with anchovies. Blue fish is good, rich in precious nutrients such as Omega 3 and affordable for all budgets.
Since I founded the non-profit association Robin Foood with two friends, to give cibo “intelligent” to those who do not have any, I realized that it is not enough to give what for us is "superfluous" (up to a couple of years ago, for example, on the morning of the 25th I left in the parish the sweets that friends and patients had brought me) .
The most important thing is to understand what the needs of those we want to help are and take the opportunity of the "gift" to provide food education, to teach how to eat better. That's why I now prefer to ask for funds for ensure healthy food for the needy, instead of picking the “leftover” one, often too rich in fats, sugars and calories.
- "It's not Christmas without mother's guinea fowl"
Dr. Giorgio Donegani, food technologist in Sesto San Giovanni (Mi)
Great Christmas classics at Donegani: the dark liver pate (no he times fat) e la guinea fowl with cream. The first was prepared by my dad, who always indulged in varying the recipe a little. He has not been with us for 22 years but the pate (which we now buy in the rotisserie) has remained.
Until a few years ago my mother thought about cooking the prized bird: she cooked it in the oven with rosemary, which left a special flavor in the sauce. And while I was savoring it, I was already thinking about when I would find it on the table the following Christmas, because we ate (and ate) guinea fowl exclusively on December 25th.
Today my sister prepares it, which faithfully follows the family tradition. I was left alone with the task of choosing the bird from the butcher, I don't know if as a recognition of my professional status as a food technologist or if, simply, to keep me away from the oven!
- "Everything according to tradition from appetizer to dessert"
Dr. Maria Paola Dall'Erta biologist and bio-cooking teacher in Milan
The Christmas lunch menu in my family never changes: cold cuts appetizers, stuffed pasta, boiled. The main dish is the anolini allo stracotto, homemade and served in broth in accordance with our Emilian tradition. For some years mom and grandmother have left me space in the kitchen and I took the opportunity to make some small changes to the classic recipe.
I prepare the pasta with type 1 flour, richer in bran and wheat germ of the super-refined 00 type that my "teachers" used. I also reduced the dose of eggs: I only add 1 instead of 2 every 100 g. For the filling, I buy organic veal meat, to which I combine eggs, breadcrumbs, parmesan, fresh parsley and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Finally, for the broth, I choose a nice piece of steak, a chicken leg and a local stuffed hen, which are then served as a second.
- "I prepare only one dish to enjoy while chatting"
Dr. Sara Ciastellardi, nutritionist and homeopath in Livorno and Pisa
My Christmas lunch menu is very simple and light. It includes only one dish: the Catalan of shellfish, which is ready in no time. I cook lobster, lobster, scampi, cicadas (fresh or frozen) in lightly salted boiling water for a few minutes. In the meantime, the other members of the family take care of cleaning and cutting the fresh seasonal vegetables and some exotic fruits (pineapple, papaya, mango, carambola), which are arranged on one or two serving plates together with the shellfish.
As a simple accompaniment a mayonnaise that I prepare myself with organic chicken eggs and Tuscan or Apulian extra virgin olive oil or with quail eggs and Ligurian extra virgin olive oil, which is more delicate. When everything is ready, we sit down at the table and never get up again. We chat while fumbling with tongs and forks. Finally, after the panettone and the toast with a good sparkling wine from the town, we go out for a walk.
- "There is a special menu ... even for the little dog"
Dr. Diana Scatozza, dietician, specialist in food science in Milan
In my family, Christmas lunch does not exist. We celebrate at dinner, both on Christmas Eve and on the 25th. And the menu, being in the evening, is quite light. We don't have a tradition to follow.
We like to improvise, decide together, at the last moment, what we want to eat. Last year, for example, we made polenta and gorgonzola. This year I think we will focus on fish, but I am not sure. More than food, I like to think about the table. As a good Taurus, I love setting it up with care.
The cutlery is the mother's silver one. The tablecloth is traditional from South Tyrol and the glasses are those of Thun with the golden angels. I want to create the right atmosphere. Joy, my little dog, also has a special place in our dinners, to whom I wear the red coat for the occasion. For him boiled cabbage with meat broth and white fish: his favorite dishes.
- "A vegetarian lunch with the unknown biscuit"
Dr. Sara Gilardi, nutrition biologist in Turin, Livornoe Volterra (Pi)
Ours is not a real Christmas dinner. It looks more like a normal Sunday meal. This year with my daughter, who is 15 and eats neither meat nor fish, I decided to offer only vegetarian dishes.
I too, to tell the truth, love a lot cereals and legumes. As a first course we will prepare pasta conchiglioni, stuffed with ricotta and spinach and baked in the oven with tomato sauce and parmesan. Then, as a main course, a meatloaf of lentils, walnuts and dried tomatoes accompanied by a side dish of seasonal vegetables. For dessert: the gingerbread cookies that we will use as a placeholder.
I will do them myself, trying to involve my son, who is 12 years old. I don't know if they will work well: the dough is very sticky and difficult to "cut out" with the molds. If the experiment fails, we will have a panettone as a reserve and, probably, the marron glacé that my mother-in-law will bring (she's crazy!).