Everybody is busy, busy, busy! Our social calendars are filled with Christmas parties, reunions and annual meet-ups with friends and family. For the ladies who are hosting festive soireés in their homes, the challenge is to come up with a menu that guests will enjoy. Unfortunately, this is the time of the year when indulging in sweets, meats and all kinds of treats is encouraged and calorie counting is frowned upon. The new year (as years that came before) is the time to make that all too familiar resolution to lose the weight gained over the holidays. But you don’t have to tip the scale unnecessarily because healthy dishes can be made without having to sacrifice taste.

The Outstanding Olive Tree

The olive tree traces back its roots way back in 3500 BC.  It’s fruit, which grows abundantly in the Mediterranean region, has high levels of naturally occurring anti oxidants and vitamins. Research shows that oil extracted from this fruit is the healthiest of all.

Locally, homemakers can avail of Dońa Elena olive oil from Fly Ace Corporation which is made from a combination of two kinds of olives, hojiblanca and piqual.  Since each of the bottle is made from 80% monounsaturated oleic acids, the powerful olive duo makes each bottle a powerful and healthy concoction. Moreover, these fruits are grown in the Andalucia region which is known worldwide as a superior olive producer assuring the consumers of the highest quality and taste.

Choose healthy oils for everyday cooking.


Recently, members of the media were invited to 49-B Heirloom to sample delightful dishes especially  created by  Executive Chef Erica Aquino. The hearty five course meal were all cooked using Doña Elena olive oil and will be served as part of the restaurant’s holiday menu.  But before we started eating, Doña Elena senior product manager, Zen Prudentino, candidly shared with us the many uses of olive oil. I was amused to learn that olive oil can be used to add lustre to the hair, clear pimples and is quite a handy make-up remover, too! “We want to impart t our discerning customers that food cooked with our healthy oil is just as pleasing to the palette. Taste is never compromised,” Zen added.

Surprise your guests with this savory Cuban beef stew with yellow rice.

For cooking, one has to know the three different kinds of olive oil to make the recipes come out at its most flavorful. There’s Extra Virgin olive oil for salad dressing, bread dips and drizzle for food; Pure olive oil for sauté and frying and Pomace for deep frying.

Of the healthy spread served that day, my favorites are the Cuban Beef Stew with Yellow Rice and that decadent dessert Cheese Panna Cotta, both of which I finished with much gusto! The other dishes were also quite impressive like the grilled shrimp on patacones which is  a South-American appetizer served with chilled cucumber yogurt soup. I also tried considerable portions of the olive and chorizo stuffed roast chicken as well as the tilapia fillet with red onions and relish. Recipes for all featured dishes are available at the @donaelenacuiseneraclub both on instagram and facebook.

Cheese panna cotta with lemon infused olive oil is the perfect dessert to any meal!

Is olive oil expensive? Not at all! For all the health benefits it gives, the price is quite reasonable. Doña Elena also offers the most comprehensive sizes. It comes in 250 ml, 500ml, 1L and 5 L bottles so you have all the options for every need and purpose.

So go ahead and indulge your cravings this Christmas with meals that are delicious but healthy as well.  Do check out those healthy recipes. Happy cooking!

With a pocketful of glitter,

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