Mediterranean-Inspired Holiday Entertaining

The best part of the holidays is gathering together with friends and family. If you find yourself as the dedicated host, here are some tips to add a Mediterranean flair to the food and festivities.

Cuisine

The Mediterranean diet serves as a foundation of foods and food groups to choose from. Fundamentally, the Mediterranean is a balanced diet of plant-based foods, lean proteins, fatty fish, dairy and healthy fats like olive oil. Think loads of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, seeds, nuts and nut oils.

Save Time With Make-Ahead Menu Items

Save yourself some of the holiday-related stress by prepping a handful of items prior to the day of the party.

Everyone loves a good meat and cheese platter; make yours spectacular by adding in some seasonal produce to sweeten up a tangy cheese or provide some crunch and color to the tray. Pickled green beans, cauliflower or carrots provide a crisp, acidic flavor element to the tray.

Make It Handheld

Skewers with tomato, basil and mozarella on a rustic background

Some of the best party foods make it easy to mix and mingle. Skewers are portable and serve as a convenient medium for small bites. Add some Mediterranean skewers to the menu with a fresh caprese-inspired appetizer using H-E-B’s Select Sweet tomatoes from produce, house-made mozzarella from the deli and a bright basil leaf. A thick balsamic reduction won’t be too dangerous to drizzle on top. Provide a protein to satiate guests with grilled marinated chicken or shrimp served alongside a homemade tzatziki dipping sauce with H-E-B Greek yogurt as the secret ingredient.

DIY

bigstock-133929395 - Popcorn in brown bowl on white background. Popcorn. Ceramic bowl full of popcorn studio isolated on white background - Mediterranean LifestylePut your company to work with a build-your-own popcorn bar. Did you know that popcorn is considered a whole grain? Central Market Olive Oil popcorn has the crunch we all love with the velvety, nutty taste of olive oil. Stick with the Mediterranean theme by providing flavorful add-ins:

● Sweet and salty: dark chocolate, dried fruit, cinnamon-spiced nuts

● Savory: Parmesan or spices like oregano, dill, cayenne, or cumin

Don’t Forget Dessert!

Using foods rich in poly- and monounsaturated fats are highly encouraged. Make dessert meaningful with a creamy avocado-based dark chocolate pudding. Just blend avocado, cocoa powder, vanilla extract and Mootopia milk until it reaches the preferred consistency for a decadent dessert perfectly paired with a big, bold red wine.

For more holiday ideas and recipes, visit www.HEB.com.

Photo sources: Vankad/bigstock.com, AlterPhoto/bigstock.com

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