Sustainable Haute Cuisine
Sustainability is an ingredient present in all the dishes prepared in SHA’s kitchens. That is why 90% of the fresh products we use are of national origin. In this way, we manage to minimise the environmental impact of nutrition, a goal that is just as important to us as offering guests a healthy and delicious dining experience that provides the body with all the nutrients it needs to function properly. And that is precisely what Lixi Lineas, Head Chef at SHA Wellness Clinic, has in mind every time she creates a new recipe. “Nature offers us the foods that the body needs in each season of the year. Summer is the season for refreshing fruits and vegetables with lots of water, such as melon or cucumber, which help us fight the heat”.
Cooking with organic, seasonal, locally sourced and locally produced ingredients has multiple benefits, both for our health and for the planet. On the one hand, they keep all their flavour, freshness and nutritional value intact. On the other hand, we avoid the pollution caused by the transport of goods and we reduce the energy consumption involved in cold storage. In addition, our menus are free of dairy and red meat, two of the most polluting food industries.
Lixi joined SHA in 2017 and has been one of those responsible for the evolution of the food, from the purely macrobiotic approach of the early years to a more integrative, more flexible, and more open cuisine. “We have simplified the recipes quite a lot, because we believe that, in this case, less is more: fewer products and less elaboration, and more focus on the heart of the dish. Each recipe starts in our nutrition department, which gives us the guidelines to follow, and, from there, we prepare the dishes. We have three different menus that we customise according to the objectives of each guest. We are also fortunate to have a tool where they give us their feedback, so we can adapt to their tastes quickly. For example, this season we have eliminated gluten from the Kushi diet. And throughout the year we make more than 600 different recipes, so a guest staying with us for nine days will not eat the same dish twice”.
In other words, following a healthy and balanced diet without giving up the pleasure of eating is not only possible but advisable. “At SHA we make healthy and sustainable haute cuisine with common ingredients that are present in many homes. Of course, flavour is very important, but it is not the only thing, because a dish enters first through the eyes and then through the smell. That is why we work a lot on the presentation and play with different colours and textures. If our intention is for guests to change their eating habits for healthier ones at the end of their stay at SHA, it is essential that the dishes are appetising to all the senses”.
Finally, Lixi invites us to prepare a simple, tasty, and very refreshing recipe to withstand the arrival of high temperatures. “I recommend a cold quinoa salad with green asparagus, avocado, and cucumber. Boil the quinoa as if it were pasta, drain it so that it doesn’t boil over, and leave it to cool in a colander. Dice a cucumber and avocado and finely julienne uncooked green asparagus. Add a squeeze of lime or lemon juice, lower the acidity with a little rice syrup, chop mint, basil, and chives and finish with a touch of ginger and turmeric. This recipe is very healthy and balanced: we have the vegetable protein of quinoa, the fat of avocado, the freshness and water of cucumber, the vitamin A and antioxidants of green asparagus, which also helps control blood sugar levels, and turmeric, which strengthens the immune system.