Last month I had a bit of a dietary experiment and decided to give up meat for a few weeks. I’m not entirely sure what inspired me to do it, but I suspect it had something to do with eating far too much crap while we were on holiday in Belgium and Holland. I always get home from holidays feeling I need to detox, and going meat-free for a while seemed a good way of forcing myself to eat more veg. I did three weeks on a pescatarian diet, eating fish but no meat, and I can honestly say I didn’t really miss meat much at all. The veggie lasagne at our local is actually nicer than the normal one! In fact, the only reason I added meat back into my diet at all is that it got too annoying having to think of and prepare different meals for me and my (somewhat carnivorous) husband everyday.
With all this in mind, the recipe I’m sharing today is so simple that it barely even counts as a recipe. But I’m sharing it anyway simply to highlight how easy it is to eat healthily, and how quick it can be to rustle up a plate of food filled with goodness. All you do is plonk a salmon fillet on a piece of foil, season with salt and pepper, top it with some butter and a bay leaf and wrap it up. Place on a baking tray and pop it in the oven for about 20 minutes (160 degrees in our very fierce oven, but yours may need to be a higher temperature).
I served it with sweet potato fries, which are a healthier and actually much more delicious alternative to normal oven chips. You can buy them in the frozen section and have them in the freezer ready to add to virtually any meal, or it’s easy enough to make your own from scratch. I also added mixed lettuce leaves (I always have a bag of these in the fridge for easy extra veg or lunches), avocado chunks and cherry tomatoes on the vine. That’s four out of my five a day right there.
For added healthy brownie points, I enjoyed this lovely meal with a nice chilled glass of alcohol-free sparkling wine from Eisberg, who’d been kind enough to send me a couple of bottles to try while I was in the middle of my meat-free experiment. I do enjoy a glass (or, let’s face it, two) of wine with a meal, and I’ve been really into sparkling wine the last year or so. But you can have too much of a good thing, and this seemed a great alternative for alcohol-free days.
It’s literally just wine with the alcohol removed, so it tastes much the same – it just won’t get you merry! Otherwise, the experience of drinking it is the same. There’s something decadent and exciting about the sound of a cork popping, so I was glad to find that these bottles are just like champagne ones, with a similarly satisfying pop. Serve it in a champagne glass and you get the full sparkling wine experience without imbibing any alcohol.
It’s basically a grown-up drink for those times when you don’t want (or can’t have) an alcoholic one – if you’re driving or on medication, for example. I reckon it might also be a great solution if I ever want to fly myself to a party! Here’s the link to the Sparkling Blanc and Sparkling Rose if you fancy giving it a try.