Meat-less meetings

The holidays are long over. The days of seemingly endless celebrations which came in the form of steaks, wine, bubbly, cheese, cold cuts, jamon and more… are long gone. And starting the year right in the form of cleaner eating seem to be the annual trend.

My husband and I aren’t exactly the New Year resolution type, but we do try to maintain well-balanced diets. Nothing overdone, nothing underdone. Just right by us.

Two weeks ago, my boss came back from a 3 week holiday in France which led him (and his wife) into a 3-week liquor-cleanse. He actually invited me to do this, but I was glad I turned him down. I like my wine and 3 weeks was too long.

Ironically, this liquor cleanse my boss is on inspired me and gave birth to another idea instead: a meat-less cleanse for my husband and I. Originally, I thought of going vegetarian for 2 weeks, just to reset my body, but thought that it might be too much of a commitment, one that I am not quite ready for.

It might be odd that we decided to jump into this right before the weekend, but now is a good time as any. So today, I rolled up my sleeves, put my hair into a bun, brought out the Martha Stewart in me and made us some meat-less meals.

Lunch had to be simple as I had just rolled out of bed. But dinner… dinner is serious talk.

I started prep at 4pm mincing garlic and onions, slicing tomatoes and boiling jamon bones for a broth. The menu: meat-less chili, his favorite dish minus the ground beef. And some peppered white fish.

4.5 hours later, broth done, chili flavors well-integrated, fish baked in the oven, it was time for dinner.


As Saturday nights go, wine needed to be part of it. Tonight’s random pick was an old Rioja, 2004 Vina Bosconia. He likes Tempranillo and I enjoy getting to know new wines. It was a risky but easy pick. Risky because the natural rules of wine state that red wine goes with red meat, white goes with white meat. But as our chiller is in need of a top-up, our choices were limited. Easy because, apart from it coming highly recommended by another good friend in the industry, in a matter of a few bites and minutes, our bottle was halfway done.

Tonight’s dinner was a natural marriage. Unexpected. Possibly mismatched. Definitely not an ideal pairing and certainly not something I would normally recommend.

In the end though,  while wine tasting rules guide you, they most certainly must not limit your adventure. The journey is different for everyone. Tonight, I am thrilled that our meat-less dinner ended with a good meeting. And so is my husband.

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