Giving up meat for Lent? We’re here to help!
Your diet might be limited, but that doesn’t mean your cookbook collection needs to be meagre. Here’s how to make a meat-free Lent more plentiful!
Giving up things for Lent is meant to be a little bit difficult. The Lenten sacrifice is supposed to mirror Jesus Christ’s forty days of fasting in the Judean desert. However, there was a time when giving up something such as meat was a both a serious sacrifice and a real chore. Few restaurants catered for vegetarians; supermarket stocks were set up to service omnivores; and many vegetarian cookbooks were limited in scope and variety.
Thankfully, this Lent, there’s a wealth of material available when it comes to cutting out meat. Our new book, The Vegetarian Silver Spoon, takes the very best recipes from the world’s most widely respected Italian cookbook, and cuts out the butchery, to offer readers pastas, soups, salads, desserts, appetizers and main courses, all entirely free from meat.
Among its recipes are traditional, eye-catching dishes such as pasta with cauliflower and pine nuts; comfort food like fried veggie chips; as well as less obviously Italian inclusions; think savoury crepes and stir-fries. If you want to cut out dairy, or gluten or go full vegan, you can, by following the book’s meticulous index; and its edited and overseen by our Italian-born publisher, Emilia Terragni, so there’s no doubting its authenticity.
For a more holistic, field to table – or actually, back yard to finished dish – approach, try Aaron Bertelsen’s new title, Grow Fruit & Vegetables in Pots. He’s the head vegetable gardener and cook at Great Dixter, the beautiful, acclaimed country house in southern England. In this new title, Bertelsen describes how to grow fruit, herbs and vegetables in pots, which can be placed in any outdoor space, just as he does in his kitchen courtyard at Dixter. Aaron tells you how to cook this produce too, of course. The book isn’t exclusively vegetarian – there are a few meaty recipes in there, such as beef broth with herbs and meatballs – but it does encourage readers to take the long view when it comes to eating plants, and perhaps even contains a few treats to indulge in, once Lent comes to an end.
Meanwhile, anyone switching from meat to fish for Lent should get The Irish Cookbook. In this new title, the Galway chef and author Jp McMahon recalls being fed mediocre seafood during Lent and on Fridays, but also includes an incredible array of fish and seafood recipes (our favourite is red mullet with lovage en Papillotte) to brighten up any fast.
And, if you really feel like committing to a meat-free diet, you could get our Vegetarian Cookbook Collection. This includes a copy of Vegan: The Cookbook, a delicious, comprehensive collection of recipes from around the world; The Middle Eastern Vegetarian Cookbook, a delightful, take on this regional cuisine from the cook, expert and author of The Lebanese Kitchen, Salma Hage; as well as The Indian Vegetarian Cookbook, an easy delicious take on one of the most bountiful regions for vegetarian cooks; and The Greek Vegetarian Cookbook, a plate-smashingly good assembly of highly achievable and tasty Greek recipes, made with easy to source ingredients. Buy this collection at a very special price here here; get The Vegetarian Silver Spoon here; buy Grow Fruit & Vegetables in Pots here; and order a copy of The Irish Cookbook here.