Man cannot live by bread alone…
But 55 days of vegan meals can get repetitive pretty quickly. Therefore, I have been reading vegan and vegetarian cookbooks to help end the repetitiveness of vegan cooking during the 55 days of Lent!
I always start out Lent with the best spiritual objectives in mind: more time studying the Bible, less time devoted to worldly activities. Usually, I also start with ambitious culinary intentions. For example, I delude myself into thinking that I will not serve the same dinner twice during Lent.
Holy Week is my exception
Holy Week is a different story. Fava Beans are the stars of the show during Holy Week. There simply is not enough time between work and rushing to Pascha services at Church to worry about dinner. However, with Covid-19 restrictions and the heartbreaking realization that we might be streaming Pasha services at home, this year, fava beans might lose their monopoly on our dinner table.
Despite my ambitions, best intentions, and unspoken promises, year after year, the same dinner gets served twice (or even more often) during Lent, which leads to boredom, whining, and a longing for the vegan regimen to end.
P.S. I have the utmost respect and admiration for full-time vegans. Actually, I am in awe of their commitment and creativity. But seeing as I am a cheese and more cheese kind of gal, veganism will probably not become my lifestyle (vegan cheese is NOT the same thing- let me nip that argument in the bud).
This year’s plan!
This year, my friends will be the year that we tackle vegan meals with a little more preparedness. I am not AT ALL suggesting that cooking and eating should become our primary focus during Lent.
Actually, the entire purpose of fasting during Lent is to stop thinking about the material, the corporal, and to focus on the Spiritual, Heavenly.
But dinner must still get served, families still need to eat, and if I can eliminate at least one “green beans in tomato sauce “meal or “okra in tomato sauce” meal or “any vegetable in tomato sauce” meal, then my mission will have been accomplished.
It might also minimize the whining of the young ones and their despair when they ask what is for dinner, only to discover that it is yet another “vegetable in tomato sauce” variation.
Meet My Cookbook Collection
I have been reading vegan cookbooks for years. Actually, I love reading cookbooks and have a decent collection for a confirmed foodie. Vegan cookbooks are more of a necessity than a joy. I think of them as “tools for the unwilling vegan cook.” Other than the fasts during Lent, preceding Christmas, the fast of the Apostles, and the fast for the Holy Virgin Saint Mary, there are the weekly Wednesday and Friday fasts throughout the year (except for the 50 days after Easter when the Church abstains from ALL fasts).
Safe to say, I have read my share of vegan cookbooks to find new recipes for the 100+ days of the year when vegan dinners are served in my household.
The collection of books that I am sharing with you in this article are the ones that have stood the test of time.
My criteria for selecting a vegan recipe
3- No “weird” ingredient–If I can’t pronounce it, the recipe is eliminated
4- No multi-step process: if I have to juice or grind or extract anything, the recipe does not make the cut.
I have highlighted some recipes from each book (that I have either tried or added to my list of recipes to be tried) to give you an idea of the content of the books. I added the Kindle edition, where one is available as they are usually more affordable *affiliate links*.
Wishing you a blessed, spiritually invigorating Lent
& fewer “vegetable in tomato sauce” dinners 😊
How to avoid repeating the same 10 meals during Lent!
Warm nacho dip
Perfect kale chips
Perfected chickpea salad sandwich
Creamy Vegetable curry
Luxurious tomato basil pasta
Portobello steak fajitas
Creamy avocado potato salad with asparagus
Mushroom parsley walnut pesto tart
Chilled chocolate espresso torte with hazelnut crust
Double layer chocolate cupcakes
Macaroni and cheese
Red onion soup
Black eyes peas and greens
Mediterranean braised green beans with potatoes and basil
Thai red curry cauliflower
Creamless creamy tomato soup
Chickpea and spinach stew
Chickpeas with potatoes and tomatoes
Red Lentil Dal with coconut cream
Tunisian Pepper and Potato Stew over couscous
Winter Portabella Mushroom Stew with pasta or rice
Stovetop rice pudding
Sweet Rice Breakfast soup
Kid’s Mac and cheese
Secret Tomato Sauce
Cauliflower mashed potatoes
Abuela’s glazed bananas
Mango Pie (cold)
Red lentils kibbe with fresh herbs
Eggplant shakshuka with green tahini sauce
Greek eggplant lasagna
Lebanese moussaka stew
Banana stuffed paratha
Angel hair with roasted garlic and arugula
Creamy chickpea or white bean soup
Avocado grilled peppers tortilla
Eggplant potato moussaka with pine nut cream
Grilled portobello burgers
Herb scalloped potatoes
Lasagna marinara with spinach
Lemony roasted potatoes
Roasted eggplant and spinach muffuletta sandwich
Other articles you might enjoy: 5 Tips to help our children benefit from Lent
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