How to avoid repeating the same 10 meals during Lent!

Man cannot live by bread alone…

True!

Amen!

But 55 days of vegan meals can get repetitive pretty quickly. This is why 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 whole 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 in general 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
1- Delicious
2- Easy
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 envigorating Lent and fewer “vegetable in tomato sauce” dinners 😊

 

Oh She Glows

The Oh She Glows Cookbook: Vegan Recipes To Glow From The Inside Out by [Angela Liddon]
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

The 30-minute vegan

The 30-Minute Vegan: Over 175 Quick, Delicious, and Healthy Recipes for Everyday Cooking by [Mark Reinfeld, Jennifer Murray]
Cosmic crepes
Macaroni and cheese
Red onion soup

The complete vegetarian cookbook America’s test kitchen


Black eyes peas and greens
Falafel
Mediterranean braised green beans with potatoes and basil
Mushroom bolognese
Thai red curry cauliflower
Creamless creamy tomato soup

 

The New Vegetarian Cooking for everyone

The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone: [A Cookbook] by [Deborah Madison]
Chickpea and spinach stew
Chickpeas with potatoes and tomatoes
Red Lentil Dal with coconut cream
Sesame Tofu
Tunisian Pepper and Potato Stew over couscous
Winter Portabella Mushroom Stew with pasta or rice
Stovetop rice pudding
Sweet Rice Breakfast soup

The Plantpower Way

The Plantpower Way: Whole Food Plant-Based Recipes and Guidance for The Whole Family: A Cookbook by [Rich Roll, Julie Piatt]
Fettuccini alfredo
Kid’s Mac and cheese
Secret Tomato Sauce
Cauliflower mashed potatoes
Abuela’s glazed bananas
Mango Pie (cold)

Vegan Eats World

Vegan Eats World: 300 International Recipes for Savoring the Planet by [Terry Hope Romero]
Red lentils kibbe with fresh herbs
Eggplant shakshuka with green tahini sauce
Greek eggplant lasagna
Lebanese moussaka stew
Okra masala
Avgolemono soup
Banana stuffed paratha

Vegan taste of Europe


Manicotti
Angel hair with roasted garlic and arugula
Beer soup
Creamy chickpea or white bean soup
Tiramisu parfait

Veganomicon

Veganomicon, 10th Anniversary Edition: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook by [Isa Chandra Moskowitz, Terry Hope Romero]
Avocado grilled peppers tortilla
Cholent
Eggplant potato moussaka with pine nut cream
Grilled portobello burgers
Herb scalloped potatoes
Lasagna marinara with spinach
Lemony roasted potatoes
Penne vodka
Roasted eggplant and spinach muffuletta sandwich

Deliciously Ella

Peanut and sesame veggie noodle 
Crepes with chocolate spread
Stuffed eggplant 
Spinach and potato dauphinois
Veggie bologna’s lasagna 
Almond butter ice cream (no machine needed) 
Salted espresso chocolate tart 
Bonne Appetit!

Other posts you might enjoy: 5 Tips to help our children benefit from Lent

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After graduating with a Major in Journalism, Mireille’s career path took an unexpected turn away from her beloved pen and paper. It took an equally unexpected turn of events for Mireille to start writing again.After spending many hours (too many!) watching super hero cartoons with her son, she realized that most Christian children are unaware of their superpowers!She set about creating the SuperHolies: the Fruits of the Holy Spirit re-imagined as superpowers to grab the children’s attention and teach them about their faith and its glory.

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