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Thursday, May 13, 2021

Shrewsbury Trauma Nurse creates meat-free cook book

A Shrewsbury trauma nurse has created a new recipe book aimed at anyone wanting to enjoy traditional meals without the meat.

Sarah McLean Vegetarian Food for Carnivores
Sarah McLean has created the cook book – Vegetarian Food for Carnivores

With more people cooking and baking at home during the lockdown and those giving up meat for January – Vegetarian Food for Carnivores is a new recipe book compiled by trauma nurse and former chef Sarah McLean from Shrewsbury.

Despite working solidly in an acute COVID ward during the first wave of lockdown, Sarah has published her own vegetarian cook book which contains 64 family-friendly recipes.

With health and environment experts advising us to lean towards a more plant-based diet, the orthopaedic trauma nurse and former chef has used her years of experience to put together the cook book aimed at anyone who wants to eat less meat and feel healthier.

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Vegetarian Food for Carnivores contains 64 family-friendly recipes that are traditionally made with meat, including Welsh Oggie, Goulash, Chilli con Carne, Mushroom Stroganoff, Irish Stew, Shepherds Pie, Toad in the Hole, Sausage & Cider Stew, Tagine and Coq au Vin.

Sarah’s delicious recipes are have easy-to-follow steps, using readily available ingredients, and they are accompanied by colour photographs. The recipes are also suitable for people who need to reduce their fat and cholesterol or simply for anyone who wants to reduce their meat intake.

Why Sarah produced the book

When Sarah left school, she trained as a chef but struggled with the ethics of using meat. As a result, she decided to re-train as a nurse but as her career advanced, her love of cooking endured. Twenty years on the wards gave her a real awareness of the connection between poor diet, the medical conditions it causes and its impact on life expectancy.

With an impending visit from Sarah’s Australian Uncle Jimmy – a confirmed meat eater and lover of barbecues – the idea for Vegetarian Food for Carnivores was conceived. Sarah obviously wanted Uncle Jimmy to enjoy his stay, but she also wanted to avoid cooking meat every day. Sarah looked at traditional meat dishes and set about converting them to recipes that could be made with Quorn and other meat-free alternatives. Uncle Jimmy loved all the meals Sarah had cooked him, without even noticing they were all meat-free.

It was Uncle Jimmy’s visit that gave her the idea for her book, as she explained:

“I wanted to create a book that would cross the boundary between vegetarian and meat-based cookery and would help people reduce their meat intake in order to preserve the environment, reduce animal cruelty and to feel healthier.

A plant-based diet for health

Most health studies published in recent years have demonstrated that eating a more plant-based diet improves body weight, blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

The book provides a comprehensive list of reasons as to why we all need to eat less meat, referencing reports and research made from several organisations including the WHO, JAMA Internal Medicine and UCLA.

Vegetarian Food for Carnivores is available now from Waterstones and Amazon.

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