A self-confessed “meat and spuds man”, St Mary’s Papakura parish priest Fr Peter Murphy is going vegetarian this Lent.

An article that he read in the UK Catholic weekly The Tablet last year, “Don’t Give up Giving up” by Liz Dodd, made him pause to reflect on the impact of a meat-based diet on the earth.

“That article drew attention to the fact that 18 per cent of (the global total of) greenhouse gases comes from animals, which is higher than all forms of transport put together,” Fr Murphy said.

“Lent is a good place to start because it is so embedded within our Catholic consciousness,” he said. “I will make a sacrifice. It mightn’t extend to the rest of the year, but I will do it for Lent.”

“They did the donkey-work. I just issued the executive order,” the priest said with a laugh.

The book contains a three-week menu aimed at easing the transition from meat eating to vegetarianism.

Fr Murphy said it is a practical way to encourage St Mary’s parishioners to take up the challenge.

Mrs Rishworth, a vegetarian and graphic designer, said it was a good collaboration. “I think, in general, people are going to have to go more that way (vegetarian or vegan) because we can’t carry on the way that we are. It’s not sustainable,” she said.

Mrs Rishworth expressed hope that those who get the book can incorporate one or two recipes into their everyday cooking.

“Even if it is just two or three days a week, it would dramatically change things. But I definitely think as Catholics, it is our job to look out for the earth. We have to look after God’s earth, don’t we?” she said.

Mrs Moverley, a nutritionist and food technologist, said New Zealanders are lucky because of the wide range of fruit  and vegetables in this country.

“When people experience vegetarian meals, they actually realise there’s a whole range of textures and flavours. They learn about herbs and spices and things like that. It is really good and one can widen one’s scope of eating,” she said.

Fr Murphy added that Middle Eastern Christians still follow the tradition of not eating meat and meat products for the entire duration of Lent.

“That has inspired us to follow the same path as well as taking heed of Pope Francis’ encouragement in Laudato Si’ which is to live and eat more simply,” he said.

Fr Murphy said an Easter Triduum menu has been added which, because of the Passover lamb, deviates a little from vegetarianism.

People who are making the sacrifice can also look forward to an Easter treat with the inclusion of the Simnel cake, a rich fruit cake with lots of marzipan.

“A Lenten Menu” can be obtained from St Mary’s Parish Office for $12.50 postage included. Contact st.marys.papakura@xtra. co.nz or Ph 09-299-6056
Hummus (from “A Lenten Menu”)

Ingredients

file-page1¼ cup lemon juice

¼ cup tahini (sesame seed paste)

1 clove garlic

1 teaspoon ground cumin

2 Tablespoons olive oil

400g can chickpeas

½ teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon water

Method

Add the tahini and lemon juice into a food processor and process for about 1 minute. Add the garlic, cumin, olive oil and salt, blend for 30 seconds. Drain and rinse the chickpeas, then add, and process for 30 seconds. Add water to get a nice creamy texture. Lunch I Hummus Ingredients ¼ cup lemon juice ¼ cup tahini (sesame seed paste) 1 clove garlic 1 teaspoon ground cumin 2 Tablespoons olive oil 400g can chickpeas ½ teaspoon salt 1 Tablespoon water Method Add the tahini and lemon juice into a food processor and process for about 1 minute. Add the garlic, cumin, olive oil and salt, blend for 30 seconds. Drain and rinse the chickpeas, then add, and process for 30 seconds. Add water to get a nice creamy texture.

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