For vegans and vegetarians, every day is meatless. But many people who are new to veganism/vegetarianism or who simply want to reduce their meat intake rely on the Meatless Mondays campaign for help. Introduced in America in 2003 as part of a public health awareness campaign, its introduction in the UK in 2009 by Sir Paul McCartney and his daughters, Stella and Mary, has helped Meatless Mondays grow into a global movement adopted by hospitals, school, and restaurants worldwide.
Meatless eaters everywhere rejoiced March 19th, when Sir Paul’s longtime chef, Annie Rigg, revealed The Meat Free Monday Cookbook: A Full Menu for Every Monday of the Year, a cookbook featuring meatless menus for each of the 52 weeks of the year. Annie Rigg spoke with Peggy Neu, president of The Monday Campaigns, the non-profit public health organization behind the Meatless Mondays initiative, about the inspiration and cooking for Sir Paul’s crew on his recent worldwide tour.
According to Annie, the inspiration behind the cookbook is to continue to make meat-free eating easy, delicious, and accessible. “Sometimes people’s vegetarian repertoire is limited, so their enthusiasm wanes,” she said, “We wanted to give inspiration and guidance to people who care about their health and the environment to keep it going all year round.”
Roughly 90% of the 120 roadies and crew working on Sir Paul’s worldwide tour were “hard-core meat eaters,” yet they were satisfied by Rigg’s cooking. Rigg acknowledges this was a challenge, yet attributes her success to “great flavors and fresh vegetables.” Sir Paul particularly enjoys Rigg’s “Lentil and Chickpea burger,” as well as “exotic, quite spicy dishes,” like Chickpea Tagine.
Rather than advocating that people go meat-free every day, Sir Paul wholeheartedly supports Meatless Mondays because it’s a small change that “can have far reaching effects for everyone.” With recipes like these, hopefully it won’t be long before many more people approach each day’s meal as if it were Meatless Monday.
For a sample recipe (Sicilian Cauliflower Pasta) from the new cookbook, check out the full interview on Huffington Post.