Categories: The Parish Column

Eco-Friendly Recipes for the Lenten Eco-Pledge: Southern Veggie Plate

by John Lincourt, Eco-Action Team

To reiterate my esteemed coauthor, Jay Mallin, vegetarian doesn’t necessarily mean healthy. With simple add-ins like butter, salt, milk, and cheese, calories and cholesterol are sure to punch a hole through the roof… but then you could install solar panels and save on energy costs.

The South is where I grew up and it has a reputation for unhealthy foods. But in my defense, food’s soul purpose doesn’t always have to be thought of as fuel for the body. To quote Mrs. Dorothy Day, “Food for the body is not enough. There must be food for the soul.” And this is exactly what I bring you for our last food pledge recipe – food for the soul!

Nowhere can you find better food than Memaw’s house on Sunday after church. At around 12-noon, the family would trickle in carrying red rice, succotash, peach cobbler, corn pudding, collard greens, green beans, sweet potato casserole, mac ‘n cheese, and Memaw always made the cornbread. There’d usually be ham too, but this is a vegetarian post! Tim McGraw would be playing in the background, hard to hear over the chatter. I often think back on these memories and feel the warmth well up inside me; the laughs and the amazing nap that followed.

Oh!! Don’t be fooled. These recipes are not for the weak stomach. There will be butter! And just as the absence of kale and quinoa is felt, so will the presence of love and a full belly that is commonly known to accompany southern cookin’. I hope y’all enjoy some of the fixin’s from my childhood!

Click here for Southern Veggie Plate Recipes, including “low country” red rice, candied sweet potatoes, easy peach cobbler, corn pudding, (not so southern) vegetarian collards, cornbread, and baked macaroni and cheese.