Despite working solidly in an acute coronavirus ward during the first national lockdown, Sarah McLean has published her own cook book and kept a diary throughout the pandemic.
The book, Vegetarian Food for Carnivores, contains 64 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, 52, left school and 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.
The mother of three said that after 20 years of working on the wards, she has been given 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 meat eater and lover of barbecues – the idea of Vegetarian Food for Carnivores was conceived.
"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," Sarah said.
"It’s a recipe book that can be used by anyone. It will provide meals for the meat-eating family who have vegetarian or vegan family and friends to stay and simply don't know what to cook.
"It’s ideal for families who have a mix of vegetarian and meat eating members because it saves having to cook two meals. It’s also perfect for vegetarians who have an 'uncle Jimmy' coming to stay."