Our menu for the Nativity Fast has been slightly revamped, as I found a new cookbook that has been very helpful in broadening my horizons. While I don't use large amounts of fancy soy products (soy milk is the one soy product used around here, and only for cooking occasionally), and I don't go for a lot of meat substitutes (I am sorry, how does one explain they are having "seitan" for dinner during Lent? go ahead, say it out loud, you know you want to), I am always open to learning how to introduce a bit more protein into the fasting season. Since the Nativity Fast is a bit less strict, and has more of the air of excited anticipation, this is a time when I enjoy finding a few nice comfort foods to serve. Let me just say, the recipe for Leek & Bean Cassoulet is worth the purchase of the whole cookbook in my opinion. Snuggled in a cozy chair in the kitchen, with a fire burning in the stove, books cheerily wrapped and tucked under the tree, who can resist a hearty, piping hot vegan pot pie?