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A month long vegan challenge pleasantly surprises local chef

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There’s a lifestyle revolution taking place and local chef Chad Byrne, decided to try it for a whole month – by becoming vegan.
After a month of taking on Veganuary, Chad, who is Head Chef at Danú in the Brehon Hotel, tells the Killarney Advertiser how it all worked out for him.
From the initial shock of finding foods to eat – to the pleasant surprise of losing half a stone in three weeks – he says he has openly embraced the idea of becoming a vegan – although will not be taking it on full-time.
“I can honestly say I have never felt better, I’m not sure if it’s a placebo effect but looking at a bowl of beautiful fresh fruit on mixed oat porridge with carrot, ginger and apple smoothie for breakfast to start the day makes you feel vibrant and ready to take on the day,” he said.
“While it’s changing a diet, it’s also a change in lifestyle, with only positive benefits from losing half a stone in weight in my first three weeks to a general feeling of vitality. However, the first week I did feel a little lethargic, but a B12 supplement helped get over that.”
He explained that as a chef, he wanted to challenge himself.
“First and foremost we have so many vegans eating with us lately in the Brehon. It’s not just a fad or trend – it’s a lifestyle revolution taking place.
“I thought if I go vegan for a month I can really get more adventurous with vegan food opposed to a meat eater cooking for a vegan “thinking what they would like”. And since going full circle my lifestyle and health has seen a massive benefit.
“Aside from the food, I also experienced a genuine buzz and sense of contentment from actually doing something positive for animals and my carbon footprint. I always felt there was something more I could be doing,.”
Initially he said that he was dreading becoming a vegan.
“I can do without meat and fish, it’s the biproducts that worried me – simple things like a toasted cheese sandwich which I felt would be hard to do without – but after a concerted effort your mind operates differently, a ‘what will I use instead’ approach opens up so many ideas. I duly note it’s a luxury to be a chef as its certainly makes it a hell of a lot easier.”
From his recent experience, Chad has now started to take a more active role in the vegan community by writing a blog for ‘Chef Network’.
“I’m also doing local projects like our upcoming Vegan Pop Up in Killarney and also launching wider and more varied selections for vegans at the Brehon.
“I’ve embraced it! My larder at home is very different to what it once was – now filled with grains, pulses, veggies and fruit. Whole foods are key, and spices are your best friend! My cooking has also become far more inclusive with a few tiny tweaks. I urge anyone to try it even for a few days. It will give you a new philosophy on your approach to food. I’m not saying I will always be vegan, I can just say I’m enjoying the ride and learning experiences I’ve had.”

Recipe

Hazelnut, broccoli, potato cakes

· 1 tbsp olive oil
· 2 1/2 ounces leek, white part only, chopped finely
· 2 1/2 ounces onion, chopped finely
· 1 large garlic clove, chopped finely
· 3 ounces broccoli, chopped finely, Peel the stem and chop too
· 8 ounces peeled new potatoes cut into small dice
· 6 tbsp canned chick peas drained and blitzed up
· 1 lemon zested
· Handful crushed hazelnuts
· Salt pepper and few chilli flakes
· Few drops almond milk to bind

· In a medium pan over a medium heat, add the oil, leeks, potatoes, onions and garlic and cook, until soft
· Add the broccoli, two more tablespoons of water and cook covered 15 minutes, stirring occasionally
· Let cool for 10 minutes
· Add the nuts and blitzed chickpeas, lemon, seasoning and almond milk to bind (should be firm), form into bite sized patties
· To cook, heat a large pan cook over medium heat, cook four to five minutes until the bottom is golden, gently flip and cook and additional four to five minutes. You can freeze whatever you don’t eat. To reheat from frozen, bake in 390F preheated oven for 25 minutes.
Serve with a little salsa or vegan style relish.

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Hike up Strickeen Mountain for air ambulance

  Locals and visitors are being invited to join a guided ascent of Strickeen Mountain on July 4 to raise funds for the Irish Community Air Ambulance. The hike, described as an easy to moderate climb and family friendly well be led by Killarney-based Irish Community Air Ambulance volunteer and tour guide Krzysztof Szwab. It […]

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Locals and visitors are being invited to join a guided ascent of Strickeen Mountain on July 4 to raise funds for the Irish Community Air Ambulance.

The hike, described as an easy to moderate climb and family friendly well be led by Killarney-based Irish Community Air Ambulance volunteer and tour guide Krzysztof Szwab.

It is expected that the 7.5km hike will take around three hours to complete and participants will benefit from the expertise of Krzysztof for a minimum donation €10 per person or €20 per family.

Strickeen Mountain is the eastern most peak of the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks and the hike will start from the Gap of Dunloe at 11am on the day.

As an added bonus fruit and water, donated by local supermarkets including Lidl, Aldi and Daly’s SuperValu, will be provided. The first 20 to register will receive a limited edition Irish Community Air Ambulance face covering snood.

“This is an ideal opportunity for someone who has never climbed this mountain, but wants to do it with the help of an experienced guide,” Donie Lucey, who is one of the Irish Community Air Ambulance’s chief fundraisers, said.

Further details are available from Donie on 086 854 5873 or from Krzysztof on 087 7589697 after 6pm.

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Golf club launches Summer Series competition

By Sean Moriarty Competitive golfing has resumed at Killarney Golf and Fishing Club marking another step towards normality in the locality. The O’Mahony’s Point course hosted an open singles event on Monday last and this competition will continue every Monday for the rest of the summer. Meanwhile the club’s ‘TaylorMade’ Summer Series gets underway at […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Competitive golfing has resumed at Killarney Golf and Fishing Club marking another step towards normality in the locality.

The O’Mahony’s Point course hosted an open singles event on Monday last and this competition will continue every Monday for the rest of the summer.

Meanwhile the club’s ‘TaylorMade’ Summer Series gets underway at the famed Killeen course this coming Wednesday (June 23). This series will continue every Wednesday for eight weeks and top five scorers on each date will qualify for a Grand Final which is scheduled for Sunday, August 22.

“We are delighted to launch the ‘TaylorMade’ Summer Series. This is a singles stableford event taking place on the Irish Open course, Killeen,” said the club’s marketing manager Meg Dalton. “With over €8,000 worth of prizes to be won, this is an event not to be missed. The first opportunity to qualify for the grand final is Wednesday.”

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Investigation continues into New St fire

  Killarney Gardai are continuing their investigation into the cause of a fire on New Street last week. The fire broke out at the Eviston House Hotel in the early hours of Bank Holiday Monday (June 7). It started in a room just off the kitchen on the first floor and spread along the venting […]

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Killarney Gardai are continuing their investigation into the cause of a fire on New Street last week.

The fire broke out at the Eviston House Hotel in the early hours of Bank Holiday Monday (June 7).

It started in a room just off the kitchen on the first floor and spread along the venting and ducting on the first, second and third floors. There was heavy smoke throughout the hotel but all guests were evacuated safely.

The landmark hotel, which also houses the famous Danny Mann pub, has not yet reopened, and local Gardai are still investigating its cause.

“The investigation is ongoing,” a Killarney Gardai Station spokesperson told the Killarney Advertiser. “We are establishing the full facts in relation to the fire.”

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