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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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Relegation battle has town divided

By Sean Moriarty This is bigger than the county final itself – with the main prize on offer being bragging rights in the town. After an unprecedented run of events during this year’s Kerry Senior Football championship Killarney’s two biggest clubs, Dr Crokes and Killarney Legion are set to face off in a relegation battle […]

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By Sean Moriarty

This is bigger than the county final itself – with the main prize on offer being bragging rights in the town.

After an unprecedented run of events during this year’s Kerry Senior Football championship Killarney’s two biggest clubs, Dr Crokes and Killarney Legion are set to face off in a relegation battle that is sure to divide the town.

In sporting terms, the outcome of the big game, set for December 5, is simple enough. The winner stays in the Senior Championship next season and the losers will have to play in the Intermediate Championship.

Fans of the black and amber or the green and white face an anxious week. Winning the county title is one thing – consigning your cross town rivals to second division football in football is altogether a bigger prize.

Senior officials from both clubs are being very guarded on a potential outcome as both sides know the significance of this play off.

“It is a pity that two Killarney clubs, with a long tradition of playing football in the top tier, find themselves in the position of having to play off to avoid relegation,” Matt O’Neill, Cathaoirleach of Dr Crokes, told the Killarney Advertiser.

“Both teams will fight tooth and nail to stay in the senior ranks. I am confident that on Sunday week our lads will do themselves and the club proud, as always, and give their all in the quest to keep the black and amber to the fore.”

Crokes are based off the Lewis Road with Legion a short distance away on the other side of the bypass.

“Everyone has an opinion on this,” Legion PRO, Elaine O’Donoghue, told the Killarney Advertiser. “Both sides will be nervous – may the best team win. There are a lot of questions, are the Crokes suffering after defeat to Kerins O’Rahillys [in the semi-final]? Are our lads suffering after losing to St Brendan’s for the third year in a row?”

Every football fan will be keeping a close eye on next weekend’s Intermediate County Final too which takes place on December 4.

The winners of the match between Beaufort and Tralee side Na Gael will be automatically promoted to replace the losers of the Killarney play-off in the Senior Championship next season.

Should Beaufort prevail, a (relatively) local team could replace a town team in the top flight.

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Handball off the wall in Killarney

By Con Dennehy The popularity of handball as one of the fastest growing sports in Kerry is set to continue in the East Kerry region with the continued development of Spa/Killarney Handball Club. On Monday night the progressive club hosts a Beginners and Advanced League at their magnificent indoor facility located at the Spa GAA grounds […]

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By Con Dennehy

The popularity of handball as one of the fastest growing sports in Kerry is set to continue in the East Kerry region with the continued development of Spa/Killarney Handball Club.

On Monday night the progressive club hosts a Beginners and Advanced League at their magnificent indoor facility located at the Spa GAA grounds in Killarney. The club boasts two state-of-the-art indoor handball walls which were designed and built by local player and sportsman Mike Casey. It was opened in May 2018.

“On Monday night the games will tip off at 7pm with 11 players in the Advanced League and seven in the Beginners League. The format of the competition will see quarter finals in the first round progressing to overall winners on the night. It promises to be a great night of exciting handball and we welcome spectators,” said Eoin O’Donoghue, secretary of the club.

Competitors taking part in the Beginners League are Sheila Kelliher, Elena O’Donoghue, Niamh Faulds, Rosin King, Brid Horgan, Neill Horgan and Sinead Moriarty.

Players signed up for the Advanced League include Aoife Walsh, John Daniel Cronin, Eoin O’Donoghue, Kieran O’Brien, Brendan O’Donoghue, Michael Clifford, Evan Enright, Eoghan Daly, Brian McEvoy, Jerry Cronin and Maggie Quirke.

One player set to receive a warm welcome will be Brendan O’Donoghue. At the 2019 All-Ireland Hardball championships in Mayo, Brendan became the first Spa/Killarney man to win an All-Ireland Handball medal. He achieved this unique and much publicised honour in the highly ranked Master’s 55 B final.

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