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Meat-free meals are not just for vegetarians



Date Published: 05-Apr-2012

Vegetarian food has had a lot of bad press down through the years, with most people’s traditional idea of a meat-free diet being the dreaded nut roast and tofu.

But, in Ireland, great chefs like Denis Cotter in Cork’s Café Paradiso have helped to make meat-free meals as attractive as dishes with meat in them – unless of course you are a committed carnivore.

Now, closer to home, nutritionist and cookery teacher Liz Nolan has written My Goodness, a beautifully illustrated collection of tasty and hassle free recipes.

The book, by the Moycullen resident, was launched last Saturday in Galway City by Jess Murphy, chef/patron of the renowned Kai Restaurant on Sea Road.

It’s not necessary to be a vegetarian to benefit from this book, Liz explains. What it does, is give people simple and tasty recipes so they can have meat-free days a couple of times a week. Or, indeed, they can incorporate it into their regular menus.

“It’s a healthier option but it can all go with salmon or lamb chops,” she says.

Among those who has praised My Goodness is the renowned British nutritional therapist Patrick Holford, who says that with Liz’s recipes “you can have your cake and eat it”.

The book covers everything; breakfast, lunch, dinners, sweet stuff, bread and accompaniments. There’s also a list of store cupboard essentials, and the equipment you’ll need for success vegetarian cookery.

Dinner recipes include Chickpea and red lentil curry with aubergine and spinach, Herby one-pot barley and lentil stew, and Kidney beans and courgette fritters. There is also a fantastic array of hummus, pestos and dips, including roasted red pepper hummus and pumpkin seed pesto with leafy greens.

Breakfast recipes include granola, muesli and smoothies, while sweet treats include chocolate brownies, hazelnut and chocolate truffles, and autumn pudding with blackberries, raspberries and apples. Each recipe contains nutritional information and all are designed to have a low Glycemic Load (GL).

Foods that have a low GL are absorbed slowly by the body, so they have less impact on blood sugar levels. That’s important in helping to prevent and treat conditions such as diabetes. Low GL meals also help people feel fuller for longer, so they eat less. Research has also shown that people with a low GL diet have a lower incidence of heart disease. There are other issues to factor in, but in general, foods that have a low GL are to be recommended.

However, sometimes when people choose to increase their vegetarian intake, they don’t make healthy choices, because they don’t know what’s involved. “It’s about learning to cook in a whole new way,” says Liz, whose aim with this book is do demystify vegetarian cookery.

“When you are a vegetarian, you really need to be able to cook. Otherwise you’ll end up living on pasta and bread and a lot of carbohydrates. Part of my mantra is how to cook with beans and lentils.

“It’s about learning to cook in a whole new way.”

English-born Liz became a vegetarian when she was 18 – it wasn’t a political decision, she says, more the fact that she disliked meat.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past



A photo of Galway city centre from the county council's archives

People’s living conditions less than 100 years ago were frightening. We have come a long way. We talk about water charges today, but back then the local District Councils were erecting pumps for local communities and the lovely town of Mountbellew, according to Council minutes, had open sewers,” says Galway County Council archivist Patria McWalter.

Patria believes we “need to take pride in our history, and we should take the same pride in our historical records as we do in our built heritage”. When you see the wealth of material in her care, this belief makes sense.

She is in charge of caring for the rich collection of administrative records owned by Galway County Council and says “these records are as much part of our history as the Rock of Cashel is. They document our lives and our ancestors’ lives. And nobody can plan for the future unless you learn from the past, what worked and what didn’t”.

Archivists and librarians are often unfairly regarded as being dry, academic types, but that’s certainly not true of Patria. Her enthusiasm is infectious as she turns the pages of several minute books from Galway’s Rural District Councils, all of them at least 100 years old.

Part of her role involved cataloguing all the records of the Councils – Ballinasloe, Clifden, Galway, Gort, Loughrea, Mountbellew, Portumna and Tuam. These records mostly consisted of minutes of various meetings.

When she was cataloguing them she realised their worth to local historians and researchers, so she decided to compile a guide to their content. The result is For the Record: The Archives of Galway’s Rural District Councils, which will be a valuable asset to anybody with an interest in history.

Many representatives on these Councils were local personalities and several were arrested during the political upheaval of the era, she explains.

And, ushering in a new era in history, women were allowed to sit on these Rural District Councils – at the time they were not allowed to sit on County Councils.

All of this information is included in Patria’s introductory essay to the attractively produced A4 size guide, which gives a glimpse into how these Rural Councils operated and the way political thinking changed in Ireland during a short 26-year period. In the early 1900s, these Councils supported Home Rule, but by 1920, they were calling for full independence and refusing to recognise the British administration.

“I love the tone,” says Patria of the minutes from meetings. “The language was very emotive.”

That was certainly true of the Gort Rural District Council. At a meeting in 1907, following riots in Dublin at the premiere of JM Synge’s play, The Playboy of the Western World the councillors’ response was vehement. They recorded their decision to “protest most emphatically against the libellous comedy, The Playboy of the Western World, that was belched forth during the past week in the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, under the fostering care of Lady Gregory and Mr Yeats. We congratulate the good people of Dublin in howling down the gross buffoonery and immoral suggestions that are scattered throughout this scandalous performance.


For more from the archives see this week’s Tribunes here

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Archive News

Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


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Archive News

Athenry fail to take chances as they bow out of Junior Cup



Date Published: 29-Jan-2013

Athenry FC 1

Kilbarrack United 2

(After extra time)

For the second year in succession Athenry were done in extra time in the FAI Junior Cup as last season’s beaten finalist’s came from behind to snatch an excellent game in Moanbawn on Sunday afternoon.

On a heavy pitch that was only playable following extensive groundwork by club officials all morning, the home side were by far the better side in the opening half, but failed to take advantage of a number of opportunities that came their way.

An Alan O’Donovan penalty gave them a merited advantage just after the restart, but thereafter were on the back foot as Kilbarrack took over, but for all their pressing, the home rearguard were dealing comfortably with their forays.

However they were struck a body blow just six minutes from time, as big striker Keith Kirwan was left all alone at the far post to head the equaliser and from that point on the Dubliners were the better side.

They started off the extra time in the ascendancy and enjoying all the momentum before striking for a good winning goal on 104 minutes. A strong bench allowed them to make some necessary changes and it was not a facility that was available to Athenry manager Gabriel Glavin.

With Gary Forde and Gary Delaney out through suspension following their sending off against OLBC in the previous round, and Seamie Crowe injured, it left their bench rather threadbare with just a number of young squad players available.

Playing with the aid of the slight incline and any wind advantage going, the home side had a Connor Cannon effort on target in the opening minute, while John Meleady was just over with a flick at the other end.

Meleady then tested Andrew Walsh who saved comfortably, before the goalkeeper pulled off a brilliant double save on 14 minutes.

Firstly he went full length to push away a Meleady shot and was then back on his feet to parry David Jackson’s close-range rebound.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

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