vegetarian

Healthy Vegetarian Choices

vegetarian

 

Being a vegetarian for the past 20 something years, I often find it difficult to find tasty wholesome meals, especially when on the run. Like so many of us, I lead a very busy lifestyle. I sometimes feel that it can be hard not to reach for the quick, unhealthy fast food choices that are readily available. It always seems like these are easier to come by than healthy and wholesome food to go.

At the Butler’s Pantry where I work as a Retail Manager there are plenty of choices when it comes to healthy, nutritious vegetarian and vegan options. Our chefs are always adding to the range. They love to showcase fresh and seasonal produce. In the shops, we are seeing a growing interest for more veggie options. A lot of customers are trying out ‘Meatless Monday’ or simply incorporating more vegetarian options into their diet. It’s a lovely, light way to eat.

I have had tried many of these meals after work and really love the fact they are easily heated in the microwave taking only a few minutes. Perfect when you are tired after a long day. The best part is they are totally guilt free as they are made with the finest ingredients, from scratch in our kitchens, just as you would cook at home!

As well as main meals we also have a range of wholesome soups such a Roasted Root Veg with Thyme and Honey. Delicious accompanied by some rustic baguette! Our salads and sandwiches are great options too. Try our Ardsallagh Goats Cheese and Beetroot Salad or our Falafel Wrap for a lovely lunch or light supper option.

My favourite dish is the Greek Stew with Roasted Root Vegetables, Feta Cheese and Olives. It’s packed full of nutritious goodness and full of flavour. If you close your eyes you can almost imagine you are on holidays in the Mediterranean!

Our new Spring/Summer Menu introduces even more choices such as the Aubergine Parmigiana or Thai Vegetarian Curry, absolutely delightful!

Lisa

Retail Manager,

Monkstown

Buckwheat

Buckwheat the Wonder Seed

Here at The Butler’s Pantry, our chefs are always monitoring trends and experimenting with innovation in food. One such innovation that we have introduced is the use of buckwheat in the tart base of our lemon meringue tart.

While the name might suggest that buckwheat is a cereal grain, it is actually a fruit seed that’s related to the rhubarb and sorrel plants. The flowers from the buckwheat plant are extremely fragrant and are attractive to bees who product a special, dark honey from them. The edible part of buckwheat are the seeds.

 

What are the Health Benefits?

Buckwheat flour is undoubtedly healthier that regular flour. This nutrient packed, gluten-free seed is considered by many to be a superfood. It is rich in protein, insoluble fibre and important minerals such as zinc, manganese and copper. It’s packed with antioxidants like tannins, catechin and rutin. It has a high polyphenol content, a micronutrient that is only gotten through some plant based foods.

Buckwheat 2

Buckwheat is also known to have blood sugar and cholesterol lowering effects and the ability to improve digestion. It offers a high amount of total carbohydrates yet it scores low on the glycaemic index (GI). This is the measure of how quick your body absorbs carbohydrates. If the food has a low GI score, your blood sugars will rise slowly and won’t spike. This makes it a great food for someone with diabetes as it keeps the blood sugar regulated.

As buckwheat is a fruit seed as opposed to a cereal grain, it’s a wonderful substitute for grains for those who are sensitive to wheat, gluten or any other grains. So full of nutrients, zero gluten and no fat, what’s not to love!

 

How can it be used?

Buckwheat is becoming more and more popular as consumers become more aware of its health benefits. It’s a great breakfast option when used in cereals, porridge and pancakes. It’s also a wonderful addition to salads, makes a delicious crust for a creamy chicken pie or eaten as buckwheat noodles or pasta which are readily available on the market. At The Butler’s Pantry, we are now using buckwheat flour for the base of our lemon meringue tart. The buckwheat flour is 100% organic and it makes a delicious sweet dough for our pie. It adds a nutty and roasted flavour which compliments the sharpness of the lemon curd and the sweetness of the Italian meringue. The buckwheat adds a lovely ‘snap’ to the base which is a delicious texture. It also means that our lemon meringue tart is now flourless so is a great option for those with gluten intolerance.

Why not visit one of our shops and treat yourself to our new and improved lemon meringue pie? We’d love to hear what you think of our addition of buckwheat!

feed the heroes

Feed The Heroes

Although most of us are spending a lot of time safe in our homes during this pandemic. There are thousands of critical frontline workers who are working tirelessly and risking their lives on a daily basis to fight Coronavirus. We were determined to find a way to show them that we were grateful for everything that we were doing to protect and care for us all.

 

feed the heroes

 

Naturally, food is what we do best so it made perfect sense for us to provide some of the frontline hero’s with some wholesome food. Enter Feed The Heroes, a wonderful grassroots initiative set up by Cian O’Flaherty. His initial ambition was to raise €1,000 to buy a few meals but it has seen funds of over €1,000,000 raised and served almost 80,000 meals to our nation’s frontline workers. You can find out more or get involved here.

 

Those who are working on the frontlines are having to dig deeper than ever at the moment. They are working longer shifts, with little time or facilities to cook food. The food that’s donated helps to sustain these exhausted workers where they might not otherwise have been able to have a nourishing meal.

 

station - the butlers pantry

 

Restaurants, take aways and caterers across the country are pulling together to offer generous donations of food. The meals are delivered to staff at the Covid-19 testing centres, hospitals, HSE contact tracing, the National Ambulance Service and the Fire Brigade.

 

It was decided that our meals would be best suited to the National Ambulance Service who are currently operating out of Dublin Fire Brigade units. They have 12 stations across Dublin. Usually the shift team prepare food in house but all extra personnel have been moved to Covid-19 test centres or contact tracing so their catering has stopped. Our drivers delivered cooler bags to all the stations packed full of our meals and treats, all prepared by hand in our kitchens in Bray. A small token perhaps but we were delighted that we could play our part to help to fuel the frontline.

 

Donnybrook Fire Station

 

Of course, it goes without saying how proud we are of our own heroes in The Butler’s Pantry. Our staff have continued to work tirelessly around the clock under very challenging circumstances. They are adhering to the strictest health and safety measures and doing so with big smiles on their faces! We will continue to work together so that we can service our wonderful customers in our local communities with real good food.

 

Thank you to all our health heroes, stay positive and keep fighting, we will get through this.

 

 

The Butlers Pantry Meal Pakcs

Health and Wellness During the Pandemic

During this strange and unsettling time, a lot of us are trying to get used to a new normal which involves spending a lot more time than usual in the home. Whether you are social distancing, self-isolating or cocooning, your health and wellbeing doesn’t have to suffer. Follow our tips to keep well in both body and mind.

 

Spend Time in the Kitchen

 

How often do we complain that we don’t have time to cook healthy meals in day to day life? Now is a great time to spend some time in the kitchen making healthy and delicious food for yourself and your family. It’s a good time to use up food that has been sitting in the freezer or lurking at the back of the cupboards. Healthy ingredients such as lentils, quinoa and dried fruit can help to build your immune system so why not look up a recipe and try something new?

 

Baking can be a wonderful and relaxing way to spend some time. Kids will also love getting involved and it is a great way to keep them occupied! Baking does not have to mean sugary and unhealthy treats. Try our simple but delicious porridge bread with pumpkin seeds. Oats and seeds are a fantastic source of heart healthy fibre.

 

eggs

Shopping for Supplies

 

We are all consciously limiting how often we are going out to buy food, if at all. All of our shops are open with limited opening hours. Our shops are small, allowing us to practice the most stringent health and safety guidelines and to limit the amount of people in the shop at any one time. We stock lots of pantry essentials allowing you to stock up on supplies at home. Some of the wonderful producers that we stock include Derrycamma oils, Homespun cereals, Gubbeen meats and Butler’s Organic Eggs. Of course, we also have our handmade meals, cakes and breads to see you through.

 

We are delighted to offer home delivery which is especially necessary in these times for elderly and vulnerable people. Your order of fresh food will be sent to your home direct from our kitchen via DPD delivery. You can opt for contactless delivery where the package will be left on your doorstep and the driver will move away but wait to ensure that you receive it safely. You can find our meal packs here.

The Butlers Pantry Meal Pakcs

 

Keep on Moving

 

It is important to stay active where possible to help to boost your immune system and stay as healthy as possible during isolation. At the moment, we are permitted to go up to 2km from your house for exercise daily. A brisk walk or jog allows you to get some fresh air and can do wonders for your mental health. If you are not in a position to leave your house, perhaps you could sit in the garden or on your balcony. Some light gardening is a great healthy hobby. There are lots of online resources offering at home workout classes which you can do from the comfort of your own living room. Why not try something new, like a yoga class on YouTube?

 

yoga

 

Mind your Mind

 

Many people are experiencing loneliness or anxiety during this uncertain period. It can be hard when we don’t know how long this pandemic will go on for and when life will get back to normal. We all need human contact so there is no better time to reach out to a friend or family member over the phone or Skype. You could do something together like have a coffee break or even eat a meal together to make you feel like you are together!

 

We know this is a worrying time but we are all working together to get through this and out the other side. Try to remain positive and upbeat and enjoy this downtime – read a book, watch a movie and eat delicious food! Above all stay healthy and safe. We can’t wait to welcome you back to our shops soon.

 

Sarah and Olive

Sarah & Olive: A Journey Through Andalucía

Sarah & Olive is a new Dublin based olive oil business bringing exceptional single estate olive oils to Ireland. It was set up by Sarah Merrigan, a chef, food writer and sustainable food entrepreneur who lived and worked in Spain for years and is now on a mission to showcase the flavour possibilities and versatility that single-estate olive oils can bring to modern Irish cooking.

Sarah and Olive

 

As you’d expect from a chef, Sarah is obsessed with great ingredients and during her time as a chef in Barcelona she learnt a lot about what makes good food great.  As she says herself, “It sounds like a bit of a cliché but the starting point really is simple – great, well-produced ingredients”.

Through fellow chefs in Spain, she discovered an exceptional group of olive oil producers in Andalucía and learnt that, depending on the olive variety, terroir and maker’s vision, every great olive oil opens up a new world of flavour and possibility in the kitchen.  Green tomatoes, almond, banana, artichoke, quince, apple, fig and even wood are just some of the notes found in her range of exceptionally well-crafted oils.

 

Sarah and Olive

 

This great flavour, coupled with the huge wealth of research showing the astounding health benefits of well-made extra virgin olive oil (everything from heart health and stroke prevention to healthy brain function), is what inspired her to set up Sarah & Olive.

The olive oil producers that Sarah works with are dedicated to producing some of the finest olive oils in the business. These oils aren’t mass-produced or generic but unique and full of personality just like the makers behind them.

Most are multi-award winners, and some have even won best in the world.

The Butler’s Pantry is delighted to announce that our stores will be stocking a specially curated selection of three of Sarah’s finest oils. There is one for every occasion, from the light and sweet Cortiquo Espiritiu Santo Organic Arbequina with its delicate subtlety that is perfect for lighter plates to the slightly more complex and structured Finca La Torre Organic Hojiblanca and fuller bodied, the punchy, peppery Picual from Nobleza del Sur. These are oils that will take almost any dish to the next level.

All of Sarah’s oils are “early harvest” olive oils which means they have higher levels of polyphenols than other olive oils, even other extra virgin olive oils. Polyphenols are a group of over 500 phytochemicals, which are naturally occurring micronutrients in plants. As with other antioxidants, polyphenols help prevent cellular damage from free-radicals. Harvesting early means that the olives are greener and so give the oil an even bigger antioxidant boost and this is what lowers our risk of many chronic diseases. It also means that the oils have a lovely fresh, green flavour.

 

The Selection

Cortiquo Espiritiu Santo Organic Arbequina Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a sweet and delicate oil with a hint of subtle spiciness with notes of almond, fruit compote and ripe banana. Cortiquo Espiritiu Santo oil is made by the multi-award-winning extra virgin olive oil producer Juan Molina Martínez who is a touchstone within the industry for his attention to detail and meticulous organic and biodynamic production. This gorgeous oil is perfect with light fish dishes, leafy salads, yogurt, labneh and deserts.

Finca La Torre Organic Hojiblanca Extra Virgin Olive Oil is such an exceptional oil that it is one of only two in Spain to have received 100 points from the prestigious Flos Olei olive oil guide. It is intensely fruity, with notes of green almond, apple, banana peel, freshly cut grass and olive leaf as well as complex and well-balanced hints of rocket, artichoke, black pepper and chicory. Gorgeous with oily fish and meat dishes like roasted pork as well as heavier salads.

Nobleza del Sur Early Harvest Centenarium Premium Picual Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Nobleza del Sur have been making olive oil in Andalucia since 1640 and are world leaders in the field. This very special oil is winner of 99 points by Flos Olei as well as numerous awards the world over. The Picual olive is Andalucia’s most emblematic variety and it is renowned for its characteristic finish of pepper and spice. The main tasting notes are of green banana, apple, green almond and tomato leaf with a hint of the lavender which is grown alongside the olive trees in the groves. It takes up to 14 kilos to make just one litre of this very special oil. Early Harvest Centenarium Premium Picual is exceptional with tomato but is also wonderful with all kinds of pasta dishes, semi hard cheese, meat, fish and chocolate.

All of these incredible oils are now available to purchase in your local The Butler’s Pantry shop.