The Amherst Garden Club’s May Meeting

May 5

Plant Based Diet: Good for You and Good for the Planet!

Presented by Paula Garvey

Join us as Paula demonstrates how to make a healthy grain bowl and tasty veggie burgers, providing tips on how to adapt recipes to your own preferences. She will also share her thoughts on the health and environmental advantages of including more plants in our diets.

Paula hails from Waterford, Ireland, where, after graduating with a degree in Home Economics, she worked as a cook, for household product maker Philips, demonstrating their new kitchen gadget — the microwave! — and then embarked on a teaching career.

Paula taught “cookery” in the Irish school system for 13 years, instructing students in the preparation of traditional Irish dishes. At that time, vegetarian options received only an occasional mention.

After moving to the United States, Paula focused on raising her three daughters. But she also missed teaching, and so when the family relocated to Amherst in 2004, she began offering cooking workshops and demonstrations though the Recreation Department. This led to a teaching position in the culinary program at Souhegan High School.

When Paula’s youngest daughter chose to become a vegetarian out of compassion for animals, Paula began investigating healthy, tasty plant-based meal options. Accommodating another daughter’s health diagnosis meant Paula was already skilled at adapting recipes and menus to ensure all family members received proper nutrition.

“Often I will cook dinner with a meat, gluten free and vegetarian option — yes, it can be done! The only disadvantage is two extra pots to clean,” Paula says.

She takes a practical approach to cooking and teaching, choosing dishes that are simple and tasty while also nutritious.

Business meeting9:15 AM
Paula’s Presentation10:30 AM

About Paula’s work to find a cure for Cystic fibrosis — Paula Garvey is determined to find a cure for her middle daughter Rosie’s Cystic fibrosis, a life-threatening genetic disorder that causes the lungs and pancreas to become blocked up with mucus. She serves on the board of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Northern New England Chapter and works tirelessly as a leader in various other organizations that raise funds to find a cure for this disease. “It is my life to find a cure,” Paula says. She will be donating her speaking fee to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.