Celery soup

Try this celery soup for a quick, healthy and tasty lunch

Serves 4


1 knob of butter

1 head of celery – washed and chopped

2 medium waxy potatoes – peeled and chopped

1 small onion – peeled and finely sliced

750ml chicken stock (or substitute with vegetable stock)

½ cup of full cream milk

Salt/black pepper to taste

2 tbsp parmesan – grated


  • Heat up the butter in a saucepan and add the onion, potato and celery
  • Cook for 5 minutes until the potatoes and celery start to soften
  • Add salt and a good grinding of black pepper to taste
  • Add the chicken or vegetable stock and simmer for 10 minutes until everything is soft
  • Take off the heat and blend to a smooth soup
  • Add the milk and stir through
  • Serve in soup bowls and add parmesan shavings
  • Serve with garlic bread on the side

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home-made dog biscuits

These home-made dog biscuits are healthy, quick and easy to make and your dogs will love them!


1 cup nutty wheat flour

1/2 cup rolled oats

1 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp sugar and salt-free peanut butter

2 tbsp biltong powder

3 large eggs


  • Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius
  • Mix all the ingredients together and roll into shapes on a floured baking sheet
  • Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until cooked through.

Overall time

30 minutes


Don’t have time to make your own biscuits, why not search the Livewell Directory to find your nearest ethical pet food suppliers.

Chicken in black bean sauce

This Chinese chicken in black bean sauce recipe is quick and easy to prepare and tasty!

Serves 2


2 cooked chicken thighs – shredded

1 thumb sized piece of ginger – grated

2 cloves of garlic – grated

1 red birds-eye chilli – finely sliced

2 spring onions – sliced

1 handful green beans – top and tailed and cut in half

2 tbsp sesame oil

2 tbsp soya sauce

2 tbsp black bean sauce

1 lime – juiced

1 egg

1 handful coriander

½ cup white basmati rice – cooked

1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Cooking oil


  • Mix together the ginger, garlic, chilli, spring onion, chicken, green beans and sesame oil
  • Heat a pan with cooking oil until hot and add the mixture to the pan, stirring continuously for 1 minute so it doesn’t burn
  • Add the black bean sauce, 1 tbsp of soya sauce and lime juice and stir for another minute
  • Remove from the heat and keep warm
  • Heat another pan with oil, crack in an egg and stir
  • Add the rice and 1 tbsp of soya sauce and cook until warm
  • Dish up the rice topped with the chicken, sprinkle with fresh coriander and top with sesame seeds.

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Moroccan roasted root vegetables

This Moroccan roasted root vegetable dish is delicious, healthy and filling.

Serves 4


3 x Beetroot – peeled and cut into cubes

3 x Carrots – peeled and cut into chunks

2 x Red onion – peeled and quartered with the stem on so they stay intact

4 x Garlic cloves – lightly pressed (skin on)

1 can chickpeas – drained and spiced with cumin, paprika and cayenne pepper

1 x tsp ground cumin

½ tsp smoked paprika

½ tsp paprika

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

2 x Bay leaves

Olive oil

Balsamic vinegar

Feta to sprinkle over the top

Couscous – cooked as per packet instructions

Rocket – to scatter over the vegetables


  • Pre-heat the oven to 200 °C
  • Roast the beetroot, carrots and red onion on a baking tray with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, stirring occasionally until cooked
  • Add the tin of chickpeas, and garlic cloves, stir and cook until the chickpeas are warmed through and the garlic cloves are soft
  • In the mean-time cook the couscous as per packet instructions
  • Serve the couscous topped with the roasted vegetables and chickpea mix and scatter over some rocket leaves and sprinkle over some feta
  • Serve with olive oil and balsamic vinegar on the side and maybe some fresh ciabatta bread?

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Whether you are deeply concerned about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in the food supply or think such concerns are misplaced, there is one thing everyone can agree on: non-GMO verified foods have taken the food industry by storm. The leading ecolabel in this arena – the Non-GMO Project Verified butterfly– now graces the packaging on countless products on supermarket shelves, thanks in part to Whole Food Co.’s edict calling for such verification.

It’s no wonder. In 2014, a Consumer Reports National Research Centre survey found that 70% of American consumers said they wanted to avoid GMOs in their food. A Pew Research survey in 2015 found that 57% believe GMOs in food are unsafe, and only 37% thought they were safe. And in 2016, a Centre for Food Safety survey of likely voters found that 89% favour mandatory labels on GMO foods or foods containing GMO ingredients.

As a Non-GMO Project technical administrator, SCS Global Services is charged with the task of evaluating products to verify their conformance with Non-GMO Project standard. So, we thought it might be useful to share with you a bit more information about what all of this means.

What is a GMO Anyway?

The Non-GMO Project describes a GMO as “a plant, animal, microorganism or other organism whose genetic makeup has been modified using recombinant DNA methods (also called gene splicing), gene modification or transgenic technology. This relatively new science creates unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacterial and viral genes that do not occur in nature or through traditional crossbreeding methods.”

What genetically modified crops are currently being grown on a commercial basis?

It is somewhat jaw-dropping to realise that the thousands upon thousands of food products sporting a Non-GMO Project Verified label really boil down to just a few ingredients. At the moment, only seven food crops in commercial production have genetically modified varietals: alfalfa, canola, corn, papaya, soy, sugar beet, and zucchini / yellow summer squash. Ingredients made from these crops are prolific in our food supply. The Non-GMO Project considers any ingredient or product containing one of the above crops as high-risk. In addition, some of the microbes used in food production and processing are high-risk when they are produced through genetic modification and must be evaluated.

What traits are GM crops grown to enhance?

Though a wide range of beneficial applications of genetic modification (GM) is touted, such as reducing water consumption and increasing vitamin content, the most common GM traits are herbicide tolerance (in corn, soy, canola, alfalfa, and sugar beet), insect resistance (in corn and cotton), and virus resistance (in papaya and zucchini / squash).

What products are covered under the standard?

Here are some common products currently evaluated under the Non-GMO Project standard:

Animal and bee-derived products: Dairy products, eggs, meat, fish, and honey are evaluated based on what foods the animals consume. A significant amount of the GM corn, soy, and alfalfa grown is used for animal feed. Bees can forage near GMO crop cultivation, and farmed fish are at risk for consuming GMO feed.

Processed products: Many sodas and candies contain corn syrup produced from GMO corn. Clothing is often produced from GMO cotton.

Food additives: Many processed products like bread, extracts made with corn-derived ethanol, alternative dairy products, and vitamins can be produced with GMO ingredients and additives.

Alcohol: Beer and wine use yeasts that can be genetically modified, and some hard alcohols like whiskey and vodka can be corn-derived.

How is Non-GMO status verified?

Conforming companies must provide evidence of practices that reduce the risk of GMO contamination from at-risk inputs and ingredients. Evaluation criteria include traceability, segregation, risk assessment, testing of high-risk inputs, and quality control management. The standard also requires genetics-based testing at critical control points to be performed by an approved ISO-17025 accredited lab to ensure that “action thresholds” are not exceeded.

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Author: Lucy Anderson and Evelyn Drawec

SCS Global Services