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Eco-friendly Valentine's Day

With Valentines’ Day around the corner, why not make yours an eco-friendly day? Here are some ideas to impress your partner from dawn till dusk!

Breakfast in bed. Nothing like waking up to a cup of freshly brewed organic coffee and a kiss, followed by a full English Breakfast, using free-range bacon and eggs fresh from the farm, some freshly baked sourdough bread and some organic tomatoes.

Valentine’s gift. Surprising your partner with a gift is always a winner on Valentine’s Day, but instead of buying freshly cut flowers, why not buy a potted plant, or plant a tree? Or why not order an ethical gift box to be delivered to your partner at work?

Relax. After work, why not set the scene with some natural candles and treat your loved one to a relaxing massage using some lovely essential oils and natural skincare products?

Eat in. While your partner is still on cloud nine after their massage pour them a glass of organic/vegan sparkling wine whilst you get cooking! Spoil them with only the best organic vegetables, free-range meat or prepare a vegan feast!

Pop the question? Now is the time to pop the Big Question with a beautiful ethically sourced ring or just show your love with a stunning reclaimed silver bracelet.

Snuggle up. Watch a romantic movie together and tuck into some organic or Fairtrade chocolates to finish off a perfect day!

 

To find your local, ethical, planet-friendly businesses, search the Livewell Directory

Fluffy Cheese Omelette

Make a fluffy cheese omelette with this top tip.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

4 free-range eggs

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup mature cheddar – finely grated

1/4 cup parmesan – finely grated

salt/pepper to taste

1 tsp cooking olive oil

1 tbsp fresh chives

Method:

  • Heat the oil in a frying pan on a medium heat
  • Whisk the eggs, salt, pepper and baking powder together until the baking powder has dissolved
  • Add the mixture to the warm pan and let it set slightly
  • Once it starts to set, push the mixture gently from the edge of the pan towards the centre and tilt the pan so the runny mixture can continue to fill the pan and set
  • Once lightly set, sprinkle the cheese on the one side of the omelette and fold the other side over
  • Turn off the heat and let it rest for a minute so the cheese can melt
  • Serve with fresh chives and a dollop of dijon mustard and a green salad on the side.

Find your local greengrocer on Livewell Directory

 

 

 

Spanish omelette with mushrooms and onions

This Spanish omelette with chorizo, mushroom and onion is a tasty way to start the day!

Serves 2

Ingredients:

1 tsp cooking olive oil

100g chorizo – chopped into small chunks

½ white onion – finely chopped

1 handful of button mushrooms – sliced

4 eggs – lightly beaten and seasoned with salt and pepper

fresh parsley for garnish

2 tbsp grated parmesan

4 slices mozzarella

Method:

  • Turn on your oven grill
  • On the hob, heat the olive oil in a frying pan, add the chorizo, onion and mushrooms and fry on a medium heat until the onions are soft
  • Add the egg mixture to the pan and swirl around to fill the pan
  • Top the mixture with the parmesan and mozzarella
  • When the bottom of the omelette starts to set put the pan under a hot grill to lightly set the top and melt the cheese
  • Remove from the grill, add an extra grinding of salt and pepper to taste and top with some fresh parsley.

To find your nearest organic grocer visit Livewell Directory

 

Tomato and Caper Spaghetti

This Tomato and Caper Spaghetti dish is light, fresh and easy to prepare.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

1 handful spaghetti

10 cherry tomatoes – chopped in half

3 tbsp capers – chopped if using the big ones

1 red birdseye chilli – finely chopped (optional)

1 big squeeze of lemon juice

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Salt/pepper to taste

2 tbsp of grated parmesan

2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Method:

  • Bring a saucepan with salted water to the boil and add the spaghetti – cook for approximately 10 minutes according to the packet instructions
  • Meanwhile, mix the tomatoes, capers and chilli together
  • Strain the cooked pasta and leave to cool down
  • Mix the tomatoes, capers and chilli with the spaghetti and add the olive oil and lemon juice
  • Add a grinding of salt and pepper to taste
  • Serve up with a sprinkle with parmesan, add fresh parsley and enjoy!

To find your local, organic grocer or wholefoods shop, visit Livewell Directory

Butternut and feta tortellini

This vegetarian Butternut and Feta Tortellini is worth the effort – you won’t want to buy shop bought tortellini ever again!

Serves 2

Ingredients:

2 medium free-range eggs

200g organic flour or double zero flour

4 tbsp butter

10 sage leaves

salt/pepper to taste

1 tbsp cooking olive oil

1 handful of grated parmesan

2 tbsp of toasted pine nuts

2 rings of feta

1 butternut – peeled and cut into cubes

1/2 red onion – finely diced

2 cloves garlic – crushed

To make the pasta:

  • Sift the flour into a bowl, make a hole in the middle and add the eggs
  • Stir the eggs and slowly start to incorporate the flour into the mix
  • Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for around 5 minutes until the dow in silky and smooth
  • Wrap in a damp cloth and leave for 15 minutes
  • Get your pasta machine out and start rolling out the dow, or roll by hand until you can see your hand through the back of the pasta sheets.

Filling:

  • Cook the butternut in lightly salted water until soft
  • Strain the water out, mash the butternut and add salt and pepper to taste
  • Crumble in 2 rings of feta cheese
  • Heat up olive oil in a frying pan and cook the red onion until soft, add the garlic and cook for a further 1 minute until the garlic is cooked and add to the butternut mixture
  • Put the mixture in the fridge to cool down whilst you continue your prep.

Sauce:

  • Slowly melt the butter in a frying pan with the sage leaves and leave aside

To make the tortellini:

  • Have a small bowl of water ready
  • Use a cup to cut out circle shapes in the pasta
  • Add a small teaspoon of filling in the centre
  • Wet your finger in the water and trace all around the pasta circle with your wet finger
  • Fold over the pasta to form a half moon shape and press the edges firmly together (the water should help seal it)
  • Wet the one end of the half moon and fold the two ends together around your little finger and press firmly to bond them
  • Keep the tortellini on a floured surface and covered with a damp cloth to prevent drying out.

Heat a large saucepan of boiling, salted water, drop the tortellini in the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes until the pasta is soft. You will need to do a few sessions so not to overfill the pot.

Meanwhile, toast your pine nuts in a dry frying pan and heat up the butter and sage sauce.

To serve your tortellini, add the butter and sage sauce to the plate, sprinkle over the pine nuts and serve with a good grating of parmesan cheese.

 

To find your nearest greengrocer or wholefoods shop visit Livewell Directory

 

 

Celery soup

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

Serves 4

Ingredients:

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

Method:

  • 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

Search Livewell Directory to find your nearest ethical grocer

home-made dog biscuits

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

Ingredients:

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

Method:

  • 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

Ingredients:

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

Method:

  • 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.

Search Livewell Directory to find your local ethical food producers.

Moroccan roasted root vegetables

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

Serves 4

Ingredients:

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

Method:

  • 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?

Find your local, organic grocer

 

Spanakopita with Salad

This delicious Greek spinach and feta filo pastry pie will leave you wanting more.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

Large knob of butter

2 red onions, halved and sliced

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

500g spinach washed

2 spring onions, finely chopped

2 tsp fresh chopped parsley

2 tsp fresh chopped dill

A pinch of grated nutmeg

200g feta cheese, crumbled

2 eggs, beaten

4 large sheets filo pastry

2 tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C.
  • Start by melting the butter in a frying pan and sauté the onions on a medium heat until soft and starting to colour
  • Add the garlic and cook for a couple of minutes and leave the mix aside
  • In a saucepan add the spinach in batches on a medium heat and cook until wilted. Add a bit of butter so it doesn’t burn
  • Set the spinach aside to cool and then squeeze out all the moisture from it and add to the onion/garlic mix
  • In a separate bowl, mix the nutmeg, feta, eggs, spring onion, parsley, dill and seasoning and add to the spinach mix
  • Use a non-stick round baking dish around 25cm in diameter and add the filo sheets one by one brushing them with olive oil and letting the excess hang over the sides.
  • Once this is completed, add the spanakopita filling and fold over the excess filo sheets to cover it
  • Brush the top of the spinach pie with olive oil and score with a sharp knife
  • Bake in a preheated oven for 30 minutes until the filo pastry is crisp and golden
  • Let it cool down and serve with a delicious Greek salad on the side.

Find your local grocer