The Environmentally Responsible Educational and Lifestyle Company

Tag Archives: Cooking

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I could not leave this monumental event in my life pass me by without a blog post. Proudly introducing Augusta, Demellza (I’m partial to Poledark), Molly and Polly. They are fabulous hybrids and settling in so well. Sending lots of thanks to the fab family who run FarmFowl in Wicklow, Ireland. We had a lovely experience buying the very lovely chicken coop and the hen’s from you all and your help was greatly appreciated.

For years and years I have been wishing and hoping for chickens, I grew up with hens and they evoke such lovely memories, and those delicious eggs! My husband needed a LOT of convincing, and he has come around at last. I appreciate that everyone in the household needs to be on the same page, as it is a team effort. The chickens are POL’s or point of lay. They will start to lay over the next week or so. Each chicken will lay one lovely egg per day and will continue to do so for up to 4 years! We are an egg loving family and it makes sense to have organic, free range eggs on demand.

My mini chicken farmer has taken to the job really well! It is so great to see a 5 year old full of self discipline and confidence that she can do the jobs needed to keep the chickens in tip top shape. I can’t wait to see the look on Eabha’s face when the eggs arrive!

So I am learning about chicken care and I love it. I have found some great tips and would welcome any advice from any other chicken keepers out there. Any questions please ask and I will gladly share anything I know!

Interesting fact: Did you know chickens are related to the T-Rex!! Read more here.


meatfreemonday

I always love cooking without the use of meat. It not only teaches you to be resourceful and inventive in the kitchen but it is also scientifically proven to be good for you to ditch meat. Too much meat is not only bad for your body but the food production involving animals is getting increasingly intensive which is not good for the poor animal or the planet. Meat production accounts for up to 18% of the greenhouse gas production in the world – cow wind is pretty bad, poor farmers standing behind all those cow bums!! It is a Meat free Monday and sometimes Tuesday’s, Wednesday and Thursday in our home! is a great initiative set up by Sir Paul McCartney, Stella and Mary.  

Check out Meat Free Mondays HERE.

Today I am cooking my all time favourite Red Lentil Dahl from Green Saffron, another farmers market success story, Cork native and one of my favourite Indian cooking essentials. 

I am always telling people who are so afraid and confused about their own powerful impact on the earth that they CAN make a difference. It is as simple as cooking a meat free meal on Mondays for you and your family and telling everyone about it. We all can make and become the difference for our planet.


peterrabbit

What is this I hear you ask! Well I have a little girl who likes a certain few veggies but wouldn’t be a fan of things like onion, mushrooms, tomatoes etc. but, loves the soup version?!!

For me I love nothing more than seeing her polish off a big bowl of vegetable soup and it is great for clearing out the vegetable drawer saving on waste. And I find for the winter having a stock pile of soup can keep the weight down on mum and be a quick healthy option for tea for the kids.

Recently Eabha started to watch Peter Rabbit on CBeebies and loves it to bits. This love affair with Peter Rabbit is great for me as she is much more willing to try new veggies, I tell her that Peter Rabbit loves this particular vegetable, and she believes me 🙂

So my Peter Rabbit soup is simply a combination of any vegetables left over combined with an Organic stock cube, garlic, thyme, ginger and salt and pepper.

I hope this works for your little bunnies!!

 


home made hummus

We are a huge Hummus loving house hold – we all love the stuff. As a quick snack on toast or crackers or even as an aperitif for dinner guests it really is great. Hummus is actually so easy to make and is really good for you. With the benefits of raw garlic and the protein offered from the main ingredient of Chick Pea’s.

Here is how I make mine – and this is what I have found, after lots of experimenting, to be the best tasting recipe:

1 can of Chick Pea’s (any brand or cost it doesn’t matter just be sure to drain them)

1 clove of garlic (peeled and crushed)

Sunflower Oil I find is better suited as some olive oil tastes very strong – you need as much of this to make the thick paste consistency that hummus has – take a look at the picture above. Just add a glug at a time, until all of the chick peas are mashed up together.

A squirt of lemon juice and salt & pepper.

My secret ingredients are: A sprinkle of smoked paprika and of cumin (or as my aunty call’s it coming, LOL!!)

Blend together in a machine and serve. It can keep in the fridge for a day or two but is best eaten fresh.

Enjoy!

CL XX


Zero Waste Week

So, I was delighted to find out that yes there is a week dedicated to Zero Waste and it started yesterday 2nd of September and runs to 8th of September. Making a world of Zero waste deserves a week all to itself and if every house hold took part can you imagine the impact this would have??

As I am compiling my findings from my own Waste Free Home I am uncovering a few essentials that are needed within the home to really make it work:

  1. You have got to really WANT to save as much of your Trash from Landfill
  2. Your home needs to be organised with a well run kitchen – this really helps reduce food waste
  3. Your home recycling centre needs to be like that in an IKEA catalog – supper functional and organised – this makes it easy for the whole family to join in. I know that not everyone wants to do this so making it super easy is key.

Recipes – having a few easy and useful recipes that can be whipped up in a jiffy to salvage spoiled or left over foods are great. My top recipe that is fool-proof and tastes great as bread or muffins is Rachel Allen’s Banana Bread – HERE is the recipe. I always add an extra banana if I need to use them up – and I don’t fuss about the orange id I don’t have one handy.

I am realising that going old school in the kitchen and in the home really works. Even investing in Victorian style cleaning equipment and giving more elbow grease saves on chemical cleaning products that are just nasty. I found a store in Monkstown, Co. Dublin that sell a large selection of natural cleaning brushes – The Blue Door. The Downton Abbey style kitchen is one that should be emulated and shaped into the modern world – personally I would LOVE a Downton Abbey kitchen or even a house for that matter…..

If you want to find out more about the Zero Waste Week check out the website HERE.


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As my favourite month of May winds to a close I have to sit back and reflect on the great things that I have achieved since 2013 began. It all started with a very fabulous wedding to a very special man, who I have great times with. We are just embarking on a journey of discovery about ones self and what makes a marriage tick along nicely. The family life is jammed packed to the brim, you can hardly add more in – yet we all do! More kids, more responsibilities and more of the things that spur you on and get your creative juices going. For me this has to be writing about Environmental Responsibility – it gives me butterflies in my tummy and when ideas come to me I have to have a pen and paper at the ready.

The year also included my Less Is More Challenge something that I decided to do to challenge those in society who have not yet got all green and for whom the earth is just the dirt in the garden! This is by no means their fault entirely, being earthy is like a radio frequency it needs to be tuned in and well, right now it is not a major deal if people don’t regularly tune into the earth and the ways they can do simple things to help out. But alas this is all changing for the better and I cannot wait to be a part of it. With my 10 simple suggestions people will be able to feel positive about doing their green thing and being proud about it. The Less Is More Challenge is to highlight Earth Day – which is April 22nd every year. But I have plans to make this journey one that lasts the year and beyond. I also have to thank all of the brands that jumped on board for the very first Less Is More Challenge, I pulled it together really fast and all of the brands were great lending their names, discounts and freebies. I hope that 2014 will be an even better year with more brands and participants taking part. I can’t wait to do something to highlight the earth and the challenge on the 22nd day of every fourth month – April, August & December!

As May is coming to a close so to is my title as Woman of the Month from Amia Online Magazine. I was totally chuffed and really flattered that I was chosen for this title. It couldn’t have come at a better time as anyone who is self driven knows sometimes you need recognition that you are on the right path – well this article and title sorted me out big style and I was so thrilled and unaware that I had been chosen. Amia Online Magazine is a great read for all those of you who like a good variety of reading in a mag and it is online which makes it easy to get through when in the office or online at your favourite time of day.

It is my birthday on the 28th of May and I will be in Spain to celebrate and totally pull the plug out of my brain – well maybe shut my computer/brain off to 70% capacity. I cannot wait to jog every morning, buy fresh fruit in the local shop, totally detox and eat copious amounts of the most delicious ice-cream I have ever tasted. I can just taste the kinder egg flavoured ice cream now….! Indulge in prawn pill pill and warm crusty bread, drink chilled white wine at lunch time (some times when I am not on mom duties)  and play on the beach each after noon with Eabha.  I hope to  come home fully charged straight into My Waste Free Home mission. Read all about it on the Facebook page here.

Fun times ahead and I am so glad to have been born in May and a proud Gemini!


livebelowtheline2013

So it is day 2 and my kitchen has just closed and I have had another very enjoyable day. The nettle tea is flowing as I type and it is so funny the reaction a simple nettle tea has received! Wait until I tell you what I had for dinner this evening…..

Firstly I want to thank those of you who sponsored me so generously I know times are tough and some times a spare few euro are hard to come by. But I just want to THANK YOU ALL for just even reading this is supporting my cause.

As the days are unfolding I am finding out more and more about myself and my limits – although the sugar with drawl were something nasty yesterday. I am also rediscovering FOOD and our relationship with what is such a basic need. But this need has turned on its head to what it is now for billions of us – a grossly wasted want. Instead of needing food we now want and expect it and want it with all the conveniences that we have come to expect!

One of my main fundamental questions this far is – What would happen if food production failed and there were global food shortages? Can you imagine the local super markets? Can you imagine the panic of normal working people who never had to think about food – where it comes from – the waste created getting it to the convenience store that the person stopped at on the way to work. What would happen to a normal civilized society?

So for today I had my three meals and made a few interesting discoveries in my quest to find FREE foods to supplement my very small budget of €1.19.

Breakfast: Porridge with water and dollop of Strawberry Jam. And of course a pot of tea with milk.

50g of porridge = €0.04

Strawberry jam = €0.03

Reused Tea Bag = €0.02

Drop of milk = €0.05

Total: €0.14

10am Cup of coffee:

Tesco cheap and cheerful coffee 1 tsp = €0.08

Drop of milk = €0.05

Total for the cup of you could get used to the taste but does the job waking me up coffee €0.13

photo (21)Lunch: Low Fat Natural Yogurt with some porridge on top and 1/4 of an apple

4 spoons of Tesco value Low fat yogurt =  €0.10

1/4 of an apple = €0.04

1 tbls of porridge oats = €0.01

Total €0.15

 

I just had to make this picture bigger as I just noticed my dog – Callie O’Malley doing a Photo Bomb!! LOL all those who know her will know she is part human and is obsessed with the family she will look at us hail rain or shine through the window, totally dedicated. While our other dog will be off sunning herself totally oblivious to the fact she has a family!

 

 

 

photo (20)Dinner: Chipatti Pancakes with garlic mushrooms and dandelion salad!! 

3 medium sized mushrooms that I bought in the reduced isle the whole packet cost €o.45 = €0.11

I very small clove of garlic = €0.04

Drizzle of olive oil = €0.04

Salt & Pepper = €0.02

Dandelion salad was FREE and guess what more good stuff packed into these leaves and what some would consider a garden pest! I obviously googled the whole idea before I went and chewed up the lawn and I also picked them where I picked my nettles yesterday – this is actually how I began to think about can I eat Dandelions as there were so many of them around. Check out that they have been eaten for centuries and that the French folk actually grow them like lettuce, read all about it HERE.

Chipatti Pancakes were to die for and were soooooooo easy to make – not sure of the effect on the waist line but hey they only cost €0.08 to make. I will be putting the method on how to cook these and the variations you can do in the next blog. ( My 3yr old had to help me as she thought we were making play dough, but she put chocolate in hers and we folded it over and fried it on the pan – needless to say I nearly fainted at the though of this! She and her dad ate them with ice cream 😦 and I just watched…..

Total for dinner €0.29

Because today was so under budget at 0.71c I have now gone into the kitchen and God help the two Oreo cookies that will be devoured!! And another 0.20c to the bill bringing todays eating in at €0.91

Thats another €0.28 put into my Live Below The Line Jar to go to Unicef Ireland and the Syrian Children caught up in that dreadful conflict that has been going on for over 2 years.

Thank You for supporting me with how ever much you can give as every cent counts.

To support me online visit MY Unicef Fundraising Page HERE

If you know me personally or my family and friends you can give them any donations and they can pass it onto me. Alternitavely if you would like to email me please do even if its just for the chat, I love to hear how my thoughts & actions can influence people : claire@clairelewis.ie

Thank you all 🙂 XX