Valentine’s Day tends to be one of the busiest nights for restaurants so why not cosy-up at home this year instead?
Making dinner together is a great way to unwind and get creative, without breaking the bank. Light the scented candles, stick on some music and try out this delicious three-course, energy efficient meal.
Starter – Cheese Fondue
Cheese fondue is an incredibly easy, tasty (and interactive dish) to make. Although you use the hob for this recipe, it is a very quick dish to make and therefore uses minimal energy.
1 clove garlic, halved
½ pint white wine
1 tsp lemon juice
225g emmental cheese
225g gruyere cheese
1 tsp cornflour
Bread, meat or veg for serving
Rub the inside of the fondue pot with the garlic halves
Add the white wine and lemon juice to the pot and heat until boiling. Lower the heat and gradually add in your choices of grated cheese until melted, constantly stirring.
Blend 1 tsp of cornflour and water together to thicken the texture.
Serve up with skewered bread, meat or veg and dip in!
Total time: 15mins
Main Course – Chicken with Chickpeas, Tomatoes and Chorizo
The pressure cooker is a great device for making stews full of flavour in a very short time. It will help to intensify the flavours as they cook. Pressure cookers can reduce your energy consumption for cooking by up to 70%, making it one of the most effective ways to save.
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
8 ounces of Spanish-style chorizo
1 medium onion sliced thinly
2 cans chickpeas
1 can diced tomatoes
1 whole chicken
2 cups of chicken stock
1 tbsp smoked paprika
Parsley to serve
Heat oil over medium-high heat and add chorizo, stirring until crisp.
Add 1 medium onion until softened, continue by adding the smoked paprika, chickpeas, tomatoes, chicken pieces and chicken stock
Seal pressure cooker and bring to high setting. Cook for 15 minutes. Cool the pressure cooker under a cold running tap and return to high heat whilst stirring gently.
Stir in parsley and serve.
Total time: 40 mins
Dessert – Molten Chocolate Mug Cake
This dessert can literally be made in minutes and will melt your heart. Cooked in the most energy efficient device – the microwave. Remember to switch your microwave off at the wall when you are not using it for long periods of time, as it will continue to use electricity to power its clock.
¼ cup flour
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
½ tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
3 tbsp of melted butter
3 tbsp of whole milk (at room temperature)
1 small egg
½ vanilla extract
1 oz of chocolate
1 tbsp water
Get a large mug and add the flour, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and a pinch of salt.
Add the melted butter, whole milk, egg and vanilla extract, whisk until well combined.
Place pieces of your favourite chocolate into the centre of the mug and drizzle a tablespoon of water on top.
Cook in the microwave on full power for 1 minute 25 seconds.
Let it cool for a few minutes and share with your loved one.
Total time: 5 mins
Once you’ve polished all that off why not take a break from doing the dishes and use the trusty dishwasher to help with the cleaning. Did you know, an energy-efficient setting uses around a third less water than would be used washing up in the sink?
Visit our Facebook page and join our Valentine’s Day competition for the chance to WIN a NOW TV Smart Box and Hitachi Sound Bar: https://www.facebook.com/SparkEnergyUK/