Monday, 24 September 2012

'Beyond Organic' Farming

I have had the pleasure of being introduced to the Steve's Leaves brand and thought I'd tell you more about this ethical business and their operations. The review of the products feature on my consumer focused blog at TSS Reviews.

Steve's Leaves is the only salad producing company which has adopted a protocol that improves biodiversity around its crop production. Birds love to eat wildflower seeds, so wildflowers are planted aside of the farmed fields, and as many kinds of seeds from a variety of wildflower species will still manage to germinate, thrive and bloom, they will, subsequently, be visited by all those lovely insect pollinators, including bumble bees and butterflies. A patchwork of grassed areas edge those being farmed, so are intentionally left alone for mammals particularly, to inhabit and hide in. The mammals in turn will capture and eat the birds. Barn Owl boxes feature on the farming landscape too, so the owls prey on mice, voles etc and so on and so forth – a food chain, in other words,. Dr Steve Rothwell (Steve) says this kind of set up goes ‘beyond organic’. Watch the video, it is interesting viewing.

Here are a couple of delicious salad recipes. Both are using Steve’s Wild Red Rocket and Milder Leaves.  The second, however, is my own salad invention, and is a tried and tested recipe.

Avocado, Honey Chicken, Toasted Hazelnuts and Steve’s Leaves Wild Red™ Rocket & Milder Leaves

Serves 2

  • ·         1 bag of Steve’s Leaves Wild Red Rocket & Milder Leaves
  • ·         2 Chicken Breasts
  • ·         1 tbsp Honey
  • ·         1 Lemon
  • ·         1 tbsp Oil
  • ·         5-6 Radish
  • ·         ½ Avocado
  • ·         Handful Hazelnuts

Preheat the oven to 220°C.
Marinade the chicken breasts in 1tbsp honey, juice of ½ the Lemon and 1tbsp oil for 2-3 hrs.
Place the chicken in a roasting tin and spoon over the marinade.

Roast in the oven for 20 mins until cooked through.

Slice the radish and avocado then stir into the salad leaves.

Roughly chop the hazelnuts and place in a frying pan on high heat for 2-3 mins until turning brown.
Do not leave the nuts unattended as they burn very quickly.

Slice the chicken and add to the salad.

Make a dressing by combining 1tbsp olive oil, 1tsp white wine vinegar, juice of ½ lemon and 1tbsp honey.

Season with salt and pepper.

Toss the salad with the dressing then sprinkle with the hazelnuts


Ham, Egg, Sugar Snaps, Coriander and Steve’s Leaves Wild Red™ Rocket & Milder Leaves                                                                                                      
Serves 2

  • ·         1 bag of Steve’s Leaves Wild Red Rocket & Milder Leaves
  • ·         1 pack shredded, cooked, honey roast British Ham Hock (100g)
  • ·         2 boiled eggs
  • ·         100g Sugar Snaps (raw) washed
  • ·         Few sprigs of coriander (stalks removed) washed
  • ·         One of the salad dressing from the trio produced by Steve’s Leaves and available from some delicatessens, supermarkets and independents (illustration shows mint and honey)

Hard boil two eggs. Distribute the leaves from the bag, the sugar snaps and the coriander between two bowls. Once cool, shell and slice the eggs and arrange in each bowl. Empty a pile (approx 50g per serving) of shredded ham hock in the centre. Add the salad dressing. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

 Remember that:

  • Steve and his team create special habitats on their farms to encourage friendly forms of wildlife. 
  • Leaves are not grown ‘out of season’ and, therefore, are not grown under artificial light. Grown either in the UK or abroad.
  • The business promotes the importance of nutrition by blogging on the subject of healthy lifestyle matters, and by including recipes that are nutritionally balanced on the website at
  • No chlorine used in the washing and preparation of ‘ready to eat’ natural foods.

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