Top Ten Things Earth Hour Dinners

It’s Earth Hour tomorrow which means that, if you are taking part, from 8:30pm – 9:30pm all non-essential electrical items are turned off, which means pretty much everything. So what if you want to cook? While we have a gas stove and therefore do not need electricity to use it many people – especially apartment dwellers – have electric stoves, so what to make for dinner? Here are ten ideas for electricity not require meals:

1. Tomato “Bruschetta” with Tuna & Canellini Salad


5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Finely shredded zest of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons chopped chives
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, plus more for garnish
1 can (15 oz.) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 cans (5 oz. each) tuna, drained and broken into chunks
3 green onions, thinly sliced
4 to 8 thick slices large heirloom tomatoes (we especially love Brandywine)


1. In a medium bowl, whisk together oil, lemon zest and juice, salt, pepper, and chives. Add parsley leaves, beans, tuna, and onions and stir gently just until coated.

2. Arrange tomato slices on 4 plates and spoon tuna mixture on top, dividing evenly. Top each salad with a few parsley leaves if you like.

Recipe courtesy of My Recipes

2. Hiyayakko (Japanese Cold Tofu)


1 block of silken or firm tofu
2-3 teaspoons soy sauce
Toppings of your choice (chopped scallion, grated ginger, sesame seeds, etc.)


Drain the water from the tofu. Cut the block in half and, optionally, into ½-inch cubes. Put each serving in a small bowl and drizzle with 1 to 1 ½ teaspoons of soy sauce, or to taste. Pile on the toppings of your choice. Serve immediately.

Recipe courtesy of The Kitchn

3. Rotisserie Chicken with Peaches, Walnuts, and Basil


2 tablespoons walnut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon peach jam
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 ripe yellow peaches, peeled and sliced
1 rotisserie chicken, quartered and skinned
1/2 cup basil leaves
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup glazed walnuts or other glazed nuts, chopped


1. In a medium bowl, whisk together oil, jam, cayenne, vinegar, and salt. Add peach slices and gently toss to coat with dressing.

2. Arrange chicken on a large platter. Evenly spoon peaches and dressing over chicken. Sprinkle with basil, feta, and walnuts.

Recipe courtesy of My Recipes

4. Simple Shrimp Ceviche



1/2 lb. (~250 g) raw shrimp

1 large tomato, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 a jalapeño pepper, minced (optional)
1/2 an avocado, cubed
Juice of 1 orange
Juice of 2 lemons
Juice of 2 limes
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Peel and devein the shrimp, if necessary. Chop the shrimp into small pieces.
  2. Prepare the veggies: dice the tomato, mince the garlic and jalapeño, and cube the avocado. If you want the ceviche to be spicier, you can leave the seeds in or add more jalapeño.
  3. Mix the shrimp, tomato, garlic, jalapeño and avocado in a bowl. Squeeze the citrus juice on top and combine. There should be enough liquid to cover the shrimp.
  4. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours or until the shrimp has turned from translucent to opaque.
  5. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste and top with chopped cilantro.

Recipe courtesy of Stupid Easy Paleo


5. Zucchini Noodles with Pesto


4 small zucchini, ends trimmed
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Cherry or grape tomatoes, optional


1. Use a Julienne peeler or mandolin to slice the zucchini into noodles. Set aside.

2. Combine the basil and garlic in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the lemon juice and Parmesan cheese. Pulse until blended. Season with salt and pepper. (You can always buy the pesto, since you shouldn’t be using an electric appliance to make your pesto!)

3. Combine the zucchini noodles and pesto. Toss until zucchini noodles are well coated. Top with tomatoes, if using. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Note-if you want to cook the zucchini noodles, you can. Just add the zucchini pesto noodles to a skillet and sauté them up over medium heat. It only takes a few minutes.

Recipe courtesy of Two Peas & Their Pod.

5. Sashimi

Yes you can do it at home, and it isn’t as hard as you think, all you need is a decent knife. Check out BGB New Zealand for more information on how.

6. Vietnamese Summer Rolls or Goi Cuan with Mango Recipe


2 oz dried rice sticks or rice vermicelli (available in Asian section of most grocery stores)
6 rice paper wrapper sheets (called ‘bahn trang’ – available in Asian section of grocery store)
a large bowl of water to dip rice paper sheets
6 sprigs cilantro
6 sprigs mint
6 leaves lettuce, rib/stem removed (I like boston lettuce)
1 small ripe mango, peeled and cut into strips (substitute with shredded purple cabbage, cucumbers, savoy cabbage, bean sprouts)
1 carrot, peeled and cut into match sticks


Soak rice sticks in boiling water for about 3 minutes or till soft. Drain well.

Dip the rice paper sheets in water, making sure all sides are wet. Shake off excess water. Place on a clean work surface. Place a sprig each of cilantro and mint in the front 1/3s of the rice paper sheet. Then place lettuce leaf, a little rice noodles, carrot, and mango slices. Fold and roll the summer roll – see photos above for details on how to roll Vietnamese summer roll.

Serve immediately with vegetarian Vietnamese dipping sauce (recipe below). To store, put rolls on a plate, cover with a damp paper towel. Then cover plate completely with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Recipe courtesy of Veggie Belly

 7. Beef Tartare


1 pound best-quality beef tenderloin*

3 tablespoons chopped drained capers
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped cherry pepper or red jalapeño
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot, rinsed in cold water
Kosher salt
4 best-quality large egg yolks*
Freshly ground black pepper
Dijon mustard, cornichons, and toasted country-style bread (for serving)


Chill beef in freezer 15 minutes; cut into ¼” pieces. Mix beef, capers, parsley, oil, cherry pepper, and shallot in a chilled large bowl; season with salt.

Divide tartare among chilled plates and top with egg yolks; season with salt and black pepper. Serve with mustard, cornichons, and toast.
*Raw egg and beef are not recommended for infants, the elderly, pregnant women, or people with weakened immune systems.
Recipe courtesy of Bon Appetit

8. Candle Lit Cheese and Wine Night

Why not put together an indoor picnic, get a few nibbley bits from the shops, make some sandwiches or dips, open up a bottle and enjoy the candle light, you may find yourself going electricity-less for more than the hour asked of you!

9. Raw Stuffed Mushrooms


  • 4 large portobella mushroom caps
  • 3 cups diced tomato, divided
  • 1 cup diced sweet onion, divided
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons tamari
  • 2 tablespoons coconut nectar or liquid sweetener of choice
  • 4 cups spinach, crushed
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • Himalayan salt and pepper to taste


1. Rub mushroom caps inside and outside with two tablespoons of tamari. Set aside.

2. Place half the tomatoes and half the onions in a bowl. Stir in the remaining 1/4 cup tamari and the coconut nectar. Make sure all the tomatoes and onions are coated. Spread on a non-stick dehydrator sheet and dehydrate, along with the mushroom caps for 2-4 hours at 115 degrees.

3. When the tomatoes and onions are done, mix together with the remaining tomatoes, onions, spinach, olives and pine nuts. Salt and pepper to taste.

4. Spoon tomato mixture into mushroom caps and top with garlic cashew cream.

Recipe courtesy of Rawmazing

10. sandwiches

Yep, why not just make yourself a lovely sandwich, make it hearty and filling with deli meats, throw in some vegetables and some cheese, maybe a little sauce and create yourself the perfect dinner sandwich!

Don’t forget, you could always BBQ your dinner if you have a gas braai, or you could always just make your dinner ahead of time, or even eat earlier, but it’s good to have options!


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