Since my last post the teens have gone back school and life has returned to its normal hectic self, hence my lack of posts. However, I have still been cooking and trying to keep inspired to make a variety of flavourful meals throughout the week. Its very easy to fall back on the tried and trusted staples, but my biggest critics aka the hungry teens, have been known to actually say those words ‘oh do we have to eat that again?!’. First world problem… they are lucky to have a fresh home cooked meal on the table every night!!
I spend time at the weekends doing a little prep to make my life easier during the week. Cooking double portions of Chilli or tomato sauce means there is always a fallback in the freezer. I plan my weekly shop so that I have the core proteins, as well as a good selection of vegetables in the fridge. We make a conscious effort to eat good carbs such as brown rice (this can be cooked ahead and kept in the freezer) and often i will substitute half quinoa for rice. Sweet potatoes feature heavily too!
For that flavour burst, I now have a jar of Zhoug in my fridge most of the time (see last post). It really is so versatile, yet takes only 15 minutes to make. This week I used it as a marinade for cod which i bake in a parcel then served with broccoli and rice noodles, and again as a marinade for chicken thighs which I roasted with sweet potato, red onion and crispy kale. I also used it as the basis of a salad dressing in a warm salad I threw together for a meat free dinner -A rough recipe to follow!
My mission on a week night evening is to have dinner on the table within 1 hour of being home – so we can eat together, and then still have some time to relax/do homework or even chores! Its always simple, but packed with flavours!
Super salad with Sweet Potato, Chickpeas, broccoli and Halloumi
3 sweet potatoes – cut into chunks
1 packet of tender stem broccoli
1 can of chickpeas – drained
1 red onion – finely sliced
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
2 packets of Halloumi
1 clove garlic
2 Tbs Zhoug
Salt to taste
Roast the sweet potato chunks with a drizzle of olive oil and 1/2 tsp cumin and some salt – should take about 25 minutes.
Take the drained chickpeas and toss with a Tbs of olive oil, 1/2 tsp cumin, salt and chilli flakes – roast in the oven until just beginning to get a little hard/crisp on the outside (20 mins)
Trim the broccoli, toss with sliced garlic, drizzle olive oil and salt – put aside to roast in the oven at the last minutes.
Put the red onions in the salad bowl with the lime juice and a little salt. Leave for 20 mins.
Slice the halloumi and grill on a griddle pan.
Add the Zhoug to the onions and toss – add a little bit more olive oil if you want a more runny dressing.
Put the broccoli in the oven for the last 10 minutes until it is slightly charred but still retains its bite.
As each ingredient is cooked, you can start to put the salad together. I put in the sweet potatoes first, then added the chickpeas and broccoli. I then drizzled with pomegranate molasses and tossed it all together. Finally i added the Halloumi and mixed gently.
Add extra lemon/pomegranate molasses to taste. You can also add fresh coriander, parsley or mint if you want. You can really add or take away what you want. Roasted pistachios or walnuts would add crunch, chicken instead of halloumi would be delicious… its just a very versatile dish. Serve at room temperature.