Roast Vegetable and Haloumi Salad

Roast Vegetable and Haloumi Salad

This flavour combination of grilled haloumi and fresh lemon juice is a match made in heaven! This fresh salad is perfect for your next dinner party or barbeque – it goes beautifully with beef, salmon, chicken (or even on it’s own as an appetizer).  So easy, tasty and delicious (and really good for you too!).  Every time I make this there are always fights for seconds and ultimately there is nothing left on the platter!  I hope you enjoy 🙂

Roast Vegetable and Haloumi Salad

What you will need:

  • 1 small or 1/2 a large eggplant (aubergine)
  • 3 Roma Tomatoes
  • 2 Zucchinis (courgettes)
  • Rocket (arugula) (or rocket and baby spinach mix)
  • Haloumi
  • 1/4 cup roasted pine nuts.
  • A large handful of fresh parsley leaves to garnish

For the Marinade

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Dressing:

  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika

How to pull it together:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (or 350 degrees Fahrenheit)

Cut the vegetables into wedges (I quarter the tomatoes lengthwise, the zucchinis I cut in half lengthwise and quarter, and I chop the eggplant into approx 3 inch wedges).

Lay out the vegetables on a baking tray and brush with the marinade (I like to cook the tomatoes on a separate tray to the other veggies) and cook for about 30 – 40 mins or until well roasted.

On a serving platter lay out the rocket (arugula). Place the vegetables  on top.

When ready to serve your salad, heat some olive oil or coconut oil in a pan (if you want those delicious looking grill lines use a griddle pan) and fry the haloumi until it’s golden brown.  Place on top of the vegetables and sprinkle with the toasted pine nuts and parsley.

Drizzle with the lemon and paprika dressing and serve.

Roast Pumpkin and Chickpea Salad

Roast Pumpkin and Chickpea Salad

Here is a new delicious and fresh salad which is full of flavour and nutrients!  We have had it with some pan fried salmon for an easy mid week dinner (and leftovers were perfect for lunch the next day) or it goes beautifully with a curry.  I have a feeling we will be seeing a lot of this one in our house this summer :).

Roast Pumpkin and Chickpea Salad

What you will need:

  • About 1kg (2 pounds) of diced pumpkin
  • Olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teasoons ground cumin
  • 1 400g can (14 oz) of chickpeas (preferably organic and salt free)
  • 6 shallots (scallions) chopped
  • 1 large lemon juiced and rind grated
  • 1/2 cup coriander leaves (cilantro) roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts (dry roasted)
  • 1/4 cup chopped feta
  • 1 cup chopped green beans
  • salt and pepper

How to pull it together:

Line a large roasting tray with baking paper and turn on oven to 200 degrees celcius (390 degrees Fahrenheit).

In a large bowl mix the pumpkin with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 teaspoons ground coriander and 2 teaspoons of cumin.  Season with sea salt and cracked pepper and toss to mix so that the spices coat the pumpkin.

Lay the pumpkin out on the baking tray (keep the remaining marinade in the bowl) and put in the oven for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, drain and rinse the chickpeas.  Place them in the same bowl as the pumpkin and toss to coat.

After the pumpkin has been roasting for 20 minutes, add the chickpeas to the tray and roast for a further 10 minutes.

In a jar or a bowl mix/whisk together 2 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice and lemon rind, salt and pepper.

Steam the green beans for 2 minutes (or blanch them in boiling water for 2 minutes).  Drain.

In a large bowl add the roasted pumpkin, chickpeas, 1/2 of the chopped shallots, beans, coriander, feta and dressing and toss gently to combine.  Top with remainder of shallots and pine nuts and serve.

Enjoy XX


Zesty Salsa

Zesty Salsa

It’s so quick and easy to whip up a tasty little salsa and makes such a refreshing change to steamed veggies or a green salad.  Don’t be restricted what I’ve used here – you can use what you’ve got in the fridge, some organic corn kernels would be nice here too.  We enjoyed this with salmon but would be delicious with chicken or steak.  It is the perfect accompaniment to my chicken schnitzel (recipe here).  I had the leftovers with a little bit (1/2 cup) of brown rice and a tin of tuna for lunch the next day – was really yummy!

Zesty Salsa

(serves 2-4 as a side dish)

What you will need:

  • 1 Avocado diced
  • 1 cucumber peeled and diced
  • A handful of button mushrooms diced
  • 1/2 red capsicum diced
  • 1 green chilli (seeded) finely chopped
  • 1 roma tomato or a few cherry tomatoes diced
  • 1/4 red onion finely chopped
  • About a 1/4 cup of fresh Coriander leaves (cilantro)

For the dressing:

  • The juice of 1-2 limes (depending on your taste)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper

How to pull it all together:

Shake or whisk all the dressing ingredents together.  Combine the chopped up veggies into a bowl.  Gently toss the veggies with the dressing and serve!



Jazzing Up Your Veggies – Part 1

Jazzing Up Your Veggies – Part 1

Over summer I posted an article about how to get creative with your salads.  If you want to have a look you can check it out here. I thought now, since  the weather has been a bit colder and we have been enjoying our winter veggies, that  I would share a few ways that we have been cooking them.

1.  Turmeric Cauliflower

Oh my!  I made this as an alternative to potatoes.  It was so simple, yet really tasty.  This went brilliantly with a beef curry I made, but you could just as easily serve it with anything.  It would really jazz up a roast chicken!

I chopped half a head of cauliflower into florets and boiled it in some salted water to which I added 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder.  I boiled for 5 minutes.  Then I drained the cauliflower and tossed in a little olive oil (although coconut oil would also work really well here) and baked in a moderate oven for about 30 minutes or until nicely roasted.

turmericcauliflower2.  Cinnamon Baked Sweet Potato

Sweet potato, sea salt and cinnamon is a match made in heaven!  Chop up a sweet potato, lightly coat in olive oil (or coconut oil) and sprinkle with some cinnamon and sea salt.  Soooo yummy!

cinnamonsweetpot3.  Eggplant and Tomato Bake

I posted my recipe for Eggplant and Tomato Bake here.  It is so versatile – goes brilliantly with chicken, fish, my healthy schnitzel (recipe here), steak – or even by itself as an entree.  For Thermomix owners – I have adapted the sauce recipe so that it is Thermomix friendly.


4.  Pumpkin/Cauliflower mash

This is what I use to top my shepherds pie (recipe here).  It is so simple and delicious.  Much more flavour than mashed potato and much better for you.   I have also included a Thermomix version of this recipe here too.

What you will need:

  • 1/2 head of cauliflower (chopped/broken into florets)
  • 1 cup diced butternut pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon organic grass fed butter or Ghee (optional)

How to pull it together:

Steam or boil the cauliflower and pumpkin until soft.  Drain if necessary.  Add 1 tablespoon of butter and blitz in a food processor or with a hand held blender until smooth. You may need to add a bit of liquid to improve consistency (water, stock, milk – whatever you would prefer)

Thermomix version of crust:

If making in a Thermomix cook the cauliflower and pumpkin and about 1/2 cup of water and a tablespoon of Thermomix vegetable stock for 20 minutes speed 1 at 100 degrees.  Make sure it is cooked through.  Add the butter or ghee.  Attach the butterfly attachment and blitz for 20-30 seconds speed 3-4.

5.  Spiced Roast Veggies

Although these make a perfect side dish, this is my current favourite ‘light’ dinner. If I feel that we have over-indulged I’ll make this for hubby and I to have for dinner.  I always wake up feeling cleaner and lighter.

Chop up a variety of your favourite veggies – I like to use whole button mushrooms, diced eggplant, cauliflower florets, zucchini (courgettes) and pumpkin.  A couple of chopped tomatoes would be nice too.  I toss the veggies in some olive oil with about a teaspoon each of cinnamon, ground corriander, turmeric, sea salt, chilli flakes and cumin – but feel free to play around with the quantities of the spices.  It’s a great blend!

If you like you could add a dollop of pesto (my recipe for basil pesto is here) or even some hummus or a little creme fraiche (a little bit goes a long way).

I hope you enjoy some of these ideas, my repertoire is constantly expanding so watch out for the sequel to this post 🙂

Roast Chicken with Sumac, Za’atar and Lemon

Roast Chicken with Sumac, Za’atar and Lemon

Here is that delicious chicken recipe I was talking about a few weeks ago.  It is so simple and easy to prepare, it cooks itself in the oven and is so flavoursome!  It is another recipe from the talented Yottam Ottolenghi.  I love how he uses fresh ingredients and herbs and spices to enhance the flavours of his food – as I’ve said so many times you really don’t have to suffer to eat well!!!  Try this recipe next time you are entertaining a crowd – it is delicious with the Haloumi and Grilled vegetable salad or any other salad from the shrinking hubby ….

This recipe really benefits from preparing the chicken the day before so it can marinate overnight in the fridge.  I love marinating overnight as it makes it so much easier when the time comes to prepare the food – especially when entertaining.  One less thing to worry about on the day …

Roast Chicken with Sumac, Za’atar and Lemon

(Serves 4)

You will need:

1 large organic or free range chicken cut into 4 pieces (breast and wing, leg and thigh).  You can ask your butcher to do this for you.

2 red onions thinly sliced

2 crushed garlic cloves (or 2 teaspoons of organic crushed garlic)

4 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra drizzling

1 1/2 teaspoons ground all spice (pimento)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon sumac

1 lemon thinly sliced

1 cup chicken stock or water (I have used both and both are equally as good)

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoon za’atar

20g unsalted organic butter (11/2 tablespoons)

1/4 cup pine nuts

4 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley

How to pull it together

1.  In a large bowl, mix the chicken with the onions, garlic, olive oil, spices, lemon and stock/water, salt and pepper.  Leave in the fridge to marinate for a few hours or overnight.

2.  When ready to cook, preheat oven to 200 degrees celcius (390 degrees Fahrenheit).  Transfer the chicken and its marinade to a baking tray large enough to accommodate the chicken lying flat and spaced apart.  Chicken should be skin side up.  Sprinkle the za’atar over the chicken and onions and put the tray in the oven.  Roast for 30-40 minutes, until the chicken is coloured and just cooked through.

3.  Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small frying pan.  Add the pine nuts and a pinch of salt and cook over moderate heat until they turn golden.  Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel to absorb the fat  (First time I made this I skipped the butter but it is soooo worthwhile – just make sure you drain on paper towel!!!).

4.  Transfer the hot chicken and onions to a serving plate and finish with the chopped parsley, pine nuts and a drizzle of olive oil.  You can sprinkle on more za’atar and sumac if you like …




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