Grilled Halloumi & Tomato Salad

I was in the mood for a nice salad today but wanted something that wasn't completely cold.  After a rummage in my fridge, I decided to use up the rest of a pack of halloumi for a quick and easy lunch.  Also a random tip for all you dieters out there - low fat halloumi doesn't taste all that different to the full fat stuff.  In fact, it's probably the best tasting low fat vegetarian cheese in my humble opinion. 

- Halloumi, sliced
- 1 tbsp flour
- Oil for grilling
- 1 large tomato cut into quarters or a handful of cherry tomatoes
- Two large handfuls of mixed salad leaves

How to:-
1.  Preheat the grill to a high heat.
2.  Slice the halloumi and pat each slice dry with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture.
3.  Lightly coat the slices in the flour and then drizzle a little oil over them.  Place under the grill for a few minutes until it's grilled how you like it (I've only lightly grilled mine as you can see), remembering to turn it over half way so that both sides are done evenly.
4.  Place the mixed salad leaves and tomato into a bowl and arrange the grilled halloumi slices on top.


Homemade Tomato & Basil Soup

Apparently Spring is on its way, but the weather here in England is firmly holding onto Winter for the time being.  For this reason alone, I decided to make a batch of tomato and basil soup to take to work this week.  When it's freezing cold and dreary looking outside, a warming bowl of soup has a tendency to make everything seem much better (or so my mother always used to say!).

Makes around 4 portions

- 1kg ripe tomatoes
- A large handful of fresh basil leaves
- 500ml vegetable stock
- 50g butter
- 300g onions, chopped
- Olive oil

How to:-
1.  Halve the tomatoes and spread them out on a baking tray.  Drizzle a little olive oil over them and then roast them for about 30 minutes or until softened at 220C / Gas 6.
2.  Heat the butter in a large pan and stir in the chopped onions.  Sweat over a low heat until they're soft.
3.  Add the vegetable stock to the onions, stir for about 5 minutes and then add the roasted tomatoes.
4.  Remove from the heat and transfer everything into a blender. 
5.  Add the fresh basil leaves, 3tbsp olive oil and blend until smooth.
6.  Season to taste and serve with warm crusty rolls.


Grilled Flat Mushrooms with Spinach & Basmati Rice

As the weather warms up, I'm trying to eat a lot more healthier and include more greens into my diet.  I've recently started to eat a lot more spinach and love this filling, but incredibly low fat and healthy light lunch.

Serves 1 as a main

- 2 flat mushrooms, stalks removed
- two large handfuls of baby spinach
- 40g basmati rice, cooked
- 1/2 clove of garlic, finely chopped
- 1tbsp olive oil

How to:-
1.  Place the mushrooms on a baking tray and grill for 10-15 minutes, until cooked all the way through.
2.  In a saucepan, add the baby spinach, garlic and olive oil, mixing everything together over a medium heat for a few minutes.  Once the spinach has wilted, remove from the heat.
3.  Stir in the basmati rice and top the mushrooms evenly.  Serve with a garden salad if desired.