Ideas for Veggie Dinners

– By Natalie Tamara  Double Lemon Halloumi hi-res

Ingredients: For the halloumi: 450g halloumi cheese (I went for ‘lighter’ halloumi), cut into thick slices; Juice of one lemon; 1tbsp fresh lemon thyme, stems removed; 2 cloves garlic, crushed; Black pepper to taste. For the salad: 1 carrot, sliced into ribbons (a veg peeler is best for this job); 100g mixed shoots (lentil, pea and bean shoots are used here, but any combination like this would work); 75g mixed baby leaves (again any combination works – here it is; chard, lambs lettuce, green lettuce, red lettuce, frisée, spinach); 8 vine tomatoes, halved Balsamic glaze/dressing of your choice

Fresh lemon juice and lemon thyme combine to create aromatic halloumi, baked for a perfect crisp and served on a fresh salad of shoots and baby leaves rounded off with a balsamic glaze. Serve with
spicy sweet potato wedges.
Halloumi needs no introduction (I already did that here) but I will
say once again what a dream lemon and halloumi are together. I took
a bit of a risk for this dish combining fresh lemon juice with lemon
thyme but it was a gamble that paid off. This dish is pure spring/
summer food and definitely going to become a regular of mine.
To really allow the flavours in the marinade to permeate and
be caught by every slice, spreading the halloumi over the bottom
of a wide dish works well. Don’t be afraid to get your hands a bit
messy; rub the lemon thyme onto the cheese and in with the juice
and garlic to release the flavour.
I served this with sweet potato chips according to this recipe
with a sprinkling of smoked paprika and cayenne pepper added
before baking to give them a kick. The balsamic glaze, I must
confess, was lovingly shop-bought (from M&S). Whilst I’m sure it
would be possible to make something similar, it’s very handy to
have a bottle to pull from the back of the fridge now and then and
put the effort elsewhere.

1 Mix the lemon juice, lemon thyme, garlic and black pepper
together, ensuring the thyme leaves are well-bruised to release
the flavour. Pour this over the halloumi and marinate for twenty to
thirty minutes.
2 Preheat an oven to 200°C /180°C fan / gas mark 6.
3 Spread the marinated halloumi over a baking tray, leaving the
excess marinade in the original dish. Place in the oven and bake
for fifteen minutes – turning halfway and covering with 2/3 of the
remaining marinade.
4 In the meantime, mix the salad ingredients together.
5 When the halloumi is crisp and golden brown, remove from
the oven and cover with the remaining liquid from the marinade.
6 Place atop the salad and drizzle with the balsamic glaze.
Garnish with a sprig of lemon thyme and serve with the seasoned
sweet potato chips or your chosen side.

By Wendy
Brocolli, pesto and mushroom topped pie
Ingredients: 1 large broccoli crown; 6 oz mushrooms sliced; 1 white onion chopped; 2 cloves of garlic crushed; 1/3 cup of cashews (soaked for 1 – 4 hours); 3 tblspns olive oil; squirt of lemon juice; ground black pepper; 1 tblspn Engevita flakes or vegetarian Parmesan; 1 teaspn garlic granules; 1 sheet of Jus–Rol puff pastry (which is vegan friendly); 2 oz grated Cheddar cheese (or vegan cheese)

As the mum to a family of vegetarians and vegans, I am always
trying out new ideas for wholesome, tasty meals that everyone will
enjoy. This recipe is really delicious and is a new way to use superhealthy broccoli. It features a very versatile broccoli pesto in an open topped pie. I love open topped pies as they use only half the pastry, making them much lower in calories. They are so quick and easy to make plus they look really impressive.

1 Firstly, lightly boil or steam a large crown of broccoli florets until
2 As they are cooking fry the onion until golden brown, add mushrooms and garlic and cook down until all the excess moisture
has evaporated.
3 When the broccoli is drained, put into a food processor and blitz together with cashew nuts.
4 Add oil, lemon juice and seasoning to taste.
5 When it’s blitzed to a pesto consistency, spread onto the sheet of
pastry, leaving an inch all around the edge.
6 Top with the garlic mushroom mixture.
7 Fold over the edges of the pastry and glaze with egg or milk. Top
with grated cheese. You can sprinkle on some mixed herbs or ground
pepper, or even mixed seeds to finish.
8 Put into the oven at gas mark 6, 200°C for approximately 20-25
minutes until golden brown.
9 Once cooked, slice and serve with fresh vegetables for a really
healthy, wholesome family dinner.

Note: The broccoli pesto can also be used as a topping for
bruschetta, a sauce to toss pasta in, added to mayonnaise, added
to soups or spread on bread or crackers. It adds a nutritional
boost to mashed potato or omelettes and it can be used instead
of tomato sauce as a pizza topping. It’s a great way to get an extra
portion of vegetables into the kids.

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