Not vegan, no; but …

Vegetarian.

Again.

I was vegetarian for 6 years, until I started feeling faint a lot; so I gave it up and went back to being an omnivore. But even then I wasn’t eating a whole big lot of meat. My diet has always consisted of many vegetarian meals, interspersed with the occasional chilli con carne, or baked spaghetti, or curry, or stir-fry with chicken.

Now, having just the other day been reminded (in a book review by Whispering Gums) of the wonderful pleasure in NOT eating animals that have been pretty brutally killed – and honestly, when you look at it like that, it’s simply disgusting ! – I was very easily persuaded to follow the pendulum back again in changing my eating habits.

I have not the slightest intention of proselytising, I assure you.

This means only that I shall, every now and then, post an especially yummy recipe. It will be, of course, vegetarian; but it will be one that omnivores would enjoy if they gave it a burl.   :)

Shall I start with today …?

Why not ?!

Let’s start small …


Asparagus & halloumi entrée

Cooking Time, 15 minutes: Serves, 4

 Ingredients

  • 1½ tbsps olive oil
  • 2 bunches asparagus, woody ends broken off
  • 1 x 250g pkt halloumi cheese, drained, cut into 4 lengthways
  • 60g baby mesclun
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Method

  • Heat 2 tsp of the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the asparagus and cook, stirring, for 4-5 minutes or until bright green and tender crisp. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
  • Reheat pan over high heat. Cook the halloumi for 1 minute each side or until golden.
  • Divide mesclun and asparagus among serving plates.
  • Top with a slice of halloumi. Drizzle with the remaining oil and season with pepper.

You will come to realise that almost every recipe I make contains either extra virgin olive oil or olive oil. I think it’s because Stringer’s sublime cooking skills always did – and why would I be likely to not do what he did ?   :)

Hold the phone !

Have just decided to add a second one, because it’s a kind of alternative and you would tell yourselves “Oh, she’s already posted this one – pfuh !” when you started to read it. But it’s actually quite different in all respects but one !


Pan-fried Halloumi Salad

Ingredients

  • some mint and parsley, chopped roughly
  • garlic clove, diced
  • ½ lemon
  • ½ long red chilli, finely diced
  • 80g halloumi
  • tbsp olive oil
  • 2 roma tomatoes cut into wedges
  • sprinkle paprika
  • tsp raw sugar
  • some cos lettuce

Method

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
  • In a large bowl add the chopped herbs, diced garlic and chilli, the zest of the half lemon and its juice and the olive oil.
  • Slice the halloumi into 1cm thick rounds and toss around in the herb mixture, setting aside to marinate for 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, arrange the tomato wedges on a baking tray; sprinkle with sugar and paprika, a little salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.
  • Roast in the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes until soft and golden. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  • Place a large fry pan over a medium-high heat; once at temperature, add the halloumi mixture to the pan.
  • Fry until halloumi is golden (about 3′-4’) then remove from heat.
  • Arrange the lettuce leaves on a plate, top with the cooled roasted tomatoes and then the halloumi mixture; dress with remaining pan juices.

Believe me: this is VERY yummy indeed !