Halloumi Rainbow Salad

This is one of my favourite salads & is based on this delicious recipe. It’s also great to take to work for lunch – I just need to be extra careful when eating the beetroot at my desk!

Halloumi Rainbow Salad

Halloumi Rainbow Salad

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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The kids love this salad, apart from the beetroot,so I have to serve it on the side when giving it to them.

Ingredients for the Salad

  • 1 pack of halloumi
  • 1 sweet pepper, sliced
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 pack of beetroot, cut into small chunks
  • 1 pack of baby plum tomatoes, halved
  • 1 spring onion (optional), sliced
  • 1 Packet of rocket & other salad leaves
  • Olive oil

and for the Dressing

  • 1 tsp good olive oil
  • 0.5 tsp lemon juice
  • 0.25 tsp dried chopped chilli

Instructions

  1. Warm some olive oil in a frying pan.
  2. Slice the halloumi & fry for a few minutes on each side until a nicely browned. Cool on some kitchen roll when cooked.
  3. Mix the dressing ingredients together in a bowl.
  4. Chop peppers, peel & grate the carrot, halve the tomatoes & slice the spring onions.
  5. Plate the salad (or put in your lunchbox) and top with the cooled halloumi. Either pour over the dressing, or pop into a little dressing pot to take in your lunchbox.

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Flatbread

We *love* flatbread & for years we have been buying it pre-made from the supermarket. However, in my quest to reduce the amount of plastic waste we generate I looked into making it ourselves & it is SO very easy to make, we haven’t looked back & I get the kids (5, 8 & 11) to make it whenever possible! ūüôā

Here’s a link to the original recipe – we slightly reduce the salt & omit the herbs because the children prefer it plain. The recipe makes three flatbreads which is perfect for us (2 adults, 3 kids). I did get greedy once & made more, but it was just too much for us. I did then discover that if I baked it in the oven again for a few minutes, it made tasty nacho chips for snacking on the following day.

If you don’t have any self-raising flour in the cupboard, then you can sub it with:

  • 1.75 cups plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 0.5 tsp salt

Flatbread

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Flatbread

Easy to make & tastes delicious

Ingredients

  • 1.75 cups Self-Raising Flour
  • 0.5 cup olive oil
  • 0.5 cup water

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 230 C
  2. Mix the flour, baking powder & salt together in a bowl
  3. Stir in the water & 1/3 cup of the oil *** not all of the oil!! ***
  4. Kneed until it makes a nice soft dough
  5. Cut some parchment paper to fit your big baking tray (a pizza tray is perfect)
  6. Split the dough into thirds & shape into balls
  7. Roll each ball into a 10″ circle on the parchment paper
  8. Put onto the baking tray, lightly brush with oil & bake for 8-10 minutes until golden brown.
  9. Repeat with remaining dough

Flatbread

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Flatbread

Easy to make & tastes delicious

Ingredients

  • 1.75 cups Self-Raising Flour
  • OR
  • 1.75 cups plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • 0.5 cup olive oil
  • 0.5 cup water

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 230 C
  2. Mix the flour, baking powder & salt together in a bowl
  3. Stir in the water & 1/3 cup of the oil *** not all of the oil!! ***
  4. Kneed until it makes a nice soft dough
  5. Cut some parchment paper to fit your big baking tray (a pizza tray is perfect)
  6. Split the dough into thirds & shape into balls
  7. Roll each ball into a 10″ circle on the parchment paper
  8. Put onto the baking tray, lightly brush with oil & bake for 8-10 minutes until golden brown.
  9. Repeat with remaining dough

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Chickpea Salad

This was inspired by this delicious Roasted Chickpea Salad, but needed some alterations to suit the picky children everyone’s tastes… The plate shown was beautifully laid out by DC1 (10).

Chickpea Salad

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Chickpea Salad

Great for a take-to-work lunch too!

Ingredients

  • 1 tin chickpeas
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 cucumber, chopped
  • 3 carrots, spiralised
  • 1 punnet grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 large tin sweetcorn
  • 2 avocados, minimum

Instructions

  1. Drain the chickpeas
  2. Chop lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, corn, and avocado.
  3. Spiralise (or grate or chop) carrots.
  4. Mix it all together in a bowl & drizzle with the Olive Oil before serving

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Mini Wraps

Mini Wraps
Mini Wraps

I’m always looking for quick & easy meals for the kids, especially ones which can be prepped ahead. ¬†I spotted these spicy bean wraps while having a nose around on the Vegetarian Society’s Website¬†& thought the kids would love them. ¬†For a bit of variety I also made some carrot & hummus, and cream cheese & tomato ones too.

Strangely, neither DC1(5) or DC2 (3) were that keen on the bean ones, but luckily loved the other ones. ¬†I’ll definately be making them again though as DH & I really liked them all!

Mini Wraps

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Make-ahead wraps from the Vegetarian Society

These should all be made at least 4 hours before you need them, wrapped in cling-film & left in the fridge.

Credit: The Vegetarian Society

Ingredients

For the Spicy Bean Wraps

  • 75g vegetarian cream cheese
  • 3 tsp dried chives
  • 400g tin of kidney beans, drained
  • 1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp tomato pur√©e
  • 2 x 25cm tortilla wraps

For the Hummus & Carrot Wraps

  • hummus
  • 1 carrot, peeled & grated
  • 2 x 25cm tortilla wraps

For the Cheese & Tomato wraps

  • 75g vegetarian cream cheese
  • 4¬†tomatoes, pips removed & diced
  • 2 x 25cm tortilla wraps

Instructions

For the Spicy Bean Wraps

  1. rinse & drain the beans
  2. mix the cream cheese & chives together
  3. divide the mix between the two tortilla wraps & spread evenly
  4. put the beans into a bowl & slightly mash using a fork. Mix in the remaining ingredients
  5. divide the mix between the two tortilla wraps & spread over the top of the cream cheese, leaving a 2cm gap at the top of each wrap
  6. roll the tortilla into a sausage shape from the bottom towards the 2cm gap you left at the top
  7. wrap the tortillas in cling film & put in the fridge for at least 4 hours
  8. when ready to serve, remove from the fridge & slice

For the Hummus & Carrot Wraps

  1. spread the hummus evenly over two tortilla wraps
  2. sprinkle the grated carrot over the top of the hummus, leaving a 2cm gap at the top of each wrap
  3. roll the tortilla into a sausage shape from the bottom towards the 2cm gap you left at the top
  4. wrap the tortillas in cling film & put in the fridge for at least 4 hours
  5. when ready to serve, remove from the fridge & slice

For the Cheese & Tomato Wraps

  1. spread the cream cheese evenly over two tortilla wraps
  2. scatter the diced tomato over the top of the cheese, leaving a 2cm gap at the top of each wrap
  3. roll the tortilla into a sausage shape from the bottom towards the 2cm gap you left at the top
  4. wrap the tortillas in cling film & put in the fridge for at least 4 hours
  5. when ready to serve, remove from the fridge & slice

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Mexican Quinoa Salad

Mexican Quinoa Salad
Mexican Quinoa Salad

Since DC3’s arrival I’ve been trying to make my life easier when it comes to meal prep, so I’ve been looking for some interesting salads that are easy to make, I can eat at home, DH can take to work & the kids can have for their tea – this¬†Mexican Quinoa Salad recipe¬†seemed to fit the bill.

The first time I made it I over-cooked the quinoa & there was far too much of it, so the next time I reduced the quanity & the cooking time and it was much better.  I also omitted the spring onions, and garlic as neither I or the kids are keen on the in salads (sorry DH!)   I also added some avocado, just because we love it

Mexican Quinoa Salad

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients Ingredients

  • 0.5 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 400g tin black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 325g¬†tin sweetcorn, drained
  • 1.5 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 0.5¬†cup chopped fresh corriander(or more to taste)

Dressing

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Juice from 1 lime

to serve

  • ciabatta or other nice bread
  • 1 avocado, diced

Instructions

  1. Rinse and drain quinoa.
  2. Add to a pan of boiling water & cook for 10 minutes (this was perfect for me, YMMV)
  3. Rinse and drain black beans
  4. In a small bowl, add dressing ingredients and whisk together to thoroughly combine.
  5. In a large bowl, add the cooked quinoa with all other salad ingredients.
  6. Pour dressing over the top and toss to combine or serve with the dressing on the side.
  7. Can either serve immediately or chill before serving.

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Thai Peanut Noodle Salad

Thai Peanut Noodle Salad
Thai Peanut Noodle Salad

I’ve been on the lookout for salads the whole family will enjoy & this recipe¬†from the Oh She Glows Cookbook (on my amazon wish list!) is a noodly variation on our favourite raw pad thai¬†& everyone loved it.

Thai Peanut Noodle Salad

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

for the sauce

  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 2 tbsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp. peanut butter or almond butter
  • 2 tbsp¬†grated fresh ginger (optional)
  • 3 tbsp. fresh lime juice, plus more as needed
  • 2 tbsp¬†plus 1 tsp low-salt soy sauce or tamari

for the salad

  • 4 portions of soba noodles
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for the noodles
  • 1 (16 oz) bag frozen shelled edammame, thawed
  • 1 sweet red pepper, diced
  • 0.5 cucumber, diced
  • 1 carrrot, julienned
  • 4 spring¬†onions, chopped, plus more for serving (we omitted this as the kids don’t like them)
  • 0.25 cup fresh corriander¬†leaves, chopped
  • sesame seeds, for serving

Instructions

  1. Make the Sauce: Combine the garlic, sesame oil, peanut butter, ginger, and 2-3 Tbl water in a food processor and process until smooth.
  2. Make the noodles: Cook the soba noodles according to the instructions on the package. Drain the noodles and rinse them under cold water. Transfer to a large bowl and toss them with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil (to prevent them from sticking).
  3. Make the salad: Add the edamame, bell peper, cucumber, carrot, spring onions, and coriander to the bowl with the noodles and toss until well combined.
  4. Serve!

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Raw Pad Thai

Raw Pad Thai
Raw Pad Thai

When I saw this recipe on Oh She Glows I just knew I had to make it!  Or rather eat it, anything involving this much chopping I hand over to DH, as although I am perfectly capable, it will take me forever!

After reading the original post, I haven’t been able to justify getting a spiralizer (yet), but I did immediately order a Julienne Peeler, which DH tells me is fab.

Despite some initial suspicion from DD1(5) about the ‘sauce’, the kids both love this & the amount below serves the four of us perfectly.

Blank

  • Servings: 3
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 medium courgette, julienned or spiraled
  • 2 large carrots, julienned
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
  • 3/4 cup edamame
  • 3 spring¬†onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon hemp seeds
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds

for the dresssing

  • 1 garlic clove
  • 0.25¬†cup no added salt or sugar peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons low-salt soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2.5 teaspoons pure maple syrup (or other sweetener)
  • 0.5¬†tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

Instructions

  1. prep the courgette, carrots, pepper and cabbage & put into a large bowl to mix
  2. make the dressing by mixing all the ingredients with a whisk or in a mini food processor
  3. serve the salad topped with the edamame, spring onions, seeds & dressing

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White Bean and Avocado Sandwich

White Bean & Avocado Sandwich
White Bean & Avocado Sandwich

A few weeks ago the unthinkable happened….. I got bored of hummus! <gasp!> ¬†I couldn’t quite believe it myself, but even with a variety of additions (salad, harissa, avocado) I had eaten it so much I was bored of it!

So, an alternative was needed, and after a quick google I found this Smashed White Bean & avocado sandwich which saved the day ūüôā ¬†It’s one of those things that is so simple to make you feel a bit silly writing it down… but these days I need to write things down so I remember them!

To be perfectly honest, I’m not a huge fan of sandwiches – I tend to see them as a last resort, but they are just SO easy to make & convienient to eat at work, I usually have them a couple of times a week. ¬†My current bread of choice is Warburtons Brown Thins – just enough bread to hold the filling in, but not so much that they become too heavy & stodgy (I don’t want to fall asleep at my desk!)

White Bean and Avocado Sandwich

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 tin of white beans e.g. Canellini
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • freshly ground salt & pepper
  • your favourite sandwich bread
  • 2 avocados, sliced
  • half a cucumber, sliced
  • sprouts e.g. Alfalfa (optional)

Instructions

  1. drain & rinse the beans & put into a bowl
  2. roughly mash with a potato masher or fork
  3. add oil, salt & pepper to taste
  4. make a sandwich with it & then avocado/cucumber/sprouts

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Bean & Rice Burritos

Bean & Rice Burritos
Bean & Rice Burritos

I found this burrito recipe on Vegetarian Dad’s blog¬†& thought I’d give it a go to see if it would be a suitable take-to-work lunch.

DH ended up making them while I played with the kids. ¬†We both enjoyed them, but I did think they were a bit dry & will add some kind of yogurty/sour cream/sauce the next time we make them. ¬† ¬†Unfortunately the kids weren’t so keen which surprised me as they both love beans, rice & carrots! – DD1(5) is being ultra-fussy about anything ‘spicy’ at the moment, and as soon as she says she doesn’t like something, DD2 (2.5) just says the same <sigh>

Ingredients

  • 6 large tortilla wraps
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 100g mature cheddar cheese, grated
  • 3 spring onions, roughly chopped (optional)
  • 1 large courgette, coarsely grated
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 75g white long grain rice, boiled and drained
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 1 400g tin of pre-cooked kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 green chilli, deseeded and chopped (optional)
  • 3 tbs sunflower oil, for roasting

to serve

  • ¬†green salad, guacamole or salsa

Instructions

  1. Have you cooked the rice yet?  If not, do it now!
  2. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  3. Combine all of the filling ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
  4. Place a good measure of the mixture into the tortillas and roll to form wraps folded at both ends.
  5. When all of the mixture is used up, place the wraps on a roasting or baking tray and brush all over with the oil.
  6. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes until lightly brown, turning once.
  7. When cool, halve the wraps and serve with a green salad, guacamole or salsa of your choice.

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Roasted veg & couscous salad

Roasted veg & couscous salad
Roasted veg & couscous salad

I am so very, very, very bored of taking sandwiches to work for lunch I thought I would make this. ¬† ¬†When I lived alone, I just to eat loads of roasted veg as it was so quick & easy to make, and now it’s even quicker if I get DH to do the chopping!

We shopped so much veg we had to use two trays to roast it in, but still ate the lot between us, although we wished we had had taken about half the amount in & topped the lunch boxes up with salad – we wouldn’t have been quite so stuffed & it would have lasted two days!

I missed out the garlic, as I didn’t want to stink the office out (I eat at my desk)

The original recipe says the amounts below will serve 4 for “a lunchbox meal”

Ingredients

  • 1 red and 1 yellow pepper, halved and deseeded
  • ¬Ĺ butternut squash
  • 2 courgettes, thickly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, leave skin on
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion, thickly sliced
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp harissa paste
  • 50g whole blanched almonds
  • 250g couscous
  • 300ml hot vegetable stock
  • zest and juice 1 lemon
  • 20g pack mint, roughly chopped

Ingredients

  1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
  2. Cut peppers and squash into bite-size pieces (leave skin on the squash).
  3. Tip all the veg into a baking tray, add garlic, 2 tbsp oil and seasoning, then mix and roast for 20 mins.
  4. Add onion, cumin, harissa and almonds.
  5. Roast for another 20 mins, then cool.
  6. Put couscous into a large bowl, pour over the stock, cover, then set aside for 10 mins.
  7. When cooked, fluff up with a fork.
  8. In a bowl, mix zest, juice and remaining oil.
  9. Squeeze garlic pulp from skins into the bowl, mash well and fold in the mint.
  10. Pour over the veg, then toss with the couscous.

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