Some might say that starting the New Year with a large Burger King meal and a side of chilli cheese bites was a little ill-advised, but I disagree. Start as you mean to go on – and, to be fair, I was dangerously hungover at the Newport Pagnall services off the M1.
It’s a very cruel place – you have to walk over the motorway to get to the Burger King – but desperate times call for desperate measures, and Jamie and I were in no state to settle for a Waitrose sandwich. So, over the bridge we went on that New Year’s day, and dined on cold burgers on plastic trays surrounded by screaming children. It was magical.
Come to think of it, I’ve never been all that keen on New Year’s Eve. Much like Burger King, it always promises so much but ultimately leaves you unsatisfied and with a bit of a dodgy tummy.
Anyway, new year, new you, right? So, in an attempt to redeem myself, I’ve made deliciously nutritious raw kale, sweet potato and tahini bowls. Happy 2019 – let the games begin!
Kale, sweet potato & tahini bowl Serves 4 / Hands on time 45 mins / Total time 45 mins /V 2 tsp rapeseed oil
1 large sweet potato, cut into wedges
125g bulgur wheat
300ml cold water
½ vegetable stock pot, I use Knorr
4 handfuls of kale
Juice of half a lemon
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
225g halloumi, thickly sliced Dressing
2 tbs tahini paste
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
Juice of a lemon
1 tsp sea salt flakes
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbs warm water
Method 1. Preheat an oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400F/gas mark 6. Slice the sweet potato into wedges and place in a non-stick oven tray. Drizzle with rapeseed oil and sprinkle generously with salt and black pepper. Give the potatoes a good mix to make sure the wedges are evenly coated. Roast in the oven for 20 mins.
2. Meanwhile, measure out the bulgur wheat and pour into a small saucepan along with 300ml of cold water and half a stock pot. Place over a medium to high heat until boiling before turning down and simmering for 8 minutes. Once the water has absorbed, remove from the heat, give it a quick stir and cover with a lid. Put to one side.
3. To make the dressing, combine all of the ingredients together in a small bowl until you have a smooth and silky dressing. Rinse and drain the chickpeas and put both to one side.
4. After 20 minutes, remove the wedges from the over, give them a good shake before returning to the oven for a further 10 minutes.
5. In a large bowl, add 4 handfuls of kale along with a good pinch of salt, the juice of half a lemon and a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil. Using your hands, give the kale a toss and a good massage for a couple of minutes to help break down the tough fibres. Add the chickpeas and mix in half of the tahini dressing.
6. Remove the sweet potato from the oven and carefully move the wedges to one side of the tray. Place the halloumi slices evenly spaced apart on the free side and put back in the oven for 5 more minutes (you can fry the halloumi in a pan if you prefer a more charred look but for time and washing up sake, I prefer to do it this way – even if it does look a little enemic).
7. Finally, divide the bulgur wheat into bowls and top with the kale, chickpeas, roasted sweet potato, halloumi and a good drizzle of the remaining dressing.
“I’ve cut my hand Corrie!!!” Jamie screamed down the phone.
“Oh no! On what?”
“I slipped and fell on some glass”
“Oh my god! Are you okay?”
“Yeah… But I don’t think I’ll be able to do any washing up for a while…”
“Well it better be a bloody big cut!”
It was. In fact it was super gross, poor Jamie. I actually didn’t mind doing the washing up for a while but I did miss his cooking, so I thought it’d be nice to make one of his recipes, boy was I wrong! Not because his recipes aren’t delicious, they are, but my mad boyfriend is the WORST backseat driver ever, and I mean EVER!
“Oh, you’ve chopped the onions like that? Interesting”… “Don’t crush the garlic Corrie, just chop it, you know like this”… “Why are you using the big ring on the cooker, use that one”… “Oh just let me stir it, you’re doing it wrong”… “How many tablespoons of yogurt did you put in?… Corrie?… Corrie?… Corrie!”
“I PUT TWO FUCKING TABLESPOONS OF YOGURT IN JAMIE! TWO! NOT ONE, TWO! ALRIGHT???!!!”
… “You were only supposed to put in one… I’ll leave you to it.”
Halloumi & Chickpea Stew
Serves 2 / Takes 40 minutes Ingredients: 1 tsp olive oil Block of halloumi cut into chunks
Small red onion finely chopped
20 cherry tomatoes (halved)
3 garlic cloves finely chopped
1-2 tbs of water
1 red pepper sliced
Knob of grated ginger
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
half tsp of chilli flakes
1 tbs tomato puree
1 tsp brown sugar
1 can of chickpeas
4 handfuls of spinach
2 tbs of greek yogurt (extra for garnish)
Large handful of chopped parsley
Chunky fresh bread to serve
Method: 1. In a large pot, on a medium heat, cook the red onion, tomato halves and a quarter of the halloumi chunks in oil, stirring continuously. If the mix starts to get too hot, add a couple of tablespoons of water to prevent it burning. This should take around 15 minutes. (Frying a quarter of the cheese makes absolutely no sense to me but it’s Jamie’s recipe so just do it yeah? 😀 haha).
2. Mix in the chopped garlic, sliced red pepper, fresh ginger, cumin, smoked paprika, chilli flakes and cook for a further 5 minutes.
3. Add the tomato puree, passata, sugar, chickpeas and the rest of the halloumi chunks and simmer for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
4. Mix in 2 handfuls of spinach, once wilted add the other 2 handfuls and combine well along with the yogurt. Finely stir in the chopped parsley and season with black pepper (the halloumi is very salty so I wouldn’t add any extra salt). Serve with a dollop of yogurt and sliced fresh bread for dipping. Boom!
If you’ve had a go at making Jamie’s Halloumi & Chickpea Stew or any of my recipes I’d love to hear about it. @corrieheale email@example.com
My friend Anne Marie asked me recently “What’s a cheap and delicious vegetarian sandwich filling? I need one for a private event.”
I replied “Err, halloumi, tapenade, dill and cucumber with sweet red pepper?”
I’ve never actually made this sandwich before but it sounded so delicious I thought I’d give it a go. Just wish I’d made it in a kitchen that wasn’t infested with mice, yes my friends, Vince is back.
For those of you who don’t know Vince, he was a small mouse that terrorised me for several months last year. But it can’t be Vince, I’m pretty sure Vince is deceased, so who’s this guy? Must be his bigger, fatter brother, let’s call him ‘the mouse formally known as Vince’… Prince.
Prince shot out of the fruit bowl and hurled himself off the worktop after I disturbed a bag of bagels. I’d had a few wines so over reacted slightly by picking up a frying pan, flailing it around and squealing like a mad tapir. Put me right off my halloumi. Not enough to stop me eating it though obviously, would take more than a bit of mouse piss to put me off my halloumi… Bon appetite!
Ingredients: Bloomer bread
2 tsp of kalamata olive Tapenade on one slice
2tsp of houmous on the other slice
6 Slices of fried halloumi
1 roasted red pepper cut into strips (jared)
Extra Virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Finely sliced red onion to garnish
I’m not going to tell you how to make a sandwich, I’m sure you can figure this one out on your own. Enjoy!
If you’ve had a go at making my sandwich or any of my other recipes I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale firstname.lastname@example.org
Oh you’re vegetarian? That must mean you love halloumi… Well actually yes, yes it does but that being said, I’m not a huge fan of eating it off a stick, sandwiched between a couple of burnt bits of courgette and the odd tomato. Surely we can do better than that people. Disgraceful behaviour. Actually, while we’re on the subject, I just want to say that I think grilled vegetables are horrible! There I said it, so you can take your tasteless vegetable stacks and your boring vegetable skewers and throw them to the monkeys at London Zoo.
Anyway, my favourite way to eat halloumi is straight from a hot pan into a cold salad, the salad helps cut through the saltiness of the cheese making it dangerously moreish. I’ve been known to shamelessly eat an entire packet in one day, it always starts off in a salad but later I’ll fry it and put it on toast, then I’ll fry even more of it (forget the toast altogether) and just eat by itself, alone, in a dark room like some sort of giant mouse woman.
Oh and I hate monkeys, so not sure why I mentioned them earlier, they don’t deserve any air time… Look, I just don’t like their little human hands! Lets move on…
Halloumi Salad with Honey & Mustard Dressing Serves 2 / Takes 10 minutes / V Make it vegan: This salad is also lovely without the halloumi
Half a packet of halloumi, thickly sliced
1 Avocado, Skinned and sliced
2 Medium tomatoes, cut into eighths
Quarter of a red onion, finely sliced
Half a red pepper, finely sliced
Chunk of cucumber (I like to peel mine into ribbons)
Half a bag of mixed leaves
Handful of black olives in brine, roughly chopped
Spray oil Dressing:
1/2 Tbs of olive oil
1 Tbs of balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp of dijon mustard
1/2 tsp of wholegrain mustard (I like to use both mustards but you don’t have to)
1/2 tsp of honey
Salt and pepper
Serve with a couple of tablespoons of houmous and a slice of sourdough (optional)
1. Start by chopping your salady bits and bobs and put them in a large bowl. Don’t forget to salt and pepper your tomatoes separately before you add them, it makes them taste incredible. Give it a good mix and put to one side.
2. To make the dressing, pop all the ingredients in a jam jar, fasten the lid and give it a good vigorous shaking. Actually, my jam jar was dirty so I used a little jug and a spoon. Add to the salad and put to one side.
3. Slice the halloumi, spray a frying pan with oil and put on a medium to high heat. Throw the halloumi in and keep a close eye on it. Once one side is brown, turn off the heat and turn them over. The pan will still be hot so they’ll continue ti brown but not burn. Once you’re satisfied with the colour of the cheese, chuck it straight into your salad bowl, mix and pour into bowls. Season, drizzle with a bit of olive oil and serve with houmous and sourdough.
If you’ve had a go at making my salad or any of my other recipes I’d love to hear about it. @corrieheale email@example.com