16 March 2012

Midweek Veggie Night...



...Hi guys, it's midweek (well it was when I made this meal earlier in the week!!!)...which means meat-free meal time...As I said a while ago on here, we try to eat meat-free at least once a week, but more often than not twice...I seem to recall a while ago the push for flexitarianism...where you mainly eat a veggie diet, but are pretty cool about the odd bit of meat...well we are kind of midway between that and being omnivores...in that we do like red meat (in moderation of course!!), white meat and fish...but we also eat a hell of a lot of veggies...So what are we trying to do by taking this approach to eating??? Trying to eat a balanced diet I would say, with the odd treat thrown in for good measure...Ooops...rant over...to the food...
I had some lovely veggies in the kitchen, sat there tempting me...what could I do with them?? I didn't really want to stir-fry, wasn't in the mood to stand and watch over food...I was tired and wanted something that I could 'semi-leave alone' to do it's own thing, but didn't have the time for a 'slow-cooked in the oven' meal (and I don't own a slow cooker!!)...what to do ?!? Then the smallish people asked for grilled haloumi with their dinner...and that was it...the seed was sown, the idea was there...oven-roasted veg with haloumi...and I had some leftover saffron risotto, so some arancini to start!!! Fab!!! Meal sorted...


So to the smallish people first...as it was midweek, they were eating separately to us bigger folk, and yes, when I can get it into their week, they eat meat-free too...it's tricky, very tricky! But it is possible in our house...occasionally...
Right enough waffle from me, the food...




The haloumi is griddled in our house, with just a brushing of olive oil on the cheese...


 Emily asked for salad with her haloumi, and insisted on doing it herself...so here is hers...pretty as a picture...


BEFORE.....

...and AFTER!! Think she enjoyed it!!
















Alex on the other hand fancied some couscous with his...he likes a pared-down version of my couscous salad, with his haloumi...


One thing they do agree on though is griddled flat bread to go with it all...No I didn't make it...although I may try one day...












...So to our larger person meal, the arancini were first on my to do list...but I'm going to be mean and put that in a separate post...here...plus they would make this an extremely long post!! But here is the veggies and couscous 'recipe'...


 the veggies I had to roast were:
*a bunch of fresh beetroot
*some peppers
*courgettes
*red onion, and
*a coquina squash




...so I cleaned and chopped, tossed in olive oil, seasoned and put into a hot oven for about 30-40 mins...and they were done...look at how they glisten...and I don't use a lot of oil, I brushed it over the top before popping them in the oven

While they were roasting I measured out 150g couscous, put it into a large bowl with a handful of raisins and a handful of craisins. Then I covered it with about 160ml stock mixed with about 2tsp mint jelly (if going totally veggie obviously use a veg stock...but I used chicken) it needs to be just covered with the liquid you are using. I covered it and left it for 10 mins...Yay!! another 'leave it to do it's own thing' recipe...no real cooking involved here...Once the 10mins is up, fluff it with a fork and add some fresh herbs - I used coriander and mint...a bit of seasoning, the juice of an orange and mix...



Then you just need to carefully stir it into the roasted veggies...I do this in the roasting tin as it means all the flavour from the olive oil the veggies are roasted in gets mixed in too...and I find the best tool for the job is my fish slice, as you can fold the veggies into the couscous without 'mashing' them up at all...


Mmmm pretty colours!! Looks good enough to eat!


But a word of advice...don't try to dish up using the fish slice...all the couscous falls through the slots!!! Think I was really tired that evening!!!


This dish goes with heaps of things...grilled chicken, lamb, salmon, haloumi, on its own with some chickpeas added for protein...it is really versatile, and even great the next day as a packed lunch!!

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