I love to cook and to bake - often with music playing in the background and a glass of wine by my side! I think it's the combination of challenging myself to try new things, immersing my mind in an activity - and of course the tangible (and hopefully tasty) outcome!
With summer just around the corner (hello t'shirt weather!) I've been trying to get a bit creative with salads and last weekend I came up with a delicious quinoa and haloumi version. I find this salad to be filling enough as is, but you could always serve it with chicken, beef or lamb for an extra protein hit!
Quinoa and haloumi salad (serves 2)
1/2 cup quinoa
1 sweet potato
1/4 cup almonds
1/4 cup currants
1 cup green beans, blanched and sliced
A couple of generous handfuls of spinach
1 block haloumi
1/2 avocado, sliced
1/2 bunch mint leaves, torn
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon raspberry vinegar (or lemon juice)
Small drizzle honey
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Grease an oven pan.
2. Peel sweet potato and slice into 1cm thick rounds and place on greased oven pan. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with a small amount of salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes or until soft.
3. Cook quinoa according to packet directions.
4. Lightly grease a pan and place on medium heat. Add cooked quinoa and almonds and, stirring regularly, toast for 5 - 10 minutes.
5. Slice haloumi and, in a separate pan, grill until cooked on both sides.
6. Assemble salad: place spinach, toasted quinoa and almonds, green beans, sweet potato, haloumi, avocado, mint and currents in a big bowl. Top with dressing just before serving.