Oh my, oh my, oh my!!
I’m not sure what’s kept me from posting this absolute amazing quinoa, roast veggies, halloumi cheese and pomegranate salad recipe for so long.
The picture for this salad was taken last summer but I’ve made this salad quite a few times since. I just didn’t manage to find the adequate moment and take a better picture. I do hope I will get a chance and update you with a fresh and better looking shot very soon.
Do you like halloumi cheese?
This quinoa, roast vegetables, halloumi cheese, zaatar and pomegranate salad is such a delightful, so beautiful and flavoursome dish, not to mention how packed with vitamins and goodness this is.
The quinoa and halloumi cheese? a combo that’s made in HEAVEN.
Despite pictures not being the best for this salad, I can only beat myself up here, but I still hope I will definitely manage to make you want to make this salad straight away and pretty badly, only by telling you how truly and utterly delightful, super nutritious and soo delicious this super salad is.
The saltiness of the halloumi cheese complements perfectly the sweet acidic taste of the pomegranate seeds and the nuttiness of the quinoa - it gives the dish such a nice D-liciousssss finish. ?
What I love the most about this salad it’s its diverse flavours and textures and the ease and the flash-time this can be ready in. It makes it such a perfect dish for busy mums or folks in general that can do other bits while dinner is getting ready.
The hardest task here in this recipe is the veggies chopping and getting those roasted ( they just about manage the roasting on their own ??) other than that everything else it’s a flash.
Another real beauty of this salad is that nowadays you can buy frozen grilled vegetables that are absolutely scrumptious and if you do that, the actual time to have this dish ready slashes by half or even less.
Oh, and.... talking about fresh or frozen vegetables? let’s just talk about that for one minute.
What vegetables should I use?
If you are to compare fresh vegetables with frozen, of course, the fresh vegetables will win in terms of nutrition and how good for us they are. However, if you eat veggies that are not in season and we compare those with freshly in-season frozen ones, the frozen vegetables would be better and therefore will certainly win, of course.
So, it really depends when you are making this salad and what time of the year, but always choose fresh vegetables that are in the season otherwise go for frozen as you may benefit more from those. Going further on this subject...
Did you know...
• Fresh vegetables as well as fruits most times are getting picked way before they fully ripe?
• It can take anything between 5 days to 12 months for some products to be transported, stored until it hits your fridge? Wow, shocking! Right?
• The fresh vegetables, unfortunately, do get treated with chemicals during transportation while stored in the well-controlled and chilled atmosphere during transportation - all this to, of course, prevent spoiling.
... on the other hand ...
• Frozen fruit and vegetables are picked at peak ripeness most of the time.
• They often get washed, blanched, frozen and packaged within a few hours of being harvested?
You decide now, knowing this, what fruits and vegetables you’ll be using more often. Fresh, in-season or frozen?
I know what you may think the best answer is here- vegetables from own garden but... that’s possible only if lucky enough to have a garden.
Needless to say that I still believe organic it’s far better than non-organic produce. Yes, organic produce has chemicals too but are not to be compared with the chemicals the non-organic produce gets sprayed on.
Now that we have clarified this dilemma let’s get to this beautiful, colourful and super nice and nutritious halloumi cheese salad dish. Have fun folks!
Quinoa, roast vegetables, halloumi cheese zaatar and pomegranate salad
- griddle pan
- 240 g quinoa
- 320 g halloumi cheese
- 1 med aubergine
- 1 med leek
- 1/2 med cauliflower
- 2 large red onions
- 2 med red peppers
- 1 med pepper orange
- 7 tbsp pomegranate seeds
- 1 tbsp zaatar powder
- 1/2 tsp paprika or 1-2 pinches of cayenne pepper optional
- 1-2 tbsp olive or coconut oil
- 2 tbsp lemon juice juice from 1/2 lemon
- Few mint leaves to garnish
- Preheat the oven at 190°C/375F/Gas Mark 5.
- Peel, wash, and chop all vegetables. Place all in an oven tray, sprinkle with some salt, freshly ground black pepper or some paprika or some nice and hot cayenne pepper if you’d like a kick. I always crave a bit of heat I’m sure you gathered that by now.
- Drizzle the olive or the coconut oil over the veggies and mix all nicely to give your veggies a nice oil and spices coating.
- Place the tray in the preheated oven and bake for about 40 minutes giving them a stir mid-way.
- While your vegetables are baking, place the quinoa in a saucepan with 350ml water, add a pinch of salt and bring to the boil. Once it starts boiling turn the heat all the way down and allow it to gently simmer (covered) for about 15 minutes. If the water has been absorbed that means quinoa is ready. Once ready, set aside.
- While your vegetables are baking, grill or fry your halloumi cheese in a pan or a griddle pan.
- Take the seeds out from half of your pomagranate. The best way to do this is to bash out the Pomegranate seeds with a spoon and then remove the little white pith. Set aside and get it ready to be sprinkled on at the end.
- Mix the quinoa (make sure you drain any leftover water-if any) with the beautifully roasted veggies.
- Plate the salad, top up with the grilled halloumi cheese, sprinkle a good amount of pomegranate seeds and garnish with a few mint leaves.