Mediterranean Halloumi Bake
This Mediterranean halloumi bake makes the perfect vegetarian dinner. It perfectly combines the healthy freshness of vegetables with the salty flavour and chewy texture of the halloumi cheese. Even though, I have eaten halloumi before I had never attempted cooking with it. It was really easy and absolutely delicious. So, if you are a halloumi virgin like I was, simply go to the nearest shop, buy a packet and give it a go.
Unfortunately for my boyfriend, I prefer having my main meal at lunchtime and by the time he got home 3/4 of it was already gone, ups. Although my diet can be described as pretty good, 80% of the time portion control can still be a bit problematic once in a while. Another one of my favourite dishes where I find it hard to hold back are these delicious Zucchini Noodles with Tomato Vegetable Sauce.
What is Halloumi Cheese?
Halloumi cheese originated in Cyprus and has been traditionally prepared with cow, goat or sheep milk. Other typical ingredients used are salt, mint and rennet. This cheese is very versatile and has the unusual feature of not melting when heated. For this reason, it can be grilled or fried, in addition to being eaten fresh with fruits or vegetables, or grated on pasta.
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Halloumi Cheese Benefits
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B
- many minerals such as zinc.
Personally, I would choose goat’s milk cheese over cow’s milk cheese because the fat globules are more similar to the makeup of mother’s milk, therefore, they are easier to digest and non-mucous forming. I also consider the goat’s milk variant superior because it contains less lactose than the cow’s milk cheese.
All milk contains tryptophan, which is an essential amino acid that can’t be manufactured by the body. The body needs tryptophan to produce serotonin– one of the chemical neurotransmitters responsible for well-being, positive mood enhancement and healthy sleep.
If you aren’t a fan of dairy products or are even intolerant you can try making my Homemade Coconut Milk Yoghurt.
I would be interested in finding out what your dairy preferences are, I’m looking forward to reading your comments.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 courgettes, diced
- 15 cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 3 tablespoons tomato puree
- 1 tablespoon turmeric
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 small fresh chilli, finely chopped and deseeded
- water or passata (optional)
- 200 g halloumi, sliced
- handful fresh basil, chopped
- Preheat your oven to 220 C in grill mode.
- Heat the olive oil in an ovenproof, medium-large pan and fry the onions for two minutes.
- Add in the garlic and fry for another minute, then add the courgettes, tomatoes, tomato puree and spices, cover with a lid and simmer for about 20 minutes. The tomatoes and courgettes will release water and turn into a sauce. In case they don't release enough juice you can add a little bit of water or passata to adjust the consistency to your liking.
- Cover the dish with the halloumi slices and place it under the grill until the halloumi slices turn golden brown.
- Sprinkle with fresh basil and enjoy.