Warm Griddled Vegetables from the Hairy Dieters has made me a MFMC – ‘meat-free Monday converter’ – no, I doubt the acronym will catch on either. I have been trying to introduce more vegetable / vegan based dishes into my diet, at times under duress, and others with pleasure. This particular meal definitely falls into the latter category – it’s delicious!
If you think warm griddled vegetables sounds dull, think again. The chilli and olive oil dressing really bring them to life and adding halloumi on top makes everything taste even more divine. I love halloumi – the texture, the flavour, even the scraping sound it makes against my teeth when I’m eating it. I think I’m developing a halloumi fetish!
Anyway, I digress. The Hairy Dieters suggest drizzling some balsamic vinegar over the vege if you don’t like / can’t get halloumi which would work equally well. This is ideal for lunch or dinner, the portion size is huge!
Recipe: Warm Griddled Vegetables
Calories: 148 calories per portion (without halloumi), 348 calories per portion (with halloumi)
Book: Hairy Dieters – How to Love Food and Lose Weight
Prep time: Approx 20 minutes
Cooking time: Approx minutes
Ingredients: 1 red pepper, 1 yellow pepper, 3 medium courgettes, 1 medium red onion, 125g sliced halloumi cheese (optional), 2 tsp olive oil, ground black pepper
Chilli dressing: 1 plump red chilli (finely diced), 1 garlic clove (peeled and crushed), bunch of coriander (about 10g, roughly chopped), 1 ½ tsp extra virgin olive oil, 1 tsp red wine vinegar
Cost per portion: Approx £1.51 per portion (without halloumi), £2.16 per portion (with halloumi)
Method: Place a large heavy-based griddle pan over a medium-high heat. Cut the peppers on half from top to bottom and remove the green stalk end and seeds. Cut the peppers in half again to make 4 long quarters from each and put them in a large bowl.
Trim the courgettes and cut them into long, diagonal slices, about 1cm thick. Peel the red onion, leaving the root intact, and then cut into 8 wedges. Put the courgettes and onion in the bowl with the peppers and pour over the 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Season with lots of ground black pepper and toss the veg together well.
Scatter the vegetables on to the hot griddle and cook for 6-8 minutes, pressing with a spatula to flatten them on to the griddle. Turn once. The onions and courgettes with be ready before the peppers, so they can be transferred to a shallow serving dish as soon as they are tender and lightly charred. Continue cooking the peppers until they are softened. If your griddle isn’t very big, cook the vegetables in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan.
While the vegetables are cooking, mix all the dressing ingredients until thoroughly combined. Add the cooked peppers to the serving dish with the onions and courgettes and toss lightly. Season with lots of ground black pepper, then spoon the dressing over the vegetables and tumble them gently until they are all coated. Serve warm.