Halloumi Quinoa ‘Tabbouleh’ Salad

Halloumi Quinoa 'Tabbouleh' Salad

I have been hoarding a package of halloumi in my cheese drawer for several months now. Halloumi is hard to find and pretty expensive in these parts, so I tend to use it sparingly when I do find it. I finally decided to give the cheese a change of scenery and put it in a salad. I was quite happy with the move. The halloumi has yet to comment.

To make this tabbouleh salad gluten free, I used quinoa instead of bulgar wheat. A super simple swap. I personally liked the quinoa better than other tabbouleh I’ve had in the past. I was tempted to make a light lemon/vinaigrette dressing to go over the salad. In the end, I ended up squeezing one lemon over the salad and saving the olive oil the onion had been sautéed in. Genius idea! The oil brought even more caramelized onion flavor to the salad, which is always a plus in my book and the lemon helped brighten the flavors up with it’s refreshing tartness.

Halloumi Quinoa 'Tabbouleh' Salad

Halloumi Quinoa ‘Tabbouleh’ Salad
Inspired by this recipe.

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 package halloumi, sliced into thin pieces
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 large handful arugula/rocket
  • 1 ounce roasted almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 ounce pumpkin seeds
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
  1. Bring 2 cups of low-sodium vegetable broth to a boil. Stir in 1 cup of quinoa, bring back to a boil, cover, cook over medium heat for 12-15 minutes, or until quinoa has absorbed all the broth. Remove from the heat, fluff, cover and let stand for 15 minutes.
  2. In a small pan, cook the red onion in two teaspoons of olive oil on medium low heat for 15 minutes until they are soft and sweet. Keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t burn. When the onions are done drain onions and oil into small dish and set aside.
  3. In the same pan, place several of the halloumi slices cook 2-3 minutes or until lightly golden on each side, flip and cook the other side until also lightly golden. Repeat with the remaining slices.
  4. Pour the quinoa into a large serving bowl and mix it together with the arugula, halloumi, red onion, green onion, almonds and pumpkin seeds.
  5. Scatter the pomegranate seeds on top of the salad and serve.

Quinoa Porridge with Raspberries

Quinoa Porridge with Raspberries

It’s been so cold in these parts lately that warm breakfasts have become a necessity. Seriously, there has been frost and that’s pretty much as cold as it gets around here. There is only so much oatmeal you can tolerate, so quinoa porridge seemed like the perfect alternative. Plus, quinoa is super great for you and packed with protein, vitamins, minerals, fiber and it’s naturally gluten free.

This porridge took about 25 minutes to make, so it’s not exactly the world’s fastest breakfast, but it’s definitely worth it if you have the time. I put the quinoa on to cook and managed to wash all the dishes, straighten up the kitchen, make a cup of tea and breakfast was ready by the time I was done. The other thing I like about this recipe is that it’s super flexible. I just  happend to have raspberries and a brand new jar of raspberry jam on hand, but you could use nearly any jam or fruit combo; strawberries, peaches, blackberries, blueberries, go wild. The only other word of warning I would give, is to make sure to randomly stir the quinoa every now and again to get rid of the weird layer that happens when you heat milk. Nobody likes milk ‘skin’, so make sure to stir it every once and again.

Quinoa Porridge with Raspberries

Quinoa Porridge with Raspberries (adapted from Tesco Real Food)

  • 100g/ 1/3 cup raspberry jam (or any berry jam)
  • small handful of fresh raspberries (or any berry)
  • small handful of hazelnuts, finely chopped (almonds, pecans, pistachios would work too)
  • 125g/ 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 400ml milk
  • 125ml water
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  1. Place the quinoa in a saucepan and cook over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes until toasted, stirring frequently. Add the milk, water, brown sugar, vanilla extract and salt and bring to the boil, stirring well. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes until thick and the grains are tender.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, add the jam and fold in the berries when heated and slightly melted.
  3. Spoon the quinoa porridge into serving bowls when ready and top with generous tablespoons of the jam mixture. Sprinkle the finely chopped nuts on top and serve.

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

This is a great salad. It’s simple, tasty and colorful.

I first had this salad at a New Year’s party in Krakow last year. I was visiting friends for a week, on a well needed break from Budapest. We were going to a party and asked to bring along some appetizers and snacks. Ksenia and I brought some amazing mushroom strudels and our friend Florian brought this salad. The second I tried it, I started bugging him for the recipe. When I got it I would make up a big batch of the couscous (now quinoa mix) and add it to salads over a couple days. It is good hot or cold and makes great leftovers.

This recipe was originally in English, translated into German, then Florian translated it back to English for me and now here we are. The only major adjustment I made was quinoa substitution and I also left out the avocados. I’ve never actually had the salad with avocados in it, because they cost a right kidney and a leg on the Eastern European black market and my avocados last night weren’t quite ripe yet… but I have no doubt that they would be delicious in this salad. The only other word of advice I would give, is that if you want to keep it for leftovers, I would leave the lettuce mix out until you are serving it. The lettuce will get wilty and gross. Also, save the dressing on the side as well. It will last much longer.

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

For the salad:

  • 200g/8oz Couscous or Quinoa
  • 400ml/14 fl oz Hot Vegetable Stock
  • 10 sun-dried or sunblush tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 medium avocados, peeled, stoned and cut into large chunks
  • 100g/4oz black olives, chopped
  • 100g/4oz green olives, chopped
  • 3 scallions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, finely sliced
  • a good handful of nuts, such as pine nuts, cashews or almonds
  • 200g/8oz feta cheese, roughly crumbled
  • 130g/ 1 bag mixed green salad leaves
For dressing:
  • 5 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 5 Tbsp. vinegar (white wine, balsamic, whatever you’re in the mood for)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper, to taste
Make the couscous or quinoa according to instructions, but use broth instead of water (trust me, it gives it that little extra something). While the grain is cooking, make the salad dressing. Combine vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper. Stir 4 tbsp into the couscous/quinoa when it’s done and slightly cooled, then gently mix the tomoatoes, avocados, olives, onions, nuts and feta. Taste for seasoning. Toss salad leaves with remaining dressing, divide between four plates and spoon couscous over the top.