Hulk Halloumi Bake

Are your children superhero obsessed? Mine certainly are and I am not ashamed to admit that I use this to my advantage somewhat when they are confronted with a vegetable they don’t want to try. We talk about vegetables helping them to be strong like superheroes and helping them to build up their vitamin stores for strength. In particular, the green ones which generally have a slightly more bitter taste. And as the hulk is green in colour, we make that connection too. My parents used to tell me to eat my vegetables so I would be strong like Popeye (even though it felt like a dated cartoon when I was small) so maybe this is just the modern version! So this is the reason for the name of the dish. It isn’t an original recipe of mine, but an adaptation of a recipe from one of my favourite cookery authors, Rukmini Iyer in her book the Green Roasting Tin. As a family we love Rukmini’s recipes and they frequently make an appearance on our dinner table or get sent into school with the kids on their birthdays.

The first time we made it I loved it, but my family didn’t appreciate all the Brussel Sprouts, so we adapted it to include some other green vegetables too. We make it with frozen vegetables as that is the most economical way to ensure we all get enough fruit and vegetables in our diet here in the Falklands. It also means that you can buy the ingredients for this dish and it doesn’t matter if it takes you a while to get around to making it as the vegetables won’t spoil and halloumi generally has a long shelf life when in a sealed packet.

Ronan watching Seb with his high-vis jacket (at least we would see if he fell in) and little grin.

This dish was our activity when Sebastian had Ronan, the take home knitted Beaver, for the week. Ronan sat on the counter and ‘helped’ us make this dish. We didn’t have any disasters – no falling in or unwelcome splatters and Seb happily spouting the importance of vegetables in a healthy diet the whole way through our endeavours. Ronan returned to Beavers the following week safe and sound after his Hulk Halloumi Bake! It has to be said our entry was one of the more boring ones, but it was second nature to me as the kids cook with me on a weekly basis. No extra planning required! I reckon that makes me a superhero in my own right!!!

Ingredients

  • 1 block of halloumi
  • 400g broccoli
  • 75g Brussel sprouts
  • 200g green beans
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 3tsp garlic
  • 2tsp nigella seeds
  • 2tsp garam masala
  • 3tbsp lemon juice
  • Seasoning
  • 350g cooked rice (warm)
Mix it all around.

Method

  1. If you are using frozen vegetables like we did, remove from the freezer and allow to defrost for half hour or so.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°c fan.
  3. Chop the halloumi into small squares with a child safe knife. Chop any large piece of broccoli into smaller pieces.
  4. Add the halloumi, broccoli, Brussel sprouts and green beans to a roasting dish.
  5. Drizzle with the oil, add the garlic, nigella seeds, garam masala and seasoning.
  6. Gently agitate the tray so that the vegetables and halloumi are covered with spices and oil. Be careful not to shake up and down!
  7. Put in the oven for 20 minutes.
  8. Remove from the oven and mix the cooked rice and lemon juice through with the halloumi and vegetables.
  9. Distribute between bowls and enjoy warm.
Ronan looks pretty proud of his creation!

I love this dish and it is one meal that my family can all eat together as it is vegetarian. I hope it goes down as well with your family as it does with mine.

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