Quinoa with roast tomatoes and halloumi

Last night I weighed out some ingredients for the first time in my life. Yay.

120 grams of quinoa – the fluffier, tastier version of cous-cous – to be precise.

So what I did was, is:

1) Pre-heated the oven (fan 200) for my roast tomatoes.

2) Rinsed my 120g of quinoa in a strainer, very thoroughly. (120g is enough for one for two days, or two for one day.)

3) Then, according to one of my many Googled-quinoa sources, left the quinoa to soak in cold water in the pan for five minutes. Apparently it can sometimes taste bitter and this is a fool-proof way of preventing that kind of culinary catastrophe. You can’t take any chances in my position. It’s not worth the woe. It was Monday night and my little foray into the kitchen was taking up much of it. This was no time for bitter quin-noah.

4) I quartered lots of nice tomatoes and placed them in a baking tin, drizzled them with olive oil and seasoned – which for the uninitiated, like moi, means: put salt and pepper on. Then I popped them in the oven and set a timer for 20/25 mins.

5) Once they were in and my quinoa had soaked, I rinsed it again, popped it in the saucepan and added 360ml of water and a pinch of salt. I brought it all to the boil then popped the lid on the saucepan, reduced the heat to medium-low and set the timer for 15-20 mins – in line with the estimated birth of my roast tomatoes.

6) You can lift the lid on your quinoa and stir to prevent it sticking to the pan, I discovered, by Googling while I cooked.

7) Then I set about making my quinoa dressing: I sliced half a small red onion and ground up a small clove of garlic, then I poured two tbsp of red wine vinegar and three tbsp of olive oil into a bowl, added half a teaspoon of cumin, and then mixed in the onion and garlic. Quite tasty. If you think you need more; make more. That’s my tip.

8) Then I started to slice my low-fat halloumi into slim strips – not too skinny, not too fat.

9) And then: the first part of this procedure was over! My toms were roasted – a bit burnt around the edges, some of them, but I chucked those ones. My quinoa was fluffy and had soaked up all the water so I rinsed it one more time – as per directions! – and then I mixed in the dressing and roasted tomatoes.

10) With that served picturesquely into bowls, it was time for my squeaky cheese. After Googling ‘how long do you grill halloumi for?’, I found a nice method. My just-searched halloumi recipe told me to cut up a lemon (yes, my fave!) into quarters and place them in the grill pan with the cheese (on foil) and then  drizzle the lot with olive oil and grill the halloumi for three mins-ish on each side, until it turns golden anyway.

11) And then I popped the halloumi in the dish. Regardez.

12) I also stuck the roast lemon quarters in the bowls, and microwaved two wraps and put some tzatziki and hummous  in two little serving bowls to have with it.

13) According to my dining partner it was was “Yum”. Woo hooooo! I am now allowed to make at least two awful dishes.

P.s. What did cooking type-people do before Google? For all it’s reeeeally annoying much of the time, my iPhone saved me from a burnt pan, bitter quinoa and, best of all, a dish without lemons.


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