Spicy Marinated Halloumi and Veggie Wraps

I can’t believe that it took me this long to get into halloumi.


I’d never really been big on cheese, unless it was on pizza or in pasta. On the other hand, my mum eats either camembert or brie as a post-dessert palette cleanser. It’s also an excuse for her to drink wine and feel fancy. Sigh, the things that go on in my house.


To be fair, this lunch spread was an excuse for me to feel fancy. In an effort to terrorise my mother, I’ve been using various wooden bowls ,that previously housed ornaments, as crockery for my food shoots. Because aesthetic, obviously.


I’ve also been bullying my brother into posing for me. In case you couldn’t tell, the background of this photo is his penguin onesie, the new love of his life. Last week he got a break when my neighbour volunteered his hand for this vegan pot pie recipe. This week, he wasn’t as lucky.


This was shot on one of those days that I just felt like cooking. I roasted some chopped potatoes with cayenne pepper, garlic powder, mixed herbs and S&P; threw together a quick strawberry basil salad and rolled up these kick-ass wraps to go with them. How’s that for a healthy balanced lunch?


Spicy Marinated Halloumi and Veggie Wraps                                            makes 2-4 wraps

Ingredients

For the halloumi:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp oregano
  • a pinch salt and black pepper
  • 100g halloumi, sliced into small rectangles

For the wraps:

  • 1 medium carrot, grated (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup chopped baby spinach
  • ¼ cup chopped basil
  • ¼ cup sliced strawberries (optional)
  • 2-4 tortillas

Method

  1. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, chilli powder, garlic powder, oregano, S & P. Add the halloumi and toss until coated. Set aside for 10 minutes whilst you prepare the filling.
  2. Combine the grated carrot, spinach, basil and strawberries in a medium bowl and toss to combine. Divide the veggie mixture between the tortillas, on one side only.
  3. Heat a skillet on high heat and fry the halloumi for 2-3 minutes on each side or until crispy. Top the veggies with the halloumi and roll up to create your wraps. I like to pan fry my wraps for a minute on each side just to warm the filling and create that beautiful grill pattern but this is completely optional. Serve and enjoy!
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Spicy Sweet and Sour Baked Chicken Nuggets

Hey there, welcome, bienvenue and thank you for visiting my blog! What I have for you here is golden. Pure gold. It’s even written here in the crunchy spicy coating on this delectable chicken.

  
The first time I fell in love was at the tender age of 8. And that was the day I first had chicken nuggets. Every week I would beg my mother to purchase more of the frozen goodness that was the ray of sunshine in my life. And then all too soon, my world was plunged into darkness when the company closed down and chicken nuggets vanished from my life. I still remember them: a crunchy coating with a tender inside and just the right combination of spice on your taste buds. That is exactly what I went for when making these nuggets.

Storytime: About 2 weeks ago, I had an insatiable craving for sweet and sour pork. Which transmutated itself into a craving for chicken nuggets. Then my indecisive stomach and innovative brain came up with an idea: Why not combine the two into the most amazing hybrid food ever?! I marinated the chicken in a sweet and sour sauce, coated in a breadcrumb and cornflake mixture then baked for half an hour. With minimal effort, I was so pleased when this experiment succeeded and I end up with what is now my favourite snack. Added bonus: it’s kinda sorta pretty much healthy!*

 

*Healthy if one doesn’t add ranch dressing. And if your line between healthy and unhealthy is as blurred as mine
 
Yes, it is. If the coating makes you a bit nervous, you can leave it out and bake the chicken in the sweet and sour sauce, no problem (great chicken, just without the crunchy goodness). Worried about the spicy bit? You can always choose to reduce the amount of chilli you add, it’s all about catering to your taste.

I like to serve this with a ranch dressing dip, recipe adapted from Spoon Fork Bacon, under their recipe for these stellar Chicken Fried Potatoes, calling them amazing would be an understatement.

  
Spicy Sweet and Sour Baked Chicken Nuggets                               serves 3-4

Chicken marinade

Ingredients

500g boneless skinless chicken breasts, chopped into small pieces

4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

2 tbsp honey

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp of your favourite chilli sauce (optional)

1 tsp of the following spices:

Salt

Black pepper

Chilli powder (can increase/decrease amount)

Ginger

Chicken seasoning (optional)

Chicken coating (optional)

2 slices wholewheat bread (or any other kind) or 1 cup breadcrumbs

½ cup cornflakes

2 tbsp mixed herbs

3 tbsps melted butter

Ranch dressing (optional)

¼ cup buttermilk (a.k.a lacto)

2 tbsp mayonnaise

1 tsp thyme

1 clove minced garlic or 1 tsp garlic salt

Method

  1. Combine all the ingredients for the ranch dressing in a small bowl and store in the refrigerator until needed later.
  2. Toast the bread for 5 minutes in a toaster and let cool at room temperature.
  3. Combine all the ingredients for the chicken marinade together in a small bowl and let sit at room temperature whilst you prepare the coating or for a period of 20 minutes if you decide not to make the coating.
  4. Tear the bread into fairly small chunks using your hands, and add to a food processor along with the cornflakes. Blend until both the bread and cornflakes have been reduced to crumbs. Add the mixed herbs and stir until combined.
  5. Preheat your oven to 180°C and line a 9×13 inch roasting pan with aluminium foil.
  6. The Assembly:   
  7. Remove a piece of chicken from the marinade and press into the breadcrumb/cornflake mixture, making sure that the entire chicken piece is coated in the mixture. Place in the roasting pan. Repeat until all the chicken pieces are coated. 
  8. Pour the butter and any residual marinade over the chicken pieces and bake 15 minutes, turn once, then bake a further ten minutes. Remove from oven and serve immediately (with ranch dressing).

  
 Now THIS speaks to my soul.