Do you ever get stuck in a rut when it comes to lunches? It’s a really important part of the day, we’ve all been working hard all morning and lunch is vital to refuel and get you through the afternoon until dinner time, however it’s often over looked as an interruption. We end up skipping it if we’re too busy or grabbing a handful of snacks instead of a proper meal but it gets so boring and we’re not really getting any nutritional value out of it. I for one am absolutely not the kind of person to be satisfied with the same old ham sandwich day after day. I like variety in my life, and I also prefer to go easy on the bread, I find I get sleepy in the afternoons if lunch involves too many carbs. Salads are a great lunch option for me as you can adapt and customise them in endless ways and if you carefully consider your ingredients it will keep you full until dinner. Salad doesn’t have to be boring, I personally am not satisfied with the basic cucumber, lettuce and tomato combination, I like to get experimental.
Jars of roasted red peppers are a really good store cupboard ingredient, I often keep some to hand ready to throw into salads and pasta dishes to add a little je ne sais quoi! They could however easily be swapped for fresh red pepper. After making this dish I also thought that radishes would go really well with this combo so I might throw some in next time.
This salad makes a really great refreshing and nutritious lunch but would be equally as good as a light dinner. It’s a really tasty vegetarian dish and a great one for making sure you get your protein. With the halloumi cheese as well as chickpeas (which are a great veggie source of protein) this salad is really winning points on the nutrition front. The lime dressing lifts the whole thing, making it a perfect summer dish that really sings!
Everything here can be prepared ahead and packed up in Tupperware boxes for a packed lunch, so do yourself a favour, skip the supermarket meal deal and spend 15 minutes preparing this for a seriously tasty and healthy lunch.
Ingredients (Serves 2)
50g fresh spinach
100g fine green beans
1/2 red onion, finely sliced
1 roasted red pepper, sliced into cm thick strips
6 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 can chickpeas, drained
250g halloumi cheese, cut into slices
For the dressing:
1 lime (zest and juice)
1/2 red chilli, de-seeded and finely diced
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
pinch of salt
1. Bring a small saucepan of water to the boil with a pinch of salt and cook the green beans for 6-7 minutes.
2. Grill the halloumi on a high heat for around 6-7 minutes on each side or until lightly golden grill marks are visible. If you don’t have a grill or griddle pan a frying pan will do the job, but you’ll probably want to use a dash of oil to prevent sticking, gently fry until golden on each side.
3. While the beans and halloumi are cooking mix together the ingredients for the dressing.
4. When all the warm ingredients are cooked, start plating up with the spinach leaves and green beans first, topped with the chickpeas, tomatoes, red onion and peppers. Lay the grilled halloumi on top and drizzle the dressing all over.