Veggie Halloumi Moussaka

Friday, 26 September 2014

Quite a lot of times some of you have asked me where do I get the ideas from. Well, now this blog is about to be 1 year old I’ll make a confession: I spend the whole day thinking about food. As soon as I’m out of bed I start wondering what I’m going to have for breakfast.

A good coffee, freshly squeezed orange juice and a warm croissant with melted butter is my idea of a perfect one. However, since I need to be off to work at 6.30, I hardly have more than a couple of bites of toast and some milk.

Then I start thinking about lunchtime, how long it  will it take until midday, what I will have, when, with who. Lunching with my peeps is definitely the best thing of my job. After having my lunch I start thinking in the amazing snack I’m going to prepare for my boys after school. And then I check what is available in the fridge and what I am going to cook for dinner. After that I just keep on thinking about food until I’m in bed where, to be perfectly honest I quite often dream about food.

I read food books. I read food blogs. I also follow food Facebook pages. I ask my friends what are they going to have for dinner. I wonder about new amazing food combinations and how they will taste.

Sometimes I’m so starving that I don’t see my work mates faces when I’m talking with them. I see cakes. I see bacon rolls. I see roasted chickens. I cannot stop myself.

Life is too short, and when the end comes for me I don’t want to look back and regret myself thinking “I could have eaten that”.

Last week I did a cake. It was supposed to be a lemon and lime cake. Something went wrong, and the cake didn’t bake. It looked absolutely disgusting. Like alien mucus. I tried a bit with my fingertips and it was absolutely delicious. So the fact that the cake was a wreck wasn’t going to stop me. Of course it wasn’t. I put a couple of spoonful in a bowl and added some Greek yogurt. Yum. And yum again when I had a second bowl.

I feel that the sixth sense boy, sometimes I see food.

To be perfectly honest, I really (really, really) need to control myself not to be eating all the time. Roasted cashews with black pepper. Almond croissant. Humus and carrot batons. Modena vinegar crisps. Millionaire’s shortbread.  Stop it!

This week’s recipe was born on my way back home. On the radio somebody was talking about halloumi cheese. I have never tried it and an unstoppable impulse made me stop at the supermarket and buy some. I definitely wanted to see how it tasted. Obviously, not on its own, and I thought that as a Cypriot cheese it would go nicely in a Moussaka, a typical Greek recipe.  

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2 Aubergines
2 Courgettes
300gr Halloumi Cheese
1kg Freshly Chopped Tomatoes + 3 Ripen Tomatoes
1 Sweet Red Pepper
1 Red Onion
1 Garlic
1 Bunch of Fresh Basil
1cup White Wine
1tsp Paprika
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste


For the Tomato Sauce

Heat 2tbsp of extra virgin olive oil in a saucepan and add the garlic minced and the red onion sliced. When soft and tender, add the chopped tomatoes and the red pepper diced. Season with salt, pepper and paprika to taste. Stir occasionally. When the sauté is ready, add the white wine until all the alcohol evaporates.

Finally, blend until smooth and reserve.

For the Moussaka

Pre-heat the oven to 200C.

First of all, slice the courgettes, aubergines, tomatoes and half of the halloumi cheese. Grate the other half of the cheese. Alternatively, you can chop it into small cubes.

In a deep oven proof dish, pour enough tomato sauce to cover the bottom. Lay the courgette slices on top, slightly overlapping. Sprinkle some pepper and salt and pour some olive oil drops randomly.

Add a layer of halloumi cheese and put some fresh basil leaves on top.  Lay then the aubergine slices. Sprinkle some salt all over and pour some more olive oil drops around. Lay the fresh tomatoes slices and finally add a top layer of the grated halloumi cheese. 

Bake 40 mins and serve warm.

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