Halloumi and Mushroom Kebabs with Salsa Verde and Cous Cous

Halloumi and Mushroom Kebabs

I came across this Hairy Bikers recipe on the BBC Food website about 3 years ago when I was going through a halloumi craze! I wasn’t very big into no meat meals so I got a deboned leg of lamb from my butcher and cut it into cubes. Rubbed some of the salsa verde onto them with some salt and pepper and then seared them in some hot olive oil and then added them to the skewer and finished them off with the rest of the ingredients in the griddle pan. I also precooked my button mushrooms before skewering them and it worked beautifully. You could also add cubes of rump steak and treat in the same way as I did the lamb.  There are so many fantastic flavours in this dish and make for a really great vibrant and colourful meal to brighten your week up! This is the recipe that introduced me to salsa verde which has become one of my absolute favourite tastes!


For the couscous

125g cous cous

125ml hot vegetable stock

5 tbsp olive oil

1 lemon, juice only

1 ready-roasted red pepper, shredded

50g toasted flaked almonds

50g dried apricots, chopped


For the skewers

200g halloumi cheese, cut into 2.5cm cubes

8 cherry tomatoes

8 button mushrooms

3 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp dried oregano

Rumb steak or deboned leg of lamb cut into cubes (optional)


For the salsa verde

bunch parsley,chopped leaves only

bunch basil, chopped, chopped leaves only

bunch mint, chopped, chopped leaves only

2 tbsp drained capers

2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

½ tsp Dijon Mustard

100ml olive oil

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to season


Preparation method

  • For the couscous, place the couscous into a bowl and cover with the hot stock. Cover the bowl with a plate or cling film and leave for four minutes.
  • Uncover the bowl and fluff up the couscous with a fork. Stir in the remaining ingredients, season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • For the kebabs, preheat a griddle pan over a medium-high heat. Toss all of the kebab ingredients together and season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Thread the ingredients onto metal kebab skewers and cook on the hot griddle for 5-6 minutes, turning frequently.
  • For the salsa verde, place all of the salsa verde ingredients, apart from the olive oil, into a food processor and blend, gradually adding the oil until you have a loose paste.
  • To serve, spoon the couscous onto plates, top with the kebabs and drizzle with the salsa verde.

Serves 2


Photo from the BBC Food Website


Mushroom Farfalle

Mushroom farfalle pic

I made this one for a Friday night dinner. I had to bake my son’s birthday cake so I wanted something quick and easy to throw together. Another vegetarian one. One mouthful from my 15 year old son and he looks up and says “Delicious Mom, but where’s the meat?”. I think I will be giving up on the vegetarian meals for my family. It’s clearly not working! However, if you don’t have a growing teenage boy in your home and you can do it, then I highly recommend this one. It was super quick and very tasty. I loved that the addition of the cottage cheese made it creamy but without the calories! Winner! 🙂 I used Portabello mushrooms as we don’t get chestnut mushrooms very easily here. But the portobello were a perfect substitute. So delicious!

25g dried porcini mushrooms

Olive Oil

2 – 4 cloves of garlic

½ small dried chili

250g chestnut mushrooms

6 sprigs of fresh thyme

320g dried farfalle

1 tsp truffle oil

1 lemon

½ bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley

150g low fat cottage cheese

  • Put the porcini into a mug and just cover with boiling water. Put 2 tablespoons of olive oil into the large frying pan, squash in the unpeeled garlic through a garlic crusher, crumble in the dried chili and tear in the mushrooms. Strip in the thyme leaves, then add the soaked porcini (with the water they soaked in) and toss and fry for a few minutes.
  • Put the pasta into a large pan, cover with boiling salted water and cook according to packet instructions.
  • Tip the mushrooms into a food processor and whiz until fairly smooth, then return to the pan and add 3 small ladles of pasta cooking water and the truffle oil, season to taste and simmer gently.
  • Drain the pasta, reserving a cupful of the starchy cooking water, then toss the pasta with the sauce, loosening with a splash of cooking water, if needed.
  • Finely grate over the lemon  zest, finely chop and add most of the top leafy half of the parsley along with the cottage cheese, then toss together and serve straight away.

Recipe and Photo from Jamie Oliver 15 Minute Meals

Serves 4

Creamy Steak, Mushroom and Sundried Tomato Pasta

Creamy beef and mushroom pasta


If I say the words “left over steak” in my home, my husband and son both shout with excitement “STEAK SANDWICHES!!”.  *sigh*… So I decided to switch it up a bit over the weekend with some left over steak that I had. It worked brilliantly and I think I may have opened their minds to being able to do more with leftover steak! You can OBVIOUSLY make the steak fresh if you are making this meal. (I would recommend it) but this also worked perfectly well with leftovers and it was done in 20 minutes!


400g Steak

1 punnet brown mushrooms, sliced

1 Tub Creme fraiche

1 tsp dijon mustard

5 or 6 sundried tomatoes in oil (drained and chopped up into small bits)

1 tbsp butter

1 garlic clove, crushed

half tsp (2.5ml) paprika

Freshly ground salt and pepper

Fresh parmesan for sprinkling

2 sprigs thyme, leaves striped

500g pasta – cooked according to package instructions (Penne works well, or shells, or farfalle)


– Bring a pot of water to the boil with 1 tsp salt and add your pasta

– If using fresh steak, cook your steak to your liking with some salt and pepper. Remove from pan and set aside

– Add the butter to the pan with the garlic and paprika, thyme leaves and mushroom slices and cook until almost soft.

– Add the sundried tomatoes and stir.

– Add the Creme fraiche and the mustard  and stir to combine.

– Slice the steak up and add to the pan. Stir and season to taste.

– Drain the pasta, keep a little bit of the pasta water and put the drained pasta back in the pot you cooked it in. Pour about 2 Tbsp of the pasta water into your cream mixture and then add all of that mixture into the pasta and stir until its all combined well.

– Divide into serving bowls and sprinkle with some freshly ground pepper and freshly grated parmesan.

Serves 4


Mushroom, Sherry and Grain Mustard Sauce

sherry sauce

When I discovered this one I was one happy girl!! It’s so delicious! It’s amazing on steak and I would highly recommend that you serve it with a great fillet steak and home made chips! BUT, this will also work with Pork fillet steaks or pork chops. The original recipe had 2 tbsps of parsley, but I found that was very overpowering so I’ve reduced that and I just sprinkle a little bit in at the end. But you can try for yourself. Add a little first and adjust for your taste. I have made this a few times. It’s a BIG favourite of mine!

3 tbsp olive oil

200g button mushrooms , quartered

1 garlic clove, lightly crushed

1 sprig thyme

150ml dry sherry

1 tbsp sherry vinegar

150ml beef stock or brown chicken stock

2 tbsp crème fraîche

1 tbsp grain mustard

1 tbsp chopped flatleaf parsley

– Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the mushroomswith the garlic and thyme, stirring until softened.

– Pour in 100ml sherry and cook until reduced to a glaze, about 3 mins.

– Add the vinegar and cook for a few seconds more. Mix in the remaining sherry and the stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 3 mins.

– Remove the garlic and thyme, then mix in the crème fraîche and mustard. Pour in any juices from the steak, then add the parsley.

Recipe by Gordon Ramsay