I recently saw this posted on Instagram…
Whoever is making cheese commercials can save their money. We’re buying cheese and we’re never going to stop buying cheese.
I had to laugh as, for a cheese lover like me, truer words were never spoken. And one cheese I adore is halloumi, especially once the weather warms up. There is something about crispy-gooey-salty pan-seared or grilled halloumi that speaks to me of summer. Maybe because it hails from warm and sunny Cyprus. So if you try only one thing from my menu, try the Halloumi & Quinoa Fattoush Salad (and read on for more about halloumi and a few other serving suggestions).
While it isn’t summer just yet, it has certainly felt like summer in Toronto this week. And the May long weekend tends to be the opening act for the season. So this menu celebrates the spring bounty of asparagus, cucumbers, mint and strawberries but has a decidedly summery, Mediterranean vibe. Enjoy the recipes and your long weekend!
Spring Into Summer Menu
Main Course: One Pan Lemon Shrimp & Asparagus (this can be done on the grill too, though I recommend a grill tray/basket and cooking off-heat to avoid flareups; keep an eye on the time as it may cook more quickly if you grill it and/or or use shrimp that has already been shelled)
Side Dish: Halloumi & Quinoa Fattoush Salad (this is great with the Lemon Shrimp & Asparagus but also makes a fabulous lunch on its own, especially if you add a little extra halloumi!)
Dessert: Strawberry Banana Ice Cream (this shows just how easy it is to make fruity-licious ice cream without any of the refined sugars and unappetizing thickeners, preservatives and food colouring so often found in store-bought ice cream)
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A few featured foods …
May is asparagus season here in Ontario and I can’t get enough of it. Besides being tasty and elegant on the plate, asparagus is great for your gut! Your friendly gut bacteria thrive feeding on the indigestible fibers in asparagus. This is why asparagus is considered a prebiotic food.
And asparagus is rich in vitamin K (important for bone health and blood clotting) and folate (vital for cell growth, DNA formation and a healthy pregnancy). It is well worth the asparagus pee phenomenon, if you are one of the 50% who can detect it. 😉
Traditionally made on Cyprus from the milk of goats and/or sheep, halloumi is a folded, semihard, unripened cheese. It is brined, for a salty, as well as tangy, flavour. North American makers of halloumi may include cow’s milk.
You can eat halloumi raw, but it is so much better served warm, either roasted, pan-seared or crisped up on the grill. Raw it’s a bit rubbery but cooked it is a revelation – crispy on the outside, gooey on the inside! I also like serving it with a squeeze of lemon and some fresh oregano leaves or a drizzle of chili oil alongside pita or crackers as an appetizer. Or try a salad of grilled halloumi, watermelon and fresh mint dressed with your finest olive oil and lemon juice.
Cooking your own food is the single most impactful step you can take to improve your health and energy!
I hope you enjoy my Spring Into Summer Menu. Sign up here to receive the download link for this latest Menu of the Month. And if you want to cook more of your own food but don’t know what to make or have the time to organize your own menus and shopping lists, The Nutritional Reset offers a meal planning service. It makes preparing tasty, nutritious meals a snap. Click here to find out more.