“Write about cheese”, she said-The Collective NZ Chipotle Haloumi.

chipotle-haloumi-pack

Last night I really wanted to blog something but drew a blank. I consulted my friend Liz and was told to write about cheese. It didn’t occur to me until I was eating my lunch at work today that I had some cheese I really wanted to talk about. That is the above, the brilliant squeaky cheese with a kick from the ever fabulous The Collective NZ.

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I love haloumi and I love spice. This Collective NZ Chipotle Haloumi cheese was made for me and my work lunches. Haloumi heats up well. I either fry it in a bit of oil until brown on both sides or put it down the end of a tin of roasting vegetables and cook in the oven for about 15 minutes  (let it sit for a bit before trying to get it off the baking sheet). I like to cut it into thick wedges down the narrow side. When I reheat it in the microwave I put it on top of my quinoa and veg, I only warm it all for around 1 minute and I rip the cheese into fork size pieces before eating.

This cheese has a smoky taste with a good kick. I have only tried it with roast vegetables and quinoa, it was excellent. I now want to try it with a good homemade lamb burger, my mouth is watering just thinking about that idea.

Look for it in the shops, give it a try. I hope it stays around forever.

(This is not a sponsored post)

Israeli Couscous, roast vegetables and haloumi ~ another lunch.

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One of the things I have come to realise is that I really love my ‘Emma’ lunches. I get to make food that I really like and I get to eat it at work in peace. There is no dog looking longingly, no cats wanting the cheese and no kid. Not even a husband sorting through the pile and looking for the meat, there isn’t any meat either.

At my work place we have Hari Krishna food, it is great but I like to keep it as a treat. With my lunch made I have 3 days food, I find it doesn’t taste so nice after that and I have picked all the best bits out. I think the best bits is the key to your own personalised lunch, make it with the bits you love, let yourself have all the bits you like and enjoy.

My new favourite thing is Israeli Couscous or Pearl Couscous, you should be able to just see the little balls of lovely in the above picture. There are various ways to cook it and I have found that I like to brown it a little, like when you cook risotto. Then I cook it in vegetable stock, adding more stock as it boils off. I used about 1 cup of couscous here and about 1 1/2 c of vegetable stock. I don’t flavour the couscous as there is enough going on ¬†elsewhere.

This Wiki page is a good guide.

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I also roasted some vegetables in olive oil , yes, you have guessed it, the veg I love. I am also a seasonal buyer and do not purchase anything not grown in New Zealand unless I have to. I check the origin of all fruit and vegetables along with the price. I find that price is a good way to figure out if it is locally grown. Anyway, back to the roast veg, when it is all nicely good I add it to the drained and slightly al dente couscous along with a bit of the residual veg/olive oil juices,

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To this lunch I added one of my favourite things, Haloumi. I know I harp on about the company but I love The Collective Dairies cheese because it keeps it shape when fried and heats up nicely in the microwave. I cook up a whole block in slices for my lunch, a couple of bits vanish into my mouth straight out the fry pan.

When it comes time to eat, I chop the cheese up, put it in first, top with the couscous and veg. I microwave it for around a minute, I like it room temperature or just warm and find everything stays together nicely. I also add salt and pepper and any fresh herbs I happened to bring with me. Mint or coriander are favourties.

I think I may have said this before, embrace your lunch, make it yours and enjoy.