Tag Archives: Pine Nuts

Colorful Lunch and Dinner for Spring Day

Happy belated Spring Day!

I learnt that yesterday was an official celebrated day in South Africa. A day called Spring Day. We don’t have that in North America and yet we have every other holiday it seems. So why don’t we have a Spring Day?

Well I spent my Spring Day relaxing in the sun. I am starting to get a nice tan, let me tell you! But our housekeeper told me that where she is from people splashed each other with water – think like the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS awareness, except it is to remind the locals that summer is on its way!

Tan lines!

All of yesterday was a pretty lazy day all in all, so I thought I’d do a whole bunch of cooking today. When Lizzie comes I like to make a special lunch for her sometimes so that she can get a great meal. So for today’s lunch I went for a pita bread type sandwich.

There was a perfect amount of colors and a balance of flavours. Perfect!

 Pesto Veggie Pita

I got the recipe from here though I did change it some.


  • ½ cup (7g) packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup (25g) finely shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste 
  • ½  zucchini cut into ½-inch slices
  • ½ squash cut into ½-inch slices
  • 1 medium green sweet peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
  • 1 (8 ounce) package Halloumi cheese, cut into 1/3-inch-thick slices
  • 2 large pita breads
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive oil
  • 1 cup (47g) shredded romaine lettuce



  1. For pesto vinaigrette, in a food processor combine basil, olive oil, the Parmesan cheese, nuts, vinegar, and garlic. Cover and process until smooth. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Cover and set aside.

  2. In a large bowl toss together squash, zucchini, sweet peppers, the olive oil, and oregano. Grill in a pan for 6 minutes or until lightly browned and soft. Meanwhile, lightly brush cheese slices the additional olive oil. Place on grill rack; cover and grill about 2 minutes or until heated through and cheese is golden brown, turning once halfway through grilling.

  3. Place pita breads in toaster to toast some. Remove from oven and fill pita with romaine lettuce, halloumi cheese, and grilled vegetables. Top with homemade pesto vinaigrette. Serve immediately and enjoy!

 Lizzie and I loved it to bits. She loved the flavours and everything. Makes me happy.

Then for dinner, well dinner was fantastic. Another vegetarian dish for the day, but a superb one. Both mom and dad went for seconds even! Everyone loves a good stew, right? Well this one obviously does not have moist meat, but protein packed with lentils and soft cauliflower!

Harissa Lentils and Cauliflower

Food is truly my happiness. I got the recipe from here and also tweaked it some. Some being an understatement. It came out like magic, anyway!

But can anyone tell me what adobo sauce is? I haven’t a clue and cannot find it in South Africa! But luckily I found a recipe for an adobo seasoning.

So this meal is called Harissa. What is Harissa? Lord knows I didn’t know. Only found out when writing this post even! It is a Northern African condiment type sauce. It is made with chilies and peppers and is used with meats usually. To make Harissa you need adobo sauce AND chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. None of which I had. So this is where Tracy’s adobo seasoning helped out like crazy! Though I am pretty sure my meal looked nothing like the recipe I followed!

Harissa with Lentils and CauliflowerHere’s the recipe I followed:



  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 ½ Tablespoon Tracy’s Adobo Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¼ cup (15g) fresh cilantro
  • 2 Tablespoons dried cilantro


  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 2 cups (200g) small cauliflower florets
  • ½ cup (100g) red lentils
  • 1 can (400g) stewed tomatoes
  • 2 cups (500ml) low-sodium vegetable broth


  1. In food processor, pulse garlic until minced. Add remaining ingredients and pulse until harissa is well combined. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.

  2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-low. Add onion and sauté until translucent, 6-7 minutes. Add cauliflower and continue to cook for another 5-6 minutes. Stir in lentils, stewed tomatoes, ¾ cup of the harissa, and 2 cups vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and let cook until lentils are tender, 20-24 minutes.

  3. Serve over grains and drizzle with remainder harissa sauce.

  4. Enjoy!

 IMG_5361So I am pretty damn sure that is not what it was meant to look like, BUT you know what? Who cares? It tasted amazing. Even the Harissa without this mysterious adobo sauce! That was quite spectacular actually. 

This could and probably would be made again! Although my father needed some additional salt, it was perfect for both mom and I. AND it was still pretty colorful to go with the Spring Day meal from lunch, right?

I hope you get around to eating one or both of these recipes. They were both delicious so they should be great in your kitchen and on your plate too!

Enjoy your meal everyone!