Dr Rupy Aujla
Rupy’s Roasted Winter Veg with Baked Halloumi
Dr Rupy Aujla
Prep time: 10-15 mins
Cook time: 40 mins
160g red onion (about 1 medium), quartered
160g deseeded and skin-on butternut squash, sliced into 2cm-thick wedges
160g Brussels sprouts, halved
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
2 tsp sumac, plus extra to serve
2 wholemeal pittas, torn into chunks
200g halloumi, cut into 2cm-thick slices
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
15g fresh mint leaves, chopped, to serve
Veg Portions / Serving: 3
Doctor’s Kitchen: 3-2-1 by Dr Rupy Aujla (Harper Thorsons) £16.99, out now
Cumin and cinnamon is such a powerful sweet and earthy spice combination: it transforms simple winter vegetables and this meal has a fantastic orchestra of flavours when cooked.
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6.
2. Tumble the onions, squash and sprouts into a roasting tray, smother with 1 tablespoon of the oil, plenty of salt and pepper and roast in the oven for 25 minutes.
3. Add the cumin, cinnamon, chilli flakes, sumac, pitta and halloumi to the vegetables in the tray, toss with the remaining tablespoon of oil and bake for a further 15 minutes until the pitta is crispy and golden and the halloumi is brown on the outside but soft and pillowy in the centre.
4. Remove from the oven and serve sprinkled with extra sumac, fresh mint and an extra drizzle of oil.
Variation: Omit the baked halloumi to make this completely plant-based if you wish.
Kids who engage regularly with veg through veg-themed activities, such as arts and crafts, sensory experiences, growing and cooking are shown to be more likely to eat the veg they engage with. Encouraging kids to engage and play with veg is the handy first step to them developing a good relationship with veg and life-long healthy eating.
Kids in the kitchen
Chop up the veg, then let the kids toss it into the roasting tray and drizzle and mix with the oil and seasonings. Get them to add the remaining ingredients carefully halfway through cooking and sprinkle on the finishing touches. They’ll love tearing the pitta breads into chunks, too!
While getting kids to interact with veggies for real and using their senses to explore them is best, encouraging hands off activities like arts & crafts, puzzles & games or at-home science experiments can be a great start, particularly for those who are fussier eaters or struggle with anything too sensory. Use these veg-themed activities as a stepping stone to interacting with the veg themselves. We have loads of crafty downloads here, puzzles here, and quirky science with veg here.
Once you feel your child is ready to engage a little more, you can show them how to explore the veg you have on hand with their senses, coming up with playful silly descriptions of how a veg smells, feels, looks, sounds and perhaps even tastes. Find ideas, videos and some simple sensory education session ideas to get you started here.
The moments before food is offered can be a perfect opportunity for engagement that can help make it more likely a child will eat it! Giving children a sense of ownership in the meal can make a big difference to their feelings going into it and the pride they take in it. You know your child best, but if you aren’t sure where to start, we have some fun and simple ideas for easy roles you can give them in the serving process over here.
Charlotte Radcliffe RNutr