Do you know what? I can go ages and ages without wanting junk food. I can take it or leave it and won’t sit there craving it… but tell me that I am on a diet and I am dreaming and wishing for every kind of junk food under the sun – it’s ridiculous! It can be so hard when the things I like most such as cheese and pastry and chocolate are the exact things I am meant to be cutting down on or avoiding completely. Now, one of the things that I do really crave when dieting is a big juicy burger with EVERYTHING on it and some great sides like fries and onion rings or a corn on the cob (please feel free to wipe the drool off your screens – apologies!) Linda McCartney do these amazing and juicy Mozzarella burgers and actually, as long as I syn them, they aren’t that bad and are a quick, easy and decent burger to have. However, when I have a bit more time, whether I am dieting or not, I LOVE making Roasted Veg & Halloumi Burgers with fries – it really satisfies those cravings for sure…
Ingredients (makes 4):
8 x Slices of small Granary Bred
1 x Large Aubergine, sliced approx 2cm thick
2 x Large Beef Tomatoes, thickly sliced
2 x Red Peppers, slice into quarters
1 x Pack of Lighter Halloumi
1 x Bag of Rocket
1 x Bunch of Basil
4 x Large Sweet Potatoes, peeled and cut into fries
2 x tsp Paprika
1x tsp Olive Oil
Fry-Lite Spray Oil
Salt and Pepper
1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees. In an oven tray, pop in your sliced aubergine and pepper and cover in spray oil as well as salt and pepper. Cover the tray with baking foil and pop in the over for approximately 1 hour or until soft.
2. In the mean time, pop the sweet potato chips in a bowl and add some spray oil as well as the paprika, salt and pepper and mix around to ensure that all the potatoes are covered and tip onto a baking tray. Pop in the oven with the roasting vegetables for 35-45 minutes.
3. 10 minutes before the oven is finished, warm a frying pan on the hob and pop the halloumi into the pan on a medium heat, turning over halfway through until browned on both sides. It shouldn’t need any oil as the cheese will cook in it’s own liquid – just be careful it doesn’t stick.
4. Five minutes before serving, pop your bread under the grill or on a griddle pan to lightly toast. In a mini (or maxi) blender, add the basil and olive oil with a little salt and pepper and blend until you have something resembling a pesto.
5. Now to assemble – pile a handful of rocket onto the bottom slice of bread, followed by a couple of slices of beef tomato, then add the aubergine, followed by the pepper and then the halloumi. On the top slice of bread, smear some of the basil paste and then pop it on top. Throw your smokey sweet potato fries on the side and you’ll have yourself one hell of a juicy and damn tasty burger!
There you have it – not totally syn free but a bloody good effort for sure. You can get away with the bread being a Healthy B per burger and if you portion it out, the Halloumi can also be your Healthy A, meaning that you only have to count the teaspoon of Olive oil – perfect and practically syn free!
What do you crave when you are dieting? What do you crave when you’re not? Have you found a great way to fakeaway your favourite foods?