Oh what a week! Seven straight days of eating carbless, vegetarian Greek food, and blogging about it every day. This has been harder than I thought it would be! Tony struggled with the overload of tofu, and I really pined for my carbs!
It was a difficult challenge for us but we also gained a lot. We really enjoyed spending some time with each other in the kitchen and sitting down and eating the same meal together. It was something we both missed over the years of cooking and eating separately. We realised that we only need make a few simple compromises to bring back some mutually enjoyable activity at dinner time so we will definitely be doing this a lot more in future.
Going without carbohydrates for the week was quite physically and mentally draining for me. Tony has been doing this for a while so he got through that part of it okay, but for someone who loves her bread, pasta and sweets, this was a real shock to the system. Tony kept reassuring me that after this week my body will readjust and I'll even start burning off some fat and feeling pretty good.
Sorry Tony, not happening. I'm baking bread tomorrow and I think I have to make a big batch of lentil soup, or something. Nothing beats good old high-carb comfort food :)
Tony will also be glad to have a break from tofu, but he is serious about giving up meat or fish at least one day a week from now on which is a wonderful outcome of his experience with Meat Free Week. As a participant, he also raised some money for animal protection organisation Voiceless this week which he's pretty chuffed about (thanks heaps to those who sponsored him!).
So tonight was the final night of our Meat Free/Carb Free Week. The last carbless, vegetarian Greek meal we'll be having together for a while I'm sure. Not to say that it wasn't an enjoyable meal, but I could really do with some baklava right about now. (Oh tomorrow, you couldn't come quick enough.)
The word "souvlaki" is Greek for "skewer" and anything, not necessarily meat, can be impaled by this skewer and grilled or barbecued over a high heat, resulting in a char-grilled stick of delights.
Traditionally, lamb or pork is used to make the street food souvlakis that most people are familiar with, but tonight we used tofu, halloumi and some vegetables, marinated in classic Greek roasting ingredients to produce another winner of a meal for this final night of Meat Free Week.
Did you know that non-animal rennet is used in the process of making both feta and halloumi cheese?
Tofu and Cypriot Halloumi Souvlaki with Lemon and Oregano Marinade
Serves 2 (two souvlakis per person)
- 200g tofu, cubed into 12 pieces
- 1 Lebanese eggplant, sliced into 8 pieces
- 1 zucchini, sliced into 8 pieces
- 4 large button mushrooms (5cm diameter), halved
- 100g Cypriot halloumi, cubed into 8 pieces
- 1/2 green capsicum, cut into 8 squares
- 1 clove of garlic, cut into 12 small spears
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons dried oregano
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Extra lemon juice for serving
- You will need 4 long skewers – mine are about 30cm long. Smaller skewers will be fine, but you will probably need to use 6 instead of 4.
- Carefully pierce each tofu cube half way with the end of a skewer, being careful not to split the tofu or go all the way through. Turning the skewer as you pierce helps. Remove skewer and insert a garlic spear into the hole you made with the skewer. Repeat for each cube of tofu.
- Place all the ingredients for the marinade in a pouring jug and mix well with a fork.
- For each skewer, carefully slide 2 pieces of capsicum, 3 cubes of tofu*, 2 pieces each of the zucchini and eggplant, 2 mushroom* halves and 2 cubes of halloumi* in an alternating pattern onto the skewer, starting with one piece of green capsicum, and ending with the other piece of capsicum.
- Lay souvlakis in a large oven dish and spoon marinade over each skewer. Allow to soak the juices for at least 20 minutes, turning the skewers once or twice to coat all over.
- Place oven dish under your oven griller on the second shelf (this is how I did them), grill over the barbecue, or fry in a large frying pan until charred on both sides. Which ever method you use, a high heat is necessary.
- Arrange souvlakis on plates, squeeze fresh lemon juice over the skewers and serve with a crisp, green salad. These souvlakis are also delicious with dollops of tzatziki all over them!
* The tofu, mushroom and halloumi have a tendency to split when pierced so slide these on with care, twisting the skewer as you push, very slowly.
Thank you again to everyone who sponsored Tony (it's actually not too late to still make a donation! Just click here to go straight to Tony's profile page on the Meat Free Week website), and thanks for all your support and kind words in the comments. It was really wonderful to know that so many people were interested in what we were doing this week :)
Oh, and I'm linking this post back to Veggie Mama's Meatless Mondays. This week she talks about how to win over your meat-eating partner with some wonderful veggie delights.