5 Meals, 5 Nights, No Waste: ‘Halloumi And Tacos Shouldn’t Go Together, But We’ve Decided They Do Now’

You can whip them together in just 20 minutes...

meal plan

by Joanne Gould |
Updated on

This week we're going rogue and bundling together a bunch of things you may not think work, but trust us, they really, really do. From pea & mint pesto salmon gnocchi (in just 15 minutes!) to halloumi tacos, your taste buds are in for a wild ride this week. Get ready to be introduced to a new world of delicious flavours that you'll now be bringing to every dinner party, or scoffing it all alone every cold night of January (at least, that's what we'll be doing).

Shopping List:

6 sausages / veggie sausages of your choice

4 skin-on chicken thigh fillets

1-2 salmon fillets

300-400g firm tofu

1 block Halloumi

1 small red cabbage

1 avocado

6 tomatoes

1 cucumber

2 small onions

1 lemon

2 limes

Several hot red chillies





Frozen peas

150g dried lentils (brown, puy, green, Castellucio)

1 pack gnocchi

Soft tacos

80g couscous

500ml cider or stock

Ground cumin

Red wine vinegar


Crunchy peanut butter

Tamarind sauce

Fish sauce


Coconut oil

Olive oil

Monday – Crispy tofu & Thai cucumber salad, 15-20 mins

Monday – Crispy tofu & Thai cucumber salad, 15-20 mins

A speedy take on Thailand’s brilliant green papaya salad (aka som tam) accompanied with some really tasty fried tofu

Make the Thai dressing by combining a tablespoon of good crunchy peanut butter with a tablespoon of tamarind sauce, a splash of fish sauce, the juice of a lime, a teaspoon of sugar, a crushed garlic clove and a finely chopped red chilli (remove the seeds for less heat but this is intended to be a very spicy dish). Mix well then set aside.

Use a Julienne (or normal) peeler to cut half the cucumber into fine strips. If this becomes difficult towards the middle just slice it but the ribbons are nice with the dressing. Roughly dice two tomatoes, half a bunch of coriander and combine with the cucumber and the dressing.

Cut the tofu into smallish cubes then heat a non-stick frying pan with a heaped teaspoon of coconut oil over a medium high heat. Bash a whole garlic clove to bruise it – leaving the skin on – and add to the pan. Add the tofu and leave it to crisp up, turning after 2-3 minutes until dark golden brown and sizzling. Serve alongside the cucumber salad and perhaps with some sticky rice.

NOTE: People have bad experiences with tofu at home as it is often not firm enough. Brands like Tofoo and Cauldron do quite nice firm tofu, but to firm it up even further, so it fries well and gets really crispy make sure you drain it really well, pat it dry and you can then press it by sandwiching the tofu between clean cloths and putting something heavy (like a bowl) on top.

Still not a fan? Try the recipe with chicken or prawns instead.

Tuesday – Cider braised sausages, lentils & red cabbage, 45 mins (you can cook longer and lower if you prefer)

Tuesday – Cider braised sausages, lentils & red cabbage, 45 mins (you can cook longer and lower if you prefer)

A low-prep winter warmer that makes use of seasonal red cabbage

Roughly chop an onion, two garlic cloves and saute in a tablespoon of olive oil for five minutes. Chop half the cabbage finely and add to the pan, coating in the oil and stirring for a few minutes. Now add the lentils and cider. Bring to the boil then transfer to an oven proof dish. Brown the sausages briefly then add to the pot to braise in the oven at 180C for 35 mins+ until the liquid is just about absorbed. Season well, sprinkle with a few sprigs of chopped parsley and serve with mustard of your choice.

NOTE: Doing Dry January? Try using chicken or veg stock with a generous glug of apple juice instead. This freezes well too, so make more if you can.

Wednesday – Pea & mint pesto salmon gnocchi, 15 mins

Wednesday – Pea & mint pesto salmon gnocchi, 15 mins

All the flavours of summer, all the comfort of pasta

Make the pesto: grind one garlic clove with some salt to help you until it forms a paste, then add pine nuts, ¾ of the mint, a few sprigs of parsley and continue to grind together (you can use a blender if you prefer). Once it’s almost smooth, add the juice of half a lemon, a tablespoon of olive oil and combine until smooth. Season to taste then set aside.

Boil the gnocchi and as many peas as you fancy until the gnocchi rise to the top. Cut the salmon into chunks, drain the gnocchi and add to the pan. Once the salmon loses its bright pinkness, add the pesto and serve – hold the parmesan.

NOTE: Skip the salmon for veggies or vegans, or replace with roasted cherry tomatoes.

Thursday – Chargrilled chicken & tabbouleh, 20 mins

Thursday – Chargrilled chicken & tabbouleh, 20 mins

A flavoursome Levantine classic topped with crispy grilled chicken

Pour the couscous into a bowl and add 100ml boiling water, then cover with a plate or cling film. Set aside for 5 minutes then uncover.

Rub a heaped teaspoon of cumin, salt, pepper and a teaspoon of olive oil over the chicken and open up the thighs so they are as flat as possible on a baking tray. Preheat the grill and cook skin-side down for 7 minutes whilst you prep the salad.

Chop the other half of the cucumber, two tomatoes and half an onion into small chunks. Finely chop the rest of the parsley and mint and add to the salad. Add the juice and zest of the rest of the lemon, a tablespoon of olive oil and plenty of seasoning then stir in the couscous.

Turn the chicken skin side up and cook for a further 3 minutes or until cooked through. Serve with the tabbouleh salad and drizzle the cooking juices over it all.

NOTE: The chicken is easily swapped for your protein of choice.

Friday – Halloumi tacos, 20 mins

Friday – Halloumi tacos, 20 mins

Halloumi and tacos shouldn’t go together but we’ve decided they do now

Make a quick pickled cabbage by dissolving a teaspoon of sugar in 100ml of red wine vinegar. Shred the rest of the red cabbage, place in a bowl and pour the liquid over it. Set aside.

Make the salsa by finely chopping the remining tomatoes, onion, coriander and as many chillies as you’d like and mixing a pinch of salt and the juice of a lime. Pop in a bowl.

Chop the halloumi into small cubes, heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium high heat with a teaspoon of olive oil and fry for a few minutes each side until crispy. Put in a bowl.

Drain the cabbage.

Slice an avocado and put in a bowl.

Heat the wraps according to packet instructions and serve it all up ready to assemble.

NOTE: The cabbage saves well in a jar in the fridge in vinegar for another day if you don’t make your way through it all.

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