Cookalicious: Puy Lentil & Halloumi Salad

Having ditched a career in finance to follow her food dream, Cepta Mahon is now helping people to transform their everyday cooking and make a real difference in their lives through her food venture “Cookalicious”. Believing that food is there to be enjoyed, Cepta wants to encourage and empower people to cook & eat ‘real’ food and describes her cooking as fuss-free, fabulous & healthy. A home chef and cookery tutor, Cepta’s ability to teach and share her love of all thing’s food is infectious; her online cooking classes, live cookalongs and demos have gone from strength to strength particularly in the last eighteen months as more and more people cooked at home. “I love nothing more than sharing my passion and giving others the confidence to cook great tasting food”.

Why not try this delicious protein packed salad from Cookalicious using store-cupboard staple lentils & delicious melting cheese halloumi. Serves 2 as a main dish.


  • 250g of cooked Puy lentils
  • 1 red onion 
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Small punnet of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Big bunch of salad leaves
  • Big handful each of flat leaf parsley & coriander
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • Sea salt & black pepper
  • 100g pecan nuts or walnuts
  • 1 block of halloumi cheese
  1. Thinly slice the onion, pop it into a small bowl & pour the balsamic on top to cold cook it.
  2. Heat a pan on a high heat & drizzle lightly with olive oil. Slice the halloumi into 1cm thick pieces & pat dry with kitchen towel to remove the excess liquid. Panfry on high for a few mins on each side until golden brown & crispy. 
  3. Pop the lentils into a bowl. Add in the grated garlic, cherry tomatoes, torn salad leaves & lots of freshly chopped herbs along with the macerated red onions, the maple syrup & the extra virgin olive oil. Season & combine everything well. 
  4. Roughly chop the nuts & stir through half of them.  
  5. Tip the salad onto a serving plate & lay the golden halloumi on top. Scatter the remaining nuts all over & drizzle on some extra oil. Find a quiet corner & tuck right in! 

Cepta Mahon lives in Galway with her husband Dec & their 3 children, who she tells are the ‘best fed children in the West’! For more information about weekly Online Classes, Zoom Cookalongs, Teen Takeover Saturdays & more, visit or follow @cookaliciousgalway on Instagram and Facebook.