A couple of weeks ago I bought some spinach and feta rolls from the bakery stall in the food market that pops up in the centre of town on Fridays and Saturdays. They were delicious but a little pricey so I decided to have a go at making my own. They were so tasty we’ve ended up having them as a quick meal on several occasions since. They’re particularly good for when Mr O is working in the evening as he can just pop one in the oven for 5 minutes to reheat and have a fresh, hot snack when he gets home.
Spinach and feta pies
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
200g frozen chopped spinach
200g feta cheese, crumbled
150g ricotta cheese
2 sheets pre-rolled puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
Preheat your oven to 200 C.
Saute the onion and garlic in olive oil over a low heat for 5 minutes in a saucepan with a lid. Add the spinach and put on the lid. Cook until the spinach is completely defrosted and hot through (about 5 minutes). Remove from the heat and stir in the feta and ricotta and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Unroll the pastry sheets and cut each one into six (in half lengthwise and then into thirds). Place some of the spinach mixture in the centre of half the pastry rectangles. Don’t put it too close to the edges because you need room to seal. Brush all four of the edges around the spinach mixture of each rectangle with egg and then cover with another rectangle and press down the edges to close. Take a fork and press down all around the edges to make a nice pattern. Then use a sharp knife to make a few slashes across the top of each pie. Brush with more egg.
Place on a baking tray in the oven and bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.
Makes 6 pies
I know they get a pretty bad rap but I love lentils. Cooked with some creativity they are tasty, filling, high in fibre and a great vehicle for all kinds of other flavours. That’s why I am always on the look out for new lentil recipes. I adapted this warming vegetarian dahl from The Flexi Foodie.
Spinach and lentil dahl
125g red lentils
1 small red onion
1 clove of garlic
1 tablespoon of pureed fresh ginger
1 tablespoon of grapeseed or corn oil
1 teaspoon of mustard seeds
1 teaspoon of cumin
1 teaspoon of ground coriander
1 teaspoon of garam masala
1/2 teaspoon of tumeric
250g fresh or frozen spinach
200ml coconut milk
Juice of half a lemon
Cook the lentils for 8 minutes in boiling water. Drain and set aside.
Finely chop the garlic and onion. Heat the oil in a large pot and add the onions. Cook at a medium heat for about 10 minutes or until the onions become translucent. Add the garlic, ginger and spices and cook for one more minute.
Add the spinach to the pot and wilt for 2 – 3 minutes. You might need to do this in batches.
Add the coconut milk, water and lentils and cook for 5 more minutes.
Add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
This is so quick and so tasty. The chickpea side could very easily be a side with various other dishes. Warning though, the salmon is very peppery. I love pepper but if you don’t you might not like this.
Pepper crusted salmon with garlic chickpeas
Adapted from BCC Good Food
2 salmon fillets
1 tsp black peppercorns
½ tsp paprika
Grated zest and juice of 2 limes
½ tablespoon of olive oil
1 400g tin of chickpeas
1 ½ tablespoons of olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
75ml vegetable stock
100g baby spinach
Heat the oven to 190 C (170 C for a fan oven). Put the salmon fillets in a shallow baking dish. Roughly crush the peppercorns in a pestle and mortar or if like me, you are not posh enough to own a pestle and mortar, put them in a mug and crush them with a slightly smaller glass. Mix the pepper with a couple of pinches of the sea salt, the paprika and the lime zest. Brush the salmon lightly with the oil and then sprinkle over the pepper mixture. Bake for 12 – 15 minutes until just cooked.
Meanwhile rinse the chickpeas well. Heat the oil in a pan, add the garlic and cook for 5 minutes on a low heat so the garlic doesn’t brown. Add the chickpeas and stock and simmer down so that most of the stock has cooked away and the chickpeas are soft. Crush the chickpeas lightly with a potato masher. Then add the spinach and cook until just wilted. Add the lime juice and some salt and pepper and stir through.
Serve the chickpeas with the salmon. Serves 2.
Who doesn’t like a nice veggie curry, eh?
Thai summer veg curry
Source: Adapted from BBC Good Food
2 tablespoons Thai green curry paste
400ml vegetable stock
2 onions, finely chopped
1 aubergine, cut into chunks
100g green lentils
200ml coconut milk
1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into wedges
1 yellow pepper, deseeded and cut into wedges
140g frozen peas
100g bag spinach
Heat a large saucepan and then add the thai curry paste and a splash of the stock. Then add the onions and cook for 5 minutes. Add the aubergine and cook for 5 more minutes. Add the coconut milk, lentils and remaining stock and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the peppers and simmer for ten more minutes. Stir through the peas and then add the spinach and cook until just wilted.
Serve with brown rice and mango chutney. Serves 4.