Today – 8th June – is World Oceans Day*, a day for raising awareness about just how much we rely on the oceans for our survival, and just how rapidly we are damaging them, and those that live in, on and around them. Continue reading “No-fish pie”
Barley is one of those grains that often hangs out at the back of the kitchen cupboard collecting dust. It’s a great grain to have on hand, but what exactly do you do with it……? Continue reading “Asparagus and broccoli barley risotto”
There’s no getting away from it, food has got super complicated! Every day I come across a new article or piece of research that claims a specific nutrient is the new cure for a disease or chronic health problem. Today’s one covered how vitamin C and E, but not other nutrients, could prevent Parkinson’s Disease. How much of these and why, they weren’t sure. And of course it concluded that more research is needed! Continue reading “Keeping it simple”
Spring has finally arrived in all her glory; it seems to have been a very long winter this year! Gorgeous Spring blossom and buds are everywhere, like this gorgeous magnolia coming into bloom near my house. Continue reading “Simnel cake”
With only a two weeks until Easter, the supermarkets are full of seasonal goodies, most of which are a no-go area for me! It’s not really an issue as I can make most things at home myself or do without. But there is one particular treat I really missed for years – hot cross buns. Continue reading “Vegan sourdough hot cross buns”
I am a big fan of all vegetables. Well, most of them! There is still the odd one or two I’m not keen on. Globe artichokes is one mainly because they just seem to be a bit too complicated! The other is celery. Continue reading “Celery soup”
As its St David’s Day today (1st March), it seemed only right that I share something connected to Wales. Apart from stunning scenery and lush green countryside, the three things that spring to my mind are daffodils, sheep and leeks. And there’s only one of those that can feature in one of my recipes, so leeks it is! Continue reading “Quick leek, mushroom and broccoli pasta sauce”
February is a funny month. Spring is on the way but the weather can be so harsh, as if winter doesn’t want to let you go just yet. The icy cold winds of the last few days here in the UK are the perfect example of this! Continue reading “Barley and roasted squash stew”
No matter how much you enjoy cooking, there’s always the times when you just want something quick and easy that doesn’t keep you tied to the kitchen whilst it’s cooking. Particularly on those busy weekdays. Even though we’re still in lockdown and not physically going anywhere, I’ve found my weekday evenings seem to be just as busy with online meetings, webinars or social chats.
It’s only a week until Christmas Day! Have you decided what you’re having for Christmas lunch this year? It could well be nut roast – and why not? It’s delicious. Especially if you jazz it up a bit with a filling, like this stuffed nut roast recipe. But what if you fancy something a bit different? Or can’t eat nuts? What else can you make for that special meal?
This super tasty roasted squash and lentil filo swirl might just hit the spot for you. The soft and flavoursome filling contrasts perfectly with the crunchy flaky filo on the outside. And it looks dead posh too, even though it’s pretty simple to make.
To make this recipe easier, it’s a good idea to roasted the squash ahead of time so it’s ready for when you want it. And to make it even easier, you don’t even need to take the skin off. Peeling squash is just all too much 😉 It’s enough to wash the skin, then slice, remove the seeds inside and cut into chunks to tip into a roasting tray. Simple!
I’ve used filo for this tasty swirl as it contains only a few ingredients and is easy to use. But if you’re gluten free, it’s not ideal. You can buy it, but it’s hard to find. And you can make it, but it’s pretty tricky!
As an alternative, you could use bought gluten free pastry either short crust or puff pastry. But these can contain higher levels of saturated fat or animal fats, which again is not ideal. So an alternative is to use a large cabbage or winter greens leaf. Yup you read that correctly! It’s not as crazy as it sounds, honest!
Remove the inner stem and lightly steam for a couple of minutes. You want it to soften but not cook. Refresh the leaf in some cold water, pat dry, then place some of the filling on one side and wrap it up in to a little parcel. Secure with some thin strips of leek or a cocktail stick. This can then be baked in the oven. It’s not a swirl, but it still tastes fab!
Of course, this recipe can be made any time of year – it’s not just for Christmas! But if you do make it for Christmas Day, I hope you enjoy it with all the normal trimmings. Do let me know how you get on!
Roasted squash and lentil filo swirl
- 1 medium squash
- 1 medium red onion
- 2 bay leaves
- 150 grams mushrooms a woodland mix or chestnut mushrooms are good
- 2 fat cloves of garlic
- 1 tbsp tamari or coconut aminos
- 1 teaspoon each of ground cinnamon, coriander and cumin
- 250 grams cooked puy lentils
- 50 grams dried cranberries or raisins soaked in warm water
- 2 tbsp flaked almonds
- 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 handfuls fresh coriander and/or parsley chopped
- 4 sheets filo pastry
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or soya milk
- extra sliced almonds and chopped herbs
Roasting the squash - can be done the day before
- Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas4.
- Chop the squash into smallish chunks –there's no need to peel at the moment. Place in a large baking tin, massage in a tiny bit of olive oil (optional) and roast in the oven for 20 minutes or so until soft and lightly caramelised. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
Make the filling
- Finely chop the onion. Heat a couple of tablespoons of water in the base of a medium-sized pan and add the onion and bay leaves. Sauté for 5 minutes until soft. Stir regularly and add a little more water if needed to ensure the onion doesn’t stick.
- Finely chop the mushrooms and garlic cloves. Add them to the pan with the tamari. Stir well and sauté for a few more minutes.
- Chop the squash into small pieces – remove any thick, chewy bits of skin but otherwise keep the skin if its soft from roasting. Mash half the squash, keep the other half chopped.
- Add the squash to the pan along with the spices and lentils. Stir well. Add the soaked fruit along with a little of the soaking water and simmer gently for 5 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and season with salt and pepper. Add the ground flaxseed, sliced almonds, fresh herbs and lemon juice. Leave to cool for 15 minutes. The mix with thicken slightly.
Construct the swirls
- If not already on, pre-heat the oven to180ºC/350ºF/Gas4. Line a large baking tray with non-stick baking paper.
- Divide the mix into 4 in the pan.
- Carefully lay out a sheet of filo pastry onto the worktop or large board long side horizontal (landscape). Spoon one portion of the mix along the top edge of the pastry in a narrow line. Brush the rest of the pastry lightly with olive oil or soya milk and carefully roll into a long sausage shape.
- Pinch one end of the sausage to seal then care wind it up into a swirl. Transfer to the baking tray using a spatula and brush the top with more olive oil or soya milk.
- Repeat the process another 3 times until you have 4 swirls on your tray. Place in the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes until lightly brown and crisp.
- Garnish with almonds and herbs if you are serving straight away or leave to cool and keep in the fridge for 24 hours. Gently reheat in the oven before serving.