24 November 2009


dairy free egg free nut free vegan

Not everyone likes tofu. Fair enough. Though you probably quite like it drenched in hoi-sin sauce in a stirfry, or don't mind a few little silken cubes in your miso soup. At some point however, dairy-allergics who can tolerate soy should embrace the mighty soybean in its various forms. (NOT however, the uber-processed soy protein - I'll save that rant for another day...)

For all those vegan Greeks out there (hellooooo......?) or for those who like a cheese and spinach pie but alas, dairy is off limits - this is a reduced-fat, damn healthy and quite flavoursome substitute. No really! The thing to remember when cooking with tofu is that it absorbs flavours extremely well so you need to be liberal with the seasoning.

I didn't have alot of filo pastry left but it still fit a tray, and the ratio of filling to pastry is perfect for this tofu version. Thin, delicate and tasty.

1 packet of frozen spinach or a bunch of fresh spinach
1 x 250g packet of organic tofu (firm not silken)
1 small onion, finely chopped
2-3 spring onions, finely chopped
2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
2 tbsp freshly chopped mint
olive oil (quite a bit, see below)
salt & pepper
about 10 sheets of filo pastry, cut in half so they roughly fit a rectangular tray
grating of fresh nutmeg
1 tbsp vegetable stock powder (Massel is dairy/egg/nut free)
splash of soy sauce
sesame seeds (optional)

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Make sure you squeeze as much water out of the spinach as you can (both fresh or frozen) before adding to the pan. Saute the onion in the oil until softened. Add spring onion, spinach, herbs and nutmeg and cook, stirring, until any remaining liquid evaporates. Season with salt and pepper.

Crumble the tofu with a fork and mix in the stock powder and soy sauce (or you can blitz together in food processor). Mix into the spinach.

Brush a rectangular baking dish with olive oil. Then brush 10 sheets of filo pastry with olive oil to fit just wider than the dish.  Spoon in spinach and tofu mix. Put a further 10 sheets (also brushed with olive oil) over the top and tuck in any overlap down the sides. Score the top of the pie if you like but do not cut through to the bottom. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if using. Bake for about 25 minutes, until golden brown.

NB: if you think there is an awful lot of olive oil brushing going on, you're right. But filo pastry is really tricky to handle as it dries very quickly and sticks together and then is virtually impossible to separate without tearing. So brushing individual sheets with oil can be even more difficult than it sounds. Apparently a damp tea towel over the sheets while you're working prevents the drying out but I can never be bothered with it. I usually only oil every few sheets - and it still turns out delicious (and healthier).

No comments:

Post a Comment