Eating a plant based diet is great for me, but some of the things I really like to use to ensure that I get enough protein, such as pine nuts, the rest of the family dislike. So rather than phaffing around creating two separate dishes I often try to cook one dish that can be adapted right at the end to suit all.
This is one such dish – after cooking I serve it with extra pine nuts for me, and feta cheese for them. However, if everyone likes pine nuts then put in as many as you like, and if you eat cheese then I’d recommend putting one packet of feta cheese, either crumbled or cut into cubes, into the pie filling itself.
You will need:
- Vegetable oil / olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped fairly finely
- 1-2 teaspoons of cumin
- 1-2 packets of fresh spinach: you don’t need fancy baby spinach, and I’m sure you could also make this with frozen spinach. I say 1-2 packets because it depends on how spinachy you like it!
- 1/3rd cup of pine nuts (add more if you want to)
- 1/3rd cup of raisins (add more if you want to)
- 2-3 cups of freshly cooked rice: again, I’m being vague, but it depends on how much rice you want in relation to your spinach!
- Juice of 1/2 – 1 lemon – to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
- one pack of ready rolled filo sheets OR one pack of ready rolled puff pastry (or equivalent amount from a pack of puff pastry)
- Extra pine nuts
- Feta Cheese
- Crisp green salad
1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°c (180°c if you are using a fan oven).
2. Add a couple of tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan / casserole dish (big enough to add the rice in later).
3. Fry onion with 1 teaspoon of cumin powder for about 5 mins. This really is to taste so you may want to add more / less cumin.
4. Add the spinach a few handfuls at a time, allowing each handful to wilt down to make room for the next.
5. Add the pine nuts and sultana’s – again, this is to taste so add more or less according to what you like.
6. Add the rice and season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice – at this point you may want to add more cumin.
7. Take the filling off heat while you line the tin, which should be about 1-1/2 litres in capacity.
8. Either line the tin with puff pastry, or start layering up the filo. To do this brush oil on one side of a sheet of filo, placing it oil side down in the tin, and repeat with each sheet until you have about 3-4 left.
9. Put the filling in the pie tin and press down to level off, before placing the final 3-4 sheets of filo on the top / placing a puff pastry lid on the top.
10. Brush the filo pastry with oil, or if you’re using puff then use soya milk or egg.
11. Bake for 25 – 30 mins, or until pastry is golden brown on top.