Meat Free Monday

If you haven’t heard of Anna Jones then I have to tell you, she is a vegetarian goddess! Recently a friend and I tried out a couple of her recipes from her book ‘A Modern Way to Cook’ and here they are in all their glory.
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Frying pan Filo, Kale and Goats Cheese pie…
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…with a roasted cherry tomato lentil dish.
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I love that although some of her recipes do have a lot of different elements, she gives you alternatives to the slightly harder to source ingredients.

The ingredients for the pie:
  1. 100 g black olives
  2. 100 g goat’s cheese
  3. 1 unwaxed lemon (We used waxed by accident and it was fine)
  4. 200 g kale (Anna suggests cavolo nero too)
  5. olive oil
  6. 100 g pecorino or parmesan cheese
  7. 2 free range or organic eggs
  8. 1 x 200 g pack of filo pastry
  9. ½ a bunch of fresh thyme
  10. 450 g butternut squash (We used sweet potato)
  11. Olive oil
  12. 2 red onions

Preheat your oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas 7 and get all your ingredients together. You’ll need a 24cm frying pan.

Heat a saucepan on a low heat while you finely chop your onions, then turn the heat up to medium, add a little coconut oil and cook the onions for 5 minutes, until soft and sweet.

While the onions are cooking, peel and roughly dice the sweet potato (or squash). Add it to the onions along with the thyme leaves and cook for 5–10 minutes.

Meanwhile, unwrap the sheets of filo and lay them over your frying pan, leaving a little overlap round the edges (you’ll fold this in later). Keep going until have a good sturdy 3–4 sheet layer all over – you may need to patch it together bit by bit if you have small sheets.

Once the sweet potato has had it’s 5 minutes, scoop it into a bowl. Crack in the eggs and grate in the pecorino or Parmesan. Season with freshly ground black pepper and mix well.

Drizzle the filo pastry with a little olive oil, then use a pastry brush to persuade the oil all over the pastry. Spoon the butternut mixture into the pan and put on a medium heat. (This part of the recipe almost caused us a small kitchen fire…)

Working quickly, shred the kale and toss it with the juice and zest of the lemon and a little oil (this mixture tasted lovely raw and it think would be great in a salad too). Scatter it on top of the sweet pot and push down a little into the mixture, then dot the goat’s cheese and de-stoned olives on top. Fold the excess filo back over the filling to form a wavy edge. Place on the bottom of the oven and bake for 20–25 minutes, or until golden and crisp.

The Lentils:

  1. 300g tinned green lentils (you are meant to use puy but we couldn’t find any on short notice) put these in a big pan with 4 cloves of unpeeled garlic, a fresh tomato, a few sprigs of thyme, two bay leafs and a vegetable stock cube.
  2. Simmer for 15 mins
  3. Meanwhile, roast 400g of cherry tomatoes on a baking tray with salt, pepper, olive oil and the zest of a lemon, for 15 minutes. This step is vital in my opinion it really lifts the flavour of the dish and complimented the creaminess of the goat cheese in the pie perfectly- so delicious!
  4. Make some breadcrumbs with a couple of stale pieces of bread. We just put the stale bread in the toaster for a minute or two, and then bashed in a plastic bag with a rolling pin, quite fun!
  5. On another baking tray, mix a couple of handfuls of your breadcrumbs with thyme, a chopped garlic clove, olive oil, salt and pepper and pop in the oven for 5 minutes.
  6. We then combined 100ml cottage cheese with whole grain mustard, it is meant to be horseradish but I can’t stand the stuff! This was a nice alternative if you are like me.
  7. Ladle out the lentils, adding the tomatoes on top with cottage cheese mix, and sprinkle with the breadcrumbs.

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2 thoughts on “Meat Free Monday

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