Spinach and ricotta ‘sausage’ rolls

After realising that I can be a bit of a frozen puff-pastry hoarder, I’ve been looking for ways to make sure we use up the packets before they are lost in the depths of our chest freezer. Sausage rolls, in the traditional sense, have been baked in abundance for this reason, and are definitely a ‘go to’ for parties and entertaining. As are my favourite savoury scrolls – which are always a great lunchbox addition.

So when I was looking for a vegetarian dish to contribute to our recent Good Friday lunch, and also a way to finish off the half pack of puff pastry I had in the freezer, these lovely little spinach and ricotta rolls came to be.

Filled with the goodness of spinach, and jazzed up with both ricotta and feta – this vegetarian take on the ol’ sausage roll proved rather delicious. And they will now feature on my ‘bring a plate’ favourites list for sure!

Print Recipe
Spinach and ricotta 'sausage' rolls
Course Baking
Cuisine Vegetarian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
rolls
Ingredients
Course Baking
Cuisine Vegetarian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
rolls
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 200C and line 2 trays with baking paper.
  2. Squeeze as much liquid out of the spinach as you can, then place in a large bowl with the ricotta, feta, egg and lemon zest. Stir to combine, and season.
  3. Cut each pastry sheet in half. Place 1/4 of the spinach mixture down the long side of each sheet. Brush the opposite side with egg, and roll to enclose.
  4. Cut each roll into 6 pieces, and place onto the lined baking trays. Brush the tops with a little more egg, and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown.
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Mushroom quinoa “risotto” with roasted tomatoes

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While I love risotto, sometimes it feels a little heavy for dinner (particularly if I am eating close to bedtime). A solution? Use another of my favourite ingredients in place of rice..

Quinoa!

The added bonus being that it is quicker to prepare and packed with protein (especially if you are opting to otherwise keep the dish vegetarian).

On this occasion, I packed out the ‘risotto’ with mushrooms, zucchini and a good helping of spinach. The overall result was full of flavour, but not too heavy, and it turned out to be quite the tasty midweek meal.

img_1130 Finished with some cherry tomatoes that I had roasted in the oven until soft and starting to caramelise – which added nice little sweet bursts to the dish.
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I’ll have to remember this dish for next time I have vegetarian friends in town!

Mushroom quinoa “risotto” with roasted tomatoes (serves 2)

  • 100g cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 0.5 cups water
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 200g mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 brown onion, diced
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • 1/2 cup tri-colour quinoa
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Place tomatoes on a lined backing tray and spray lightly with oil. Roast for 10 minutes or until starting to soften.
  2. Bring stock and water to a simmer in a small saucepan. Lower heat.
  3. Heat oil in a separate fry-pan over medium heat. Add mushrooms and onion and cook for a few minutes, or until starting to colour.
  4. Add the garlic and zucchini, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Add the quinoa and stir for 1 minute, coating the grains in oil.
  6. Add the warm stock mixture, one ladle at a time. Stir until the liquid has been absorbed before adding the next. Repeat until all the stock is used and the quinoa is cooked.
  7. Stir through the parmesan and spinach, and stir until the spinach has wilted.
  8. Divide the risotto amongst two serving bowls, and top with the roasted tomatoes.

 

 

Sunshine ‘pull-apart’ Pie

IMG_5229I am certainly someone that its attracted to cooking magazines, particularly when they have something scrumptious on the cover. And a recent edition of Taste magazine (which is one of my favourite ‘everyday meal’ recipe magazines at the moment) captured my attention in no time at all. The ‘sunshine pie’ which featured on the cover – had everyone in our household intrigued. For the magazine had turned a humble spinach and ricotta pie into something rather spectacular! IMG_5322 Spinach, ricotta, goats cheese, cheddar, green onions and eggs, combined then sandwiched between two layers of puff pasty that had been cut into rounds. Then, with some creative knife and twist work – a lovely little ‘sun’ was ready for baking. pie And after 35 minutes in the oven – what a pretty addition to the dinner table we had! IMG_5229 These photos were taken after 30 minutes or so, as I par-cooked the pie in advance of the dinner party we were having that evening. Needless to say that when it had an extra 10 minutes in the oven before serving, it puffed up even more and turned beautifully golden brown. IMG_5230 I loved loved LOVED the three-cheese combination – particularly the goats cheese that really gave the pie a flavour hit. And I can’t help but think that the ‘twist’ method would work with lots of other flavour combinations too. Time to get my thinking cap on!

Asparagus and spinach soup

IMG_4399 The lovely people at the Australian Asparagus Council surprised me with multiple bunches of asparagus recently. And, given that asparagus is one of my favourite Spring ingredients, I wasted no time in putting it to good use. IMG_1737 First up – was this delightful soup. Made one particularly chilly day – when time was short and comfort food was craved. And, as is the case with most homemade soups, it was so easy and speedy to prepare. IMG_4396 And despite being a comforting meal, this was also a healthy one. With lots of green! IMG_4397 I loved the little roasted spears on top, and the drizzle of natural yoghurt. And a good amount of black pepper. Never forget the pepper! IMG_4400 Asparagus and Spinach soup (serves 2-3)

  • 1tbs olive oil
  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed into 3cm pieces
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 L vegetable stock
  • 60g spinach leaves
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • pepper, to taste
  • natural yoghurt to serve
  1. Heat oil in a medium saucepan. Add the asparagus, onion and garlic and sauté until the onion starts to soften. Remove a few of the asparagus tips for serving later.
  2. Add the potato and stock, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the potato is tender.
  3. Add the spinach leaves and allow to wilt, before blending the entire mixture until smooth.
  4. Add lemon juice and pepper to taste.
  5. Divide among serving bowls and top with natural yoghurt and the asparagus spears to serve.

Oh and be sure to check out asparagus.com.au for more recipe ideas. What about you? Are you a fan of asparagus?

Seared steak and spinach salad

hehe try saying that one fast….?! IMG_5254 Another warm day, another tasty salad for dinner. This time, it was a chance to use some leftover vegetables we had in the fridge… IMG_5248 spinach, mushrooms, radishes and spring onions. Combined with some cooked rice, and a drizzle of garlic olive oil. IMG_5250 Piled high…. IMG_5251 And topped with a beautiful piece of fillet steak, that we had brushed with a little harissa for a fiery kick and grilled. IMG_5253 We used the stove top on this occasion, but on reflection, we really should have fired up the BBQ… IMG_5255 Next time for sure! What about you? Do you use the BBQ for cooking dinner during the warmer months?

Lasagne loving

If there is one meal that I am drawn too when wanting (a) something I can put together in advance and (b) yields enough for multiple meals, it is always lasagne. IMG_3918 A great way to use up whatever veggies and ingredients you have on hand when pulling together the meat sauce.. IMG_3909 (in this case it was pancetta, celery, carrots and onion). And an easy dish to have bubbling away on the stove with relatively little attention. IMG_3916 And, as for the layering, with the help of a ricotta sauce (in place of béchamel) and some fresh lasagne sheets – well it really is very simple. IMG_3915IMG_3917 (ricotta, an egg, frozen spinach (thawed) and a handful of grated parmesan). Once the layering is done (think sauce, lasagne sheets, ricotta, repeat), and the whole dish is given a generous sprinkling of mozzarella and parmesan, just cover and set it aside until it is time to bake! IMG_3921 30-40 minutes later – and dinner is served! IMG_3925 So much cheesy, meaty goodness – oh and the healthy addition of spinach right?! IMG_3928 Served with a side salad – and you have yourself lunch / dinner for the next day (plus some portions to place in the freezer). IMG_3929 Yup I do really love lasagne. What about you? Are you a fan of lasagne?

Filo rolls take 1

IMG_9224 With the re-introduction of wheat into my diet, I now have the opportunity to cook with ingredients I have never previously worked with. One such ingredient is filo pastry, that I have seen all too often on cooking shows, but never actually used myself. Well until last week, that is. I picked up a packet of filo pastry from the supermarket, and just stared at it for a little while trying to figure out what on earth I would do with it. A look in the fridge revealed a big butternut pumpkin that needed to be used, and a dinner idea grew from there. I peeled and diced the pumpkin, then roasted it in the oven with olive oil, garlic and cinnamon for an hour or so. IMG_9214 Processed until smooth – then combined with a good amount of ricotta. IMG_9215 And thus our pumpkin, cinnamon ricotta filling was born! As for the filo itself, I must have been rather dubious that this recipe would work, as I didn’t take any action shots. Basically, I layered  a couple sheets of filo, sprayed them with olive oil spray, then folded them in half. I spooned a good amount of the pumpkin mixture and baby spinach on the short end of the pastry, then rolled it up (turning in the sides) to form a sausage roll shaped pastry. IMG_9219 Like so… IMG_9217 Placed on a lined baking tray, finished with another light spray of olive oil, then topped with a sprinkle of sesame seeds. Into the oven at 180C for 15 minutes…. IMG_9220 And look at the magical filo rolls that greeted me when I opened the oven door! IMG_9221 Perfectly golden, perfectly crispy… IMG_9222 But the real treat was inside… IMG_9226 Creamy, flavoursome pumpkin and spinach Smile  This, my friends, is going to certainly be a “take 1”. Of many. My mind is already starting to whirl with other filling combinations! What about you? Ever cook with filo?

Warm bean and spinach salad

Over the weekend, I had planned for some girlfriends to come over for lunch. Sadly, illness struck one of my friends, so we decided to postpone the lunch to another day. A downside being that I then had 4 chicken marylands (that I had planned to cook for lunch) and nothing to serve them with (as one of my friends had been on ‘salad duty’). So, while the chicken was roasting in the oven that evening, I raided our fridge and pantry to see what I could come up with for a side dish. Starting with the fridge – carrots and zucchini… IMG_7397 Followed by the pantry – from which I grabbed cannellini beans, harissa paste and some tomato paste. IMG_7398 Finally – a bag of baby spinach and a little water.. IMG_7399 And then left to cook until the spinach had wilted and the dish had warmed through. IMG_7400 The result being a rather tasty warm salad – that was so very easy to make IMG_7401 Packed with veggies and the creamy beans… IMG_7403 And with just a kick of spice from the harissa paste.  IMG_7405 Served with the roasted chicken marylands… IMG_7411 and we had ourselves quite a tasty dinner. Gotta love the versatility of beans! What about you? Do you have a favourite bean / legume? Mine would have to be chickpeas, although I also love the creaminess of cannellini beans.

Creamy pasta, minus the cream

40+1… the wait continues. But despite my ever-expanding waistline, it appears that it is still “business as usual” in the BBB household. More walking, more pottering around the house. And more home cooked meals. IMG_5120 Like this one that found its way to our dinner table last night. IMG_5124 I have had a hankering for a creamy pasta dish for a while now(which in itself is rather strange given that I normally prefer tomato-based dishes). IMG_5109 However, knowing that my tummy never really appreciates a big bowl of creamy carbs, I sought out an alternative that would make the dish a little more tummy-friendly. Enter: light evaporated milk. IMG_5111 All the cream taste, minus the heavy cream overload. And when coupled with a few extra ingredients… IMG_5110 Along with a pile of spinach that I had whirred in the food processor for a few moments… IMG_5114 IMG_5115 It produced a rather vibrant “cream” sauce indeed. Finished with cooked pasta and a handful of grated parmesan IMG_5116 And our dinner was complete. IMG_5122 Creamy – yet not overwhelming… IMG_5123 Just the kind of dinner I was looking for! IMG_5121 Pure comfort in a bowl. IMG_5125 And I think I may have just found my new ‘cream’ substitute when it comes to cooking! What about you? Ever cooked with evaporated milk?

Warm mushroom and spinach salad

hello, I’m here! *waves* Just a little overwhelmed by life at the moment. Although I am very pleased to report that with only 2 days left at work things are finally starting to calm down and work their way into place. So much so that Mr BBB and I even managed to get out for a much needed walk this evening. P2150001 (37 weeks tomorrow yay!) It was rather slow, but ever so glorious. And most certainly missed after the busy week we just put behind us. A little while ago I was approached to create a recipe for the Australian Mushroom Growers’ Association as part of their Summer Mushroom Campaign. IMG_4720 Being both a mushroom fan, and keen to get a veggie-fied meal on the menu this evening, I figured there was no better time than the present. IMG_4719 On the menu… IMG_4732 Warm mushroom and spinach salad. IMG_4739 With only 2 main ingredients, mushrooms and spinach, and the help of a variety of spices, the dish came together in no time at all. IMG_4724 The ‘shrooms… IMG_4725 The spices… IMG_4726 And the spinach… IMG_4727 Simmered until soft. IMG_4730 And we had ourselves a rather tasty mushroom side dish indeed. IMG_4733 The mushrooms soaked up the various spices really well, providing a spicy hit with every mouthful. IMG_4741 And although we served these as a side dish to accompany some roast lamb… IMG_4735 I would have probably been quite happy to eat the whole plate by itself too! IMG_4732 Delicious! (oh and head over to the Summer Mushroom Campaign website for even more ‘shrooms recipes!) Warm mushroom and spinach salad (serves 2 generously)

  • 500g cup mushrooms, quartered
  • 1/2 tsp mince garlic
  • 1/2 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 100g baby spinach
  1. Heat a little olive oil in a medium frypan, and add mushrooms.
  2. Add the spices, stirring to coat well, and cook over a medium heat until the mushrooms have softened and reduced in size (they will release some moisture at this point).
  3. Add the spinach, and continue to cook until the spinach has wilted and any moisture has evaporated.
  4. Serve warm.

What about you? Are you a fan of mushrooms?