Tofu Tuesday: Spanakopita

Our last recipe in VeganMoFo 2014 is a Greek classic: Spanakopita. Traditionally they’re filled with spinach and feta, so vegan version is naturally filled with spinach and tofu. Once again this has been fun, but blogging every day is also a lot of work. I hope randomofo will be up in October too, I love to browse blogs through it.

A Joyrney with Tiffany nominated us for Liebster Award. Thank you for the honour, but we have to pass answering the questions and nominating other blogs. Today it’s already time to go to bed, and tomorrow after work we’ll have to get ready for a little holiday trip.

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Spanakopita

1 package filo pastry (450 g)
about 2 dl olive oil for brushing

450 g frozen spinach
2 onions, chopped
450 g tofu
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
3 tbsp chopped dill
3 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp chopped mint
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
0,5 tsp pepper

Thaw the filo pastry according to the instructions on the package. Meanwhile prepare the filling. Sauté spinach and onion on a non-stick pan until water has evaporated. Allow to cool a bit. Crumble tofu in a bowl and add the rest of the filling ingredients.

Cut the filo pastry into strips, about 10 cm wide. Take one strip and place it on the table. Brush with olive oil. Put a heaping tablespoon of the filling in to one end. Fold one corner to form a triangle and continue folding until the strip is wrapped around the filling. It’s hard to explain, so check this picture. Brush with olive oil and put on a baking sheet. Make the rest of the pies the same way. Bake 10-15 minutes in 225 Celsius degrees.

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Warming Armenian Lentil Soup

Sally Butcher’s book Veggiestan (or Vegestan here in Finland) is a vegetarian Middle Eastern cook book. It’s not vegan, many recipes include eggs/dairy, but in my opinion it was worth buying. Many recipes are suitable for vegans, or can be easily veganized (use margarine instead of butter etc.). The recipes have a short explanation about the origins of the dish, which are fun to read. This soup is called Vospapur in Armenia, and the book says it tastes best eaten around camp fire. It was great around the dining table too.

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Armenian Lentil Soup with Spinach and Garlic

300 g green lentils
50 g margarine
1 big onion, chopped
7-8 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp paprika
1 tbsp dried dill
1 l water
salt and black pepper
300 g fresh or frozen spinach
4-5 tomatoes, chopped
100 g ground walnuts
oil

Melt some margarine in a pot and sauté the onion until it starts to get brown. Chop half of the garlic and add them to the pot. Add spices, dill and finally lentils stirring constantly. Add water and bring to boil. Simmer 40 minutes or until the lentils are soft. Season with salt and pepper. Add a little water if the soup is too thick. Add spinach, tomatoes and most of the walnuts. Simmer 5 more minutes.

Slice the remaining garlic cloves and lightly fry them with remaining walnuts. Ladle the soup to bowls and garnish with garlic and walnuts. Serve with fresh bread.

mofobanneri2013

Creamy Spinach Soup

At least in Finland everyone knows spinach soup. It’s very popular, regularly served in schools, lunch diners, basically everywhere. While the idea of making a creamy soup from spinach (or nettle) might not sound too fancy, the result is still excellent. Usually the soup is served with halved boiled eggs dipped into the the bowl, so if you’re feeling adventurous, feel free to experiment with something similar.

The texture of the soup is neat, and spinach (and moreso nettle, which is even better!) is healthy for you, so this is truly an awesome soup for a very minimal price!

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Spinach Soup / Nettle Soup

1 l fresh spinach or nettle leaves or 150 g frozen
1 shallot
1 tbsp oil
25 g margarine
3 tbsp wheat flour
1 l water
1 vegetable bouillon cube or 1 tbsp powder
salt, pepper
2 dl oat or soy cream

If you use fresh nettle leaves you have to boil them 3-4 minutes before using. Chop the boiled nettle leaves or fresh spinach leaves. Peel and finely chop the shallot. Heat the oil in a pot and sauté the shallot until soft. Add the margarine, allow to melt and stir in wheat flour. Add water in batches, stirring well between, and bring to boil. Add the bouillon cube or powder. Add the spinach or nettle, bring back to boil and simmer 5 minutes. Add cream, heat thoroughly and season with salt and pepper.

mofobanneri2013

Gardening and Harvesting

We have rented a piece of land from the community garden nearby. We’re growing onions, radishes, spinach, chard, cucumber, pumpkin, dill, snow peas, fava beans and potatoes this year.

First some pictures from earlier this summer. The whole garden.

Onions and snow peas. We’ve harvested over 6 kg snow peas so far. Maybe over 7 kg, I haven’t weighted them all.

We planted a lot of potato, because there’s no water supply in the garden and we’re quite dependent on raining and potato survives well through dry periods.

Baby chard.

Chad has grown better than ever. Here I am making chard rolls. Similar to these, but bulgur and mushrooms as filling.

And some pictures from today. Spinach is growing much faster than I expected. I thought we could eat fresh spinach couple of times during the summer, but we have also frozen some, because it’s growing faster than we can eat it.

Our biggest pumpkin is now about size of a football:

Today’s dinner was made mostly of the things we’ve grown ourselves.

For the lasagne I made a tomato sauce with onion, snow peas and chard. I also threw in a half bell pepper that we had in fridge, and some white beans for extra protein. I used garlic, lovage, oregano, thyme, salt and black pepper to give flavour. Then I made a bechamel sauce with spinach. Last I made layers of both sauces, whole wheat lasagna sheets and fresh basil to dish and baked it in the oven.

As side dish we had salad that was made of lettuce, radish leaves, radishes, cucumber, tomato and olives. Only radishes and cucumbers were from our garden, we didn’t have big enough lettuce leaves and tomatoes are very difficult to grow without a green house.