Vegan savoury strudel, gf and df

This recipe was inspired by Elke’s Austrian take on a Greek spanakopita (spinach pie).  Instead of the usual triangle slices of a traditional spanakopita, she opted for the strudel “log” shape, and added loads more delicious spinach than one normally finds in these pies.
I’ve tweaked the recipe yet again by adding more vegetables to the spinach.  So it’s no longer a spanakopita but a roasted sweet potato, spinach and leek ‘strudel’!  And with a gluten-free puff pastry and dairy-free fetta; a vegan version to see how it works.
Worked a treat!

The store-bought ‘Jus-roll’ gluten-free puff pastry makes it all so very easy and quick.  And Violife’s vegan Greek fetta is delicious and a great option for anyone going vegan, or with a casein (dairy protein) or lactose intolerance.
You can steam the sweet potato cubes, definitely the healthy option, but as I was roasting a lunch the day before I decided to add the sweet potato cubes to the oven; also the pine nuts right at the end.  Less work the following day when I was playing with this recipe.


For six slices

1 packet Jus-roll gluten free puff pastry (or regular Jus-roll puff; or filo.. shortcrust, whatever you like)
400g packet spinach, roughly chopped
green part of one leek, finely sliced
3 cloves garlic, squeezed (two at the start, one added near the end)
1 large sweet potato, about 250g, cubed, then either roasted or steamed before you start your log
dollop of olive oil for a light fry and to lightly brush onto the log before baking
80g toasted pine nuts
100g Violife ‘Greek white’ (or non vegan, regular Greek fetta)


If you haven’t roasted your pine nuts, nor your cubed sweet potato, do this first.  When done put aside where no one will be tempted to have a nibble.

For the filling, pour a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a pan on a medium heat then add the sliced leek and 2 of the pressed garlic.  Gently fry until the leek’s transparent.
Toss in the roughly chopped spinach and wilt.  Hover near the pan otherwise your delicious leafy spinach pile will vanish to an overwilted green sludge.  The same goes for the pine nuts, keep close, for if you leave the kitchen even for a moment they are bound to burn.  Hover.  Keep watch.

Add the roasted/steamed sweet potato cubes to the pan of spinach to warm through, then that last garlic clove.  Stir in the roasted pine nuts.

Wait for everything to cool before adding the crumbled fetta.

With ‘Jus-roll’ you can literally unravel it from the box and start filling it with your cooked veg, so easy.
However, if it’s too thick for your taste roll it thinner and larger.  Whatever you decide, ensure you have parchment underneath it (the paper it comes wrapped in its box), so you can easily lift the filled roll onto the oven tray.

Spoon the filling along the long side of half the pastry, leaving a clear 2-3 cms edge all around so you can seal it without the filling oozing out.  To make your log just fold over the pastry and, with water-wet fingers, press the edges closed then go over them with a fork to create a neater, tighter finish.  Brush with oil and prick the pastry, to stop a gap forming inside as it cooks.

Bake in a moderate fan oven, about 180 C degrees (c350 F), until light golden brown, approx 30 – 45 mins (depending on everyone’s unique oven.  Like us, they have personalities and might decide to take longer to colour your strudel).

Slice and serve with a leafy colourful salad, or as part of a delicious summer garden spread.

Kali oreksi! Bon appetit x


Green curry paste

It seems every spring my mind turns to green curry!  This is my Green curry paste recipe, Mark 2, lol.  More ingredients, more depth of flavour plus vegan friendly.  An upgrade of last year’s recipe with less chilli, more ginger and kaffir, a combo of citrus juices plus oils and the addition of delicious adaptogenic and anti inflammatory holy basil.  In fact there are loads of anti inflammatory benefits in this mix.  And just look at the amazing zingy colour!

I love the fact that this recipe is simply the sum of it’s parts. No complicated prep, just some slicing, grating and squeezing.   Saying that, if you want to use whole coriander and cumin seed rather than powder then it’s best to heat them first in a pan to release flavour and aroma before crushing them in a mortar.   I used the powdered forms and they still added their distinctive flavours to the whole.

Last week I made fish cakes with some of the paste, so scrummy we had a repeat yesterday when two friends came over for an early outdoor supper.  (Great to have some Covid restrictions now lifting here in UK.  Long may it last).

You could use the paste as part of a veg curry sauce, with or without coconut milk, or marinate chicken pieces in that luscious green.  Lots of options but I’ll post my fishcake version in the coming week.
It only took about 10 minutes to prepare the paste and 5 minutes to mix ‘n blitz.  It’ll keep in the fridge for a few weeks and is freezer-friendly, hooray!



Makes 6 or 7 tablespoons (give or take the amount of coriander you choose to use)

1 tsp cumin powder (or seed)
1/2 tsp ground pepper ( ” )
1/2 tsp coriander powder ( ” )
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground turmeric (or 1 tbsp fresh, grated)
6 small or 3 large garlic cloves, crushed
2 stalks lemongrass (tips off, outer layer off as well if very tough.  Halve and finely chop)
2 tbsps chopped ginger
2-3 hot green chilli, halved, seeds removed and finely sliced, or 1/2-1 tsp dried
3 spring onions, green part only chopped
2 large soft kaffir limes leaves (the dried leaves are hard to blend and can ruin a paste unless you fully remove the leaf’s midrib (central vein) and then very finely slice the green parts, the leaf lamina.  If you can find soft leaves it’s so much easier!)
3 tbsp lemon juice
Zest and juice of a lime
a small bunch of coriander with some stem (about 15-20 leafy stems, give or take)
c 4 stems of holy basil, shredded leaves only
2 tbsp avocado or olive oil
1 tbsp sesame oil
A little water if it’s too congested at the end


If you want to use seeds for the coriander, cumin and pepper, toast these in a pan first until fragrant then crush with your pestle and add to the rest.

I used a hand-held blender to mix all the ingredients.  Coriander leaves and some stem, basil leaves, kaffir leaves, green chilli, garlic, lemongrass, ginger, spring onion, coriander, cumin, pepper, turmeric, sea salt, lemon and lime juice, lime zest, the oils, and then, right at the end, a dash of water to thin it slightly.
Do a quick taste test.  Add a little more salt or chilli for more kick if you want, or sesame oil or whatever flavours you’d like to taste more of.
The taste is supposed to be strong as it’s carrying most of the flavour for your veg curry or fish cakes.

Enjoy x