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I am always looking out for easy and unusual meat free recipes and I can thoroughly recommend this delicious vegetarian recipe.  I have a few vegetarian friends and it is good to have something a bit different to serve them.  I am fond of sweet potato and it is lovely in combination with melting cheese and sweet red pepper.  The next time we have a church lunch and I have to find a main course for vegetarians, this will be it!

I found a copy of Weightwatchers The Time to Eat Cookbook in a charity shop and this was the first recipe that caught my eye.  The original recipe used low fat Leicester cheese, but I used full fat cheese.  I had not used filo pastry before but I did not find it too difficult to handle as long as I followed a tip I had heard to keep unused pastry from drying out by covering with a damp tea towel.  When the pastry tore slightly it did not cause too many problems: I simply patched it with another piece of pastry.  Individual streudels could be served as a light lunch and not just for vegetarians – see below for more information.  It would also make an ideal starter to serve before a fish main course.  I served the streudel with salad and a Naan bread, although I felt the Naan not really necessary unless you were feeding someone who was very hungry.  Do not worry too much if the streudel splits open while cooking.

Sweet Potato & Red Leicester Streudel
(Serves 4)

450g (1lb) sweet potatoes, peeled & diced
75g (2¾oz) Red Leicester cheese, grated (half fat if you wish)
1 red pepper, de-seeded and diced
1 onion, chopped finely
4 sheets filo pastry
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper

1.  Boil the sweet potatoes in a panful of lightly salted water until they are tender – around 10minutes.

2.  Drain the sweet potatoes well and mash thoroughly.

3.  Stir in the cheese, red pepper, onion.  Season. Allow the mixture to cool for at least 10 minutes.

4.  Preheat the oven to 190oC/370oF/Gas 5.

5.  Dip a tea towel in cold water and squeeze out very well.  Use this to cover the unused sheets of filo pastry to stop them from drying out. 

6.  Remove a sheet of filo pastry, covering the remainder with the damp tea towel.  Lightly brush the pastry sheet with some of the olive oil.  Do this with each sheet, stacking them on on top of each other once they have been prepared.  Put any remaining pastry sheets away as soon as possible.
7.  Spread the sweet potato mixture over the top of the pile of pastry sheets to within 7cm/¾inch of the edges. Carefully roll up the pastry so that the filling is enclosed.

8. Carefully lift the roll of pastry onto a lightly greased non-stick baking tray.   Brush the streudel with the remaining oil and carefully make some diagonal cuts in the top with a sharp knife. 

9.  Bake for around 20 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and golden.

10.  Cut the strudel into four slices and serve with a mixed salad.

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

Individual Streudels
Make the mixture exactly as above, dividing the sweet potato mixture into four equal portions in the saucepan.  Peel off one sheet of filo pastry and cover the remainder with a damp tea towel.  Lightly oil one half of the filo sheet and fold in half.  Spoon the mixture onto the pastry sheet and roll up, tucking the ends in slightly as you go.



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