Welcome back to Term 2!
It’s a long one so I going to try to find some easy cooking solutions to get us through. I get burnt out about 2 weeks before the term ends and I am trying to remedy that.
Trying is the key word here.
I will make no false statements that I have 3 kids that eat EVERYTHING I feed them. Nine times out of ten I have at least one of my darlings turn their nose up at what I put in front of them. Yes, I regularly have kitchen fails and it craps me to find out that I have spent some much time and love making a dish and the kids push the plate away and say “nope I don’t like it”.
My children are pretty good at tolerating my inventions, most of the time. This year I have started to play around with a few different ingredients – flours, sugars and grains. I think we all need a change at times and I love to try out different kitchen stuff so the kids have got some more ‘tolerating’ to endure.
Over the holidays I made one of those rash purchases – when the kids have worn you down and you are running on close to zero and “if you ask me one more time” kinda day. A kitchenAid spiralizer attachment just happened to fall into my welcoming hands and into my kitchen. Shame.
It looked super fun and the first day of getting this funky looking attachment I went through my fridge and scouted around finding anything to spiralize. I started with a carrot and sure enough I got a pile of curly carrots. I squealed with excitement and had a little happy moment (seriously that’s how sad I am) anyway as I was in this personal ‘moment’ my children looked over at me in confusion with that look of WTF (no they don’t know what that means) it’s just a carrot. Yup a carrot with possibilities. So I proudly took these carrots with a perm and cooked them for the kids dinner and presented them on their plate, amongst other dinner goodies and watched waiting for their faces to light up in delight. Well I waited and waited while they ate their dinner, carrots included and then asked what was for pudding. The moment passed with nothing, disappointed to say the least! Mr Fussy 4 didn’t even touch his. So to make me feel better I made an Ultra smoothie-carrots included. They all drank the lot and with satisfied tummies sat down to their nighttime reading.
So I would say a partial win.
My ‘Garden of Neglect’ vege doing quite well considering I didn’t plant a single pumpkin this year or last! We are calling them the imposter pumpkins or as Mr Fussy 4 calls them the ‘Ninja Pumpkins”.
Right down to the cooking end of business.
A Quick and Easy Pumpkin Pie for Dinner.
1 Butternut Squash or Small Pumpkin. You could also use Sweet Potato (Kumara)
2 Onions, Red or White
¼ cup Toasted Pinenuts
200gm Feta, Cubed or Crumbled
200-300gm Spinach/Silverbeet, cooked and then squeeze all the water out
¼ cup Puy Lentils, cooked or half a can of precooked lentil
4-6 Sheets Filo pastry
¼ cup Melted Butter
Seeds of your choice, I used Pipitas (pumpkin seeds)and Sesame
Get the oven on to 180*c Fanbake
Peel and cube the squash. Pop these into an oven tray and either line with baking paper or if it’s an non stick don’t worry. Coat the pieces in oil and salt and pepper.
Peel and chop the onions into chunks and repeat as with the squash.
Pop these into a preheated oven and roast for 30 minutes.
Once the vegetables are cooked leave to cool slightly and combine in a bowl with the spinach, lentils,pinenuts and feta.
Season and mix together. Put this aside and get the filo out.
I used a 8 Inch round baking tin, butter the bottom and the sides to start. Take the sheets of filo out of the packet and put the rest back in the fridge. Grab a wet tea towel or kitchen towel and lay this over the sheets to stop it from drying out.
Grab your first sheet and paint the surface lightly with the melted butter.
Take this sheet and drape it over have the surface of the tin so there is over hangs. Repeat with another piece this time overlapping on the bottom. Continue with the rest of the sheets of filo. The overlap will end up being the lid so make sure you have enough of the overlap.
Does that make sense? Sometimes what I do and how I explain things can be very different.
Now grab the pumpkin filling and spoon this into the pastry blanket and press down to make sure there are no air pockets. Smooth down the top and fold over the filo one piece at a time.
Brush the top of the pie with melted butter and scatter with your chosen seeds.
Bake this parcel of pumpkin goodness for 30-40 minutes at 180*C until golden and crisp.
Once cooked let the pie set for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.
Its fab cold but don’t expect super crunchy pastry. The bottom might go a little soft but can be refreshed in the oven to get that crunch if you are after it.
See you at the next recipe, until then..
Remember be inspired and keep cooking like it’s ‘better than a bought one’
P.S Make ahead and sore in the fridge and when ready to cook bring it out of the fridge when you turn on the oven. By the time the oven is heated to temp the pie will have warmed up to room temp and ready to cook.