Easter baking….

2016-03-28 13.08.14

Easter probably comes a close second to Christmas when it comes to over indulgence and food.

To keep my self from eating it, I tend to busy myself with cooking it!

Today I’ve adapted a recipe I found on-line to make this scrumptious looking butternut squash, feta and kale pie.  It’s flavoured with nutmeg, red onion and toasted pumpkin and pine nut seeds with poppy seeds sprinkled on top.

One thing about attempting to lose weight is that pastry tends not to feature too often on the menu.  However, filo allows you to indulge in a little pastry consumption!

The recipe serves 8 and is around 282 calories a slice.  Perfect for a vegetarian menu and to provide a dinner party centre piece, which can be prepared well in advance.

I’ll need to add some pictures when I’ve cut into it, but as it’s not for consumption today, you’ll have to wait!

Butternut squash, feta and kale filo pie

Preparation Time: 1 hr
Cooking Time: 40 mins
Serves: 8
Calories per serving: 282.5
Garlic, Raw 1 Clove/3g
Nutmeg, Ground ½ Tsp/1.5g
Filo Pastry 6 Sheets/270g
Onions, Red 80g
Sunflower Oil 5ml
Pumpkin Seeds 2 Tbsps/20g
Pine Nuts 20g
Poppy Seeds 1 Tbsp/8.8g
Butter 30g
Butternut Squash, Raw 720g
Feta Cheese 2 Servings/200g
Kale 60g
Eggs, Medium 2 Eggs/116g



Peel and de-seed the butternut squash and cut into 1.5cm cubes. Spread onto a baking sheet and spray with the one calorie spray oil.

Peel and finely dice the red onion and the garlic. Roughly chop the kale into bite sized pieces. Cut the feta cheese into 1cm cubes.

Beat the two eggs in a mixing bowl.


(1) Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6.

(2) Once the oven has reached the right temperature, put the butternut squash in to cook for 30 minutes, turning half way through cooking time. The butternut squash should be soft and just starting to turn brown on the edges.

(3) One the butternut squash is cooked, lower the heat to 180 degrees.

(4) Pour the sunflower oil into a small pan and cook the onions in the oil until soft and turning golden. Add the garlic and cook for a couple of minutes more. Transfer into a small dish.

(5) Add the seeds and nuts into the same frying pan and cook over a medium heat stirring frequently until the turn golden brown. Do not allow to burn! Immediately turn out into a small dish (so that they don’t continue to cook in the hot pan). When cool, add the nutmeg and stir through.

(6) Put the kale into a bowl and pour over boiling water. Leave to stand for about 5 minutes, and then drain in a colander, squeezing out excess water. Leave draining, as you want it to be as dry as possible.

(7) Melt the butter in a microwave or small pan. Use some of the melted butter to grease a non-stick loose-bottomed cake tin, about 20-22cm. Put the first sheet of filo in the tin and brush with the melted butter, letting the excess (around 7 – 10cm) hang over the sides. Keep going with the rest of the sheets, turning a little before adding each additional pastry sheet and brushing all over with the melted butter. It does not have to be neat! Retain any pieces of pastry that break off. Ensure that there are no gaps or splits in the base that will allow the filling to leak out.

(8) When all the pastry is used up, tip in the butternut squash cubes and arrange to evenly cover the bottom of the tin. Then add the kale, again, ensuring it’s evenly distributed. Add the fried onion/garlic and then the seeds/nuts.

(9) Pour over (evenly) about two-thirds of the beaten egg mixture, retaining the remainder to brush on the top of the pie.

(10) Fold over the excess pastry to cover, ensuring that the filling isn’t visible at all. You want to achieve a crumpled effect here, so add any of the broken sheets too. Brush the top with the remaining egg and sprinkle over the poppy seeds.

(11) Place the pie onto a baking sheet and then bake in the oven for about 20-30 minutes until the filo is crisp and golden. Leave for 5 minutes before turning out and cutting into wedges to serve.

Sweet potato pie crust

Have spotted a couple of links on a FaceBook page I frequent where I read about making pie or quiche crust from sweet potato!

Last week, I eventually gave this a go.

This is the recipe for the crust:

Sweet potato crust

Serves 4, Preparation 20 mins, calories per serving 192 calories

Flour, Rice 125g
Sweet Potato, Raw, Unprepared, Average 400g
Xanthan Gum, Allergycare 1 Tsp/5g
Baking Powder, Average 1 Tsp/2g
Salt, Average ½ Tsp/2.5g


Cook the sweet potato by steaming, microwaving or boiling, then discard skin and mash it until smooth. Put it in a bowl and leave to cool

Put the rice flour, xanthan gum (which is a natural binder and gluten free) and baking powder into a large mixing bowl and stir them all together. Add them to the mashed sweet potato and mix thoroughly.

Spoon out mixture into an oiled pie or quiche dish and use a spoon to push up against the sides and onto the bottom, ensuring that it’s evenly spread and that there are no holes.

Bake the “shell” for about 15 minutes on 180 degrees before filling. Fill with a quiche filling, fruit or pie ingredients of your choice.

Baking time depends on the kind of pie but it’s usually around 40 minutes.

This could be rolled out like pastry but handling will be tricky! Would also make a perfect pizza base.


The filling was griddled asparagus with red onion and Gorgonzola cheese:

Gorgonzola, griddled asparagus and red onion quiche

Serves 4, 174 calories.  Takes 30 minutes to prepare

Cheese, Gorgonzola, Full Fat, Creamy, Semi Hard, Blue Veined, Tesco 80g
Eggs, Medium, Average, Weight with Shell 4 Eggs/232g
Asparagus, Fine, Raw, Sainsbury’s 100g
Onions, Red, Raw, Average 60g
Oil, Olive, Extra Virgin, Average 8ml


This is a filling intended to add to a pre-cooked pastry base. Can be used with a sweet potato crust, which detailed above.

Prepare the asparagus. Take each stalk in both hands and bend and snap off the woody end.

Add the olive oil to a trying pan. Peel and finely slice the shallot and add to the oil on a medium heat. Add the asparagus spears. Lower heat and continue to cook the vegetables for about 20 minutes until soft and the shallot is translucent.

Arrange the spears and shallots into the pre-baked pastry case.

Next, beat the eggs together and add the grated Cheddar cheese and season with salt and pepper, then pour this mixture over the asparagus. Finally, cut the gorgonzola into small pieces and sprinkle over the top.

Place the tart on the baking sheet in the oven and cook for 30-40 minutes at 180 degrees until the centre feels firm and the filling is golden brown and puffy.


Vegetable and lentil tikka masala


Serves 6             Calories 223 per portion

Delicious and very filling….. lots of fibre and definitely, I have had my five-a-day!


Oil, Sunflower 7ml
Onions, Brown 94g
Celery 72g
Carrots 100g
Cabbage, Savoy 300g
Tomatoes, tinned 2 Cans/800g
Curry Paste, Tikka Masala, Spice, Patak’s 166g
Red Lentils, Dried 128g
Fresh Coriander 25g


Peel, and finely dice carrots, onion and celery. Finely chop the cabbage. Chop the coriander.


Pour the oil in a large lidded saucepan. Heat over a medium heat. Add the onion, fry gently (don’t allow to brown) for 10 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the diced carrot and celery. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes to prevent sticking.

Add the curry paste and the tinned tomatoes and about 100ml of water. Add the cabbage and the lentils. Heat until mixture bubbles, turn down to a simmer and continue to cook on a gentle heat and covered for about an hour, stirring regularly. Add further water if required.

Add the coriander just before serving

I served mine with swede – very low calorie and tasty!