Category Archives: Pies and Pastry

Mexican Chickpea Quiches

These are real crowd pleasers, perfect as part of a party banquet, but equally at home as part of dinner with maybe some rice and salad.  These are flavoured a la Mexican, with cumin, coriander, red and green capsicum, onion and red kidney beans, but they can be themed any how – swap out the spices for fresh shredded basil, drop the beans but add sliced black olives and they become pizza quiches.  Try sweetcorn and Thai curry paste and make Thai inspired quiches, or try potato, pea and maybe cauliflower, with curry powder and they’re Indian!  The sky’s the limit! 🙂

Mexican Chickpea Fritters

Mexican Chickpea Quiches
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Recipe type: Snacks
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 15-18
  • 2.5 cups of chickpea flour (also known as besan flour / garbanzo flour)
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • chilli powder - to taste (optional)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 1 medium red capsicum (bell pepper), diced small
  • 1 medium green capsicum (bell pepper) diced small
  • 1 medium red onion, diced small
  • 1 cup red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup sweetcorn, frozen or canned
  • Equipment: 12 hole muffin tray (I used silicon for easy removal) - stand on a large baking tray before filling if you are using a silicon one.
  1. Heat the oven to 200 degrees C
  2. In a large bowl, combine the chickpea flour, herbs and spices, water and salt and whisk well. Set aside.
  3. Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat and fry off the capsicum and onion until tender. Tip the vegetables into another bowl and mix in the beans, corn, & olives
  4. Pour the batter into each muffin tray, filling ⅔ full.
  5. Using a small spoon, add a heaped teaspoon of the vegetable mixture to each muffin hole.
  6. Stir each muffin hole to distribute the vegetables.
  7. Place into the oven, bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden and firm to the touch. Allow to cool until able to handle them. Place upside down on the baking tray (use baking paper to line) and pop back into the oven for another 10-15 minutes until bottoms are also golden.
  8. You should have enough batter left to make a few more.
  9. Lovely served hot, warm or cold.



Broccoli & Corn Calzones

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This was adapted from a recipe on EatingWell.  I substituted homemade wholemeal pizza dough for their shop bought one, silken tofu for the ricotta and homemade mozzarella style cheese for the dairy version.  The “moxarella” is this one, and you will need about 1/2 to 2/3 of the amount that recipe makes (1 cup).

Broccoli & Corn Calzones
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Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4
  • 1 ½ cups chopped broccoli florets
  • 1 ½ cups frozen sweetcorn
  • 1 cup "moxarella cheese" (see link above in introduction)
  • ⅔ cup silken tofu
  • 4 spring onions, finely sliced
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • handful of fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  1. Heat the oven to 220 degrees Celsius.
  2. Place baking paper on two (or one large) baking trays.
  3. Prepare the pizza dough - as linked introduction. Roll out to about the size of side plate.
  4. Mix all the filling ingredients together, and scoop about ¾ cup onto one half of a round of dough and arrange into a crescent shape.
  5. Using a pastry brush - or your finger! - wet the dough around the edge next to the filling.
  6. Fold the other half over the top, stretching down onto the moistened edge.
  7. Crimp the edges together, making small overlapping folds working from right to left.
  8. Place on the baking trays and make 3 or 4 cuts in the top of each to allow the steam to escape.
  9. Bake for 12 minutes, re-pierce the holes in the tops, then swap the trays over and bake for a further 12 minutes or until golden and the filling is bubbling up out of the holes a little.
  10. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving (or be prepared to take the skin off the roof of your mouth..!)


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Pizza Dough

Makes 4 small or 2 large pizzas

1 sachet dried yeast (7g)
1 tsp sugar
125ml warm water
100g wholemeal flour
100g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt

Whisk the yeast, sugar and warm water together in a jug and set aside for 10 minutes or until frothy.

Mix the flours in a large bowl with the salt, pour in the yeast, mix thoroughly then turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic.  Place back into the washed and oiled bowl, cover with cling film and place somewhere warm for about an hour or until at least doubled in size.

Knock the dough back (i.e. punch it!) and shape into 2 or 4 even sized balls.  Roll out as required.

Quick and Easy Gozleme

This is a really quick snack which we all love.  You can also have them for dinner, as we did last night with potato wedges and fennel coleslaw.

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Quick and Easy Gozleme
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Recipe type: Snack
Cuisine: Turkish
Serves: 4
  • 1 packet Mountain Bread, any variety
  • 300g classic tofu - silken firm
  • 16 cubes of frozen spinach
  • 2 T nutritional yeast
  • salt and pepper
  • ½ medium onion, finely chopped
  1. Cook spinach quickly in boiling water or in a microwave, rinse and squeeze out all the water.
  2. Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl.
  3. Take a mountain bread sheet, and evenly spread a heaped dessertspoon of the mixture over half and spread it to the corners.
  4. Fold the empty half over the top.
  5. Place in a grill /Italian toaster and put the lid down.
  6. Cook for around 3 minutes or until crispy and slightly browned.
  7. Keep them warm in the oven if you're making the whole lot at once, or just keep the mixture in the fridge for use later.
  8. Cut into strips, squeeze lemon juice liberally over the top, salt and pepper as required and devour!



My daughter is a HUGE gozleme fan.  Whenever we go to the markets she will make a beeline for the stall and we love standing to watching those expert Turkish ladies rolling, folding and rolling again and again that fine dough and scattering the ingredients over, etc.  It’s a joy.  However, since cutting cheese out of our diet there’s been a bit of a hole in our culinary repertoire… So I googled and googled and found some gozleme dough recipes and decided to fill it with baby spinach, red onion, and  this “cheese” from as it’s stretchy and mild and melts similarly to dairy cheese.  Next time I will try to make these using 100% wholemeal flour, I was a bit hesitant to do that first time round so these are 50/50 with self raising white flour.

5.0 from 1 reviews
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Recipe type: Snack
Cuisine: Turkish
Serves: 4
  • 1 cup wholemeal flour
  • 1 cup self raising flour
  • 300ml natural soy yogurt (I used homemade)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ quantity of "moxarella cheese"
  • baby spinach - about 4 large handfuls
  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  1. Make the dough: mix the flours and salt together in a large bowl and mix in the yogurt thoroughly. Tip it out onto your work surface and knead for around 10 minutes until it is soft and supple, adding more flour as necessary to stop it sticking. Once it's done, wrap in clingfilm and set aside whilst you prepare the other ingredients.
  2. Make the cheese as linked in the introduction.
  3. Get your baby spinach and red onion prepared and ready to go.
  4. Divide the dough into 4 equal portions, use a scale if you want them really even (like me!).
  5. Flour your work surface and roll out the dough to a rectangle/oval shape around the size of a dinner plate.
  6. Spread a tablespoon or 2 of the "cheese" on half of the dough, top with the onion and a big handful of baby spinach. Flatten it down and fold the other half of the dough over to meet at the edges, fold the edges together to seal.
  7. Heat an Italian Grill Sandwich press (or a large non stick pan if you don't have one) and spray lightly with oil if you're not sure of it's non-stick qualities.
  8. One it's hot, carefully transfer the gozleme to the pan and if you're using the toaster, close the lid. Turn it over after around 2-4 minutes, checking the underside to check it's a golden brown. Flip it over 2-3 times until you're happy with it and the cheese is starting to ooze from the sides. 🙂
  9. When one is cooking you can roll and fill the next. Continue 3 more times until you've used all your dough.
  10. Essential: serve with lots of fresh lemon slices for squeezing over the top!!

Spinach and Rice Filo Pie



I know what you’re thinking – SIMPLE dinner idea?
It looks time consuming but as long as you remember to take out your spinach and filo pastry from the freezer in the morning, there is very little preparation to do, only chopping 1 onion!

We tend not to eat much at all in the way of pastry due to its high fat content, but filo pastry is already extremely low in fat – 3.8g per 100g (and this recipe only used 1/4 of a pack, so less than that in the whole recipe for 4) so as long a you really watch the amount of oil you spray when layering it’s a treat you can enjoy from time to time.  It’s also a great way of getting a large serving of greens into children! 🙂

We love this with just a simple salad, as it also contains rice it’s fairly filling.  Some steamed asparagus / tomato salad etc would also compliment it really well.

Spinach and Rice Filo Pie
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Recipe type: Pies and Centerpiece Dishes
Cuisine: Greek
Serves: 4-6
  • 350g Frozen spinach portions – defrosted and as much water squeezed out as possible
  • 200g organic silken tofu
  • 2 heaped tablespoons creamy houmous (low fat)
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp dill paste – from a tube, or use ½ tsp dried / fresh to taste
  • Zest and 3 tablespooons of juice of a lemon
  • 1 x 250g bag ready cooked brown rice
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6 sheets filo pastry, defrosted
  • Olive oil spray
  • 3 tomatoes, sliced
  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
  2. Mix spinach – salt and pepper together thoroughly in a large bowl. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  3. Line a square baking tin with baking paper.
  4. Spray a sheet of filo pastry very lightly with the oil and place centred in the tin, so that edges hang off the edge. Alternate next sheet so it goes across the 1st piece. Repeat so you have 4 sheets on the base.
  5. Scrape the contents of your bowl into the tin and level out, making sure you push it into the corners.
  6. Top with the sliced tomatoes, and season well.
  7. Spray final 2 sheets, place one folded up on the top to make a lid, then fold in the edges of your base sheets over the top. Place final folded sheet on top.
  8. Decorate if liked with scraps of pastry, then spray again lightly over the top. Can also sprinkle with sesame seeds, which looks pretty. (Didn’t have any!)
  9. Bake in the oven for about 35 minutes – checking after 20 to make sure it’s not turning to brown too fast.
  10. Let it sit for 10 minute before slicing.