Spinach, Feta and Ricotta Rolls

Back when I was working at my last job, a colleague, who happened to be my work bestie, introduced me to this treat. We’d take our breaks together whenever we could and hop over to Muffin Break. Our Muffin Break outlet made the best Spinach and Feta Rolls (sidenote – their Bran muffins were to die for). But I’d never noticed these little beauties before this. I was on a first name basis with its Non-vegetarian counterpart – the sausage roll. I’ve had quite a few of those. But on this particular day, when we went over to Muffin Break, she ordered a Spinach and Feta Roll to go with her coffee. Needless, to say, I was intrigued. So I ordered one for myself too. And the rest, as they say, is history.

From that day on, if I ever need to grab a bite and am in the mood for something savory, I pick up one of their Spinach and Feta Rolls. They are seriously good. And, I like to think that I’m getting a little extra Spinach in my diet that day.

So getting back to yesterday. When I found myself with a big basket of Ricotta cheese and a bag of Spinach I needed to use up, I decided to see if I could use the two together and come up with something delicious. After a little looking around, I found just the thing. I’ve based my rolls on a similar recipe I found online and I just switched it up to my liking. This time around, I used store bought Puff pastry. I had a packet in the freezer that I wanted to use up too. This recipe has just 2 basic components – the pastry and the filling. The filling is really easy to put together. You just mix up all the ingredients and your ready to go. The verdict – These rolls are really good. They’re not exactly like the Muffin Break ones. I am now convinced that there is some flour added to their filling, possibly to bulk it up. But these homemade rolls can give them a serious run for their money. And this time, I know for sure that there’s a heap of spinach in there. And everyone knows that Spinach with Ricotta and Feta is a match made in heaven. So let’s have a look at these Spinach Rolls, shall we?
Spinach, Feta and Ricotta Rolls
Makes 18 rolls
3 sheets Pampas all butter Puff pastry
200g Feta Cheese
300g Ricotta Cheese
150g Baby Spinach, finely chopped
Red Chili Flakes, to taste
Salt, to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
1 egg
Black sesame seeds, to sprinkle over
Preheat your oven to 180ÂșC.

Place the baking tray in the oven.

Thaw 3 sheets of puff pastry. The pastry should be soft enough to work with but still cold. If it warms up too much, it gets sticky and difficult to work with.

Crumble the feta into a bowl.

Now add the Ricotta and crumble that in as well.

Add crushed black pepper to taste.

Taste the mix and add more salt if you want. I didn’t need to add any salt at this stage.

Add the spinach and red chili flakes. Mix well.

Crack the egg into a small bowl. Whisk and keep aside.

Working with one sheet at a time, cut the sheet in half.

Spoon the mix to form a long log in the center of each half of the pastry (lengthwise).

Brush one side (along the length) of each half of the sheet with the whisked egg.

Roll the other side of pastry over the spinach into a tight log. The egg will help seal the pastry.

Place the rolls on greaseproof paper, seam side down. Repeat with the rest of the pastry.

Carefully place the paper onto the heated tray.

Brush the tops of the rolls with the whisked egg (egg wash).

Crack some black pepper on the top of each roll and sprinkle some black sesame seeds on the rolls.

Bake for about 30 minutes or till golden brown in color.

Serve hot.

Quick and Easy Pasta with Spinach Pesto

** This post contains affiliate links.

Looking at my collection of recipes on this blog, it might be hard to tell that I actually love pasta. Nothing specific, just about all shapes and sizes and all kinds of sauces too. There is just one condition, they need to have flavor. Unfortunately, I’ve had pasta at too many restaurants, including a couple of Italian restaurants around Sydney and it has been disappointing, to say the least. So I usually end up eating the pasta I make at home. And I can’t to that too frequently, because my husband is not the biggest fan of pasta. What then is this pasta-loving soul supposed to do?

Here’s what I do. Ofcourse, I make pasta atleast once a fortnight, but I try and switch up the sauces each time I make it. So with lesser retpetition, I seem to get away with a big bowl of pasta for dinner. Happy hubby and happy me!!!

Because of this, I’m always on the look out for new ways to serve pasta. And when I saw this pasta, I knew I was onto something. I have two versions of this pasta. Today, I will share with you the basic version, which I happen to really like. Sometime soon, I will share a more dressed up version, something my husband and I came up with while eating a bowl of this gorgeous green. The sauce comes together in sheer minutes and the only cooking it needs, is blanching the spinach. So you can easily serve this up on a busy weeknight in under half and hour. That is one of the many things I love about this recipe. If you have ‘littles’ in the house who might be a little skeptical about eating green pasta, call it something fun like ‘an alien dinner / alien pasta’ or ‘the Hulk’s pasta’ or something fun like that, and watch it get gobbled down. An extra sprinkle of cheese on the top doesn’t hurt either. 

So, now that we know how quick, easy and fun this pasta is, let’s get on to the actual recipe. 
Pasta with Spinach Pesto
Recipe from: As Easy As Apple Pie
Serves 4 -5
8 nests of Vermicelli, or any pasta of your choice
200g fresh spinach 
1/2 clove of garlic, chopped
1 heaped tbsp pine nuts
3 tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
200g ricotta cheese
Salt, to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Bring a large pot of water to the boil. 
While the water comes to a boil, keep a large bowl of ice cold water ready.
Place the spinach in the boiling water for a minute or two, till it turns a shade of darker green and is wilted and slightly softened. Immediately, take the spinach out of the water (a large pair of tongs 

works well) and immerse in the ice cold water. This will stop the cooking process immediately and help the spinach retain a vibrant shade of green. You may need to do this in batches. Repeat the process till all the spinach has been blanched. 

Use the same pot of water to boil the pasta. You may need to top up the water in the pot. Add a generous teaspoon of salt and when the water has reached a rolling boil, add the pasta to the pot and cook it till al dente. 
While the pasta is cooking, drain the spinach from the ice cold water and squeeze out and discard as much liquid as possible. Roughly chop the spinach and set aside. 
I place the spinach in a bowl, along with the pine nuts, garlic, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and the extra virgin olive oil and puree using an immersion blender. If you don’t have one, a food processor or a regular blender would work well too.
Then add the ricotta cheese to the puree in the bowl and blend till smooth. Check for seasoning and add the salt and pepper, if needed
Drain the pasta when it is done and add the pesto to it. Stir gently or toss with a large pair of tongs to coat the pasta evenly.
Portion out on plates and generously grate some parmesan cheese over the pasta. I find that a Microplane zester does the job well.

Enjoy!!!

SRC:Zucchini Spinach Soup

The last couple of months have somehow seemed to sneak past. It is hard to believe that it is May 2016 already. The good part about coming into a new month is the SRC reveal day. This month, I was assigned Sally’s blog, Bewitching Kitchen. I was so excited when I got this assignment. I’ve always been a huge fan of Sally’s blog. Sally is a fascinating person. By day, she is a Biochemist. She also is an exercise fanatic. Originally born in Brazil, she has spent time living in Paris and now is in the USA. You can see delicious influences from all these places in her cooking and on her blog. If you love bread like I do, you are in for a treat. Go and have a look at Sally’s blog. She has a plethora of bread recipes. While you are there, don’t forget to check out the antics of 3 of the most adorable little doggies you have ever seen. I had an amazing time getting to know Sally a little better. And there are so many recipes I can’t wait to try, like this Baked Coconut, these Coconut Brigadeiros, a delicious Cappuccino Panna Cotta and a savoury Brazilian delicacy called Coxinha De Galinha, just to name a few. The Bewitching Kitchen is one blog where you want to try out pretty much every recipe you see. I finally settled on a savoury one this month.

The weather has started cooling down here and when that happens, I find myself longing for soup. In the past, I have to admit, I’ve almost always ripped open a packet of instant soup and made do with that. In the last couple of years though, I have tried out a couple of homemade soups and I’ve enjoyed them so much, I have decided to make a few more this year and to get that started I picked Sally’s Zucchini Spinach Soup for this month’s reveal. Oh what a recipe this is – delicious, warm and hearty. It is hard to believe that a recipe this simple can be so comforting. I’m enjoying the discovery that making soups at home, from scratch is not as complicated as I thought it would be. Thanks Sally, for a beautiful soup, which will make an appearance on our dinner table on many more occasions.

Zucchini Spinach Soup


1 tbsp olive oil
1 leek (white part finely sliced)
3 medium sized zucchini, slice thickly
1 can butter beans
4 cups water
2 cups baby spinach
Salt, to taste
Black pepper powder to taste
A dollop of yogurt
A squeeze of lemon juice

In a pot, heat the olive oil and add the sliced leek. ‘

Saute till the leek turns golden.

Add the zucchini slices.

Season with salt and pepper and saute till the slices get some colour on them, stirring every now and then.


Add the beans and let it cook for a couple of minutes.

Add the water (you could also use vegetable stock if you like).

Cover the pot and let it come to a boil over high heat.

Lower the heat and let it simmer for about 15 minutes or till the zucchini slices are tender.

Add the baby spinach leaves and stir. When the leaves wilt, you can take the soup off the stovetop.

I used an immersion blender to blitz this into a nice luscious soup. You could also use a blender if you don’t have an immersion blender. Irrespective of what gadget you use, please, please, please be cautious while blending the soup, because it is scalding hot.

Serve up hot with a squirt of lemon juice and a little dollop of yogurt.

Enjoy!!!

Chana Dal with Spinach

This post comes with a little bit of a back story. One, that made me very sceptical about trying it out. Back in the day when we stayed over at my in-laws place for a short while, a chana dal with spinach would ever so often appear in the dinner rotation. I usually am very tolerant with food and will eat anything gratefully. So, I somehow ate what was essentially a bland mash of spinach and chana dal. Not one of my favorite food memories. Turns out this dish used to be made very well by my late mother in law, but the gang hasn’t been able to replicate or even come close to the dish she used to prepare. My husband often asked my to try it out. Between you and me, I was not very eager, after tasting the infamous mush.

Eventually I gave in to his requests and decided to look online for a version that might appear like it would be better than what I’d had in the past. A recipe I found on Taste.com.au piqued my interest and I decided to give it a try. I am so glad that I did. My version is very loosely based on that recipe. The resulting chana dal with spinach is really good. It packs a good amount of flavour and textures and has worked its way into my heart and my dinner rotation.

It is a simple dish and you can choose to serve it with some rotis / chapatis or as a side to your favourite meat dish.

Chana Dal with Spinach
Adapted from: Taste.com.au

125g Chana dal
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
2 green chillies, finely chopped (You can use just one if you’d like)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tomato, chopped
1 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
1 tsp cumin seeds
6 fresh curry leaves
3 garlic cloves, finely sliced
2 cups spinach leaves, roughly chopped (You can also use baby spinach)
Salt, to taste

Wash the chana dal a couple of times in water and drain.

Soak the chana dal for about an hour. Drain the water.

Boil the chana dal in some fresh water (about 3 cups) and a tsp of salt. After it comes to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes. Cook the dal till it has softened but still has some bite to it. You DO NOT want a mush.

Drain and reserve some of the liquids.

Heat the ghee in a large pan over medium high heat.

Add the curry leaves, garlic and cumin.

Once the cumin sputters, add the ginger, chilli and turmeric and stir to mix well.

Once the spices have turned fragrant and have mixed well (should take about a minute or so).

Add the chopped tomato and stir. Cook for a couple of minutes, till the tomato softens and breaks down a little.

Add the chopped spinach / baby spinach and stir it into the spices till it has just wilted.

Add the drained chana dal and stir through. You can add a tablespoon or 2 of the reserved liquid, if you think it is too dry.

You want the liquid to all mostly dry up. Add it one tbsp at a time. You just want enough liquid to help warm the dal through without burning. You may not need any of the liquid at all.

Check the seasoning and add more salt if needed.

Serve hot.