Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Vegan Spanakopita Spirals

This is probably not a recipe to showcase as its not presented int he best light, a little green salad and red tomatoes would have probably made it more enticing to the eye, but hey ho - sometimes a product has to stand on its own to make a name for itself. 
This recipe is based on my Spanakopita recipe from my student days, but this time round I have decided to veganize it.  I have substituted the salty feta cheese with nutritional yeast.   Nutritional yeast is rich in vitamin B.  It is a popular condiment for those who follow a vegan diet and is often used as a cheese alternative in cooking.  I have used it in a number of recipes in the past.  Anyway, whilst making the vegan spanakopita filling, I began reminiscing of holidays past in Cyprus.  I remembered eating a vegetarian spanakopita from a Cypriot bakery that had been rolled up into a coil shape (see here) and it is for that reason that I decided to make individual portions of vegan spanakopita spirals, as I thought they would look more presentable on the plate. 

You could easily make a larger version to feed a family or group of friends, then you must call it serpents coil as it sounds much more evocative.   I know my version here looks a bit on the pale side, and it is.  I put my hands up and admit that I forgot to gloss it over with some melted vegan margarine, that would definitely had made it golden.  I will ensure I do so next time, still that did not detract from the flavour or crispness. I actually enjoyed it far more than the vegetarian feta cheese savoury version, the only thing missing from the dish was some green salad and red tomatoes!
You can enjoy these warm from the oven, or at room temperature.  Just don't forget the salad!

Vegan Spanakopita Spirals
Makes 6
2 - 3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely sliced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 leek, sliced or 4 spring onions, sliced
About 300g spinach, rinsed and roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
Optional: vegan margarine for shine
3 - 4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
Salt and pepper to taste
Packet of 6 ready-made filo pastry sheets from supermarket
In a wide pan,heat the oil, add the onions and saute until soft and translucent, then stir in the garlic and leek and or spring onions and cook for a few minutes.  Then stir in the spices and cook for a couple of minutes for the flavours to infuse and the onion-leek to soften.  
Gradually stir in the spinach and cook until wilted.  Turn off the heat and stir in 3 tablespoons of the nutritional yeast, if you think the mixture is a little wet, then stir in the additional tablespoon of nutritional yeast and stir well to combine.  Allow to cool, before  dividing quickly between 6 filo pastry sheets, roll up like a long skinny cigar, before shaping it carefully as shown above. 
Optional Brush with melted vegan margarine. 
Bake in oven for 20 - 25 minutes or until golden.


  1. You know me, Shaheen; I would prefer the lovely salty Feta! :)

    1. :) I don't mind it either really, but these vegan versions made a lovely change.

  2. I love spanakopita...these look like little sausages...

    ~Have a lovely day!

  3. A lovely variation on traditional Spanakopita :-)

    1. Thank you Lisa, I've made some more recently with the addition of chickpeas for texture.

  4. That looks really yummy, I've only just started cooking with nutritional yeast, it makes such a difference to vegan food!

    1. Thanks Sooz, even my cheese loving husband likes it a lot. Yes, I so agree nutritional yeast does enhance some vegan dishes.


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