Daily Vegan Lunch for 29 June, 2013: Spanakopita (Spinach Phyllo Pie)

vegan spanakopita

vegan spanakopita 2

vegan spanakopita 3

INGREDIENTS:

10 cups fresh spinach or 2 packages frozen spinach, thawed with water squeezed out, about 4 cups total
2 cups chopped onion
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped fresh dill OR 1.5 tablespoons dried dill
3 teaspoons salt
1.5 cups firm tofu, crumbled
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
3 teaspoons cornstarch or arrowroot powder

1/2 package of phyllo dough, thawed (about 20 sheets)
Additional olive oil for phyllo sheets

DIRECTIONS:

Wilt fresh spinach in a large pan with a tablespoon of water on medium heat for about 3 minutes. Once spinach deflates and gets smaller, scoop it into a bowl and set it aside to cool. In the same large pan where you just cooked spinach, fry onion in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil until slightly transparent. Add dill and tofu plus the other tablespoon of olive oil. Keep cooking until dill deflates (if you were using fresh) and/or tofu is heated through, about 2 minutes. Drain the cooked spinach by pressing it in the bottom of a colander over the sink. Alternately, if you used frozen spinach, thaw it in the microwave by cooking it on high power for three minutes. Drain it in a colander by pushing the water out of the spinach. Add the spinach to the fry pan with onions and tofu. Add dried dill at this point if you didn’t have fresh. Add nutritional yeast, cornstarch/arrowroot, and salt. Stir well until the slight amount of water released by the spinach in cooking binds with the arrowroot/cornstarch and thickens, about three minutes.

Set the spinach mixture aside on an unused stove burner and allow it to cool for at least 20 minutes.

Lightly oil a large casserole pan like the one pictured above. Unpackage the thawed phyllo dough. Carefully lay out the phyllo dough on a large cutting board or clean countertop. Extract a single sheet of phyllo and lay it down. Spread the lightest possible layer of olive oil on the sheet (an olive oil sprayer would have been fabulous but I did not have one) and lay the next sheet down until you have 10 – 13 sheets. Spread spinach mixture flat on the phyllo dough bed you have created. Follow up with 10 – 13 more sheets prepared in the same manner. Bake the resulting spinach pie at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Spinach pie is even better the second day!

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