Best known for Miyoko’s Creamery, Miyoko Schinner, the artisanal vegan cheese maker behind Miyoko's Kitchen, now adds new essential reading to her arsenal of vegan cookbooks. The Vegan Meat Cookbookprovides recipes focused on the use of meat alternatives; shop-bought and substitutes you can make yourself.
This is an upscale version of spanakopita that marries vegan chicken, infused with flavour from simmering in broth and wine, with herb-scented greens and cheese. By Miyoko Schinner
Serves 6 | Prep 15 mins | Cook 1 hr 15 mins | Calories 528 (per serving)
3 tbsp olive oil
1 large leek, white part, cut in half lengthwise, washed and sliced
450g (9 cups) Swiss chard or kale, stems removed and thinly sliced fronds from 1 bunch of fresh dill, chopped
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
230g (1½ cups) shop-bought vegan chicken chunks/strips, (I like to use Vegan Butcher)
240ml (1 cup) vegan chicken stock (broth)
2 tbsp vegan white wine
1 tsp dried thyme
8 sheets of vegan filo dough
120ml (½ cup) olive oil or melted vegan butter, for brushing the filo
120g (1 cup) shop-bought vegan mozzarella, pepper jack, or feta cheese, such as Violife
100g (½ cup) vegan herb or chive cream cheese wheel
Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4.
Heat 2 tbsp of the olive oil in a deep frying pan (skillet) over medium heat, add the leek and sauté until tender, 5-6 minutes. Increase the heat to high, add the chard and cook 2 minutes, just until wilted. The chard needn’t be completely soft, just wilted – overcooking the chard will lead to it becoming a watery mess, which you don’t want. Stir in the dill and season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, put the chicken, broth, wine, 1 tbsp olive oil and the thyme in a small pot and simmer on medium heat for 10-15 minutes, until the chicken has absorbed most of the liquid.
Now get your filo dough ready. Put a clean towel down on a clean, dry work surface or chopping board. Open the roll of filo dough so that it is spread out completely. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and put a sheet of filo dough on it. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the olive oil or melted butter over the sheet. Place another sheet of filo on top and brush lightly with oil or butter. Repeat until eight filo sheets have been used. Put away the remaining filo for another use.
Spread the chard mixture over most of the filo dough, leaving a 10cm (4in) section of plain dough without chard at one of the shorter ends of the dough. Neatly place the chicken in a strip down the middle of the chard mixture, widthwise across the filo. Next, put both the mozzarella and the cream cheese on top of the chicken, spreading the cream cheese as well as you can. Now, very carefully, take the chard-filled end of the filo dough and bring it over the pile of chicken and cheese to enclose it, then continue rolling up the entire thing as carefully as you can. The plain end will add a few extra layers to the roll. Brush the entire roll with olive oil or melted butter.
Bake for about 1 hour, until the pastry is golden brown. Slice, serve and enjoy!