Featured Recipe , for the holidays

Savory Pastry with portobello mushrooms, lentils, & caramelized onions.

This recipe was created to uphold a delicious and golden brown main course, while sharing grace with family and farm animals.  There are several steps, but they're easy to follow and worth it.  You can prepare some or all of the filling in advance. It's especially nice to gather in the kitchen and assemble together with loved ones. Serves 6 to 8 people. 

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Phillo Dough, thawed hours in advance, according to package
4 cups, sliced crimini mushrooms (baby portobellos)
4 yellow onions, thinly sliced

2 - 4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 cups cooked brown lentils 
1/2 cup peas, frozen
1 carrot, thinly sliced & steamed (optional)
4 Tablespoons or so, Earth Balance Buttery Spread

Salt and pepper to taste
Vegetarian Gravy, available at Health Food Store

Cranberry Sauce garnish. 


It's actually a pretty simple process, and its a lovely activity if you have friends and family there to join in the new tradition.  You will need to make one pastry at a time, so that the dough does not get exposed to air and quickly dry out.  

 1. Lay the sheets of phillo dough on a cutting board and with a sharp knife, cut the sheets in half.  Be sure to cover with a clean cloth napkin so that they don’t dry out.  Set aside. 

2. Transfer one sheet of phillo dough to a surface that can get messy - something like a cookie sheet.   Starting with one thin sheet of phillo dough, brush on melted Earth Balance (EB) from end to end. Continue layering sheets of dough and coating with EB - up to about 3 sheets or so, depending on your preference.  
3.  Next, starting with the lentil & pea spread, layer ingredients on the phillo dough sheet, leaving approximately an inch border on all four sides.  When finished filling, fold the phillo dough over the stuffing to form a pocket.  Pinch the sides together and then fold them under to “seal”  (hold filling).

4. With a spatula, carefully transfer the stuffed pastry to a cookie sheet or a stone cooking sheet (they're awesome). 

5.  Bake pastries at 375 degrees until golden brown - about 25  minutes. 

6. While baking, heat up gravy and enjoy this beautiful youtube video!

Savory Pastries can be served whole or cut in half, however you think they look nice.  They're great with cranberry sauce garnish and all the traditional holiday fixings. Top with veg gravy and enjoy!

Helpful Hint.  Phillo Dough is very forgiving.  Don’t worry if sheets tear or become mis-shapen.  In fact, it looks rather nice when you add torn strips to the top layer for “texture." It all melts together in the oven.
 And there is no most excellent way to shape the pastries.  Experiment and find what method, shape, size looks nice to you.    

Important.  Thaw Phillo Dough according to instructions, in advance.  You’ll need a bakers brush. You might  prepare the lentils and carrots in advance, just to reduce a few steps on day of. 

1. In large skillet, heat 1-2 Tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat for a minute or so.  Add sliced onions and stir often until they start to become translucent.  Lower heat and continue to sautee for up to 30 or 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are golden and "carmelized."  

2. While onions are cooking, heat 1-2 Tablespoons of olive oil  in another skillet on medium heat. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook over medium heat until they are just tender, about 5 minutes. Don't overcook because they'll continue to cook in oven. Set aside. 

3. In food processor, puree 1/2 cup or so of cooked lentils for creamy consistency. You can also hand mash. Pureeing/mashing is totally optional. Transfer creamy lentils to mixing bowl and fold in remainder of lentils and peas (peas can still be frozen). Salt & pepper to taste. Set aside.  
4. In small sauce pan, melt remainder of earth balance on low heat (for brushing on  dough). 
5. Preheat oven to 375.  

Take a break and enjoy this sweet pick me up video!