These little spinach and lentil parcels are perfect picnic food, and make a lovely healthy lunch. They are quite robust, so hold together well and can be eaten easily with your fingers.
Like most recipes made with yeast, they take a little time to make, but of course all of that time is not hands on.
The dough for these spinach and lentil parcels is made with a higher proportion of oil than normal bread dough. This makes it flexible and easy to handle and roll out. It is simple to make with a food processor. But if you do want to make it by hand, this dough is very easy to knead. I’ve used half wholemeal, half white flour in this recipe. Using a wholegrain flour increases the fibre, and adds more nutrients such as vitamin b, iron and magnesium. Either strong flour or plain flour will work for this recipe, so use whichever you have available.
If you don’t have time to make the dough, you could use ready-made pastry instead. Filo pastry would be a crispy lower fat option, but puff or flaky pastry would also work well and taste delicious.
Filling for spinach and lentil parcels
The filling for these delicious parcels is made from a flavoursome and healthy mix of veggies, lentils and spices. I’ve used puy lentils in this recipe which hold their texture well and have a delicate flavour. Green lentils would also work well if you prefer. Frozen spinach is very convenient, but you could switch it to fresh. You could also use kale instead of spinach. Turmeric and cardamom give a warm fragrance to the mix. They also add health benefits. Turmeric is very good for you and can help to reduce harmful inflammation which can lead to a number of serious illnesses. If you fancy a touch of heat, you could also add some curry powder or chilli if you prefer.
It’s important to make sure that the filling mixture is quite dry by the time that it has finished cooking in the pan, so that it doesn’t leak out when the parcels are baking.
Shaping the parcels
You can make the parcels into whichever shape you wish. I’ve made these into triangular shapes, but you could make them into traditional pasty shapes if you prefer. Either way, make sure that the edges are sealed well.
To make the triangles, place the filling in a roughly triangular shape at the centre of the dough and moisten the edge of the circle with water. Take up the dough on each side of the triangular filling forming a pyramid. Squeeze the edges together well. This youtube video demonstrates how to make the triangular parcels better than I can explain it!
For pasty shapes, simply place the filling on one half of the circle of dough, allowing a 1.5 cm edge for sealing. Moisten the edge of the circle with water, fold over and seal by squeezing together with your fingers. If you want to crimp the edge of the dough, this video shows you how.
Spinach and lentil parcels are delicious served warm or cold with a salad. You could also serve them as a starter or canape, in which case make them a little smaller. They will store well in the fridge for a few days. They also freeze perfectly.
If you are looking for great ways to include more veg in your diet, you might like to read 12 easy (and delicious) ways to eat more veg
And you can find lots of suggestions for other easy, healthy lunches here.
Spinach and Lentil Parcels
- 100 g wholemeal flour
- 100 g white flour plain or strong, see notes above
- pinch salt
- ¼ teaspoon dried instant yeast
- 50 ml olive oil
- 100 ml lukewarm water
- ½ onion peeled and finely chopped
- 1 stick celery finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic peeled and very finely chopped or crushed
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- 50 g Puy lentils or green lentils, see notes above
- 200 g frozen spinach see notes above
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 350 ml water
- Add all of the dough ingredients to a bowl and stir until mixed. Turn onto a floured board and knead until smooth and elastic. Alternatively mix and knead in a food processor. Turn into a loosely covered bowl and leave for 1 - 1.5 hours until doubled in size. Divide into 8 pieces and roll into circles 15cm diameter.
- Meanwhile make the filling. Fry the onion and celery in oil over a medium heat for a few minutes. Add the garlic, lentils, spices, seasoning and water, bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Add the spinach, and cook for a further 10 minutes until all the liquid has evaporated and the lentils are tender.
- Divide the mixture into 8 and place each portion into the centre of each dough circle. Moisten the edges of the dough, and form into triangles or semi-circular pasty shapes. (See notes above for further instruction and video links if required). Seal the parcels well. Bake at 190 degrees for 20 minutes. Cool on a rack and serve warm or cold.