I have really changed the way I eat the past year and I am always trying to come up with new recipes that take my love of Greek food and combine it with healthy tweaks. Getting older isn’t easy!
During Lent, a time of fasting, I am always looking for inventive ways to incorporate protein, quality nutrition, and excellent flavor into my meals. With Lent fast approaching, I think this one is a must.
This recipe was inspired by my trip to Barbados this year. I took my staple Greek ingredients and some Bajan spices and came up with my creation, Fakopita. First, the “faki.” Faki in Greek means lentil. After fussing with the recipe and tasting a variety of lentils, I prefer to use the brown lentils to make this dish, but that is truly user preference.
The word “pita” is bread – or dough in this case. For Fakopita, I’ll be using phyllo to put the Faki filling into. Filo can be a bit challenging when working with a mixture that likes to creep out. Your dough might crack – and that’s ok. Keep trying! Once you master quirky filo, you can make just about anything!
With Lent just around the corner, I thought I would share this recipe and hope people will try it and let me know their thoughts. It’s vegan and can be gluten-free if you can find gluten-free filo.
Here is the recipe and a video to show you how to make the filo triangles.
Kali Sarakosti, Blessed Lent to all!
Add the olive oil, onion, carrots, celery, bay leaves, and sauté on medium heat for 5 minutes. Add salt, pepper, cumin, turmeric, and Bajan sauce, stir for a minute more, then add the lentils. Stir for another minute, then add water. Cook for about 1 ½ hour on medium heat allowing to simmer but not boil. Stir occasionally so it does not stick. Taste as you go to see if the lentils are cooking through. If they seem a bit hard, add a little more water and continue cooking until they are soft. Once lentils are cooked, remove them from the stove and use a hand blender or a masher, and pulse until well combined, but not pureed.
Allow the lentil mixture to cool while you prepare your filo dough. To prepare, use room temperature dough, it’s so much easier to work with!
STOP here and watch the video to see how to prepare the filo and how to make the triangles.
When you use filo, you always have to have a “glue” to help the phyllo stick and not fall apart. The glue can be butter, oil, or a mix of both and you can use any variety of oils and butter. With this recipe, I choose straight-up olive oil (because I am making it vegan), but I think I would like to add some cumin to spice it up a bit. As a side note, your cooking arsenal should also contain a great, nylon bristle brush.
Let me know if you tried it, would love the feedback back, your guests will be very impressed.
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