If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-J.R.R Tolkien

29 January 2012

The Heavenly Veggie Parcels

I will finally give you the recipe for those tasty looking parcels I already wrote about earlier. I already shared the recipe in Finnish on my friend Mari's blog Pumpkin Jam, as she asked me to do a guest post on there. She is a big inspiration to me and probably the reason why I ever got into blogging in the first place. She is an amazing writer, she should do it for a living in my opinion. There is a big blogger community in Finland but I haven't been very active so far, but I would love to get to know more people who love food as much as I do. I don't know if it is a problem that I write in English, I have been thinking if I should switch to Finnish just to "fit in" a bit more. However, for now writing in English feels more comfortable.

Anyway, here comes the recipe. It is a slightly altered version from The Modern Vegetarian cookbook by Maria Elia. I found it at the sales and while I was deciding if I really should own an another cookbook (need more shelf space!!!) I saw the recipe for these parcels and walked to the till with the book. I want to cook more interesting vegetarian food, not just the basic stuff. Today I have cooked one more recipe and will do another this evening, but more about them later. This  one really impressed me and my dinner guests, definately worth the little effort it takes!

 Parcels with Mushrooms, Spinach, Beetroot, Lentils and Mozzarella
 (4 big portions)

Ginger Vinaigrette Dressing
1 cm piece ginger
1 garlic clove, grated
30 ml rice vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp sugar
75 ml sesame oil
2 tsp dijon mustard

225g puy or brown lentils (I used green as had it already)
3 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
salt and pepper
4 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped

4 large portobello mushrooms (couldn't get any so used around 400g of button mushrooms)
2 tbsp olive oil (I used butter, always for mushrooms)
pinch of chilli flakes

To put together you need
Fresh spinach
300g mozzarella, torn into small pieces
200g cooked beetroot, sliced into wedges
4 squares of parchment paper (38cmx38cm), scrunch and dampen under warm water, squeeze water of. this way they look prettier and are easier to work with
4 strips cut of parchment paper (2cmx38cm)

1. Prepare the vinaigrette by whisking all ingredients together.

2. Wash the lentils. Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the onion and garlic, sautee until softened. Add drained lentils and just enough water to cover them. Simmer until tender, about 20 mins, adding water if needed. Drain and dress with ginger vinaigrette when still hot. Season with salt and pepper, add coriander.

3. Clean the mushrooms and remove the stalks. Drizzle with olive oil(or butter), season with salt and chilli and cook in a hot pan for 3 minutes on each side.

4. To assemble, preheat the oven to 190c. Place the spinach at the bottom of the parcel, top with mushroom(s), lentils, beetroot and mozzarella. Tie the sides of the papers together with thw paper strips. The parcels can be made in advance and cooked when everyone's ready to eat!

5. Place on baking tray and cook for 15-20 minutes or until throroughly heated.

I served a simple salad of rocket, fennel and parmesan with the parcels. A light red wine goes beautifully with this, really complementing the earthy flavours.


  1. We loved these parcels! Thanks for posting. Originally we found the recipe in Pumpkin Jam's blog.

  2. They are the best thing ever. Thank you!