The Little Strudel That Could

Roasted Vegetable Strudel

My plan for Buried Carrots is to feature the very best vegetarian and vegan recipes I can find as well as give veggie-related restaurant, book and product reviews. This is my very first blog post. Ever. I’m excited and nervous. With so many other food blogs out there, I want to do things right. So of course, I toiled over what my first posted recipe should be, because surely it should be something mind-blowing, something so incredible that meat eaters the world over push aside their plates of beef for a taste, and vegetarians and vegans weep tears of joy. Right?

So, I debated whether I should choose an old favorite or something completely new. Stick with what I know or take a risk.  I realized that I’d set my intentions for the new year to be productive, to try new things and take risks, and to generally spend more time doing the things I want to do to balance with the things I have to do. With all that in mind I chose to try something new: Roasted Vegetable Strudel. It seemed perfect: wintery, warm and healthy vegetables mixed with beans for a punch of protein, rolled in buttered filo dough and baked to crispy brown perfection.  It would look fabulous, taste fabulous, and launch my new blog toward fabulousness.

And it was pretty fabulous. Just not as fabulous as I had hoped. The veggies had a great flavor, but I instantly noticed “textural” issues with the asparagus. The filo tasted great and browned up nicely, but crumbled into zillions of pieces when the strudel was sliced. So what now? Should I abandon the strudel and start over with a different recipe? I toiled over this too.

Ultimately I decided that no, I shouldn’t just pretend that the strudel never happened. Yes, Buried Carrots is supposed to be about the very best vegetarian and vegan food I can discover, but it’s also got to be about honesty, and the truth about the strudel, much like this blog on the day of my first post, is that it has potential. Sub out the asparagus for cauliflower or broccoli. Use homemade pastry dough for the strudel. Drizzle the sliced strudel with vegan hollandaise. Now we’re getting a little closer to fabulous. The seasoning was great, and the variety of veggies and addition of beans ensures that the strudel is filled to the brim with vitamins and fiber.

So really, the strudel was the perfect choice for my first post. It reminded me that being dynamic doesn’t mean being perfect, everything is going to have its good points and its bad points, but with potential you open the door to creatively approaching the future and working to make each new thing better than the last. I like potential. It leaves room for a lot. Potential is fabulous.

Roasted Vegetable Strudel

1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into ½ inch strips
12 asparagus spears, tough ends trimmed (or substitute 1 ½ cups fresh broccoli or cauliflower)
1 small zucchini, cut into 3 inch long strips
3 medium carrots, cut into ¼ inch slices
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 ripe plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise and cut into strips
2 cups fresh spinach leaves, stemmed and coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 ½ cups cooked or 1 (15.5 oz) can white beans, drained, rinsed, and mashed
6 sheets frozen filo dough, thawed (or substitute favorite pastry dough recipe)
¼ cup vegan margarine, melted

fresh veggies

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine the onion, asparagus, bell pepper, carrots, and zucchini in a large bowl and toss with the olive oil to coat. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Transfer the veggies to a baking sheet or glass baking pan and roast until tender, about 40 minutes

white beans

While the vegetables are roasting, use a potato masher or fork to mash the white beans. Slice the tomatoes and chop the spinach. Transfer roasted vegetables to a large bowl and combine with spinach, tomatoes and beans. Allow mixture to cool completely.

filo roll


Place one sheet of filo dough on a flat work surface. Brush with melted margarine. Layer another sheet on top of the first sheet and repeat the process until all six sheets are layered together. Spread the vegetable mixture lengthwise down the center of the filo dough, leaving room on each short end to fold the edges up. Fold in the short edges and then roll the long edges over the vegetable mixture. Basically you’re making a giant burrito with closed ends. Place the vegetable filled filo dough on a baking sheet, seam side down and brush with melted margarine. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes.






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About Karen Milling

Freelance Photographer and Writer with a passion for vegetarian and vegan cooking. Currently my work can be viewed online at my three blogs: Buried Carrots is devoted to colorful writing and delicious vegetarian and vegan food; Composing Kitchen focuses on my efforts, together with my partner, to follow our passions and design our lives; and Karen Milling Photography features my work as a portrait, headshot, wedding and food photographer.
Gallery | This entry was posted in Main Dish, Vegan, Vegetarian. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to The Little Strudel That Could

  1. Hanna says:

    I LOVE it!!! Welcome to the blogoshpere friend!!! Your going to have a blast with this!!! ANd your such an amazing cook. I’m so excited to see what you have to share!!!

  2. Bree Ross says:

    Yumm…your version sounds better for sure. Congrats on your new blog! Looks great!

  3. Chris Symonds says:

    I can totally relate; I often try to pretend that strudel never happened. This might just inspire me to eat vegetables. Nicely done, Karen. :-)

  4. Thank you so much for starting this blog. As a newbie into the more vegetarian than meat world I am finding that sifting through websites and cookbooks not really knowing what I am looking for is a challenge. I look forward to reading more. I can’t wait to try this one out. :)

  5. JDiggle says:

    I look forward to more!

  6. Brent Broome says:

    Looks fantastic and your proposed updates sound even
    better. And the food photography… awesome! Nice work all
    around.

  7. Kumi says:

    Great blog. I will continue to check back! I think my
    skills will have to improve vastly for me to try this one. :)

  8. Todd Pottschmidt says:

    I just followed the link from Carla’s Facebook page
    & was really pleased. I am currently on day #14 of my new
    “health kick diet to save my life” diet, and I was wanting to learn
    more about this type of cooking. I would love to see things like
    calories per serving, although I could figure it out myself. You
    might also want to add some info for Vegetarian/Vegan neophytes. I
    might be trying this out this weekend – will let you know how it
    goes.

  9. Amie says:

    This is a great idea! I love the pictures and thank you for breaking down the recipe. Hope you continue this with the same gusto ~ love it!

  10. Pingback: Happy Birthday Buried Carrots! | Buried Carrots

  11. blanketing says:

    Thank you so much for this. I’m a blogger out of Flatschach, Austria and what I just read here on buriedcarrots.com couldn’t be said much better.
    Going through this post reminds me of my college roommate, Rhys.
    He persistently kept preaching about this. I will definitely send these ideas
    to him. I’m certain he will have a very good read. I appreciate you for posting this.

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