Easy Dinner Obsession: Spinach Gözleme (Vegan Option)



As we try to eat healthier in our household by eliminating frozen, prepared or highly processed food and snacks, I've been quite busy keeping up. Cooking nearly 3 meals per day, many from scratch, leaves little time for much else. Once the pile of dishes is cleaned (if there's any time left for that), I'm pretty much wiped out. On a good day, I may have enough time to toss my plate on the counter and take a quick Instagram shot to share, but usually it's about managing kids who don't care to sit still longer than 5 minutes.

But there is one recipe I really want to share with you today, which I've come back to over and over. It's become a staple in my menu rotation, and it's something I had never even heard of prior to discovering it in my Pinterest search of international vegetarian recipes. 


Gözleme. Have you heard of it?

It's a traditional Turkish flatbread stuffed with various fillings ("Göz" literally translates to mean "compartment") and shallow fried in a bit of butter or oil. It seems to me that it may be akin to the NYC $2 slice found on every corner of Manhattan - a cheap and filling street food. Except it's made fresh, and probably has quite a bit more nutritional value than a cheesy slice... sign me up!

Someday I'd love to make it to Turkey to see this made, firsthand. Or Australia, since Gözleme is apparently VERY popular there, with small restaurants offering it as fast-food. For example, the franchise Gözleme King, who seem to know their customer quite well, and now offers vegan options! I seriously can NOT understand why we don't have this in NYC at least in food truck format (please correct me if I'm wrong, I don't get in to the city much any more). It seems like the perfect quick lunch, especially for vegetarians. I believe it would be wildly successful, here in New York.

Until then....

I've adapted the recipe to use at home, and probably make it about once a month. If you've got some yeast on hand, and a few handfuls of spinach, maybe a little yogurt, you're good to go. It only takes about 10 minutes to prep, 30 minutes to "rest and rise", and hand-on time rolling, filling, and cooking however many you'd like to make. I spend about 20 minutes at the stove to make 4.












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Gozleme with Spinach Filling
Yields: 4
Serves: 2-3 

*VEGAN variation: 
For the dough: omit yogurt. Use 3 T olive oil instead of 1.5 T. 
For the filling: Omit cheese, it's totally unnecessary!
For sauce: use vegan yogurt such as cashew or soy. Or get creative with marinara or hot sauce, anything goes!

Ingredients

Dough
1 1/2 cups Flour
1 1/8 teaspoons yeast, instant
4 1/2 ounces warm water (about 110 degrees)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon sugar
1.5 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon plain yogurt

Filling
5 ounces Spinach, washed, chopped
2 tablespoons Parsley, Fresh (optional), Chopped
1/4 medium Red Onion, chopped
1/4 cup Feta Cheese, crumbled (optional)
2 tablespoons Parmesan Cheese, grated (optional)
1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
salt
pepper
red pepper flakes

Sauce
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons cucumber, minced or grated
1 tablespoon red onion
1/2 teaspoon fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon fresh mint, chopped
1/2 teaspoon fresh cilantro, chopped


Method

1. Make the Dough: Mix warm water with yeast, sugar and salt. Set aside 5 minutes until foamy.

In a large bowl, combine yeast mixture with olive oil, yogurt, and flour. 

Knead the dough on a floured board for a few minutes, and divide into 4 pieces. 

Set aside to rise 30 minutes in an oiled bowl covered with a towel.

2. Prepare Filling: Combine finely chopped spinach, onion, parsley, feta, and parmesan in a bowl. Add the lemon and olive oil, salt, pepper and red pepper and mix to coat. Set aside.

3. Sauce: Combine yogurt, lemon juice, cucumber, onion, and herbs, and set aside.

4. Fill the Pouches: On a lightly floured surface, roll each portion of dough into a rectangle (about 5”h x 7”w). Place a handful of filling into the center of the rectangle, about 3-4 T depending on how wilted the spinach has become. 


Fold each side over the center, and fold the top and bottom edges, pressing closed. Use the rolling pin to flatten out the pouch, making it a bit bigger. 

5. Cook: Heat a 9” skillet over medium high heat with a few drops of olive oil. Cook each gozleme pocket for about 3 minutes on each side, until browned. 




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