Tag Archives: Spinach

Spinach and Cheeze Phyllo Pasteries (Sambousek)

I have been making this recipe for many years now.  Unfortunately, it is high in fat, so use this for special occasions and don’t overdo it! Otherwise, you may find yourself having to work off those extra calories! This recipe is a veganized version of the Spinach Pies from The Complete Middle East Cookbook.

Makes about 9 large triangles (sambousek – with some mix left over for sandwiches or crackers)

1 package (400 g or about 8 oz) frozen spinach
¾ cup onions, minced (that’s about 1 and ½ onions)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 and ⅓ cup vegan cheese (we used a creamy white-cheese flavor)
2 tablespoons chopped dill
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water
⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
9 sheets (or more) of phyllo pastry dough, thawed for about 2 hours before using
about ½ cup more olive oil for brushing on the phyllo pastry

Prepare the spinach and cheeze mix
1.  Defrost the frozen spinach.  Drain it and then chop.  Put in a large bowl.

Frozen spinach

2.  Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan and fry the onions until they are translucent.

3.  Add the oil and fried onion to the spinach.
4.  Make the vegan ‘egg’:  Mix the 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and the 2 tablespoons of water to make a slurry.
5.  Add the ‘egg’ to the spinach and onion with the cheeze, dill, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Mix well.

Vegan White Cheese

Spinach and cheeze mix

Make the sambousek (triangles).
Preheat the oven to gas mark 5 (375 degrees F or 190 degrees C).
Oil a casserole dish.
6.  Take all the phyllo sheets out of their box.  Cover with a damp towel to prevent drying while you work.

Phyllo sheets

7.  On your cutting board (or other flat working space), spread out one sheet.  Brush with oil.

8.  Take  two edges on one side and fold the sheet in half.  Brush again with oil.

9.  On the edge where you just folded the edges to meet, make a fold toward the inside that is about 2 inches (about 5 centimeters) in width.  (This will make it so that both ends are now folds rather than meeting edges and will be less likely to break and crack.)

10.  Using a ¼ measuring cup, scoop out about ¼ cup of the spinach and cheeze mix.  Place it on the inside fold a few centimeters from the bottom.

11.  Taking the far bottom edge of the folded sheet, fold the dough up to meet the far fold (and make a triangle shape).

12.  Taking the bottom tip of the triangle (the end close to you) and fold it directly up towards the top.
13.  Continue folding in this way until you reach the end of the sheet.  Brush the edge with oil before the final fold and then lightly brush the entire triangle with oil.
14.  Continue with each sheet until you have used up all your sheets or all your mix, whichever comes first.
15.  Cook in the oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Spinach and Cheeze Phyllo Pastries (Sambousek)

Serving Suggestions and Variations:

  • Serve hot or cold (they are better hot, but we like them cold, too!).
  • You can fold the sheet in any number of ways, so long as you create a shell for your filling.  Be creative.
  • Add tomatoes to the filling (I haven’t tried this yet, but I can imagine it would be delicious!).

Nutritional Information (for one large triangle):
Calories: 292; Fat: 24g; Cholesterol: 0g; Carbohydrates: 17g; Fiber: 2g; Protein: 4g

Alf Hana!!!


Lebanese Vegan Fare at Dar Al Amar Express

Here’s another installment of restaurants in Cairo that have some vegan options.  If you like Lebanese food, you’ll find some tasty vegan treats at Dar Al Amar Express.


The freshly baked bread is absolutely irresistible!



Fresh Bread


Vegan salads available include fatoush, tabouleh, homus, and baba ganoug.











Baba ganoug


Even their stuffed grape leaves are vegan, prepared as a cold appetizer with lemon.



Stuffed grape leaves


As a main dish, you can choose from a variety of mana’eesh: zaater (thyme), zaater with vegetables, or, as in the image featured below, spinach!


Spinach mana’eesh

You can find Dar Al Amar Express in Roxy and Nasr City.  There is also a Dar Al Amar (not express! – the menu is different, but still has vegan options) in the Oasis on the road to the airport.  And, like many other things in Cairo, you can order from home!

Give Dar Al Amar Express a try and let us know what you think!