As the weather shows no sign of getting any better, and in fact seems to be getting colder like some cruel punishment for starting second term, comfort food rapidly is becoming more appealing than the well-intentioned dieting of January. This easy, comforting, and somehow not too unhealthy recipe is exactly what is needed to get through the post-exam exhaustion and long days.

The base of this meal can be used in so many ways (found at the bottom of the recipe); it’s the perfect way to bulk cook and meal prep without eating the same thing for a week straight. Easily adapted and changed so that it suits your needs or cravings, and made with cheap ingredients, it’s brilliant for any lazy student that wants to look organised and far more together than they actually are.

Ingredients:

  • 1 butternut squash, chopped into cubes
  • 1tsp fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 ½ tsp paprika
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 2 red onions, finely sliced
  • 100g chorizo, diced
  • 4 whole garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 1 block of pre-rolled puff pastry
  • 200g spinach
  • 100g feta
  • 1 egg, beaten

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180℃
  2. Mix the butternut squash with the spices, chorizo and oil in a roasting tin, salt and pepper to taste
  3. Roast for 20 minutes, then add the onions and garlic, making sure everything is coated in the spice and oil
  4. Cook for a further 20 minutes, or until the onion and butternut squash are cooked, and unpeel the garlic
  5. Meanwhile, place the spinach in a colander and pour boiling water over, then rinse with cold water to refresh, and squeeze as much water as possible out
  6. Line a pie dish* with the puff pastry and place the butternut squash mix at the bottom
  7. Mix the feta and spinach and layer on top of the roasted veg
  8. Cover the mix with the remaining puff pastry and brush with beaten egg
  9. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden

*to save washing up, or if you don’t have a pie dish, just place the puff pastry over the top of the spinach after step 7 and bake until the pastry is crisp and golden

Variations:

  • blend half of the roasted veg, and add everything to spaghetti with parmesan
  • add 2 red peppers, and when roasted mix with 1ltr vegetable stock, and blend for a winter-y soup that you can freeze
  • add finely diced fresh chillies and chili flakes for an added kick
  • add a sweet potato, new potatoes and peppers and chicken thighs for a one dish meal
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