I have attempted to start this post several times over the last two days. Each time, I stare at a blank screen for a few minutes, before giving up and moving to the previous session I was on. in the meantime, I have worked on a couple of websites, attended a birthday dinner that went into the early hours, made granola (I always seem to be making granola when I am stuck for words!) and researched various sundry things.
The reason for this is that I have had a couple of other projects on my mind. And, it has an obsessive hold on me. Website development is not sailing on calm seas. Too few and too many choices, both can be a stranglehold! Choosing a template is really hard. Over the last week, I completely redesigned my personal website to Asha INK and I was wrestling to find a design that would work for showcasing NOURISHED as much as my photography portfolio. I like the way it flows now. What do you think? Take a look and let me know.
There is another I am working on now that is more than just a design issue. You see, last year at around this time, I launched a service called FOODLY. It was really a concierge service for family meals. The intent behind it was a growing desire within me to do something about the broken food system. I wanted to enable the eater and consumer, so the information could be fed back to producers. One way of empowerment is to know how to cook and hence become more engaged with what we eat.
FOODLY was aimed to ease making the decision to cook rather than buy, within the constraints of our busy and demanding life. I also published NOURISHED as part of that. However, in the year, that I have been working on it, I realized that this approach was not the best one to take and the market is not yet ready to willingly make the choice of spending time to cook more. Those who are aware of the importance already do. My approach was not the best channel to engage those who don't, and ultimately impact the way we consume food.
So, it is time to move on and try another tack. My interest is still towards creating a more sustainable ecosystem. What I am working on now is a collaborative approach the goal of which education, awareness and independent choices. I hope to deliver this through an several biased, multi-perspective platform that creates room for discussion and debate leading to a collectively better understanding of all issues.
I am still clarifying the concept and in the middle of putting together the infrastructure and framework for the online platform. But, if any of you is interested in getting involved, please drop me a note and I would love to find ways to collaborate.
That's really what is on my mind. So, I am going dive right into the photos and leave you with the recipe for this simple vegetarian pie that surprises you in flavor and more-ness. The secret is the contrast of the crunch of the pastry and succulence of the filling.
PUMPKIN + MUSTARD GREENS PHYLLO PIE
1-1/2 cups unseasoned roasted pumpkin puree (when I make this at home, I do not season the pumpkin, so I can use it in sweet or savory creations)
1 bunched of mustard greens
8 sheets of phyllo pastry, thawed for an hour and covered with a moist kitchen towel
2 T of butter, melted
5 T hummus
salt, pepper as needed
Preheat the oven to 375 F.
Tear the leafy part of the greens from the stem and steam or blanch the mustard greens till soft.
Squeeze as much water as you can and rough chop them.
Brush butter onto a sheet of phyllo dough and place another on top.
Arrange this double layer at the base of a 6-8 inch baking mold, leaving sufficient to hang over the edge.
Repeat three more times till all sides of the baking dish are covered.
Spread the hummus at the base of the dough, then top with the pumpkin puree. Season with salt and pepper (and any other spices you like).
Sprinkle the drained and chopped greens over to cover the surface of the puree.
Fold the overhang to wrap over the filling and cover it entirely.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until the pastry golden brown and crunchy. Remove from dish immediately and cool for a few minutes on a wire rack. Serve as is or with a drizzle of yogurt.