Cholesterol Friendly Recipes

Cholesterol-Friendly Turkey, Spinach & Mushroom Filo Parcels

Turkey breast meat is a great choice for cholesterol-friendly meals as it’s really low in saturated fat. It can be a bit bland on its own, but combining it with mushrooms and spinach turns it into a delicious cholesterol-friendly pastry filling.

Filo pastry is surprisingly low in saturated fat, so it’s the best pastry choice for cholesterol-friendly eating. Making the filo parcels is just like wrapping a present, using olive oil spray to ‘glue’ the bits together. Olive oil contains healthy monounsaturated fats, which help to increase your good cholesterol and lower the inflammatory impact of bad cholesterol on your body.

Speed is key in the parcel wrapping, as you don’t want the mixture to seep through the pastry, so don’t worry about it looking too neat. To be honest it doesn’t really matter if you do get spillages or tears in the pastry – it will still turn out fine. If it’s too fiddly, you can make a pie instead. I’ve included instructions in the ‘Notes’ section below.

Information

  • Serves: 2
  • Preparation time: 10 mins (including parcel wrapping)
  • Cooking time: 35 mins
  • Difficulty: Medium

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Olive oil spray
  • 180g turkey breast, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 150g mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2 handfuls spinach
  • 250ml chicken stock
  • 1.5 tbsp cornflour
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 4 filo pastry sheets
  • Accompaniments, e.g. veg, potatoes, seeds etc

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180*C (160*C for fan ovens).
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan on a medium heat.
  3. Add the turkey and fry on a medium heat, turning occasionally until sealed (about 4 minutes).
  4. Remove the turkey from the pan and transfer to a plate. Keep the juices in the pan.
  5. Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes until soft.
  6. Add the mushrooms and spinach, and stir into the onions. Cook for 2 minutes.
  7. Turn the heat down low, then pour in the chicken stock and stir.
  8. Add the turkey back to the pan, then simmer gently for 4 minutes.
  9. Add the cornflour to the pan and stir until the mixture thickens (about 2 minutes). The aim is for there to be no runny liquid, so that the parcel won’t go soggy.
  10. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then take the pan off the heat.
  11. Now you need to make the parcels (see photos below):-
    • Take one of the filo sheets and lay it across a large chopping board.
    • Spray the entire surface with olive oil, then fold it in half.
    • Repeat with the other filo sheet.
    • Spray the top surface of the first folded sheet with oil.
    • Layer the second folded sheet on top of the first folded sheet. 
    • Spoon half of the mixture on the top sheet in the centre.
    • Wrap the filo up like a parcel. Don’t worry if it doesn’t look neat!
    • Carefully flip it over using a fish slice so that the folded bits are on the bottom.
    • Transfer to a baking tray. 
  12. Repeat with the other two filo sheets using the rest of the mixture.
  13. Spray the top of the filo parcels with more oil.
  14. Cook on the middle shelf of the oven until the filo pastry goes crispy and golden brown (10-15 minutes). Prepare your accompaniments while it’s cooking.
  15. Take the parcels out of the oven and serve with accompaniments.

Photos showing how to wrap the parcels

Step 1: Lay out a filo sheet and spray the top surface with oil:-

Filo step 1.jpg

Step 2: Fold in half, then spray the top surface with oil:-

filo-step-2

Step 3: Repeat steps 1 & 2 with the other sheet and layer it on top of the first folded sheet (giving you 4 layers in total).

Step 4: Spoon half of the mixture onto the filo sheets in the centre:-

filo-step-3

Step 4: Fold half of the filo across the filling:-

filo-step-4

Step 5: Spray the top surface of the half you’ve just folded in, then fold the other half across, sticking it against the oil-sprayed side:-

filo-step-5

Step 6: Turn the parcel clockwise, then spray the left and right ends with oil. Fold the ends across the centre to make a square shape:-

filo-step-6

Step 7: Carefully flip it over and place on a baking tray, so that the folded bits are facing down. Spray the top with more oil.

Notes

If the parcel-making sounds too fiddly, you can turn it into a pie instead. All you need to do is spoon the mixture into a pie dish or suitable oven proof dish. Tear the filo pastry sheets into 3 long strips, then loosely scrunch up each strip and place on top of the filling (my salmon pie recipe post shows what it should look like). Then just spray the pastry scrunches generously with olive oil spray, and put in the oven until golden (10-15 minutes).

For more cholesterol-friendly recipes and tips on how to reduce cholesterol naturally, click here.