Vegan Spanakopita

For about a month now, every time I open the freezer I stare blankly at a brick of frozen spinach and a single sheet of puff pastry left over from the last time I made veggie pot pie. I want spanakopita, the warm Greek pastry stuffed with spinach and crumbly feta cheese seasoned with an array of Mediterranean herbs, so desperately, but with Merle's allergy to milk protein, I can't indulge my cheesy desire. Last night my partner and I were fighting and it sent me into a cooking rampage. I told myself if I wanted spanakopita, then I would be damned if I let anything prevent me from having it, so I dug through the fridge and then the spice cabinet and concocted my own dairy free version. To my great surprise, it tasted exactly like the real thing. "Ha take that!" I said out loud before it hit me that I was alone in the apartment with Merle sound asleep. Somehow for me, cooking a delicious treat I didn't think I could have felt almost as good as winning the argument would have. At least in the kitchen, I have some control over things.

Vegan Spanakopita

Makes 3

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 cup frozen spinach, thawed
1/2 block extra firm tofu
1 Tbsp olive oil
2-3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 Tbsp dried oregano
1/2 Tbsp dried parsley
1/2 Tbsp dried Italian spices
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Unfold the puff pastry and divide into thirds on a baking sheet.  In a bowl, combine all the remaining ingredients. Using a wooden spoon, mash the tofu into small pieces, approximately the size of feta crumbles. Spoon the mixture in the center of each of the three pieces of puff pastry equally. Fold the ends of each piece over the filling and using your fingers, press down on the remaining edges where the filling is still exposed. Cut three small vent holes on the top and bake the pastries until golden brown, approximately 15 to 30 minutes.

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