Even Carnivores Will Like It.

Friends come in all shapes and sizes, ethnic and lifestyle varieties. Makes life and dinner conversations lively and interesting.  But when it came to dietary preferences, especially when vegetarians and meat eaters sit at the same table, a menu that satisfied without someone feeling odd man out was a challenge.

And then I found a recipe for mushroom leek pie: a big success at an informal buffet as a choice but not quite ready for a sit-down dinner party. So me being me, I fiddled around and came up with this super healthy and elegant adaptation at 220 calories per serving. Open with a flute of champagne, add a mixed green salad with your favorite dressing plus a fabulous dessert like Bananas Foster... who could complain??? 

1 cup thinly sliced leeks
1/2 cup canned vegetable broth
1 cup coarsely chopped mushrooms (any kind will do, but we like Baby Bellas best)
8 sheets frozen phyllo dough, defrosted
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 ounces Chevre (mild goat cheese)
1 teaspoon poppy or sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place leeks and broth in a large covered skillet on medium for 6-8 minutes or until leeks soften. Add the mushrooms, cover and cook another 2-3 minutes. Remove cover, lower heat to medium low and cook until liquid has been absorbed by the veggies. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes.  

For each strudel, layer two phyllo sheets, making four double sheets for filling. Lightly brush one side of each flat double sheet with olive oil. Fold the unbrushed side over the oiled side to make a four layer thick phyllo square. Brush the edges with a little more oil. Spoon one quarter of the veggie mix and crumble one ounce of Chevre along one edge of each prepared phyllo square.Tuck in the sides of each pastry and roll them up to seal in the filling. 

Place the strudels on an ungreased baking tray and brush the tops with oil. Sprinkle with your choice of poppy or sesame seeds and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden in color. Makes 4 strudels, serve immediately. Rosemary pear conserve or homemade cranberry sauce as a side are lovely flavor enhancers.


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