Mini Spinach & Cream Cheese Puff Parcels Recipe

Mini Spinach & Cream Cheese Puff Parcels in a green lunchbox.


How cute are these mini spinach and cream cheese parcels?

In honour of National Vegetarian Week, M&S (Marks and Spencer) asked me to create three new picnic recipes for their home and lifestyle page of their website. It's called inspire me and there is indeed lots of constantly updated inspiration for food, home and fashion.

I created sandwich and fruit skewers, mini no-bake strawberry cheesecakes and mini cheese and bean parcels. They are all easy to make and enjoyed by children and adults. The parcels were so good I made a second batch with a spinach and cream cheese version which I'm sharing here today.

The recipes I created for M&S are vegetarian, but scroll down for tips on making each of the recipes vegan.

Sandwich and fruit skewers on wooden skewers

Sandwich and fruit skewers


The first recipe I shared was more of a fun serving suggestion. Skewers are usually cooked over a BBQ, but mine are a more unusual way to serve sandwiches and mini desserts.  They are easy to throw together and you can change up the toppings. I have shared different ideas in the post. 

Vegan sandwich and fruit Skewers


For my vegan readers, use vegan cheese in the sandwich skewers and chunks of vegan cakes and bars  for the dessert skewers. Cubes of oaty bars or energy balls would be good on these skewers.



Mini Bean and Cheese Puff Parcels topped with sesame seeds in a lunchbox

Mini cheese and bean parcels

Little golden pastries filled with mature cheddar, baked beans and a punchy pinch of paprika – these are so easy to make and very, very moreish. 


Vegan mini cheese and bean parcels

These are easily made vegan. Use a vegan cheddar (we like violife cheddar, which melts well and is coconut based) and brush the parcels with olive oil instead of an egg wash.




Mini no-bake strawberry cheesecakes topped with half a strawberry & spinkles


Mini no-bake strawberry cheesecakes

Little no-bake cheesecakes made in a muffin tin. Head over to M&S for the recipe and alternative toppings.


Vegan mini no-bake strawberry cheesecakes


For the vegan version, use melted diary-free spread and vegan friendly biscuit crumbs for the base. The PETA have a handy list of which biscuits are vegan. For the cheese layer, pop a tin of full fat coconut milk in the fridge overnight. Pour out the liquid and whisk the thick cream with some icing sugar, then whisk together with vegan cream cheese (again we like Violife).


Easy Vegan Mini Spinach & Cream Cheese Puff Parcels in a picnic spread with pasta salad and cherry tomatoes


7 Helpful Picnic Tips



  1. Pop bottles of water in the freezer the night before your picnic. Use them as ice packs in your picnic box to keep the food cool. When you have unpack your picnic you'll have cool food and lovely refreshing chilled water to drink.
  2. Take a tablecloth instead of a picnic rug. It's lightweight, takes up less room and can be thrown in the washing machine once you get home.
  3. Make one or two homemade picnic snacks like my chickpea and vegetable hand pies, summer Greek pasta salad or my spicy bean wraps, then buy some ready-made salads, crusty bread, hummus, crisps and fruit, A picnic should be fun for you too and not too much of a task.
  4. Remember cutlery. Some food is easy to eat with fingers, but some really need cutlery.
  5. Take along a knife and cutting board if you are taking a pie or cake.
  6. Take baby wipes to wipe hands and faces. They are also handy for mopping up spills.
  7. Take a bin bag and take all your rubbish home with you.

Easy Mini Spinach & Cream Cheese Puff Parcels

Mini spinach and cream cheese puff parcels


I made these mini parcels the same way I made my cheese and bean parcels. I used vegan cream cheese and vegan parmesan, but feel free to use your favourite cream cheese and hard cheese. 

I blanched my spinach quickly with boiling water, refreshed it with cold water and squeezed as much liquid out as possible. Take time with this step, you really don't want soggy pastries.

For vegan pastries, get that golden finish on the top of the parcels with a brushing of olive oil.

nutritional information and calories for mini spinach and cream cheese puff parcels. 152 calories each.


hand pies, picnic food, mini savoury parcels, spinach pastries, vegan picnic, lunchbox recipe
lunch
vegan
Yield: 12 - 14 mini puff parcels

Mini Spinach & Cream Cheese Puff Parcels

Mini puff pastry parcels filled with cream cheese, spinach and a little bit of spice. Perfect for picnics, lunchboxes or for a quick snack when you are out and about.

prep time: 10 MINScook time: 20 MINStotal time: 30 mins

ingredients

  • 320g pack ready rolled puff pastry
  • 100g spinach
  • a generous pinch of ground cumin
  • 4 tbsp cream cheese (dairy or vegan)
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated veggie or vegan style pamesan
  • a good grinding of black pepper
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil to brush on the pastry
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds

instructions

  1. Take the pastry out of the fridge and remove from the box 10-15 minutes before you want to use it. Preheat the oven to
    220°C/200°C fan/gas mark 7.
  2. Blanch the spinach. Place it in a colander in the sink, then pour over a kettle full of boiling water to wilt the spinach. Refresh with cold water, then squeeze out as much water as you can. Use kitchen paper to make sure there is no more liquid, then sprinkle over the cumin and set aside.
  3. Mix the cream cheese with the parmesan and black pepper. Set aside.
  4. Place the pastry flat on your work surface. Using a cup, glass or pastry cutter, cut out 12-14 small circles, re-rolling the scaps of pastry if you need to.
  5. Place a little spinach one teaspoon of cheese mixture onto each circle
    of pastry, then rub a little water around the outside edges. Take one side and stretching it slightly, lift it over the filling and press around the edge to
    seal. Press a fork around the edges to form crimping marks, then prick the top
    of each pastry.
  6. Brush the parcels with olive oil and sprinkle
    some sesame seeds over each pastry. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the parcels are golden and
    crisp. 
  7. Enjoy!

notes

Nutritional info for 14 parcels.

calories

152

fat (grams)

11.3

sat. fat (grams)

3.1

carbs (grams)

10.8

protein (grams)

2.5

sugar (grams)

0.2
Created using The Recipes Generator

savoury puffs on a baking tray


If you like these parcels you may also like my savoury puffs. Also check out my food guide 25 Awesome Puff Pastry Recipes for Vegans. It's full of amazingly easy and yummy pastry recipes.

If you would like my recipes by email, scroll to the bottom of the page and fill in the form.


Disclosure: I created this recipe for M&S to promote my feature on the M&S website. I was not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are my own.

National Vegetarian Week Recipes and Ideas for Beginners



Tomorrow marks the start of National Vegetarian Week. A week long celebration of exciting vegetarian food and the sharing of information about a vegetarian diet.


I've been a vegetarian for nearly 28 years now, but I still remember how daunting it was at first. It wasn't the food I found daunting,  just figuring out what to eat so I had plenty of choices. Of course back then, and I'm showing my age here, it was harder to find veggie options in the supermarkets, but now there is so much to choose from.

Vegetarian Ready Meals


Ready meals can be convenient, but not great for a healthy lifestyle. You need a basic set of recipes so you can make tasty vegetarian meals at home without all the additives or excess sugar and salt.  Buying a ready meal now and again is fine and don't beat yourself up over it, but home-cooked meals are much fresher, tastier and usually cheaper too.


Easy Ideas and Recipes



To make it easy for you to get started, I will share some recipes, meal ideas and tips for different times of day. Recipes that both adults and children will enjoy.


Veggie Sausage and White Bean Casserole

Veggie Sausage and White Bean Casserole

We've been eating a lot lighter, with more salads, baked potatoes, toasties and pasta salads in place of all the soup, dal and savoury bakes I was cooking over the winter. We're enjoying the new summery meals, but sometimes we still want something a bit more substantial so on Sunday I made us this veggie sausage and white bean casserole. 

I would normally call it a stew, but I read something recently that said if it's mostly cooked on the cooker top it is a stew and if it is cooked in the oven it's a casserole.


What would you call this type of dish? 

A stew, a casserole or a bake? 
Leave me a comment and let me know.

Summer Greek Pasta Salad (vegan recipe)

Summer Greek Pasta Salad


Greek pasta salad.

We've all enjoyed a really good Greek salad, especially if we've been on holiday in Greece or Cyprus. The flavours go so well together and just scream summer.  Ripe tomatoes, crunchy cucumber, thinly sliced red  onion, olives, salty feta and parsley.

I had the idea to change this into a pasta salad, as my family are big fans of pasta salad. We usually toss our cold pasta with pesto, sweetcorn, cherry tomatoes, sundried tomatoes and basil, so this was a nice change.


Spicy Bean Lunch Wrap (copycat vegan recipe)

a Spicy Bean Lunch Wrap on a spotty napkin with a bowl of salsa

Spicy bean wraps, mmmmmmm! Don't they look good? Believe me, you're going to love these.

I do like a wrap as a change from sandwiches. From falafel wraps to veggie sausage wraps

This wrap is a copycat recipe or fakeaway (homemade copy of takeaway food) as they are sometimes called. It's my version of a Tesco wrap that I'm rather addicted to.

You may know I've shared vegan recipes for the last few years, but my son and I are still vegetarian. My husband is vegan, so we mostly eat vegan. It's just easier isn't it and so delicious.

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