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Lamb, Fig and Almond Filo Spiral Pie

Posted by Sue Heward on

Inspired by so many recipes this is a remarkably easy filo pie recipe and pretty fun to make. One to make with the kids (well the rolling up of the pastry steps) and a total showstopper when you bring it to the table.

1 bunch spring onions, finely chopped
1 small leek finely chopped
500g lamb mince
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ras el hanout (I used Gewurzhaus brand)
6 semi sun dried figs (you can use either black or white or a mix), chopped
1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
Approx 6 medium sized silverbeet leaves finely chopped (you can use any green leaves here, the silverbeet was what I had in the garden) 
Juice of one lemon
Season with salt and pepper
1 375g packet of filo Pastry ( I used Antoniou but I did have leftovers, which I resealed and put back in the fridge)
¾ cup olive oil

100g feta cheese, crumbled in small pieces
1/2 cup flaked almonds

I'm not great at doing this but remember to take your filo out of the fridge at least 2 hours before you begin, to bring it up to room temperature.

Pre-heat your oven to 180 deg Celsius fan forced. Line a 30-33 cm baking tray with baking paper. I end up using at round frypan as my pan, it worked perfectly.

For the filling
Place the lamb mince in a bowl, break it up and add the chopped onion and leeks. Then add the figs, silver beet, spices, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly. I initially transferred this to a lightly oiled hot frying pan to brown the mince meat. I wanted greater caramelisation so I transferred it to a roasting dish and put in the oven for about 10-15 mins to cook through and caramelise the meat and greens. While this was cooking I made a quick hummus to serve with the pie for dinner. I used Greg Malouf's recipe but with a can of chickpeas thoroughly rinsed so I didn't have to soak overnight (was delicious and super easy and made wonder why I buy pre-made hummus). Once the mince is brown let it cool off outside the oven before assembling the pie. 

Assembling the spiral pie
Place one sheet of filo on your counter/bench, with the long edge of the pastry in front of you. Brush with olive oil. Place another sheet of pastry on top and brush with oil.

Spread 4 heaped tablespoons of the filling along the length of the pastry, approximately a couple centimetres from the bottom long edge and one centimetre from the pastry sides. I sprinkled on top the of the filling small crumbles of the feta cheese and flaked almonds.

Roll the pastry tightly to form a log. Roll the log into a coil and transfer to the centre of the baking tray.

Continue to make the logs with the remaining pastry until you run out of filling placing each log around the first centre coil to form a larger spiral. Brush with olive oil.

Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the pastry is golden. 

Serves 4-6 people with other accompaniments. We had this for dinner with brown rice, Greek yoghurt, homemade hummus, tomato chutney and carrot/cucumber crudites. A very eclectic dinner that the whole family totally loved.

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Fruit and Almond Protein Balls

Posted by Sue Heward on

This recipe came straight from fig bars I saw on Instagram by Sophie Ella. I have changed up the ingredients and the balance of sweet & salty.

My goodness they are good (and super quick to make) and a fantastic protein snack to get you through the day.

PS this makes a serious amount of balls approx 60 so by all means half the recipe, use them to make up Christmas presents (or do as I did freeze them in an air tight container so you always have a protein snack on hand).

Fig and Almond Protein Balls

Fruit and Almond Protein Balls


600g Almond butter (I used my local The Almond Farmer)

9 tbspn Sticky Quince Syrup

Approx 200g of mixed dried fruit (I used 17 figs, 2 pears, 4 peaches, 5 apricots) that is roughly chopped or put through your blender. I did make my fruit quite minced, you can choose to make it chunky or minced.

3 pinches of salt

2 tbspn of monkfruit sweetener, salted caramel flavour (this is completely optional I just had a craving at the time)

8 tbspn almond meal

Approx 400g Melted dark chocolate to dip your balls into

Toppings - shredded coconut, salt flakes (optional)


In a saucepan, over low heat, mix together the almond butter, sticky quince syrup and salt until smooth.

Once mixed through turn the heat off and add your chopped/minced fruit, almond meal and monkfruit sweetener (if using). Mix thoroughly

Roll the mixture into bite size balls and put in the fridge while you melt your chocolate. 

Your chocolate can be melted in a small saucepan over a saucepan of boiling water or in the microwave on very low heat (and stirring every 30 secs) you don't want the chocolate to get too hot and burn before it actually gets to melt.

Use a fork to then dip each ball into your melted chocolate. Top with coconut or salt flakes before the chocolate completely sets (optional).

Keep stored in an air tight container (and in the fridge if the temp is getting hot or humid). This makes a very big batch which I portioned out and froze some so there was always some protein snacks on hand when we need them. Or you could package them up for Christmas presents.

You can make a nut free version of these simply by upping the amount of mixed dried fruit to approx 800g in total and not using any almond butter or meal.


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Figgy chocolate smoothie

Posted by Sue Heward on

I recently bought  'The How Not to Die' cookbook. As an owner of alot of cookbooks I have to say I pretty impressed with its simplicity. I have added a few ingredients to their chocolate banana smoothie to add in some more fibre (figs), collagen (I need all the support for my hair and nails right now) and to help with inflammation (turmeric). I have made this version almost daily in the last week, its filling and delicious.

Figgy Chocolate Smoothie


1 very ripe banana

1/4 cup Black Genoa semi sun dried figs

1 white nectarine or other fruit such as 1/3 cup blueberries (I use what I have in our fridge at the time)

 2 tblspn cacao powder (or unsweetened cocoa powder)

1 tspn of faxseed oil or 1 tblspn of flaxseed/linseeds ground

1 tblspn of almond butter (I use locally made The Almond Farmer)

1 tspn of sweetener ( I use monkfruit or stevia) 

1 handful of kale

1 tspn of fermented turmeric or grated fresh turmeric

1 tspn of collagen (optional)

4 ice-cubes


Combine all ingredients in a high speed blender and 1 cup of water. Blend until thick. You can add more or less water depending on how thick you would like your smoothie.

Makes approx 2 cups of smoothie

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My new world order, chewy white figs and baking - updated 25 September

Posted by Sue Heward on

The bright side of life - chewy white figs, baking and my new world order. Finally recipes for you.
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