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Entertaining Mathematically

June 9, 2011

Lesson Title: Entertaining Mathematics!

The main aim of this lesson is to showcase ‘mathematics in action’ and how mathematical concepts are used in everyday living.  We will do this by making cheese and spinach triangles from ­The Food Book.  In this production you will learn the concept of measuring ingredients and folding pastry into triangles from a rectangle.

But not just any triangle – an isosceles triangle! 

Information and Knowledge

 What type of triangle would you use to describe The Healthy Living Pyramid?


Aims of lesson:

  • make informed decisions to plan, prepare and cook quick healthy meals and snacks instead of buying take away dishes or convenient pre-prepared food products
  • encourage and provide opportunities for young people to practise food skills at home (party and snack food)
  • extend, enrich and endorse the skill-based healthy eating programs in schools
  • accurately weigh and measure ingredients for those recipes requiring accuracy of ingredient amounts


These tasty treats are easy to make and great ‘finger food’ for a party. They can be made ahead of the event and can be easily frozen and then warmed without thawing in a pre-heated 150 0C oven for about 20 minutes. 

Spinach and Cheese Triangles (makes 12)

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Equipment: baking tray, pastry, grater, baking paper, pastry brush

Nutrition: good source of CHO and protein and calcium

Skills: slicing, dicing, folding, making isosceles triangles!!


Top Tip: Filo pastry becomes brittle if it is allowed to dry out.  Prepare the filling beforehand before you start to assemble the triangles, cover the unused pastry with baking paper or a clean dry tea-towel.


12 sheets filo pastry

1 Tb (20ml) olive oil

1 Tb (12g) sesame seeds

65g parmesan, grated

1 egg

4 spring onions, cleaned and trimmed

150g feta cheese, diced finely

1x 250g spinach or frozen spinach, thawed and well drained

Pinch grated nutmeg


  1. Preheat oven to 180 0C. Line baking tray with baking paper.
  2. If using fresh spinach: wash spinach to remove grit. Remove stalks and finely chop leaves. If using packet spinach, squeeze out moisture.
  3. Slice spring onion into small rings.
  4. Lightly whisk egg with nutmeg.
  5. Combine spinach, spring onions, feta, egg, nutmeg and parmesan in a large bowl.
  6. Place a sheet of filo pastry on the bench and using a pastry brush, brush lightly with olive oil.
  7. Fold pastry sheet in half lengthways.
  8. Place 1 Tb filling at the bottom corner of strip and fold pastry diagonally to form an isosceles triangle.
  9. Continue folding to end of pastry, retaining isosceles triangle shape.
  10. Repeat steps 6-9 with remaining pastry and filling.
  11. Brush pastry isosceles triangles with olive oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  12. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.
  13. Serve hot.

 Reference: Compton L , Fordyce-Voorham S, Prescott A  The Food Book Oxford University Press 2010 p. 173





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