Tag Archives: spinach

Vegan Spinach Balls (revised)

vegan spinach balls

Spinach balls are a family-favorite appetizer. The original recipe calls for eggs, butter, and parmesan cheese. These are veganized with golden flax meal (Omega 3’s!), nutritional yeast in place of parmesan cheese, and Earth Balance Buttery Sticks. The whole cup of Earth Balance (see update below) hardly qualifies them as health food, but they have a lot of protein and no cholesterol, unlike the original.

UPDATE (2/5/12): I reduced the amount of Earth Balance in the recipe to 3/4 cup, with good results. I think I could reduce it even more. The amount of nutritional yeast has also been modified to compensate for the lower amount of moisture. They still disappeared at our latest party.

Vegan Spinach Balls

Makes about 48 balls

Ingredients:
2 boxes frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained well
4 cups Pepperidge Farm Herb Seasoned stuffing
2 cups minced white onion
6 tbsp golden flax seed meal
3/4 cup water
1 3/4 cup Earth Balance Buttery Sticks (1 1/2 half-cup sticks), melted
3/4 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
2 tsp granulated garlic (not garlic salt)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly-ground black pepper

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. If you don’t have parchment paper, grease your cookie sheets well.

In a large bowl, whisk flax seed meal with 3/4 cup water. Let stand until mixture thickens.

Add melted Earth Balance, spinach, onions, garlic, salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast. Mix well. (It will be thick.)

Add stuffing mix and stir well. You may have to add a bit more water if the mixture is too dry.

Using a tablespoon-sized measuring spoon, or a small ice cream scoop of equivalent size, roll approximately 2 tbsp of the mixture into a ball. If the mixture gets too sticky, wet your hands a bit to make the process easier. Repeat for the rest of the mixture. You should have about 48 balls.

Bake for 20 minutes, until balls are golden. Remove from oven, and let stand for 5 minutes before removing from cookie sheet. Balls will be soft when they come out of the oven, but will firm up as they cool.

 

Junior Chef Lance Presents: Spinach Mushroom Quesadillas

spinach mushroom quesadillas

My son Lance is 6 and a half. He loves Cholula, swimming, Legos, and Plants vs. Zombies (arguably the cutest, most addictive game ever, and the inspiration behind the name of this blog). He eats just about everything, except brains. He also likes to cook. Last week, he made himself dinner: pasta, black olives, and Tabasco, with raw oatmeal for a garnish. He ate it, so what can I say?

Ball Small Batch Pectin
If you have 2 cups of fruit, you can make our own jam. And control the sugar. It's so easy!

When asked what he wants for dinner, he’s likely to say, “quesadillas”. I asked, and we invented. We sauteed onions, garlic, mushrooms, and spinach. He added pepper, and tasted the cooked mushrooms with a toothpick. (Curious George says food always tastes better when it’s served on toothpicks.) He said it needed more salt, and he was right. We heated some tortillas on a griddle and added some Daiya Mozzarella. The garnish was completely his idea. These quesadillas remind me of what used to be my favorite meal at Chili’s. I think their version contained artichoke hearts, which would be a nice addition here as well. I love my little junior chef!

Blueberries are also in season. My mom and dad gave us 10 pounds of berries on their way back from Michigan. It’s a yearly trip for them, and each year I pledge to freeze some… but they’re always eaten fresh, or given to friends and neighbors. Lance and I ate at least a pound over the weekend.

I really need to save some berries so I can veganize my mom’s famous Blueberry Cream Muffins, which have earned her the name “Grandma Who Makes Muffins.” They are arguably the best blueberry muffins on the planet.

We also made freezer jam, which was so easy, you could do it while watching Doctor Who. Cook and mash 2 cups of fresh berries, add a packet of Ball Low or No-Sugar Pectin, some lemon juice and sugar (or no sugar), then ladle into freezer cups. It can also be canned in a water bath if you’re awesome and know how to do that.

blueberry freezer jam