Indian-Spiced Spinach Balls

by Sarah on August 30, 2011 · 13 comments

Last week my co-worker and I were sent on a price-checking mission to a competitor. For purposes of keeping things secret, let’s call it “Soul Dudes.”* As we are Foodies (she officially, me ‘in training’) we were of course attracted to the hot bar, and HAD to investigate the options. Shelly ended up buying lunch, and in that lunch were these delicious looking Spinach Balls that I, as usual, decided NOT to buy, swearing I could make my own.

*Just in case you were wondering, that rhymes with the name of the store.^

^I’d be a horrible spy.

And so I did.

And I made them Indian-spiced (rather than “typical”^ Italian)…because as I mentioned the other day, I have developed a recent desire to make everything taste like India.

^Is there a typical spinach ball?

This couldn’t be easier. To make (magic) 8 balls, you’ll need two packages of frozen chopped spinach. Go ahead and thaw it out…or if you’re in a hurry, put it into a pan over medium heat until it’s defrosted.

Do your best to get rid of a bunch of the moisture and water that will be both in the bowl…and in the spinach.

It’s sort of fun really, like squeezing modeling clay. [If you actually have kids and don't just act like one, this would be a fun job for them.]

But don’t be obsessive about it…seriously. It’ll all be fine.*

*I’m lazy. I should know.

Once you’ve got most of the water out, add 1/2 cup breadcumbs. I made my own, and so they were a little bit bigger than you might be able to buy at the store. I actually suggest you make homemade ones in the food processor, or use Panko, which is also a bit lighter and bigger. (I think. This could be a delusion.)

Then, add one clove of minced garlic and as much grated fresh ginger as you like. [I used about 2 teaspoons...and I probably would have added more, but I restrained myself.]

Add a dash of salt and pepper, along with 3/4 teaspoon garam masala (Indian seasoning that includes cumin, cinnamon, cloves, and other spices).

Here’s where you might add an egg. But as I live with roommates with whom I often share eggs, I was lacking in such chicken-provided products. So I made a flax egg and called it vegan.*

*My breadcrumbs were not actually vegan…but if you used vegan bread to make breadcrumbs, then the whole recipe would be fine for y’all.

You can try to stir all of this together with a fork…

…but just use your hands. Seriously, what’s the point of even trying to resist?

Once everything is evenly mixed……make yo’ balls!*

*Remember when I took back the balls? That was a good time. We should all go back and read that. And laugh.Technically, since there are no raw eggs in this recipe, you can eat them cold, as they are. In fact, they are quite tasty like that…but then again, I’m weird. And so are my tastebuds.For a little toasting, put the Spinach Balls into a non-stick pan over medium heat coated with cooking spray.Brown them on each side by cooking for about 2-3 minutes. By “side” I mean “top and bottom” since we all know a circle is round, and never ends.*

*And that IS how long I want to be your friend.Then, well, I don’t know what you want to do with them. Dip them in raita? That might be good. Cover them with coconut butter? Also a good idea. I chose to cover them in crushed tomatoes.Crushed tomatoes mixed with red curry powder, to be more specific.Then comes the eternal, “What do I serve them with?” question. Normal people would put them on pasta and call it a day. I am not a normal person. As I couldn’t fall back on my usual “pour the sauce over spinach in a bowl” tactic since the main part of the dish was, well, spinach, I roasted a sweet potato, mashed it up with ground cumin, and used THAT as a base instead.

Then I covered the whole thing in nutritional yeast. Because my random Indian-food cravings of late are only surpassed by the bizarre desire to put nutritional yeast^ on everything.

^And no, “nooch” is not a recognized term in The Smart Kitchen.If you have naan, well that would be fun to eat with these. Also that raita I mentioned before. I didn’t have either. This IS Texas, though…so of course I had tortillas!^

^So not the same. But I try.

Take THAT, “Soul Dudes.”*
*Rhymes with…

Indian-Spiced Spinach Balls

(Makes 8)

2 10-oz. packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and “wrung” with paper towels

1/2 cup bread crumbs (homemade or Panko preferred)

3/4 tsp. garam masala

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tsp. grated fresh ginger

1 Tbsp. ground flax

2 Tbsp. water

1 15-0z. can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes

1 tsp. red curry powder (optional)

2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast (optional)

1. In a mixing bowl, combine spinach, bread crumbs, and seasonings.

2. In a separate small bowl, whisk together flax and water with a fork. Once gelled, pour into spinach mixture.

3. Mix together all ingredients with your hands.

4. Form spinach mixture into eight balls of about 1 1/2-inch diameter.

5. Brown spinach balls in a non-stick frying pan by cooking over medium heat for about 2-3 minutes on each ‘side’ (top and bottom, as balls don’t have sides).

6. Pour crushed tomatoes into pan and simmer until everything is heated through (about 4-5 minutes).

7. Serve over pasta, on top of a cumin-spiced roasted mashed sweet potato, or with Naan.

8. Sprinkle with nutritional yeast, if desired.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Brittany (A Healthy Slice of Life) August 30, 2011 at 7:32 am

Could you have possibly packed anymore nutrients into one dish? Pretty impressive!

PS… I craved everything Indian when I got knocked up… just saying… ;) haha

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Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean August 30, 2011 at 7:36 am

ooooh my hubby would love these. next time he whips up one of his specialty curries (which he did last night while forcing me to relax!) i'll make these to go along with it!

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Alex@Spoonful of Sugar Free August 30, 2011 at 7:44 am

YUM! They look so good and easy…and green! Which is always a good thing :D (Green pancakes? Heck yeah!)

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Christina August 30, 2011 at 9:02 am

I've been loving Indian spices lately, so I'd love these. They came out so perfectly too!

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Meri August 30, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Mmm, I think I would eat spinach anything. I've never had frozen but I'm sure I could make it with fresh too? There are certain times I can't stop eating fresh spinach, I believe it may be a desperate cry from my body for an iron deficiency I likely have due to 26 years of vegetarianism…

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Kristy Lynn August 30, 2011 at 2:22 pm

absolutely loving this. So healthy and so tasty.

PS. anything that has the word "balls" in the title, i'm partial to like. it makes me giggle.

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Susan August 30, 2011 at 8:16 pm

Okay, spinach balls look awesome, but I'm really commenting to thank you for your song rec today. Guess what's been on repeat all afternoon? Steven Kellogg is perfection.

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Natalie August 30, 2011 at 8:33 pm

i once had spinach balls at a restaurant and BEGGED the chef for the recipe but he refused to give it up! his were more bread-heavy but i'm excited to try this veggie version! thank you :)

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Leila @ Spinach and Skittles August 30, 2011 at 10:34 pm

I prefer panko to regular bread crumbs, too. I wonder if I could make this with kale…I have a ridiculous amount of kale in my backyard.

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Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table August 30, 2011 at 11:18 pm

This reminds me of the spinach gnocchi I fell in love with at a restaurant a few weeks ago. Only this is probably much healthier without the butter sauce mine was coated in. Must make. Stat.

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Anastasia August 31, 2011 at 8:40 am

Ohhh man, these look amazing! What a wonderful idea! This looks like a really easy recipe that will help fill those Indian food cravings I have every other day :]

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Courtney September 7, 2011 at 10:41 am

yep have to make these they look easy peasy and so good!

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