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.^
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?
*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.
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.