Sunday, December 16, 2007

Spinach Balls-healthy fare for holiday potlucks

I had these at a recent bookclub and they seemed a perfect thing to have in the fridge for mum and grandma to snack on or make into a little lunch without too much trouble. They'd be great for a potluck or a holiday party and its always nice to have something healthy around this time of year with so many temptations! Lots of wholegrain goodness, spinach for vitamins and cheese for a bit of calcium.

Be very careful to carefully remove as much water from the spinach as possible, and use lots of seasoning as some of the ingredients are a little bland. Mine could have done with lots more flavour and I forgot to add lemon juice. I had a lump of cheddar cheese in the middle but they'd make a great vegan snack without it.

Greek Spinach Rice Balls adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Low Fat Favourites

Makes 36 balls

2 pounds fresh spinach
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes in oil
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 cup cooked bulgar wheat (or any grain on hand thats a bit mushy)
1 tsp dried dill
1/4 cup chopped kalamata olives
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
dash of red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
6 oz low fat cheddar, cubed into 36 pieces
1 1/2 cup plain or herbed bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350f

Steam the spinach, drain carefully and set aside.
Fry the onions with the sundried tomatoes gently for 5 mins, then add scallions for a further minute.

In a large bowl combine all the ingredients and mix together, squishing the ride up a bit with a fork. Taste for seasoning, remembering that a lot of the flavor might dissipate into the rice.

Take a piece of cheddar, wrap some mixture around it and roll in breadcrumbs. Place in an oiled baking dish. Once all the balls are formed, bake in the oven for 25 mins until the balls are heated through and crispy on the outside.

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