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Greek Spinach Balls + Tofu Tzatziki [#MMAZ]

Posted Jan 07 2013 10:34am

As soon as Heather announced that S is for Smart Spinach in her Meatless Mondays A-Z challenge, I knew that it was time to revisit one of my most creative recipes (and, if I do say so myself, hilarious posts ): Of course, since it is Greek Week here in The Smart Kitchen, instead of Indian-Spiced Spinach Balls, the recipe was going to need to roll into Grecian territory.

And that is how the Greek culinary gods found a new home on Mount Olympus O-Spinach.

Although I began with a similar strategy of using thawed, wrung outliterally, squeeze that spinach juice out with your hands, y’allfrozen spinach for both cost, cleanliness, and ease of preparation purposes, I did make a few changes. Instead of making bread crumbs, I used a combination of quick oats (smaller than old fashioned) and oat bran as the grain binder. I kept these vegan by whisking together a flax egg–one tablespoon ground flax and two tablespoons of water.

After glooping that on top of the oats and squeezed spinach, …I got a little crazy with the spices. I researched a few Greek seasoning blends, and ended up combining them all. [What Would Zeus Do?] Marjoram, oregano, thyme, onion powder, garlic, lemon juice…to name a few.

Then, it’s time to get your hands dirty! :)

the spoon is all for show.

Once you’ve got everything mushed and mashed together, it’s time to get some balls. You can make them any size you want, but I went for bite-sized, since everything is more fun to eat when it is little. Like a good crabcake--or the Blink-182 album–these are all killer, no very little filler, so you will have to mold them a bit, rather than roll exactly. Bake these little iron bombs for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees on a cooking sprayed pan.

You’ll end up with some toasted green orbs that give a crunchy bite on the outside, and a chewy, spiced, garlicky punch on the inside. Although these are irresistibly addicting alone–I popped about six in my mouth in rapid, immediate succession–might I suggest pairing them with a vegan version of one of my favorite Greek dips? To make a tofu-based tzatziki, all you need is a good hunk of tofu, and a grated cucumber. Wring as much water as you can out of the cuke, but don’t freak out about it, since substituting tofu for the traditional Greek yogurt requires the addition of a little extra moisture. In a food processor combine tofu, cucumber, some red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, a clove (or three) of garlic, lemon juice, and heavy dose of dill. [I sometimes add mint as well.]

Give it a whirl, and that’s all there is to it! Well, except the whole eating part. ;) Greek Spinach Balls

[Makes 24 bite-sized balls]

  • 2 10-oz. boxes frozen spinach, thawed, drained, and wrung
  • 1/4 cup quick cooking oatmeal
  • 2 Tbsp. oat bran
  • 1 Tbsp. ground flax seed
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

Seasonings:

  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. dried marjoram
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. dried parsley
  • pinch of ground nutmeg
  1. In a small bowl, combine flax seed and water. Whisk together and allow to sit until gelled.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. In a large bowl, combine spinach, oats, oat bran, and flax egg.
  4. Add in lemon juice, vinegar, and seasonings.
  5. Using your hands, mix everything together until well incorporated.
  6. Roll/mold spinach mixture into 24 bite-sized balls.
  7. Bake for 30-40 minutes on a cooking sprayed baking sheet.
  8. Serve with tofu tzatziki, baba ghanoush, or just eat them alone. :)
Tofu Tzat-soy-ki

[Makes 2 cups]

  • 12 oz. firm tofu
  • 1 medium cucumber [300 g or so], peeled
  • 2-3 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. dried dill
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. water (if necessary)
  1. Grate cucumber onto a clean kitchen cloth or towel. Wring out as much water as possible.
  2. Combine tofu, cucumber, and remaining ingredients in a food processor.
  3. Process until smooth.
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