Tag Archives: Spinach

Greek Meatballs

What’s not to love with these meatballs, sneaking veggies into the kids, they freeze really well for dinner another night, baked, not fried and dinner served in a pitta, flat bread or roll is always a winner in our house!

If you are in barbcueing season, lucky you! These cook well on a BBQ, squeeze them onto skewers to make your own kofta or flatten them to make delicious patties.

Makes 28-30 balls. Serves 6.

Ingredients

70g gluten free fresh breadcrumbs

500g minced lamb

280g baby spinach

3 garlic cloves, peeled

15g fresh parsley leaves

100g spring onions/scallions/green onions

Zest of 1 lemon

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Method

If you have time, make the meatball mix a few hours before cooking but if not just carry on!

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees Centigrade, line a baking tray with baking parchment.

Cook the spinach until just wilted, I use the microwave. Allow to cool enough to handle it and then squeeze the water out of it.

Blitz the bread in a food processor. Tip into a large bowl.

Now add the cooked spinach, garlic, parsley and spring onions to the processor and blitz again, tip into the breadcrumbs.

Now grate the lemon over the spinach, add the lamb and season well.

Using your hands, combine all of the ingredients really really well.

Form into small walnut sized balls. Lay on the prepared baking tray.

Slide into the oven and turn the heat down to 200 degrees Centigrade.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until the outside has coloured and the meatballs are cooked through.

Serve with salad and fried haloumi in wraps, pittas or rolls or allow to cool, pour them into a zip lock bag and freeze for another day.

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Quinoa, Sweet Potato and Goats Cheese Salad

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Apologies, not the best photo of this salad but don’t let that put you off!

Quinoa makes such a nice change to rice in filling salads, combined with some baked sweet potatoes, chickpeas and fresh goats cheese this salad really doesn’t lack for anything!

I try to plan ahead and bake the sweet potato ahead of time if I have the oven on for something else.

To make this vegan just omit the cheese and and add an extra 50g of chickpeas and another handful of salad leaves.

Serves 8.

Ingredients

200g quinoa, rinsed

500mls water

260g sweet potato, wrapped in foil and baked at 200 degrees for 1hour until cooked through, allow to cool, peel and cut into bite sized pieces

50g mixed lettuce leaves or baby spinach leaves

200g cooked chickpeas

50g goats cheese

1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

3 teaspoons olive oil

salt and pepper

Method

Pour the rinsed quinoa into a pan with a tight fitting  lid and add the water, bring up to the boil and then turn the heat down to low and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.

Allow to sit for 10 minutes before removing the lid.

Tip the quinoa into a large bowl and leave to cool.

Once the quinoa is cool, add the cold sweet potato, salad leaves, chickpeas and goats cheese.

In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, mustard and oil to make a dressing.

Pour the dressing over the salad, season and mix gently.

Chicken Meatballs with Hidden Veggies

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A great way to use fresh tomatoes, spinach and sweetcorn!

I really like the idea of minimal washing up so do consider cooking the onion and the reusing the pan for the meatballs, think of it as added flavour!

For my gluten free option, I bake a potato while the meatballs are cooking and have a potato topped with the sauce and meatballs.

Serves 6.

Ingredients

3 tablespoons oil

4 onions , diced

3 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tablespoons fresh coriander

2 tablespoons fresh chopped dill

1 teaspoon chilli flakes

500g minced chicken

250g sweetcorn kernels, fresh or frozen

salt and pepper

SAUCE

5 anchovies in oil, drained

pepper, freshly ground

5 large tomatoes, deseeded and diced

50g baby spinach leaves

100g mozzarella, grated

Method

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Centigrade.

In a large frying pan, heat the oil and add the onions, cook until soft and beginning to colour, add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes.

Spoon 1/4 of the onion mix into a large bowl and set aside to cool.

Add the anchovies to the remaining onions and cook for 1 minute, add the tomatoes.

Spoon the mix into an oven proof dish. Keep the pan on the stove to cook the meatballs.

Once the onions in the bowl have cooled, add the fresh coriander and dill, chilli flakes, chicken, sweetcorn and seasoning, mix well.

Heat the pan to medium high.

Form the meat into meatballs and quickly fry them on all sides to colour them.

Sprinkle the spinach over the tomato mixture and spoon over the meatballs.

Top with the grated cheese and bake, covered, in the oven for 35-45 minutes until the meatballs are fully cooked and then bake, uncovered for 10-15mins to allow the cheese to brown.

To serve, top some hot cooked pasta with a handful of baby spinach, the sauce from the meatballs and then the meatballs themselves.

 

Continue reading Chicken Meatballs with Hidden Veggies

Mushroom and Black Pudding Salad

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Black pudding is not normally gluten free, it should contain barley, however, my fab butcher has sourced this delicious pudding with buckwheat, happy days!!!

I love this for a late breakfast or lunch and a couple of eggs with it would make it perfect.

If you want a couple of eggs, use a large pan and cook the eggs in the pan at the same time as the mushrooms, saves on washing up!

I don’t think this salad needs a dressing, the pudding and mushrooms add enough flavour, maybe just a little salt and pepper to taste?

This serves 2.

Ingredients

2 thick slices of black pudding, gluten free

12 chestnut mushrooms, finely sliced

handful spinach leaves

handful mixed salad leaves

1 avocado

Method

Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat.

Once hot, crumble the black pudding into it and using the back of the spoon, squish down to break it further into crumbs.

Once the black pudding begins to release it’s fat, move the pudding to the side and add the mushrooms to the pan, fry until golden.

Plate on a serving plate with mixed leaves, mushrooms, spinach, avocado and top with black pudding to warm the avocado and let the spinach wilt a little.

Bacon and Egg Pie

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This recipe manages to sneak some spinach into fussy kids with the flavours of bacon and cheese disguising a vegetable.

I make two pies at a time and freeze one, great for lunch boxes and picnics. Using a cake tin allows for more depth so I use a 20cm fixed base tin.

The pies in the picture have been made with home made pastry, only because I didn’t have any frozen at home! Frozen butter puff pastry works well and usually I have some in the freezer, frozen spinach is very handy too.

Over time I have changed the layering depending on what the boys aren’t eating at the time so feel free to mix it up, bacon on top, cheese through the spinach mix, whatever works for your family!

Serves 6

Ingredients

500g block of puff pastry, defrosted

150g bacon, diced

125mls sour cream

125mls milk

7 eggs

1 egg beaten

150g frozen spinach, defrosted and all water squeezed out

Freshly grated nutmeg

salt and pepper

50g finely grated Parmesan

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade.

Heat a pan over a medium heat and cook the bacon, set aside.

In a jug, combine the sour cream, milk, spinach, 3 eggs, grated nutmeg to taste and salt and pepper.

On a floured surface, cut 2/3 of the pastry off and roll out until it fits the tin including the sides, leave any overhang.

Spread the bacon on the pie base, pour over the spinach mixture.

Gently crack the four remaining eggs on top, try to keep them a little separate.

Sprinkle the cheese on top.

Roll out the remaining pastry, until slightly larger than lid required.

Brush the beaten egg around the edges of the pie base, top with the lid.

With a fork, gently press all around the pie to seal.

Take a sharp knife and gently remove any excess pastry, giving you a smooth edge against the tin.

Make two slits in the top to allow steam to escape.

Brush the lid with beaten egg.

Place on a baking tray, just in case it leaks.

Bake for 40 mins until golden.

Allow to sit for 20mins before cutting.

Potato, Chickpea and Spinach Curry

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This is a really handy curry to have, the flavours are gentle and it goes well with dhal and bread or rice. Kids love it, especially served with mango chutney and insisting that they eat it with their hands!

I tend to serve white Basmati and paratha bread with this.

For the Coeliac in the family I also cook some pappadums in the microwave. That way, I too, can eat with my hands using pappadums instead of bread.

Ingredients

750g waxy potatoes, Kipfler are good, cut into 2cm cubes

2 tablespoons ghee

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

2 cloves garlic, finely sliced

2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger

2 onions, sliced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 teaspoon garam masala

half a teaspoon chilli powder

1 cup water

2 tins cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed

150g spinach

juice of a lime

small bunch of coriander, stalks and leaves,chopped

salt and pepper to taste

Method

Start with a large frying pan with a lid.

Heat the ghee over a medium to hot heat.

Add the mustard seeds and as soon as they pop add the onion, garlic and ginger, lower heat to low/medium and cook until the onions are soft.

Next, add the cumin, turmeric, garam masala, and chilli, stir in.

Mix the potatoes in and pour the water over, stir well and cover.

Simmer for 20mins, stirring occasionally.

Check that the potatoes are cooked, remove the lid add the drained chickpeas and cook off any remaining liquid.

Now add the spinach, stir well through.

Once the spinach has wilted add the lime juice and coriander.

Mix well and serve.

Creamed Spinach

Creamed Spinach

Often served alongside steak, creamed spinach has other uses too.

Liquidize and use as a “hidden vegetable” sauce on fussy children’s pasta or pop a poached egg on top  and you have eggs Florentine, delicious for breakfast or a light lunch. It can also be made ahead of time to save time when you are entertaining, just reheat gently.

If your spinach comes with roots get the kids to plant them out in the garden to give an instant veggie patch and more spinach in the future.

Serves 4-5.

Ingredients

600g spinach, stalks removed

400mls cream

nutmeg

salt and pepper

Method

Wash the spinach and place in a pan with a well fitting lid.

Cover and heat on a high heat for 3-5mins stirring once, the spinach should be completely wilted.

Drain spinach in a colander and then squeeze all the liquid out of it by hand.

Chop the spinach and return to the pan, add cream, heat over high-medium heat, stirring occasionally until reduced to a thick cream consistency.

Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Serve warm over steak.

If making for pasta sauce don’t allow to thicken quite so much and if hiding the vegetable liquidize or use a hand held blender to make a smooth green sauce.