Baked Spinach Balls with Yoghurt Dip

Waste is not something I’m accustomed to. In fact, there isn’t a word less synonymous with ‘frugal’, than ‘waste’. It’s the reason why we drag three meals out of one chicken every weekend and the reason why I refused to throw out spinach that was past its best. It’s really rather awful that the society in which we live promotes such an atrocious thing as waste. What I’m about to say may appear to promote the antithesis of what my blog is about, but supermarket deals aren’t all they are cracked up to be. By offering you more for your money the supermarkets aren’t attempting to be nice, or to give something back to the consumers. They are partaking in an act of commerce, otherwise known as marketing. By handing down offers the only thing big business supermarkets are doing is luring the consumer into buying one more of each item. If treated carefully and respectfully, indulging in the offers of a supermarket can be a very positive thing. However, buying more of an item, which is then thrown away, will always wind up having a negative effect on one’s wallet – whether you realise it, or not.

Anyway, that got a little heavy didn’t it? It may come as a bit of a surprise to you all, but I do hate preaching. Being preached at tends to awaken some form of primal urge within me. An urge to treat the small, condescending man standing on his soap-box in front of me with more than a little rage. However, far be it from me to destroy his beliefs and knock him from atop his rather altitudinous horse. Indeed, I don’t necessarily expect you to agree, or comply, with what I am saying. But, wouldn’t it be rather nice if people approached the ‘big shop’ with a little more understanding and a little more frugality? After all, waste is not only an issue for one’s wallet, but also an issue morally and environmentally.

Baked Spinach Balls with Yoghurt Dip

Makes 8-10

Ingredients:

• 300g fresh spinach

• 100g breadcrumbs

• 50g parmesan cheese, grated

• 1 egg

• A knob of butter

• 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

• 5 tbsp greek yoghurt

• A handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped

• Olive oil

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Wilt the spinach in a large saucepan with a knob of butter and half of the garlic. Transfer the spinach to a mixing bowl and add 80g of the breadcrumbs, the parmesan cheese and the egg. Give the ingredients a thorough mix. Form it into 8-10 little balls with clean hands and coat in the left over bread crumbs. Drizzle with oil and bake for 30 minutes.

2. While the spinach balls are baking mix together the rest of the garlic, the coriander and the yoghurt. The balls are done when they are a little crispy on the outside, but firm and springy on the inside. The best way to make sure of these is to give them a gentle squeeze. If they return to their original shape they are perfectly cooked.

Cost: Spinach is incredibly cheap, though it wilts down to very little. However, considering this is probably enough lunch for 2-3 people and makes a lovely starter, the price of £1.90 isn’t too bad. Enjoy!

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106 comments on “Baked Spinach Balls with Yoghurt Dip

  1. Jen R
    February 24, 2012 at 8:20 am

    Love spinach for its ‘hideability’ factor, as in I can hide it in a number of meals and the kids eat it up….the balls sound lovely…I have been making lots of homemade yogurt dip at the mo with fresh lime, Russian garlic, cucumber and my homemade Greek yog…yummo :)

  2. Cathy
    February 24, 2012 at 8:22 am

    These look really good. Will definitely try them out! (Nice photos too!)
    I wholly agree with you on the supermarket issue, and was amazed at the number of “buy one get one free” offers the last time I was in the UK. If anything, they should be reducing package size and lowering prices. I think both sides would benefit.

  3. Kathy
    February 24, 2012 at 8:28 am

    i love spinach and i love recipes that involve baking vegetables and eating them as a meal. I usually use zucchini for a dish like this but spinach sounds like a great alternative.

    • frugalfeeding
      March 1, 2012 at 6:15 pm

      Yes, others have mentioned that – I shall give it a shot.

  4. thesinglegourmetandtraveller
    February 24, 2012 at 8:40 am

    These look delicious. I eat lots of spinach but new ideas always good. Have also made similar with courgettes (zucchini). And as a ‘Single Gourmet’ I too get very cross about all those 2 for 1 offers … I don’t want 2 bags of – e.g. – clementines, but how do you leave the ‘free’ one behind when you’re effectively paying for it … it’s just hidden price inflation; nothing is for free.

    • frugalfeeding
      March 1, 2012 at 6:13 pm

      Thanks! Yes, I shall have to give courgette balls a shot. Exactly, nothing is free. Perhaps go shopping with a friend? :D

  5. rachsmith
    February 24, 2012 at 9:02 am

    Spinach is my absolutele favourite – and something I always use in cooking for my vegetarian grandad who definitely doesn’t get enough nutrients in his food, so thanks for a great new way to use it as an ingredient. Great stuff!

  6. thelittleloaf
    February 24, 2012 at 9:25 am

    A great example of frugal feeding! Sometimes those random, slightly turned leftovers are the best ones – black bananas in cake, really soft avocadoes for guacamole and, in this case, wilted spinach. These balls look lovely – great recipe!

    • frugalfeeding
      March 1, 2012 at 6:11 pm

      Indeed, Loaf. I just made a new type of banana bread :)

  7. bakedcottonstar
    February 24, 2012 at 9:43 am

    These look so delicious, will definitely give them a go, thanks for sharing.

  8. Chica Andaluza
    February 24, 2012 at 10:14 am

    Thye look lovely and we grow spinach and chard so am always looking for new ideas! I agree with what you say about supermarkets. They tend to do less of the “deals” here in Spain (not that I go very often) but I find I waste so much less here as I´m not tempted to over buy.

    • frugalfeeding
      March 1, 2012 at 6:10 pm

      Oh, then you have simply no excuses not to try this :). I get that impression when I’m over in Spain too.

  9. whilehewasout
    February 24, 2012 at 10:23 am

    I agree with you and the recipe sounds great too!

  10. promenadeplantings
    February 24, 2012 at 10:55 am

    The spinach balls look great. And you know its ok to get on that high horse every now and then :) Besides it’s why I generally avoid supermarkets – the buy, more, buy, consume thing just infuriates me!

  11. Dawn Irvine
    February 24, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    You are so very right about the supermarket offers not being as good as deal as they seem. Half of the time they inflate the price of the individual items prior to the offer, so it looks like you are getting a good deal, but you’re just paying more for what you were going to buy anyway. And that doesn’t even touch upon they way the bullying supermarkets exploit the producers by making them be the ones that foot the bill for any discounts. I find that by checking the contents of your fridge and cupboard and then just buying what you need, as and when you need it, and avoiding all the ‘tempting offers’, I save so much money and have the very minimum of food waste.

    This recipe looks great – brilliant if you’re growing spinach in your garden. I’m going to try it with swiss chard too, as I always grow that in my garden. Thank you for sharing another brilliant post

    • frugalfeeding
      March 2, 2012 at 10:10 am

      Exactly, it’s all a big con unless one cleverly manipulates the system :). We’re not currently growing spinach but I may suggest it.

  12. lazyblackcat
    February 24, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    I love spinach, eat it almost everyday! But no one else at home eats my dish because it’s all olive oil and garlic. Your spinach balls look perfect!

  13. happyspinner
    February 24, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    Definitely going to save this one! Looks great!

  14. Peri's Spice Ladle
    February 24, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    Like the part on supermarkets and waste…completely agree, our society promotes waste by selling things in larger quantities than we can consume…BTW, baked spinach balls look delicious, must try.

  15. egg me on
    February 24, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    Nice! I have a friend who makes something very similar to this for parties. But she makes a spicy mustard dip instead of yogurt. But that looks just as good.

  16. Just A Smidgen
    February 24, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    What a great idea for spinach.. it’s the greens that turn so quickly in my fridge.. it drives me mad!! I also fell for the “fish special”… apparently that’s how they “dump” their old fish on unsuspecting customers like me… never again!! Thanks for the awesome recipe today!!

    • frugalfeeding
      March 1, 2012 at 6:08 pm

      Thanks, Smidge. Ah, well, yes… best to avoid “specials” :D

  17. filingawaycupcakes
    February 24, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    It’s so wonderful that you used fresh spinach.

  18. Jenny Geb
    February 24, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    I’m definitely trying this tomorrow!

  19. Shira
    February 24, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    YUM! All things I love!

  20. Cara
    February 24, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    I know what I am making tonight now!

  21. Zoe @ Pantry and Fridge
    February 24, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    Once again, something new from you :) I’ve never heard of spinach balls. They look really tasty.

    I agree with you on how wasteful we are as a race – humans. Grocery stores are the worst. They could feed an army with the food they throw away on a weekly basis. But I won’t get started! :)

    Thanks for this, great post and recipe.

    • frugalfeeding
      March 1, 2012 at 6:05 pm

      Oh yes, I do try to be fairly original. I’m glad you like them and agree with my views :)

  22. lovelylici1986
    February 24, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    Oooh, my gosh, YUMMM! GOTTA try this.

  23. Chocolate Chilli Mango®
    February 24, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    I love spinach…these look fabulous. On the must make list…we just bought some lovely spinach yesterday. woot!!

    • frugalfeeding
      March 2, 2012 at 10:06 am

      Thanks. I hope you like them when you do. How serendipitous.

  24. Pasta Princess
    February 24, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    OH this sounds absolutely wonderful! I’ve never had spinach balls before but looking at the ingredients I know I’ll love them. Thanks for sharing! :-)

    • frugalfeeding
      March 1, 2012 at 6:04 pm

      Thanks! You must try them, they are wonderful.

  25. Lauren @ WWoB
    February 24, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    This looks SO good. Bookmarked, starred, and about to be pinned.

    Also, I hate waste too. I have eaten some NASTAY sh*t in order to avoid waste. I like to think its why I never get sick.. This will creep out so many people – but I really wanna try dumpster diving some time!

    • frugalfeeding
      February 24, 2012 at 10:06 pm

      I’ve done it – you actually stumble across some pretty good stuff. My friend is massively into it and once stumbled across tubs and tubs of ice cream that had to be chucked just because a freezer broke!

      • Trish
        February 25, 2012 at 12:03 am

        your friend should write a blog about it. I find it fascinating. I used to follow a blog about dumpster diving called frugan living, but she hasn’t posted in ages. I think that is the ultimate in sustainable living – using what others throw away.

        • frugalfeeding
          March 1, 2012 at 6:04 pm

          She’s quite busy enough as it is I’m afraid :D. It is, but it isn’t always successful and it does take up a lot of time.

  26. Kat
    February 24, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    I love anything in ball form!! I am so going to make these when I have some spinach and or arugula that is looking a bit noir
    Hurray!

    • frugalfeeding
      March 2, 2012 at 10:06 am

      Awesome – rocket (arugula) would work really well, though it might take a little more wilting.

  27. Purely.. Kay
    February 24, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    I think you knew I was coming to visit, so you posted one of my favorite veggies.. spinach lol :). I LOVE spinach and every recipe I see it in.. I usually make :). This looks delicious

    • frugalfeeding
      March 1, 2012 at 6:04 pm

      Haha – perhaps I did :D. That would be odd…

  28. Julie @ happygoodtime
    February 25, 2012 at 12:08 am

    These look really delicious! I love that they’re baked too. I adore spinach, and basically just start throwing it in everything I eat once the batch is past prime. Have never made anything like this though. My family is in for a treat.

    • frugalfeeding
      March 1, 2012 at 6:03 pm

      Thanks. It really is a great way of avoiding lots of spinachy waste.

  29. Amrita (Beetlebuggy)
    February 25, 2012 at 12:54 am

    There’s a show here called “Extreme Couponing” where people collect coupons and buy tons of stuff they would never use just because they pay a couple of dollars for something that’s worth hundreds. They store those for years and I still don’t understand what they get out of it.

    And spinach makes it easy to hide the fact it’s not spring fresh anymore because you wilt it anyway. As long as it’s not rotten, there’s no need to throw it out :)

    • frugalfeeding
      March 2, 2012 at 10:03 am

      Haha, is there? That’s mad. Oh yes, don’t eat rotten spinach :P

  30. emmycooks
    February 25, 2012 at 2:13 am

    That sounds great! I always have greens in the fridge, and may try these with chard or kale since I just used my spinach up!

    • frugalfeeding
      March 2, 2012 at 10:03 am

      Thanks! That’s a great idea, anything to avoid waste :)

  31. Bam's Kitchen
    February 25, 2012 at 2:23 am

    Frugal Feeding at its best! Waste Not-Want Not! I think this little spinach balls look very tasty for a great starter. BAM

  32. baconbiscuit212
    February 25, 2012 at 2:28 am

    I hate waste too. There is so much food that is thrown out and so many people who go to bed hungry that it is just shameful to think about it.

    There is an organization here in New York called City Harvest that goes around the city every night and collects food from top restaurants to give to people in need. It’s a great organization and it is wonderful that they partner up with businesses to simultaneously feed people and reduce waste.

    It does also mean that those who benefit from City Harvest get 3-star Michelin food daily for free! All the better, I say!

    • frugalfeeding
      March 1, 2012 at 6:02 pm

      It is indeed shameful. That’s a great initiative :D.

  33. Kaitlyn
    February 25, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    I try not to waste many things but spinach always gets thrown out for me. Not anymore! Thanks for this idea, it’s wonderful! I’ll definitely make these the next time spinach is idling away in the corner of my fridge

    • frugalfeeding
      March 1, 2012 at 6:02 pm

      That’s good – I’m glad I’ve inspired you :D.

  34. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide
    February 25, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    OK, don’t laugh, but I love how spinachy these are. A lot of times things like this have way too much filler.

    • frugalfeeding
      March 1, 2012 at 6:00 pm

      Haha – yes I was careful not to fill them too much.

  35. Emi
    February 25, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    Sounds great ;)

  36. koshercorvid
    February 25, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    These look lovely. Any time I think my greens are on the turn, I toss them in the freezer. As long as they’re going to be cooked when they come out, it doesn’t seem to impact flavor whatsoever. I’ll have to try this, maybe making a chiffonade of the spinach and grating in some artichoke as well!

    • frugalfeeding
      March 1, 2012 at 6:00 pm

      Thanks! Yes, that’s a great idea and something I do if I am forced to :D

  37. 4plates2table
    February 26, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    Nice! Love the spinach balls and equally dislike the BOGO grocery store offers. I much prefer to shop at the farmers market where what’s available is the freshest and best tasting… not overstocks the store is trying to push out their doors.

    • frugalfeeding
      March 1, 2012 at 5:25 pm

      Good! :D. We don’t have the best markets here, but I shall do something similar when I move later this year.

  38. Karen
    February 26, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    I have made these to serve at a cocktail party many times and they are always a hit. Even the men who only want meat have no problem popping down several in a row.

  39. PolaM
    February 26, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    Those spinach balls look delicious! And I agree 100% with you. Never throw out food!

  40. Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial
    February 26, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    Frugal and healthy to boot! And I agree completely about the supermarket meal deals – they might sound cheap, but it’s usually just clever marketing…

    • frugalfeeding
      March 1, 2012 at 5:15 pm

      One can take advantage of them, but one must be a little cautious.

  41. Clara
    February 26, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    I love the combination and spinach and cheese in Greek cooking, but oddly enough, never thought beyond wrapping it up in filo dough! I love this recipe because it seems to maintain the same flavors without being as heavy. Can’t wait to try it!

  42. Lauren Ashley
    February 26, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    When cooking spinach, I usually toss it in a pan with garlic, salt and oil or butter and serve it with some type of protein. This looks delicious and I’ll have to try this instead, as I’ve been trying to incorporate greek yogurt into more foods. Thx!

    • frugalfeeding
      March 2, 2012 at 9:59 am

      That sounds like a great way of doing spinach too. Please do give it a go :)

  43. Lauren Ashley
    February 26, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    Reblogged this on lauren ashley.

  44. Cara
    February 27, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    So I made a slight variation of this–I used chickpeas instead of the egg–and they were DELICIOUS! Thanks for the great recipe :)

  45. Ragamuffin Diaries
    February 27, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    great thoughts on waste; it is tragic how wasteful our society is of food when it is really such a precious thing. Great recipe! These look wonderfully simple & delicious; a great way to use up a lil’ spinach!

  46. rimapir
    February 29, 2012 at 11:09 am

    These are mouth-watering! Yum Yum Yum! Gonna make these soon :) I love spinach and i love garlic yogurt dip! What a lovely combination of flavors!

    • frugalfeeding
      March 2, 2012 at 9:51 am

      Thanks! I thought they would go well together and they did :)

  47. foodiemeetsfitness
    February 29, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    Ugh I totally hear what you’re saying about waste, I hate when things go bad in my kitchen.

    These look so yummy!! Will definitely be trying em out!

  48. Danny
    March 2, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    This is a great idea — can’t wait to try it myself! Thanks for posting this!

  49. kaylakakes
    March 4, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    I’ve read about how much produce goes to waste by consumers and by grocery stores. It’s sad. I even saw a special on the Food Network where they showed how much produce goes to waste every day/week at grocery stores just because there are some imperfections on the friuts and veggies. Because of that, I have been buying some of the marked down produce that has some imperfections just to make sure it doesn’t get thrown out by the grocery store. It’s still good, it just has some blemishes. I try hard not to over buy at the grocery store so the food in my fridge doesn’t go to waste.

    • frugalfeeding
      March 7, 2012 at 11:31 pm

      It really is sad. It’s so needless. I always try to buy reduced stuff if I can.

  50. matthew
    March 7, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    I can’t wait to try these! They look delicious!

  51. Elyssa McDowell
    March 7, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    Those look delicious! Your photography is lovely!

    • frugalfeeding
      March 7, 2012 at 6:15 pm

      Thank you! I really like the way the inside looks – I had to take many photos of it :D

  52. Mom Photographer (@MomPhotographer)
    March 15, 2012 at 11:36 pm

    great recipe. I always make spinach smoothies, great way to sneak it into my kid diet (and mine). I definitely am going to make those pretty soon!

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