Saturday, February 4, 2017

Beef & spinach meatballs in tomato sauce

At a picnic recently we were discussing various ingredients we add to rissoles or meatballs to add to the flavour or moisten the mixture. With that discussion in mind, I thought I would add some spinach to minced beef and see how the resultant mix turned out. As I love meatballs in any shape or form and I also love spinach, it is not surprising that I enjoyed the end result. You can eat them alone, or serve with rice or pasta, or gnocchi as I did. Enjoy!


500 gr minced beef
1/2 cup thawed frozen spinach
2 spring onions
2 clove garlic
2 heaped tsp crushed ginger
Dried basil
Olive oil
1 cup pasta tomato sauce



Crush the garlic and ginger
Chop the spring onions roughly
Place the beef, spinach, garlic, ginger, basil and sping onions in a bowl
Using hands combine well
Using a spoon and your hands form into meatballs of desired size
Place the tomato sauce in a pan and bring to a boil
Turn down heat and simmer
Add olive oil to a pan and quickly seal the meatballs in batches, adding them to the sauce when sealed
Simmer for about 30 minutes until meatballs are cooked
Serve with rice or pasta with grated Parmesan.


It had been many years since I last cooked spanakorizo.  I don't know exactly why this had happened as I love it.  But maybe it was just one of those dishes you love and cook all the time and then stop. The trigger for me came one weekend when my teacher Roza in Athens was talking to me about cooking spanakorizo with some fresh spinach she had purchased at the laiki.  

Hmm, I haven't cooked that for a while, I thought enviously. I am sure Roza's dish with its fresh ingredients was tastier than mine which was made with the frozen spinach, canned tomatoes and some fresh basil that I had on hand.  However, I enjoyed mine and will be making it again!


2 tbs butter
5 spring onions
1/2 cup white rice
1 can chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup water
350 gr frozen spinach
1 clove garlic
2 tsp crushed ginger root
Handful basil leaves


Chop the spring onions finely
Heat the butter in a pan
Add the spring onions and cook until soft
Add the rice to the pan and stir for a few minutes
Add the tomatoes and stir to combine
Put the water in the tomato can, rinse and then add tomato water
Stir to combine
Bring to the boil, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally until almost tender
Meanwhile, crush the garlic and ginger root
Place the frozen spinach in a bowl with the garlic, ginger and basil
Microwave for 5 minutes until the spinach is ready (or steam if you prefer)
Stir together to combine
Uncover the rice and stir through the spinach mixture
Continue to cook until the water is absorbed  and the mixture is tender.
Serve hot with grated Parmesan.

Roasted capsicum splash & chicken

This recipe is barely cooking!  But I did prepare the ingredients, assemble them and then bake in the oven so I guess cooking was involved. The trigger for it was the Christmas gift from my nephew of some yummy Yarra Valley Roasted capsicum salad splash. One evening I saw it sitting on the kitchen bench and I decided I would try it with the chicken thighs I had been planning to cook for dinner with pesto. And the result was delicious served with some nutty brown rice.


700 gr chicken thighs
4 tbs roasted red capsicum salad splash


Preheat the oven to 180c
Roughly chop the chicken
Arrange the chicken in an oven-proof serving dish
Spoon the splash over the chicken
Stir to ensure that the chicken is covered with the splash
Grate Parmesan over the meat
Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 45 minutes.


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