spinach

Spinach Dal

Spinach DalA few days ago I promised you a new dal recipe that MIGHT just be better than the original Green Lentil Dal I posted awhile back. That’s hard to imagine since the original is SO. DARN. GOOD! It’s also probably my top viewed recipe, so I have a lot to live up to by saying this new spinach dal recipe might be better. I guess you’ll just have to try them both and let me know which you prefer!

Spinach DalFavorite thing about this spinach dal recipe is that it’s tasty. Number one priority FOR SURE. Next favorite thing is that it is amazingly good for you. Since it is the new year and resolutions are sure to be made, that’s a good thing! Right?? I think every year I try to tell myself I’ll eat healthier. Raise your hand if you say the same thing every new year…I’m going to assume everyone’s hand is raised because I really can’t see you all. Reality is that lasts about a week before I’m tired of salads and whatnot. BUT, if all healthy foods taste *this* good, I’m sure not complaining. In fact, I’m coming back for seconds!

Spinach DalI can already tell some of you are still looking at that bright green color and cringing. Let me tell you, it may look awfully green but it tastes like gold…haha. I crack myself up. I find rice and naan also help even out the green-ness of the dal. They are a nice balance to this meal!

Spinach DalEven my don’t-want-to-touch-a-veggie little guy was eating this stuff by the spoonful. In fact, he inspired this recipe! Awhile back he started eating solid foods and I was trying my best to get vegetables in his diet without boring steamed vegetables as the go-to. I bought some spinach dal at the store for him to try. It was so good and he loved it. He would eat anything with a little bit of that stuff on top! I told myself I would totally make it every day of my life if he would eat it and it was good for him. Life happens and about 6 months later I finally got around to making some and little man still loves it (as does big man, Travis 🙂 hehe)! I love spice-filled foods so if the kid only eats veggies covered in chili powder and curry, you will not hear any complaints here!

Spinach Dal
Serves 6
Indian, spinach-based lentil stew, with aromatic spices
Print
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  2. 1 cup dried lentils, rinsed*
  3. 2 teaspoons chili powder
  4. 1 teaspoon turmeric
  5. 1 teaspoon salt
  6. 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach
  7. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  8. 1 onion, diced
  9. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  10. 3 Roma tomatoes, diced
  11. 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  12. 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  13. 1/2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  14. 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Bring the vegetable stock to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the lentils, chili powder, turmeric, and salt. Reduce the heat to low and simmer about 15 minutes, until the lentils are tender (but not mushy).
  2. While the lentils are cooking, cook and drain the frozen spinach according to the packaging. Make sure to press out as much excess water as possible. Set aside.
  3. Melt the butter in a large saute pan over medium to medium-high heat. Add the spinach, onion, garlic, tomato, cumin, curry powder, ginger, and cinnamon.
  4. Saute until the onions are translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat.
  5. Once the lentils are cooked, add about 1 cup of their cooking liquid to the spinach mixture. Use an immersion blender to puree the mixture until almost smooth. Add more of the cooking liquid, as needed, to blend the mixture.
  6. Once the spinach mixture is blended, stir in the remaining stock and lentils. If the mixture is too thick for your preference, you can thin it with additional vegetable stock or water.
  7. Eat warm with rice and naan.
Notes
  1. *When you rinse your lentils, sift through them and remove any little pebbles or bad lentils before cooking.
Flavor From Scratch http://www.flavorfromscratch.com/

Spinach Artichoke Cheese Ball

Spinach Artichoke Cheese BallI’m oh-so-sorry that it’s been awhile since my last post. These past couple of weeks have been filled with lots of activities including a long-awaited friend’s wedding in Pittsburgh (Yay for seeing friends from all around the country!!), an unexpected family gathering, and a surprise trip with my parents (surprise for them, not us) to a cabin in Ohio. All this among the general craziness of the last few weeks of the school year. Whew! Am I tired? Yes. Does a delicious spinach artichoke cheese ball make up for it? ABSOLUTELY!

Spinach Artichoke Cheese BallThis was a bit of an experiment that turned out wonderfully! I love spinach artichoke dip…love, love, LOVE. I also love cheese balls. There’s no other way to explain how this recipe came to be but that I love them both and wanted them at the same time. Hence, the spinach artichoke cheese ball.

Spinach Artichoke Cheese BallYou definitely need to refrigerate the cheese ball before serving if you want it to hold its shape. Otherwise you’ll end up with more of a thick dip. I’m totally cool with that too. Just giving you all a heads up so that when you choose not to read the recipe all the way through I’m not responsible for the fact that you have 5 minutes until the party and a cheese ball that’s more of blob. But hey, it would be a delicious blob!

Spinach Artichoke Cheese BallAlso, just as an FYI, it helps to chop the spinach and artichokes into small pieces. Even though they are cooked briefly, it will make scooping SO much easier if they are chopped up well. There’s nothing worse than a long string of spinach that just does not want to be scooped up with a chip. Okay, yes, there is probably something worse than that but I’m going for dramatic effect here. Plus, you might as well not find out so…chop, chop!

Spinach Artichoke Cheese Ball
Delicious spin on a traditional cheese ball
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
1 hr 20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
1 hr 20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  2. 4 cloves garlic, minced
  3. 1 can artichoke hearts (15-ounce), drained and finely chopped
  4. 1 bag fresh baby spinach, chopped (10-ounce)
  5. 12 ounces cream cheese, softened (1 1/2, 8 ounce containers)
  6. 1 1/2 cups Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  7. 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  8. Salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and artichoke hearts and saute approximately 2 minutes.
  2. Add the spinach and salt and pepper. You don't need much salt because the Parmesan cheese will add salt as well. Saute until the spinach is wilted, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to let cool.
  3. Cream the cream cheese with a mixer until smooth.
  4. Stir in the mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, and spinach mixture until combined.
  5. Crisscross 2 pieces of plastic wrap on top of each other and place the cheese mixture in the middle.
  6. Using the plastic wrap, shape the cheese mixture into a ball (making sure to cover the cheese ball completely with the plastic wrap). Place the cheese ball in a small bowl to help hold its shape.
  7. Refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to one day to set.
  8. Serve with crackers or chips.
Notes
  1. Make sure to chop the spinach and artichoke hearts into fairly small pieces, since it will be easier to scoop up with a cracker or chip when there are smaller pieces.
  2. The longer you leave the cheese ball in the fridge, the more firm it will set. Without refrigeration the cheese ball is a bit loose.
Flavor From Scratch http://www.flavorfromscratch.com/