Being a Catholic family, we observe Lent (the approximately 40 days leading up to Easter), and we don’t eat meat on the Fridays during Lent. Sure, there are the old standbys that many a Catholic child has grown to not-love like fish sticks, cheese pizza and tuna noodle casserole. I didn’t even grow up Catholic and I am firmly in the not-love camp on these Friday staples. Ahhh, nothing says penance like tuna noodle casserole.
I’ve thought seriously about reviving the meatless Friday discipline for my little domestic church. It’s not like a “moving our family into a yurt for the winter in northern Michigan” sacrifice, but a smaller scale sacrifice. No, we aren’t ravenous carnivores, intent on destroying the planet with our meat-loving ways. It’s just that on the rare occasion my darling husband and I get to go out for a meal sans enfants, it’s on a Friday. And I usually want to order a steak or a burger. I’m allergic to fish, seafood, and shellfish so a fancy fish dish is not a viable option for me. Those items are also off the menu for Javier – because there will be no smoochin’ if he’s eaten an allergen.
So this Lenten season, I was determined to get a little more creative with our veggie-lovin’ Fridays. We had some truly yummy meals and here’s one of our favorites.
Spinach Balls. Boom!
In the spirit of full disclosure, my kids do not eat them. They devour them. They stand at the stove watching them bake, dance for joy when the timer goes off, lick their fingers love ’em.
1 1/2 c spinach (thawed and squeezed)
2 large eggs
1/4 c melted butter
1 1/4 c dried herb stuffing
1/2 t garlic salt
1/3 c parmesan cheese
1/4 c chopped onion
1 1/4 c crumbled feta cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease or spray a baking sheet. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Form generous tablespoons of the mixture into individual balls and place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes.