Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Spinach-Meatball Toss

From the Tupperware book, “Homemade is Better” (Special 30th Anniversary Edition, 1981) which I love to display next to my vintage Tupperware canisters, as depicted on the book’s cover, this recipe is made with a “base” (in this case, meatballs) that they recommend you make mass quantities of and store for use in the varied recipes, at later times. In my case, however, I happened to have a bag of meatballs from IKEA, and used those! I made the combined salad for myself, but for my daughter and her friend (5 and 4 years old, respectively), I served plain meatballs, next to a mini-version of the salad. (They are willing to try my creations, but sometimes prefer a de-constructed version.) Little do they know, they are foodies-in-training, just as I was when, as a little girl, I would moan to my mother: “Oh NO, you’re NOT making chutney AGAIN!” Complain complain complain. Fortunately, that is not what happened when I served this dinner. We all liked it enough to make it again, despite my initial assessment of most of the recipes contained herein as “weird”. OK, meatballs in salad I still think is a little weird, but I love spinach and egg, so somehow it worked. Also I love that in the recipe, you are directed not just in the cooking, but also as to WHICH of your various Tupperware items to use in each step. Brilliant.

I adapted things slightly, leaving out the water chestnuts and sprouts, and adding in chopped scallions, and also I used only the yolks of the eggs since, disappointingly, didn’t hard-boil fully – but it came together palatably. (That is the difference between throwing together a salad and, say, baking – substitutions are just fine in salad, but you must adhere to the chemistry with baking, or risk disaster.) The girls focused mostly on the meatballs, complete with 3 dipping sauces: the super-tangy BBQ style sauce from the recipe, lingonberry sauce (Swedish), and of course, catsup. Revoltingly, but not surprisingly, catsup was the winner with the kids. But they did also eat the spinach, so it was an overall Win-Win situation!

Spinach-Meatball Toss

1 24-meatball container FREEZER MEATBALLS **
½ cup water
10 oz fresh spinach (7 cups)
3 hard-cooked eggs
1 8oz can water chestnuts, drained
2 cups fresh bean sprouts
¼ cup sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1/3 cup catsup
¼ cup vinegar
2 Tbsp finely chopped onion
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

• In large saucepan, place Freezer Meatballs (**) in a single layer. Add water and cover. Cook on low heat for 15 minutes or till meatballs are heated through.
• Meanwhile, tear spinach into bite-size pieces in the large Decorator Salad Bowl.
• Quarter eggs and slice water chestnuts; add to spinach with bean sprouts.
• In Small Mix-N-Stor pitcher, stir together sugar and cornstarch.
• Blend in catsup, vinegar, onion and Worcestershire sauce.
• Add catsup mixture to saucepan; cook and stir over medium heat till thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 1 to 2 minutes more. Pour over vegetables in Salad Bowl. Toss
• Serve in individual Decorator Salad Bowls.
• Makes 6 servings.

** A basic recipe for meatballs that you have previously made and frozen carefully in your Tupperware meatball container!

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