In the American South, it’s a tradition on New Year’s Day to eat black-eyed peas “for luck” and collard greens “for wealth” as an effort toward good fortunes in the coming year.
My mom has long made Spinach Balls among many other sweet and savory goodies at Christmastime (when we always gather and enjoy many of our family’s traditional treats), and we’ve usually had some of those left over by New Year’s Day. I’ve eaten Spinach Balls and black-eyed peas on January 1 of many years.
This Spinach Balls recipe comes courtesy of family friend Ann Armstrong Dodd, whom my parents met many years ago when her husband Bob was pastoring our church. She continues to be a great encouragement to this day, and her recipe has become an annual holiday staple in our household.
If you do not like collard or other leafy greens in their normal forms, try this recipe. It may be a way you can slide some greens into your family’s diet by accompanying the spinach with the flavors and textures of stuffing, cheese, butter, eggs and seasonings.
What You Need:
2 ten-ounce packages chopped frozen spinach
3 cups herb-seasoned stuffing mix
1 large onion, finely chopped
6 well-beaten eggs
3/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt or garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon thyme
What You Do:
1. Thaw and drain spinach. Squeeze to remove as much water as possible.
2. Combine all ingredients well.
3. Shape into 3/4-inch balls and place on greased cookie sheets. (The balls can also be frozen at this stage if you need to bake them later.)
4. Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes.
This makes 100 spinach balls. You can divide the recipe to make fewer.
#FoodieScore Pro Tip: It’s not at all part of Mrs. Dodd’s recipe or my mother’s tradition of making it, but I have added milk and more cheese to leftover Spinach Balls and stirred the mixture together while heating in a microwave-safe dish to make a spinach dip right after the holidays. Dip in some chips, and you’ve got a great snack for college and pro football playoff games in January, or for music and movie award shows near the beginning of the year!