Spinach Triangles (Recipe)
These gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free appetizers are not only incredible tasting, they are low in fat, and have been enthusiastically devoured at every event I have taken them to. Plus they look so elegant.
The cheezy taste comes from a blending of raw almonds, chickpea miso, mirin, roasted red peppers, and nutritional yeast. Although they look like something that is made from phyllo dough -- I use rice paper wrappers, cut in half -- and the end result is not only appealing -- but gluten free!
You can buy rice paper wrappers at any Asian grocery store. Make sure that you get the ones that have only these three ingredients: Rice, water, salt. (I find that the ones that contain tapioca don't work nearly as well.) Be sure to use organic spinach -- since conventionally grown spinach is one of the more heavily pesticided crops.
1 pound organic baby spinach washed
water for cooking the spinach
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion --diced
1/2 cup raw almonds -- ground to a coarse flour
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup Eden Mirin (sweet rice cooking wine)
1 tsp lemon juice
3 TBS roasted red pepper pieces (I like Mediteranean Organics)
3 TBS South River Chickpea Miso (this makes them soy free)
1 tsp umboshi plumb paste
1/4 cup nutritional Yeast flakes (Do NOT confuse with bakers yeast NOR brewer's yeast-- also this is optional -- they still taste pretty cheezy without this ingredient)
1 tsp onion powder
1 TBS dried basil
1/4 tsp lemon pepper
1 clove of garlic
1 tsp Eden Agar Flakes
1 TBS arrowroot powder
1 package rice paper wrappers
olive oil vegetable spray
1.Wash the spinach and place it into a large covered pot with about 1/4 inch of water in the botton and heat it on medium until the spinach completely shrinks. Then, place the spinach into a large strainer and press and squeeze it over the sink until you remove every drop of liquid that you can, then place it on a cutting board and chop it with a knife in all directions about 30 times. Set aside.
2) Place the tsp of olive oil into a cast iron skillet, turn on high, when hot add the onion, stir frequently until it starts to brown. Then add the chopped spinach and cook for about 2 minutes more --to further remove moisture. Stir frequently. Turn off heat and let set.
3) Place the almonds into a blender (I use a Vitamix for this) and add the water and blend until totally smooth, then add all the rest of the ingredients -- except for the rice paper and the olive oil spray, blend until completely smooth and yellow orange colored. Then transfer the contents of the blender to the skillet with the onions. Use a spatula to get every drop that you can from the blender. blend everything in the skillet well.
4) Take a large pot (or other container large enough to dunk a rice paper wrapper into) and put about an inch of water into the bottom and warm it on the stove. Warm water softens the rice wrappers more quickly -- but don't make it so hot that you can't quickly dip your fingers into it, without burning yourself. Clear a large workspace on your counter or table. Get a large cookie tray (I use airbake pans and get great results) and rub olive oil on it and set it nearby. Open the package of rice papers and set them out and place the pan with the spinach near these. Take one of the rice papers and dunk it in the water for about 2 seconds, pull it out and fold it in half. Time this right and the paper should neatly break in two. Set each half down on the counter so that each half circle is orientated with it's arch to the left or right. Repeat this with as many more circles as you have room for on your counter. Then scoop up about 1 rounded teaspoonful of the spinach filling and place it on the rice wrapper in the corner nearest you, do this for each half circle. By this time, the first half circle of rice paper should be starting to get sticky. Fold a small triangle of wrapper over the filling (away from you) and continue folding small triangles until the whole thing is securely and tightly folded
up. Place the triangle on the tray. Repeat this process until you have used up all the filling. Do NOT allow any of the triangle to touch! When the tray is filled, lightly spray the triangles with olive oil spray and broil them in a preheated oven on high --about 5 inches from the heating element. Watch them closely. As soon as they start to brown, remove the tray from the oven, turn the triangles over and brown the other side.
You can serve these fresh and hot -- or later on after they have cooled. Great for lunch boxes too!