Spaghetti Cheese Balls

Spaghetti Cheese Balls | @HipVegetarianAs a replacement to meatballs, I use a recipe my Mom gave me that I’ve renamed to Spaghetti Cheese Balls. It really didn’t have a name, so I came up with one that seems to describe it best.

Made out of cream cheese, Ritz crackers, and pecans — well to say this recipe isn’t tasty, would be a lie.

Both boys and the husband like this. Even more importantly, this is a fun recipe to have the boys help me with in the kitchen. From crushing the crackers to scooping the “dough,” there is something for everyone to do.

Spaghetti Cheese Balls

8 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
1 1/2 sleeves, Ritz Crackers, crushed
1/16 – 1/8 cup Salted Pecans or Cashews, chopped
Dash, Seasoning Salt
Dash, Garlic Salt
1/8 – 1/4 cup, Bacon Bits
1/2 cup, Onions, chopped
1 Egg

Mix all the ingredients together. Use a 1 inch scoop, and place into a pan of oil. Fry until the cheese balls are golden brown.

Spaghetti Cheese Balls | @HipVegetarian

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Avocado-Lemon Herb Appetizer with Way Better Snacks

Avacado-Lemon Herb Appetizer

Need a quick appetizer for a dinner party — or perhaps you just need to use up that avocado sitting on the counter that will soon expire.

Here’s an easy recipe using Way Better Snack Tortilla chips.

Thanks to my friend Kim over at The Feminest, she suggested using the Lemon Herb spice to top off this simple recipe. She stated that when they lived in Florida that they would pull avocados straight off the trees, rip them apart and devour them with this delicious herb.

  1. Place the Way Better Snack Tortillas on a plate.
  2. Using a 1/2 inch scoop, place a the avocado on top.
  3. Next, place 1/2 Cherry Tomato to the side.
  4. Sprinkle with McCormick’s Lemon Herb Spice.

Voila! You’re ready for your next dinner party. Enjoy.

The Hip Green Olive Hummus

The Hip Green Olive Hummus

I can’t believe I’ve never made Hummus. I know, crazy simple, right? Unfortunately I didn’t have any garlic in-house, so I substituted with garlic powder. The end result was still fantastic.

The Hip Green Olive Hummus

  • 1 13-oz. cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained twice,
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 2-3 TBL of green olives

Puree in food processor 2-3 minutes until smooth. Add extra lemon juice for desired consistency.

Savory Mediterranean Cheesecake

photo taken by thehipvegetarian

My mother-in-law made this cheesecake for Christmas dinner. The thought of a savory cheesecake has never occurred to me, so I was rather excited to try this appetizer.

Honestly this tasted like pizza.

This recipe comes out of the Paula Deen’s Christmas cookbook. Black olives in cheesecake; why am I not surprised?  After all Paula puts Velveeta cheese in her chocolate fudge.

Savory Mediterranean Cheesecake

1 1/3 cup Panko, (Japanese bread crumbs)
6 Tbl. Butter, melted
1/4 cup Butter
1/4 cup Green Onion, minced
1/4 cup Parsley, chopped, fresh
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 (10 oz) package Spinach, frozen & chopped, thawed & squeezed dry
3 (8 oz) packages Cream Cheese, softened
1/4 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
4 Eggs, large
1/2 tea. Oregano, dried
1/2 tea. Basil, dried
1/2 tea. Salt
1/2 tea. Ground Black Pepper
2 (2.5 oz) cans Black Olives, sliced & drained
1 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
1 cup Feta Cheese, crumbled
Assorted Crackers for dipping
Garnish: Fresh Parsley, Fresh Oregano, Sliced Black Olives

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

In a small bowl, combine bread crumbs and melted butter. Press mixture into bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 8 minutes.

In a medium skillet, melt 1/4 cup butter over medium-high heat. Add onion, parsley, and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until tender. Add spinach, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, cream, and eggs at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Beat in oregano, basil, salt, and pepper. Divide mixture evenly into 2 medium bowls. Stir spinach mixture into one-half of cream cheese mixture. Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle evenly with sliced olives.

Stir Parmesan cheese and feta cheese into remaining half of cream cheese mixture. Spread cheese mixture evenly over olives. Bake for 1 hour and 5 to 15 minutes, or until center is set. Let cool completely in pan. Gently run a knife around edges of pan to release sides. Cover and chill.

Serve cheesecake at room temperature with assorted crackers. Garnish with parsley, oregano, and black olives, if desired.

Note: Cheesecake can be made up to 1 month ahead. Wrap tightly in heavy-duty plastic wrap, and freeze. Let come to room temperature before serving.