spinach blini with pimiento spread

by Kristina Sloggett

in appetizers,Gluten Free,Happy Hour at Home,recipes,snacks,Vegan

I am getting in the holiday spirit around here. You know I love to have people over and make fun small plate foods and appetizers. I love the planning, the list making, the preparation and if I can pull all of that off, I get to enjoy a party!

This season I really hope to have a karaoke party, so I can bust a move with the newest addition to my karaoke machine. Yep, bust a move.

I do have some holiday music in my collection, and have taken my karaoke machine to a few holiday parties. It is always fun to see what people choose to sing, and it is a proven ice breaker, especially at company parties. My favorites range from Elton John to Axl Rose (I even do the speed skater dance of his…), and the songs I sing most?

‘Brandy’ by Looking Glass and ‘You’re So Vain’ by Carly Simon.

You probably think this song is about you.

When your guests really start to get into the karaoke (yes, it does happen!), it’s even more a reason to have bite size eats for grazing.

So they can get back to the singing.

Whenever I see blini, I am happy. Using buckwheat flour, I adapted my spinach pancake to make a spinach blini – the base of a tasty appetizer that is perfect for entertaining at the holidays or any time of year.

I tried two different serving styles – as a prepared bite with the pimiento cheese piped on, and as a self serve, with stacks of spinach blini and a spreader. The first is how I prefer to make them for a party, the latter is how I ate them as a snack every afternoon last week.

pimiento spread

vegan, gluten free, dairy free

1 cup raw cashews, soaked
2 ounces pimiento (half small jar)
1/2 cup cheddar, cubed (Teese)
1 garlic clove, roasted and chopped fine
3-4 green onions, chopped, plus 1-2 as garnish
sea salt to taste

garnish – chopped green onion / chia

Process cashews to semi-smooth consistency; add pimiento while processing. Add cheddar*, garlic, onions and process until smooth. Salt to taste.

*Alternatively, grate cheddar and incorporate by hand at the end, for a more traditional result.

We love this pimiento spread – I make a double batch to use as a sandwich or wrap spread, a topping for a quinoa bowl, to dip a spoon in…

spinach blini

vegan, gluten free, dairy free

3 cups (handfuls) fresh spinach
3 tablespoons chia
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon water
2/3 cup buckwheat flour

Combine chia seeds with water, set aside to gel. Pulse spinach and chia gel in food processor until blended. Add flour and pulse until completely blended.

Pour in 2-inch circles onto griddle on medium low heat, flipping once when cooked through. Be patient when flipping, make sure the middle is cooked through (they should bubble like a traditional pancake). Makes 20-25 blini.

As always, the color of these will delight, and the flavor is mild. A great vehicle for the equally vibrant pimiento spread, they are a tasty snack and a pretty appetizer!

Do you sing karaoke? If so, what do you sing?


{ 88 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anna @ On Anna's Plate November 7, 2011 at 7:21 am

So elegant!! Lovely appetizer!


2 spabettie November 7, 2011 at 8:19 am

thank you, Anna!


3 Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning November 7, 2011 at 7:22 am

I rarely get out and sing karaoke- but I love it! I prefer to pick a cheesey pop song, like Britney Spears or something, and just have fun with it. I fall asleep when people get up and sing nothing but ballads. YAWN!
I am totally obsessed with your spinach pancakes. I’ve made them several times over the last week- they’re excellent plain, but it’s been fun experimenting with all kinds of toppings!


4 spabettie November 7, 2011 at 8:19 am

agreed – a (good) ballad every now and then is okay…

SO happy you are loving these spinach pancakes! I am always thinking of new ways to use them too – so versatile! :D


5 Lisa B November 7, 2011 at 7:37 am

This looks amazing (like usual!)…very pretty and sounds super tasty :)
I am not much of a karaoke singer…but we used to do it for girls nights out at the bar…our specialty was Strawberry Wine, and we always did The Sign by Ace of Base (just because)….


6 spabettie November 7, 2011 at 8:17 am

ah, now The Sign will be in my head all day! ;)


7 Curt November 7, 2011 at 7:51 am

That sounds pretty good. I like the spinach blini. It certainly is colorful.


8 spabettie November 7, 2011 at 8:17 am

thanks, Curt! you must be catching on that I love colorful food? :D


9 Heather @ Better With Veggies November 7, 2011 at 7:51 am

Love the homemade blinis – so bright and fresh! I just received my first jar of vegan caviar, which would be perfect on blinis. I’m thinking a vegan Crème fraîche, caviar, and blinis would be an excellent pairing to some sparkling wine. Now that sounds like a great way to put anyone in a festive mood! :)


10 spabettie November 7, 2011 at 8:16 am

that is what the chia is supposed to mimic – the look of caviar! ;) I have heard of this wonderous thing – I really need to get my hands on some. what IS it made of? :D


11 Heather @ Better With Veggies November 7, 2011 at 1:39 pm

I just saw this on an another blog last week and immediately ordered some – this is something that I actually miss from my pre-vegan days. The ingredients are Seaweed, water, salt and spice extracts, antioxidant, stabilizer, natural preservatives, natural color, (vegetable carbon).

Here’s the link: http://plantbasedfoods.com/store/consumers/4-black.html

I should be posting a review later this week – as soon as I have a chance to give it a try!


12 spabettie November 7, 2011 at 1:43 pm

THANK YOU for this link, Heather!! I’m going to have to try this too, you know. The ginger sounds good – and they’re all so pretty! I look forward to your review!


13 Heather (Where's the Beach) November 7, 2011 at 7:55 am

Oh love how those look! I love snacky foods like that. I am not a karaoke gal at all. It’s better for everyone that way ;-)


14 spabettie November 7, 2011 at 8:15 am

haa haa – that’s funny. I just LOVE to sing, I never claimed to be good at it ;)


15 Sarah November 7, 2011 at 7:55 am

Two things. First, we have GOT to do a karaoke night. Second, I am going to make these blinis! Oh man, they look incredible and so easy. Awesomeness


16 spabettie November 7, 2011 at 8:15 am

I know – let’s plan something!! :D hope you love the blini – they are SO easy! XXO


17 lindsay November 7, 2011 at 8:28 am

I am horrible at karoke. I think its the pressure. haha. I am sure you rock it at parties!
Plus with your pimento snacks, you can’t go wrong. I love PIMENTO!!!


18 spabettie November 7, 2011 at 8:54 am

one day all of us will get together and have a BIG party! no pressure to sing… I only ask seventeen times ;)


19 Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama} November 7, 2011 at 8:39 am

This looks so interesting! And what a pretty appetizer. I’m probably the worst karaoke singer ever, but I love it. I don’t do it often, but when I do I have a blast.


20 spabettie November 7, 2011 at 8:53 am

yes, I don’t claim to be a GOOD singer, I just have a great time! ;)


21 Dorry November 7, 2011 at 8:45 am

Colorful and delicious! Per usual. :) What I would give to come to one of your Karaoke holiday parties! Hmmm – I think I’ve busted out some Tom Petty before – so lame. And the Pointer Sisters! Or anything from The Big Chill. hahaha. Those are the albums my sisters and I would listen to and sing along as kids.


22 spabettie November 7, 2011 at 8:52 am

oooh, The Big Chill! I used to have that movie (on VHS, ha!) and still have the soundtrack…. every song is good – Whiter Shade of Pale?! one of my favorites… I would LOVE if you could come to ANY party, ANY time! if you were in town, I would MAKE a party! even if it was just you and Billy, me and Jason and Basil. :D


23 JL goes Vegan November 7, 2011 at 10:13 am

Gorgeous! I want to come to your house for your pretty food and to sing!!! I’m mad for karaoke! I’m a terrible singer–the first time I tried it, my 26th birthday, I chose Shame by Evelyn Champagne King. When I returned to the table my friends said … “you’re a good dancer.” OY. But I love to sing and have a karaoke machine, too! My signature song is Goodbye Earl by the Dixie Chicks.


24 spabettie November 7, 2011 at 1:40 pm

how did I know you’d be a karaoke fan!?? :D that “you’re a good dancer” story is making me laugh… I will ask Jason sometimes how I sound (just for fun – I don’t care but it’s fun to watch him dodge the question!!) and his answers are always fun. ;) Goodbye Earl, that’s a classic! I love that you have your own karaoke machine too!! one day… we will sing!


25 Char @ www.charskitchen.ca November 7, 2011 at 11:01 am

Oh my gosh, these look amazing!! And so simple. What a great idea for an appetizer! :D


26 spabettie November 7, 2011 at 1:37 pm

thank you, Char! they’re fun, and the couple people I “test drove” them with really liked them! I think these will serve me well over the holidays…


27 Lou November 7, 2011 at 11:18 am

yum, I love blini – we always have smoked salmon blini+ champagne cocktails for Christmas brunch mmm. I sing a horrible rendition of Elton John’s “Sacrifice” – with a few vodka tonics for fuel :)


28 spabettie November 7, 2011 at 1:37 pm

ha – vodka fuels a lot of karaoke, I think. ;) (it certainly helps with mine…) Elton has some great songs for karaoke.

mmm – smoked salmon blini and champagne – PERFECT holiday brunch!!


29 Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga November 7, 2011 at 11:33 am

These look so great. AWESOME pics. The contrast of the colors and the clarity..just beautiful!


30 spabettie November 7, 2011 at 1:35 pm

thank you, friend! :D


31 Allie November 7, 2011 at 12:18 pm

I love that color combination! And the idea of making small spinach pancakes/blini to fill the “cracker” roll, I definitely need to try that for hummus and such, I never know what to dip in it!


32 spabettie November 7, 2011 at 1:34 pm

these spinach pancakes are SO GOOD with hummus. I make hummus sandwiches all the time with these – lettuce, tomato, Mmm!


33 Jenn @ Peas and Crayons November 7, 2011 at 2:53 pm

plate twin! la la looooove the chia topping! and the fact that these are green and spinach-y…. best thing ever!


34 spabettie November 7, 2011 at 10:02 pm

you have these plates too?? :D


35 Jenn @ Peas and Crayons November 8, 2011 at 6:30 am

Yes! Just the teeny one! I found that the patterned plates look best with baked goods and really snazzy stuff (like your blinis!) but i don’t make that kind of stuff enough to use em! so show them off chica! <3

ps: i miss you! talk to meee! haha


36 spabettie November 8, 2011 at 5:25 pm

I know – GAAH I miss you too! I feel like I haven’t been online much, dang it! how ARE you?? send me an email update! XO


37 Betsy DiJulio November 7, 2011 at 3:54 pm



38 spabettie November 7, 2011 at 10:01 pm

thank you SO much, Betsy!


39 Felicia (Natural + Balanced) November 7, 2011 at 4:03 pm

wow this is beautiful!!


40 spabettie November 7, 2011 at 10:01 pm

thank you, Felicia! :)


41 Stephanie@mythornshaveroses.com November 7, 2011 at 4:28 pm

I am a karoake beast. One of my best friends is Phillipino and she is FREAK over her karaoke so I get drug out frequently. I will pretty much sing anything although power ballads and duets are my favorite. One of my old co-workers told me once that every time she hears You’re So Vain she thinks of me. Considering I never sing that song, don’t talk about that song or ever listened to it in her presence I wasn’t sure I could take it as a compliment? ;) I still want to know who Carly was singing about though.


42 spabettie November 7, 2011 at 10:00 pm

karaoke BEAST !! I love it. and power ballads, even better!! and I think you should totally take that as a compliment. ;) I love that song, and yeah, WHO was she talking about?


43 Stephanie@mythornshaveroses.com November 7, 2011 at 4:28 pm

Oh…and I can totally forgive you for your flamingoes. :P Only you though!


44 spabettie November 7, 2011 at 9:30 pm

aw, I appreciate that. ;) I love them. I lived on a resort property for a while, during a project where I was opening a multi million dollar spa… I had the flamingos in my front yard!! :D I bet the members cringed


45 Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) November 7, 2011 at 6:17 pm

I hate it, but I love watching others! I always sing Cindi Lauper when I have to do it though. I want to come to one of your parties! Fun music and amazing eats sounds like a great party to me!


46 spabettie November 7, 2011 at 9:28 pm

some day, Sarena!! I was saying this to Lindsay + Heather earlier – we will all get together someday!! :D


47 Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) November 8, 2011 at 4:27 am

I completely agree! We will have to make that happen! Maybe meet in the middle somewhere?


48 spabettie November 8, 2011 at 5:25 pm

that would be so awesome.


49 Krista {Budget Gourmet Mom} November 7, 2011 at 7:28 pm

With 4 little kids at home it’s been forever since I had an appetizer party. The colors you paired look so inviting and delicious! I’m sure my kids would have a blast with your karaoke and the snacks. They dig any food they can eat with their fingers (so do I)!


50 spabettie November 7, 2011 at 9:27 pm

aw, Krista! I wish I could have y’all over, we have enough songs for the kids to sing, and I would make you some yummy treats! :D


51 Eden November 7, 2011 at 7:58 pm

Ugh! Yet again I’m the last commenter. Boo.

Wow, this post is like a gay pride parade (simply cause of the colors, not because its full of Cher or feather boas).

And seriously dude, teach me your lighting tricks! Your lighting is always flawless!


52 spabettie November 7, 2011 at 9:26 pm

okay Eden, this comment makes me want to make you one of those rainbow cakes – every layer a different color? perhaps for next year’s Gay Pride Week. :D

funny you say that about THIS photo – it is perpetually dark in Portland now, and I thought the light SUCKED in these photos! I couldn’t do anything to make it look good, and I do not want to get an editing program (silly, right?).

what kind of camera do you use?


53 Eden November 7, 2011 at 9:28 pm

Nikon D3100


54 spabettie November 7, 2011 at 10:07 pm

oooh, okay! tonight Jason and I are drinking wine and laughing at the infomercial for “Easy 80′s” music cd set, but later I will look up that model and try to help you with settings? :D


55 Nichole November 8, 2011 at 2:51 am

The colors are amazing. Very, very festive.

Karaoke!? Save me a song. That’s awesome:)


56 spabettie November 8, 2011 at 5:26 pm

thank you! and yes, karaoke will be here. waiting. :D


57 Molly@hungryhungryrunner.com November 8, 2011 at 8:35 am

What a fun, creative appetizer! You never fail to impress! As for Karaoke, if I’m on the West Coast in the near future and I find out you are having a Karaoke Party I am totally crashing it! ;) And I plan to make you sing Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” with me. After I eat all your appetizers. :)


58 spabettie November 8, 2011 at 5:24 pm

haa haa, I would hope you would crash! ;) I’ll totally sing Journey and then a bunch of other songs too! :D yes, before during and after appetizers.


59 Lindsay @ Lindsay's List November 8, 2011 at 10:31 am

Is it ok if I invite myself to your party!?! I like singing Waterfalls by TLC. Or Ice Ice Baby.


60 spabettie November 8, 2011 at 5:15 pm

YES!! I LOVE Waterfalls! I don’t know if I’ve ever sang Ice Ice Baby… I have sang Whip It before – in a bar – I do not recommend it! (not a good singing song!). we redeemed ourselves by singing Do Re Me after – the whole bar LOVED that one and sang along! :D


61 Sook @ My Fabulous Recipes November 8, 2011 at 2:36 pm

They look so pretty!! I want some. :)


62 spabettie November 8, 2011 at 4:54 pm

thank you! :)


63 Pure2raw Twins November 8, 2011 at 6:29 pm

love the color in those spinach blini!!
and would love to go to a party with you, sounds like a great time :)


64 Kristy Lynn @ Gastronomical Sovereignty November 9, 2011 at 7:49 am

interesting! I’ve never heard of a blini before – these may come in handy for my christmas potluck i do every year…. karaoke is also a good idea.

ps. also agree with eden – these photos are rad! so many blog posts re food tip toe around pastels.. while they’re certainly pretty, they all look kind of the same. These are edgy!


65 spabettie November 9, 2011 at 9:32 am

thank you – I love the bright in these photos too! edgy – I’ll take it! :D a blini would be great for a holiday potluck – hmm – with maybe something RED – like a roasted pepper something – for festive colors.


66 Sue @ Sue In Training November 10, 2011 at 4:57 am

I love the bright green color of those blinis! Could I use frozen spinach instead of fresh?
Fun fact: I’m a huge karaoke fan and even sang ‘You’re So Vain’ by Carly Simon at my own wedding! Oh, and instead of a dance, my husband and I opened the night with ‘I was made for loving you’ by KISS. We had a blast, obviously. ;)


67 spabettie November 10, 2011 at 8:45 am

I have never tried frozen spinach, but I bet it would work? the amount might be different, just eyeball until you get to a normal pancake consistency? (and let me know if it works!).

I LOVE that you sang karaoke at your wedding – and especially Carly!! and KISS. you are awesome.


68 Christine November 10, 2011 at 7:51 pm

Hi Kristina, Your Blini recipe has been selected by Knapkins to be featured in a Recipe Guessing Game. Please share the following link with your friends and fans. Congrats again!! :) To play, go here: http://knapkins.com/guess_games/518?source=blog


69 spabettie November 11, 2011 at 6:29 am

yay! thanks, Christine, I’ve just tweeted about it! :D Cheers!


70 Christina H November 11, 2011 at 11:11 pm

this pimento dip is aweseme!!! I made it last night and everyone loved it; served with crackers and crudite. good to have for the holidays!


71 spabettie November 14, 2011 at 8:15 am

hi Christina! so glad you liked it – and I agree, this will appear many times during the holidays here!


72 Kath (My Funny Little Life) November 12, 2011 at 3:52 pm

OMG, these look totally amazing! I’d love to try one! :D


73 Lana November 13, 2011 at 2:59 am

Hi. These look lovely! Do you think it’ll work with flax instead of chia?


74 spabettie November 14, 2011 at 7:37 am

hi Lana, I specifically used chia because the last time I used flax for these, I couldn’t get them to work (something else could have been off – I tend to eyeball amounts). the batter was grainier in texture, so I blamed it on the flax, but I admit I only tried that once (and I have made these with chia seed and chia meal many many times!). I also wasn’t as patient (that is likely the biggest reason!) :D and tried to flip them too quickly – I do always say you should have low heat and WAIT to flip these…

sorry for the long and sorta vague answer – I did only try the flax once. I was surprised, because I really figured it would work? if you try it please let me know? (I did end up eating the pancake pieces, and they still tasted wonderful, they just weren’t pretty… but I didn’t waste it!) :D


75 Lana November 15, 2011 at 3:12 am

Thanks for the reply :) Hopefully it’ll work since there is no way I’m getting my hands on chia :(


76 spabettie November 15, 2011 at 4:17 pm

let me know how it goes!


77 Chris November 16, 2011 at 6:53 am

these are pretty! they sound really good, I love pimento cheese and this is a more elegant way to present! thanks!


78 spabettie November 16, 2011 at 10:17 am

pimiento is one of my favorites too… on a white bread sandwich is classic and I definitely love that!! this is just a way to dress it up a bit? glad you like!


79 Li November 28, 2011 at 2:00 pm

these are beautiful!


80 Ali February 18, 2012 at 4:36 am

so right, your food is so right, and so bright!


81 Cara March 16, 2012 at 2:45 pm

I have always loved your spinach pancakes, and my family asks for them as “spabettie pancakes!!” we made these for a basketball party the other day and they were a HUGE hit! thanks again, spabettie!


82 Jill March 26, 2012 at 10:56 pm

love your spinach roundup, and these are adorable! love the orange and green so vibrant and they sound like they’d be scrumptious! another brunch idea…..


83 Lori Larson March 28, 2012 at 1:14 am

these are beautiful! great pics, too – your talents are many!


84 Michelle March 30, 2012 at 3:08 pm

these are gorgeous!


85 Karol April 3, 2012 at 7:18 am

I love your spinach pancakes (my kids call them spaghetti pancakes, they call YOU spaghetti LOL) these look awesome!


86 Hally April 8, 2012 at 11:59 pm

so happy I discovered you (Kansas newspaper!!!) your recipes are so creative. made the pancakes full size, they came out perfect and we gobbled them all up!


87 Gloria May 24, 2012 at 12:57 am

spinach pancakes my kids love! they might not like these, but this is an after they go to bed party kind of thing LOL


88 Will May 29, 2012 at 9:42 pm

It’s a good post.


Leave a Comment

{ 2 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: