As someone who follows a plant based diet it is only natural that I tend to gravitate towards eating massive amount of vegetables. Breakfast, lunch, dinner. Therefore, I am constantly looking for ways to cook veggies that excite my taste buds! Steaming vegetables is great and healthy yes, but lets be honest- can be a bit on the boring side. As a non-meat eater, I find it necessary to pair my vegetables with ingredients that provide healthy fats and extra protein; such as cooking the dishes in coconut oil or coconut milk. For this recipe, I decided to create a spin on the classic creamed spinach side dish and figure out a way to keep it healthy but not compromising the taste!
Having a dairy allergy, creamed spinach, I thought, was is clearly off the table for me, until now. Allowing the coconut milk to simmer with the spinach and the spices really allows the mixture to thicken and I promise that you will not miss the cream!
Serves about 4
Total time 30 minutes start to finish
1 small spanish white onion- peeled, halved, and thinly sliced
1 tbsp. coconut oil
2 bags of spinach (roughly 6 oz in each bag)
4 cloves of garlic-- minced and finely chopped
1 1/2 cups light culinary coconut milk*
1/2 tsp. ginger powder
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. indian curry powder
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
Red pepper flakes (optional)
Salt & pepper to taste
*I used So Delicious Culinary Coconut Milk Lite. Regular, will work fine and actually add more creaminess to the dish.
In a large skillet, add the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 8 minutes or until tender and translucent. Stirring frequently. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
Add handfuls of the spinach one at time. Allowing the spinach to wilt in between each batch. Once all of the spinach has been added, stir until for a minute or two.
Add the coconut milk and bring the skillet to a simmer. The mixture will simmer within 5 or so minutes. You want to stir the mixture every so often to prevent the coconut milk from clumping together. Lastly, add in the seasonings. I tend to not measure and add the spices according to taste. The above measurements can act as a guideline. If you had more, the coconut creamed spinach will come out on the spicy side, but if you prefer something more mild then only add a dash of cayenne pepper for example. However, I did find that the cayenne pepper and the paprika gave the dish a nice kick!
I finished the dish off with a few dashes of paprika or red pepper flakes. Serve immediately! As you can see in the pictures, I had sautéed mushrooms (in olive oil, over medium heat for 8-10 minutes) and added to the dish! I decided to serve this side dish over a bed of quinoa. This would pair great with a piece of salmon or any other protein that you choose!
**As a side note, cooking the spinach first before adding the coconut milk will yield in a soft texture. If you prefer a little crunch, I would simmer the coconut milk and then add the spinach in small batches.