Braised coconut spinach with chickpeas and lemon [Vegan]

Jaymi's Notes:
This was an iffy recipe for me, so when I sat down with a hot bowl of the braised coconut spinach loaded up with sundried tomatoes and chickpeas, all I could say was, "Wow!"

I wasn't sure what to think with this mix of ingredients, especially the coconut milk which is not usually something I have in meals at home or in restaurants. And while my partner kept her doubts to herself, she did let me know afterwards (as she was happily gobbling down a bowlful next to me) that she was surprised at how delicious it turned out to be. The dish is both sweet and tangy, with the strong flavor mellowed out by the blander chickpeas and spinach. Sundried tomatoes add a great twist to the texture and a different quality of sweet than the coconut milk, making the flavor all the more complex.

I cut the recipe in half, which still made more than enough for the two of us, but I did not cut the lemon zest and juice in half. Instead, I used the original amount because we love lemon and can't ever have too much. I think that added to the overall Zing! of the meal, which we both thoroughly enjoyed.

We ate it plain, like a soup; since the chickpeas are so hearty you don't really have to serve it over anything like sweet potatoes. However, it would be delicious served over rice so the rice can soak up the sweet and zesty coconut milk "broth".

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© Jaymi Heimbuch

Kelly's Recipe:

I served this braised coconut spinach and chickpeas for dinner last night and half-way through the meal, my daughter Emma said that she thought this recipe should go into our regular rotation.

This was such a lovely combination of flavours and we all really enjoyed it. The addition of the sun-dried tomatoes added a bit of a surprise undertone to the dish that would have been different if you had used regular canned tomatoes.

The recipe suggests serving it over half of a roasted sweet potato. I don't know, I think that might be a bit heavy, but maybe some cubed roasted sweet potatoes would be okay.

I actually forgot the sweet potatoes when I did my grocery shopping, so we had it over basmati rice, which worked really well. It also made for a faster dinner that could be made mid-week. It would make a great pasta sauce, or be terrific over polenta. Emma didn't like the texture of the spinach when she had some leftovers for lunch today, but I didn't have any problem with it. If anything, I thought it was even better after sitting.

This recipe is from Apartment Therapy's The Kitchn.

© Jaymi Heimbuch

Braised Coconut Spinach and Chickpeas with Lemon

2 teaspoons oil or ghee
1 small yellow onion
4 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon grated ginger, from a 3-inch piece
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 large lemon, zested and juiced (about 2 tablespoons juice)
1 dried hot red pepper or dash of red pepper flakes (optional)
15-ounce can chickpeas, drained
1 pound baby spinach
14-ounce can coconut milk
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon ground ginger

    1. Heat the oil or ghee in a large, deep Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is beginning to brown. Add the garlic, ginger, sun-dried tomatoes, lemon zest and red pepper, if using. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

© Jaymi Heimbuch

    2. Add the chickpeas and cook over high heat for a few minutes or until the chickpeas are beginning to turn golden and they are coated with the onion and garlic mixture.

© Jaymi Heimbuch

    3. Toss in the spinach, one handful at a time. This will take about 5 minutes; stir in a handful or two and wait for it to wilt down and make room in the pot before adding the next handful.

© Jaymi Heimbuch

4. When all the spinach has been stirred in, pour in the coconut milk and stir in the salt, ground ginger, and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer then turn down the heat and cook for 10 minutes or until the chickpeas are warm through. Taste and add more salt and lemon juice, if necessary.

© Jaymi Heimbuch

© Jaymi Heimbuch

Tags: The Cooking Project | Vegetarian | Weekday Vegetarian

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