I was on the hunt for a hearty vegetarian recipe. You know the one that a carnivore wouldn’t miss the meat at the meal kind of recipe. Coconut Braised Spinach and Chickpeas over Sweet Potatoes is the exact kind of recipe that I was searching for. I could taste every flavor of each vegetable. There is heat and sweet, tang and subtle flavors in one bite. TheKitchn.com is great stop for a last minute recipe and it is where I found this one. Of course, I changed it around a bit, but this is a great resource.
My young son did not like the spinach and chickpeas at all. He was shivering as he was asking me if he had to eat it. He really hates anything with spinach. He love, loves, loves sweet potatoes, though. That is what he ate. I had plenty of leftovers, which I used in soup and in a frittata. This is also a great side dish. I have served it with lamb chops. Perfect compliment.
Braised Coconut Spinach & Chickpeas
serves 4/main dish or 6/side dish
2 teaspoons oil or
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
1 dash of red pepper flakes ( I have also used roasted hot peppers. Your call)
15-ounce can chickpeas, drained
1 pound baby spinach( or frozen, thawed and drained)
14-ounce can coconut milk
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon ground ginger or grated from fresh
4 oz. cream cheese (vegan variety is also an option.)
1. Heat the oil in a large, deep Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium-high heat.
2. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is beginning to brown.
3. Add the garlic, ginger, sun-dried tomatoes, lemon zest and red pepper, if using. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
4. 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.
5. 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. 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.
6. Stir in cream cheese until it melts.
7. Taste and add more salt and lemon juice, if necessary.
Whole roasted sweet potatoes
Pomegranate seeds, to garnish
You can bake a sweet potato quicker then a russet potato. It will take about 40 minutes at 400F. You can always cut the sweet potatoes in half if you want them to cook quicker. I have used pomegranate molasses over the top as well when I can not find fresh.
You can’t even feel guilty about this recipe. It is super healthy. All the flavor is the bonus. This is the dish that you make for your friends that are vegan, gluten free, dairy free come over.
Pull up a chair, Elizabeth