April went by so fast! With Phillip's parents visiting and his birthday, we had little time for cooking let alone blog posts. Now that it is somehow May (how did this happen?!) things seem to be slowing down a little bit and we've been able to start cooking a bit more again. I had found this recipe for Braised Coconut Spinach and Chickpeas with lemon a couple of weeks ago and added it to our never-ending list of recipes to try. I let Phillip chose what to have for dinner on Monday and he chose this.
The recipe called for:
- 2 teaspoons oil
- 1 small yellow onion
- 4 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped (we left these out for Phillip)
- 1 large lemon, zested and juiced
- 1 dash of red pepper flakes
- 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained
- 1 pound baby spinach
- 14-ounce can coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- Sweet potatoes (2-4 depending on how many people you are serving)
This recipe was served over baked sweet potatoes so to start, we preheated the oven to 400°. We pierced the potatoes with a fork and then popped them in the oven for about an hour. While the potatoes cooked we prepared the topping! Phillip actually helped me with a lot of the prep work for this and I will say his mincing skills have improved drastically! After we had the onion, garlic, ginger, and lemon zest ready, I heated oil in my biggest pot over medium-high heat. I then added the onions and let them sweat for a few minutes. Next, I added the garlic, ginger, lemon zest, and red pepper flakes. This cooked for a few minutes before I tossed in the chickpeas to let them cook a bit and get coated with the mixture.
Then, I started adding the spinach. I am still surprised every time by how much spinach wilts. A lb of fresh spinach looks like a TON but after it all cooks down it is much more manageable. It cook a couple of minutes to get all the spinach into the pot and wilted. I was stirring pretty regularly to make sure the garlic and onion weren't burning on the bottom of the pan. Once the spinach had wilted, I added the coconut milk, fresh lemon juice, and salt. This got brought to a simmer then I lowered the heat and let the mixture simmer for about 10 minutes. Then we were ready to eat. We scooped the spinach chickpea mixture oven the sweat potatoes and I topped them with some cilantro. These were super delicious. We realized after we were eating that this was a vegan dish which was a nice surprise. Serving the mixture over the sweet potato was a great idea and adds nice texture since the spinach and chickpeas don't have much. Definitely try this one out!