Tuesday, December 17, 2013

RECIPE TIME: Braised Coconut Spinach with Chickpeas & Lemon


You can get just about ANYTHING delivered in New York, and believe me, Adam and I take full advantage of this perk of our great city. If we're craving Thai, it can be on the front doorstep in 10 minutes or less. If we want Green-Certified Chinese food (whatever that means), it's a call away. If we want vegan empanadas at 9 pm on a Monday, I'm pretty sure we could get those too.

But alas, when ordering delivery means some unfortunate bloke is going to have to schlepp his way over through the ice and snow, I just can't do it!

Exhibit A:


(I didn't have the heart...)

So instead, we opted for making an easy (and healthy) dinner ourselves on Sunday night. Key word: "easy". Extra bonus: "healthy". As we were cooking it, I realized that this truly is the perfect dinner to accommodate ALL diets. If you're having a dinner party with carnivores, vegans AND gluten/dairy-free folks in attendance, not to worry! This dish from Treehugger.com can make EVERYONE happy!

Ready for some Braised Coconut Spinach with Chickpeas & Lemon? I thought so!

For the prep: Mince 4 large cloves of garlic, zest 1 large lemon (saving the lemon for later), grate 1 Tbs. of fresh ginger, and chop 1/2 cup of sundried tomatoes and 1 small yellow onion.
In a saute pan, over medium-high heat, saute the onions in ghee (or coconut oil) for about 5 minutes until they begin to brown. Next add the garlic, ginger, sundried tomatoes, lemon zest, and a light sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes (if using). Meanwhile, if you prefer to serve this over a gluten-free grain, cook a pot of quinoa (we chose farro since we're not gluten-sensitive).
Now add 1 (15 oz.) can of chickpeas, drained. Cover the pan and cook over high heat for a few minutes until the chickpeas begin to turn golden and are coated with the mixture.
Toss in 1 lb. of spinach, one handful at a time (if ours looks light on the spinach, it's because we didn't have enough! Whoopsies!).  Let each handful wilt down before adding the next.
Meanwhile, if you'd like to add chicken on the side (or on top), saute your chicken in a little oil, broth, or ghee. Lightly season with salt, pepper and the flavoring of your choice (we chose to season with marrakesh, a Moroccan spice, which complimented the dish perfectly).
Once all the spinach has wilted, pour in 1 (14 oz.) can of coconut milk and stir in 1 tsp. sea salt (or more, if you prefer), the juice of 2 lemons and 1 tsp of ground ginger (optional).
Turn down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes (or until the chickpeas are warmed through). Taste and add more salt and lemon juice, if necessary.
Serve over the grain of your choice - or alone! It's good either way!
And if you're catering to meat eaters, add the chicken breast on the side! Delicious!
Even Walter looked a bit jealous of our fine dining experience! Between me and you, he's pretty sick of his dry cuisine.


And just for fun, our newest Christmas ornaments - Adam gave me an owl (I have a minor obsession), and I gave him a lobster (to commemorate one of our favorite trips to Maine).



Stay warm, friends! And remember, be nice to the delivery guy this holiday season!

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