Braised Spinach in Lemon Coconut Milk - Vegan Delight

I found this recipe on Facebook, have made it three times since and it's safe to say, I am totally obsessed. I have made a few additions including couscous (another current obsession) and sweet potatoes in the sauce. This meal is great for a weekend, weeknight and to eat as leftovers. It is warm, comforting and above all, good for you!

First things first, I am not a vegan. When someone mentions "vegan", it conjures up thoughts of pretentious, dirty hippies or violent, radical PETA supporters. Also, vegans are just kind of a downer: "Do you know how cows are killed? Chickens tortured? Here, watch this deeply disturbing video that will haunt your dreams forever...." Ugh, sweet Jebus!

However, I have been reading a lot on plant based diets and there are undeniable benefits. Some of which are:
  • It's better for the environment including reducing CO2 emissions
  • There are many health benefits
  • Probably the biggest one for me, reducing harm to our animal friends
I also encourage you to check out the documentary, Forks Over Knives. Very interesting film on how consuming meat increases our chances of heart disease and cancer dramatically. 

Do I think living a "vegan lifestyle" is realistic for me? Nope, not really. But incorporating a few vegan meals from time to time is completely doable, and above all delicious. Can't deny that kind of logic.

One of the things I love about this recipe so much is that you can change it up by adding couscous like I did, or serving it over just a baked sweet potato - which I have also done and was also hella good! It is super flavorful and rich tasting, making even a regular meat eater happy to dig into this vegan meal.

Okay enough of that, let's get to the food......

Here are the ingredients. Ignore the vegetable stock, how did that get in there?

I had these vegan coconut chips on hand for a snack and thought they might add a nice crunch as a topping. I was right! I also added a couple of squirts of Sriracha, you can omit if you don't like spice.

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Braised Spinach in Lemon Coconut Milk
This meal is great for a weekend, weeknight and to eat as leftovers. It is warm, comforting and above all, good for you! It is vegan and you won't miss the meat, I promise!
  • 2 tsp Extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1 small Yellow onion (chopped)
  • 1 large, 2 small Sweet potato
  • 4 cloves Garlic (minced)
  • 1 inch piece Ginger (peeled & grated)
  • 1/2 cup Sundried tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1 medium Lemon (zested)
  • 1 medium Lemon (juiced_
  • 1-2 tsp Red pepper flakes
  • 1 can (15 oz) Chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 large container Baby spinach
  • 1 can Coconut milk
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Ground pepper
  • 1 cup prepared Couscous
  • 1-2 Tbsp (to drizzle on sweet potatoes) Extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F- On a baking sheet, spread out the sweet potatoes and drizzle with EVOO and coat potatoes evenly with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pop in the oven.- Heat the coconut oil 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.- 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.Cook the couscous to package instructions. Use coconut oil instead of butter to keep it vegan- Flip your sweet potatoes and place back in the oven- 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 added, pour in the coconut milk, 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 warmed through- Taste and add more salt and lemon juice, if necessary- Take the sweet potatoes out of the oven,they should be golden brown. Add to the sauce and stir- Place couscous in a bowl, spoon the sauce over top and dive in to the coconutty, lemony goodness
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4 as a main, 6 as a side

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