I had a hard time naming this post because I can’t think of a good title for this recipe. In the original post on theKitchn website, it was called “Braised coconut spinach and chickpeas with lemon.” That wasn’t quite right. I wanted to go with, “A surprising mix of flavors in one dish that was far yummier than expected and doesn’t photograph so well” but thought it was a little much.
You’ll just have to try it and help me think of a better title!
In the interim since the last post on this blog (I know, I know, it’s been a month, but birthdays, the start of the school year and the holidays got in the way) I have discovered instagram, so now my terrible phone food photography has slightly improved. The original recipe (above) has better pictures than I do, but don’t be deterred by how it is a little funny looking.
You’ll need a big pan or a dutch oven (I used Matt’s trusty Le Creuset)
2 tsp oil (or enough to cook the onions, etc. in)
1 yellow onion, diced
4 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 T fresh grated ginger (I’m not a huge ginger person…so I use less)
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped (these are my fave, so I always use a little more)
1 large lemon, zested and juiced
Dash of red pepper flakes (optional, but some nice heat)
2 15-oz can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed (the original recipe recommends 1, but I think it needs more substance)
1 pound baby spinach (I always use the amount that comes in one of those easy grab bags from the grocery store…it’s plenty for me)
1 15-oz can of coconut milk
1.5 cups quinoa (The original recipe recommends putting the finished ingredients over a roasted sweet potato, but that consistency didn’t jive with me, so I went to my staple of quinoa. It also recommended using cilantro and toasted unsweetened coconut as garnish, but I haven’t tried that).
Cook the quinoa. I like to add lemon juice to it when it is done.
Heat the oil in your pan/dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook until it is beginning to brown (5 minutes or a little longer). Add the garlic, fresh ginger, sun-dried tomatoes, lemon zest and red pepper. Cook for 3-6 minutes to let all the flavors meld. (I’ve found I need to add a little more oil at this point)
Add the garbanzos. Stir frequently and cook until they are the consistency you like (I like mine starting to be golden which takes about 10-15 minutes, but the original recipe recommends about 3 minutes)
Add the spinach, one handful at a time, and stir it around until it wilts down before adding the next handful.
When all the spinach has been added and cooked down pour in the coconut milk, salt, and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer and continue to cook and stir for about 10 minutes. Taste and add more salt and lemon juice as necessary (surprise…I always like more lemon juice.
To serve, put a helping of quinoa in your bowl, and top with the garbanzo/sundried tomato/lemony/coconut mix. Enjoy!! (I promise, this is really good. The coconut milk might seem out of place, but it is a fantastic dish).