I love talking to other people about what they’re cooking, probably for the same reason I love reading food blogs – maybe I’m nosy, but I just like learning what other people eat. It’s such an interesting little window into other people’s lives. A few weeks ago I found this cool art project where a photographer took pictures of a bunch of different New Yorkers eating dinner in their homes. Such a simple premise, and yet really fascinating to see how all those different people experience the same daily event in so many different ways.
Awhile back I was chatting with a girl I met at a wedding, and she told me about this delicious meal she had recently made for a dinner party. In all honesty, it sounded ‘meh’ at best – spinach, chickpeas, and sweet potatoes? But since she wouldn’t stop raving about it, I had to google it. I found something close to what she was talking about and got to work. You know what? She was right. I never would have given this recipe a second thought if I had found it on my own, but based on her recommendation, I made it and was blown away. Here is the (healthy, vegetarian!) recipe:
COCONUT LEMON SPINACH WITH CHICKPEAS AND SWEET POTATOES (adapted from The Kitchn)
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 large lemon, zested and juiced
1/2 -1 tsp dried red pepper flakes
15 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 pound fresh baby spinach
14 ounce can light coconut milk (found in international aisle of supermarket)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground ginger
4 medium sweet potatoes
Chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and roast the sweet potatoes (wrapped in foil) for about an hour, or until done (the bigger the potato, the longer they will need to bake).
- Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add garlic, grated ginger, sun-dried tomatoes, lemon zest, and crushed red pepper. Cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add chickpeas and cook over high heat for a few minutes, until chickpeas are beginning to turn golden and are coated with garlic and onion mixture.
- Toss in spinach, one handful at a time, until it wilts (will take 5-10 minutes). When all spinach has been stirred in, pour in coconut milk and stir in salt, ground ginger, and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer, then turn down heat and cook for about 10 minutes, until chickpeas are warmed through. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.
- Serve spinach mixture hot over roast sweet potatoes, with cilantro leaves if desired.
The flavors in this were just perfect – lemony, coconutty, slightly spicy, slightly sweet. It was fabulous and SO flavorful. The spinach also would be good served on its own as a side dish (or even over rice or some other grain), but the sweetness of a sweet potato is a really nice contrast with the lemony-spiciness of the spinach. Added bonus – not only is this a super healthy and tasty vegetarian main dish, it’s even vegan to boot! Another great dinner idea for Meatless Monday!