coconut spinach & chickpeas

I know. More beans and greens. But the surprise early summer (it’s week 11 of 2012, if anyone’s counting, and it was already 80 degrees yesterday) will soon put an end to this hearty winter food…

bowl of healthy deliciousness

This recipe is basically Libby-bait. Beans. Greens. Coconut milk. Warm spices. Sweet potatoes. Throw in some salmon, avocado and smoked paprika*, and you’d have all of my ingredient obsessions in one bowl.

*Please don’t actually do this. I don’t think the result would be edible.

Coconut spinach and chickpea curry

Adapted from The Kitchn: My sole gripe with this recipe is the uniformly smooth texture, so I’ve suggested adding another protein — tofu or chicken — to vary it a little. And while I served with a baked sweet potato (as suggested), I think roasted, spiced sweet potatoes would be better — it cuts down on cooking time and makes it a bit more interesting.

Serves about 5. I froze half of this.

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon grated ginger 
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 large lemon, zested and juiced (about 2 tablespoons juice)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
15-ounce can chickpeas, drained
8 oz. tofu (quickly pan-seared) or chicken breast, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 pound baby spinach (about 2.5 salad bags)
14-ounce can coconut milk (I used light and it was fine)
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon ground ginger

To serve:
5 sweet potatoes, chopped into 1-inch chunks.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Toss the sweet potatoes with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and spices if you desire (I add a little cumin, fennel seed and coriander) and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet (OK, two baking sheets, one baking sheet will not fit 5 sweet potatoes). Put in oven and roast for 25 minutes, then flip potatoes and roast for 20 more.

While the potatoes are roasting, heat the oil in a Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until softened and just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, tomatoes and lemon zest and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring.

Add the chickpeas and tofu or chicken. Cook for a couple of minutes over high heat, until the proteins are coated with the spice-tomato mixture and beginning to brown. Add about a third of the spinach. Allow to wilt, then add the next third, and repeat.

Pour in the coconut milk and stir in the ground ginger, coconut milk, lemon juice and salt. Bring to a simmer, then turn down the heat a bit and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the sweet potatoes are done roasting.

Stir in the roasted sweet potatoes and serve over brown rice.