Wow, I thought I did a lot of cooking before, but now that I’m taking this plant based cooking class from Rouxbe, I’m non stop. I think it’s taking more time than normal because they are all new recipes. Since it’s an online course, I have to take pictures of everything as I go. They want to make sure I’m consistent with size so everything cooks appropriately. I also have to describe the taste and texture. It’s been a really cool experience. Between this and nutrition school, I’m pretty much flat out. I graduate from IIN in April, which is so cool. This cooking school is self paced. I’m scheduled to graduate in August, but I’m hoping to really get ahead and finish early. It would be totally awesome if I could finish both of them by April so that I can really focus on my business.
Here’s a twist on one of the recipes they suggested to make. I think it’s going to be one of our favorites; coconut braised chickpeas with cilantro lim. With recipes like these, I think it would be super easy to become a vegan. This was so tasty and satisfying.
- 1 yellow onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger
- 1 whole lime (juiced)
- 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes*
- 2 cups cooked lentils (use any kind of lentils you want, even canned, just make sure you rinse them)
- 1/2 tsp chili flakes (or to taste)
- 1 tbsp coconut oil**
- 1/2 lb fresh spinach
- 1 – 14 oz can coconut milk
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper
- 3 tbsp fresh, chopped cilantro
- sea salt, to taste
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 bunch cilantro (to garnish)
To prepare your ingredients, first dice the onion and mince the garlic and ginger. Next, zest the lime. Juice the lime and reserve for later. Measure out the sun-dried tomatoes.
Lastly, drain (if using canned) and measure out the lentils. Rinse. Gather the chili flakes and coconut oil.
To cook the dish, heat a large skillet or deep sauté pan over medium heat and then add the oil, followed by the onions and a good pinch of salt. Let the onions sweat for about 10 minutes or until translucent (in this case, a bit of color is fine). Once soft, add the garlic and ginger and let cook for another minute or so. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, lime zest, lime juice and chili flakes. Let cook for another minute or so.
Next, add the lentils and stir to coat in the tomato mixture. At this point, turn up the heat slightly and sort of fry the lentils a bit. Keep an eye on them though so they don’t scorch. You just want them to have a little color. This should only take a few minutes.
Once the lentils are heated through, turn the heat down slightly and start to add the spinach, a handful at a time.
*Note: If using baby spinach you can add it as is. If you are using regular spinach, you will need to chop or tear it up a bit.
Once the first bunch of spinach has started to wilt, add in the next handful. Continue until all of the spinach has been added.
To finish the dish, add the coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Stir to combine and then add the ground ginger and cilantro. Taste for seasoning. Add more lime juice, salt and/or pepper as needed.
Once everything has heated through, serve immediately. The spinach will start to lose its color and it won’t look as nice. Serve it with brown rice or any grain of your choice. Garnish each plate with a healthy serving of fresh cilantro and enjoy! Let me know if you end up trying it.