This African-influenced take on creamed spinach was something I stumbled upon by accident. I had a gigantic bag of unused spinach from Costco that I had to freeze and it was forever going to be mushy after thawing. I also had some leftover Jollof tomato-base mixture in my freezer. From watching lots of African and Jamaican home chefs on YouTube cook various types of greens in different ways, this easy idea was born.
If you’re not familiar with Jollof, it’s a type of African rice cooked in an aromatic tomato-based mixture cooked down to a “stew-like” base with spices added. Refer to my Jollof Rice – Vegan Style recipe to make this tomato base from scratch – its super easy. All you need is a blender or food processor to combine everything.
Being that coconut milk is non-dairy, this creamed spinach is a great easy idea if you’re lactose intolerant. Or, if you just think real cream is too heavy and creamy, this dish is a lighter alternative. If you don’t love spicy food, feel free to leave out the added Jollof spices. Feel free to substitute in any type of green … collards, mustard, turnip, swiss chard, or kale. A bowl of this pairs nicely with my cauliflower rice and beans for an awesome vegan meal.
Ingredientsfor creamed spinach
Amounts for this easy idea are completely flexible.
- coconut oil
- 14 oz. can of coconut milk + water
- Jollof tomato base and spices
- kosher salt
- Heat coconut oil over medium high heat.
- Add the Jollof tomato base to preheated oil. It should sizzle when added. Sauté until it cooks until about half of the water cooks off, stirring occasionally – about 5 minutes.
- Add the spices and salt. Cook for another 2 minutes stirring occasionally. This will to release and intensity their flavors. The mixture should be moist, oily and paste-like.
- Stir in a can of coconut milk and a can of water to release all of the sauteed bits into your cream mixture. Here you can adjust your water to coconut milk proportions to your liking. You can test the salt content at this point. Reduce heat to a simmer.
- Add spinach and allow some of its water to cook off and absorb the seasoned cream. Stir occasionally for about 20 minutes, then serve.