garlic creamed spinach (vegan)

adding-milk-to-spinachspinach-in-strainerIs it just me or can spinach seem a bit daunting?  Perhaps it’s because I come from a generation where we grew up with pre-washed (three times!) salad mixes with leaves glistening green and stems long gone.  Perhaps it’s because the only time I think I ate creamed spinach growing up was either in a restaurant or coming from some sort of below-freezing box with its continents including things that are certainly from the family of dairy and definitely not fresh off the farm.

Maybe this is why spinach, and the creamed variety, have always seemed to be something of a delicate mystery to me.  I know it’s not hard, but for so many leaves that yield such a little result, I’ve always wondered, is it worth it?

spinach-stems-removed-in-panYou know, it is.  The other day while I was shopping at my neighborhood “bio” (organic) market, I stumbled upon a very fresh bunch of spinach, and my stomach did a little dance.  So, it talked to my head, and we both decided we should stop being wallflowers and woman up and buy the thing, wash it like a human being not used to sous-vide sacks of produce, and see how a vegan version would be.


Oh, and you’ve gotta add garlic.  A decent amount of garlic.

spinash-in-pan-with-tongscreamed-spinach-platedThe result was delicious, creamy, and tasted like, fancy this: SPINACH!  And it’s loaded with vitamins, anti-fungal and bacterial properties from the garlic, and healthy fats.  It’s such a lovely complement to everything from pasta to risotto to protein to, shoot, tempura.  (You can use my tempura recipe here if you’d like!)

Enjoy!  And get those paws a little bit less used to opening sealed bags and more used to rinsing, straining, and plucking the stems off your very fresh, very delicious spinach.  🙂

creamed spinach with garlic (dairy-free)

Serves 2-3
Prep time 3 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes
Total time 13 minutes
Dietary Corn Free, Dairy Free, Diabetic, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Lactose Free, Nut Free, Soy Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Side Dish
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Gourmet, Pre-preparable, Serve Hot


  • 1 Large bundle of spinach (fresh leaves, thoroughly washed and strained)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic (finely minced)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (or other dairy-free milk of choice)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt (plus more to taste if needed)


Step 1 Make sure your spinach is throughly washed and put it next to your stove you'll be working at with a plate next to it to remove leaves.
Step 2 Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and salt and cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds. (You add the salt now so it infuses with the oil and garlic and coats the spinach equally.)
Step 3 Start by adding about 1/4 of the spinach into your pan, removing the stems as you go. It takes a while for them to release their liquids and reduce in size so removing the stems as you go ultimately ends up saving you time.
Step 4 Finish with all of the spinach, stirring occasionally, and cook until all is wilted and has released its liquids. About 3 minutes. Add dairy-free milk, stir until coated, and then cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for another 5-10 minutes.
Step 5 If you want it very creamy, pulse a few times in the blender before serving. Otherwise, just season with salt to taste, and serve as a delicious side to a desired protein, grain, or pasta.

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