In the realm of dairy-free Thanksgiving dishes, we’d hazard a guess that creamed greens are hardly top-of-mind. But by simply swapping the cream in this traditional side dish with coconut milk, integrative chef Blaine Arin Tacker makes this recipe a win for vegans and non-vegans alike.
Speaking of wins, the nutrients found in leafy greens alone render this dish a must-have for your Thanksgiving plate. Let’s say you opt for kale, for example: If you manage to get a full serving size (that is, 1 cup of pre-cooked kale), you’ll get more than your recommended daily value of vitamin A, and vitamin K. And while you’ll find a similar nutritional profile in collard greens, they take the edge for protein, iron, and calcium.
Need we say more? Find integrative chef Blaine Arin Tacker’s can’t-miss take on creamed greens below.
Creamed Coconut Greens
- 2 lb. kale (or other hardy greens such as collards or mustard greens)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 2 large shallots, finely chopped
- 1 red chili pepper, thinly sliced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1” ginger root, peeled, and thinly sliced
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 cup low-sodium broth (vegetable or chicken)
- 1 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- Toasted pumpkin seeds for garnish
- Remove tough bottom stem from kale. Cut leaves into strips.
- Heat coconut oil in a skillet over medium. Cook garlic and ginger until they just barely start to turn golden, about 1 minute (have the following ingredients ready to go in, or they will burn!).
- Add shallot, red chili pepper, and a pinch of salt. Cook while stirring, until shallot is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add turmeric and red pepper flakes, stirring for about 30 seconds to wake up the flavors.
- Add coconut milk and broth. Bring to a simmer over high heat.
- Reduce heat to medium, to maintain simmer. Add kale, going handfuls at a time, until it shrinks enough to add the rest.
- Cook kale, stirring every now and then, until greens are tender and the liquid has thickened, about 10-15 minutes. (Make sure it’s simmering the whole time, but not boiling like crazy.)
- Stir in apple cider vinegar.
- Have a taste and add more salt to your liking.
- Serve kale in a large shallow bowl and scatter toasted pumpkin seeds over the top.
Notes: Ginger is easiest to peel with the edge of a spoon. Full-fat coconut milk is best here! If you really have to go for low-fat, then dial back on the salt.