Out of the box, into the frying pan

Have I mentioned how much I love my weekly CSA boxes from Full Circle? Wednesday’s dinner came straight out of the box.
We used the “green grocer” option to order two bone-in chicken breasts from Mary’s Free Range Chickens. We barbecued them with just a little salt and pepper and a light rub of Herbes de Provence. They were seriously good. Jeff and I had decided to stop buying chicken unless it was raised humanely, and it’s totally worth it, both for ethics and for flavor.
We also grilled corn on the cob from our box, wrapped in foil with a little butter, salt and pepper, and more herbs.
Since we needed more veg, I used the spinach I had swapped for the “scheduled” tomatoes to make the Spiced Coconut Spinach recipe that grabbed my attention on 101 Cookbooks last week. Jeff was bummed when he saw I wasn’t making creamed spinach (which I don’t think I’ve ever actually made, so I didn’t quite get his point), but as soon as he tasted what I did make, he declared it the best spinach recipe ever. So there.
It still surprises me a little how much I’ve come to embrace cooked greens. It has been a big step out of my food comfort zone. In honor of that idea, I’m planning to step even further out of my comfort zone next week, taking on four foods that I’ve shied away from, even though they are really healthy and I’m sure I’ll like them once I try them:
  1. Miso
  2. Tempeh
  3. Sardines
  4. Seaweed

Stay tuned!

But on to the most fabulous spinach recipe in the history of spinach recipes. I made this totally as written on Heidi’s site, only I didn’t use the optional asparagus. (I highly encourage you to check out the recipe on her site, if for no other reason than her photo is a trillion times prettier than mine.) Since I have a jar of ghee in my fridge, I used that, and it really added a nice flavor to the dish. It was SUPER fast to make, which was a total bonus! Here’s how I did it:

Spiced Coconut Spinach
Serves 2-3

Ingredients:
1 shallot
1 large clove of garlic
1/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1 tablespoon ghee, clarified butter, or sunflower oil
1/4 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
7 oz / 200g spinach, well washed, and chopped
squeeze of lemon
1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut, lightly toasted

  1. Place the shallot and garlic on a cutting board, sprinkle with the salt, and chop/mash everything into a paste.
  2. Heat the oil in your largest skillet over medium heat. Add the seeds, cover with a lid, and let them toast a bit. Remove the lid, stir in the red pepper flakes and let cook for a minute. 
  3. Stir in the garlic-shallot paste and all of the spinach. Keep stirring until the spinach starts collapsing a bit, and brightens up – barely any time at all – perhaps a minute. 
  4. Finish with a bit of fresh lemon juice and the coconut.