I have been called many things in my life—some good, some bad … and sometimes completely and totally unjustified. I am not, for the record, a weird eater. Nor am I picky. I just happen to know what I like and what I don’t like.
I might be the only breathing human who likes canned spinach, but does that really make me weird?
Food can carry a lot of memories. I have a fondness for English marmalade because my grandmother always brought it over when she visited from London. I have a subtle love affair with fried chicken because growing up, it was the first meal I ever made all by myself for my parents, and even though nowadays I don’t eat it, I will always love making it for people I love. Oh and Oreos, I cannot even look at cream-centered, chocolate sandwich cookies because the first time I got drunk, I ate an entire bag and proceeded to projectile vomit them all over my bedroom wall. And then there is creamed corn and canned spinach which I suppose I love only because my great uncle used to eat it and when I was very little, I thought he walked on water. There are more memories, sure … but those are a few that never leave my mind.
These days, though admittedly I don’t buy canned spinach, I do love LOVE love the green leafy vegetable and will eat it in just about anything, cooked or raw. And one of my favorite, albeit a bit decadent ways to eat it is creamed … and finally, I’ve found a way to make dairy-free, vegan creamed spinach that is so good, I could sit in a corner with the entire container, a spoon, and a big smile … I mean I might be willing to share with my favorite man, but then again, I might not 😉
I’m strong to the finish, ’cause I eats me Spinach, I’m Popeye the Sailor man!
Vegan Creamed Spinach
PREP TIME: 15 minutes | COOK TIME: 20 minutes
- 1 TBS olive oil
- 5-6 garlic cloves, shaved (optional)
- 1 cup of your favorite mushrooms, sliced (optional)
- 3-4 TBS pine nuts, or walnuts
- 3 bags fresh spinach, roughly chopped
- 10 cups water
- 1-2 TBS vegan butter, I like Miyokos brand
- 3-4 TBS four
- ¾ to 1 cup plant-based milk, I prefer coconut
- Salt and pepper, LOTS of pepper, to taste
Saute garlic slices and mushrooms in olive for 5-6 minutes over med-high heat, transfer to a bowl and set aside. Brown pine nuts or walnuts under broiler—note, this takes less than five minutes so DO NOT walk away or get distracted. Truest me on this one, I’ve burned hundreds of dollars worth of pine nuts. Once toasted, remove from the oven and set aside.
Chop spinach and place in an extra large colander in the sink. Bring water to a rapid boil, carefully remove from stove top and pour, slowly, over the spinach to wilt it. Use a soup ladle or to press down on the spinach until all liquid is drained out. Repeat, cause this step is super important!
Melt vegan butter in dutch oven. Stir in flour to make a thick rue then slowly add plant-based milk of choice and bring just to a boil. Remove from heat, stir in spinach, cover and place in warmed oven, 350 degrees, for 20 minutes. Serve with sliced garlic, mushrooms if you desire, and pine nuts sprinkled on top.
Now, there are recipes out there that use vegan cream cheese, vegan sour cream, even silken tofu to make this dish “creamy” but I prefer this method so, well, there you go. Enjoy!!
DISCLAIMER: Our recipes are just that, ours. Some are modified versions of dishes we’ve had elsewhere or old-favorites that contained animal proteins, while others are a concentrated effort of trial and error. But all are intended to be altered by you and made to suit your tastes. So if you want more garlic or none at all, go for it. You do you ; )