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Coconut-Creamed Kale

Need a last-minute side? This coconut-creamed kale is both incredibly delicious and a bit unique with its hints of ginger and coconut!

Spoon scooping creamed kale out of a cast iron skillet with text reading "Vegan Coconut-Creamed Kale"

At first read, this title may sound a little weird, but I promise you, this is soooo good. I was directly inspired by a creamed spinach side dish at Greene St. Kitchen that was made with coconut milk and had some ginger in it. The first time I ordered it, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but ended up falling in love.

Image collage of recipe ingredients including chopped kale, onion, and ginger.

I ended up with a surplus of greens from my CSA, so I thought this would be a good option to share with y’all that’s pretty low-key compared to a lot of holiday sides. And honestly, I’m not sure why creamed spinach or greens wasn’t ever part of my holiday meals, but I’m changing that this year. Lol!

Image collage of making creamed kale

Now, this recipe is a bit different than the side I originally had, partially because I have no idea how they made theirs, and I love me some bread crumbs. Plus, I decided to document the recipe process on IG live! So thank you to those of you who hung out with me for a bit, and if you missed it, you can watch it on my Instagram. Don’t worry, I won’t be mad if you don’t watch the whole 60 MINUTES. Geez, I’m long-winded.

Hand sprinkling bread crumbs over creamed kale in a skillet

Substitutions and Tips:

  • Vegan butter – you can also use refined coconut oil or another high-temperature cooking oil.
  • Yellow onion – white or brown onions should also work in this recipe, though I don’t recommend red onion.
  • Garlic cloves – though I feel like most people have these on hand, if you ran out, use 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder in its place. And add with the kale instead of beforehand.
  • Fresh ginger – in a pinch, you can use about 1/2 teaspoon of dried ginger if you don’t have fresh on hand.
  • Fresh kale – if you really are hurting for kale, collards will work similarly, though have a slightly different flavor.
  • Light coconut milk – Can’t find light coconut milk? Use half full-fat coconut milk/half water.
  • Bread crumbs – you’re welcome to use gluten-free crumbs if need be, and panko crumbs will also work well! (Bread crumbs are finer ground than panko crumbs.) If for some reason you have no crumbs but have croutons, place some in a food processor and grind them up for topping!
  • Olive oil – I use this for the bread crumbs because it’s easy, but if you want to melt some vegan butter down for it, that would be delicious, as well.
Serving spoon next to a cast iron skillet filled with creamed kale next to dinner plates

Equipment:

As I said before, this recipe is super low-key. BUT, something that helps is to have a pan that is safe to go from stove to oven. Cast iron or fully stainless steel pans are great for this. Another item is always have a high-quality, sharp knife on hand. And while mincing ginger by hand is OKAY, it helps SO much to have a fine grater, and you can also use it for zesting other produce.

If you don’t have an oven-safe pan, I recommend preparing this in a skillet on your stove, then transferring it to small casserole dish for the broiling portion.

Serving spoon in a cast iron skillet filled with creamed kale next to dinner plates

Coconut-Creamed Kale

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Need a last-minute side? This coconut-creamed kale is both incredibly delicious and a bit unique with its hints of ginger and coconut!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons (30 g) vegan butter, soy-free if necessary
  • 1 cup (130 g) diced yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2-pound (227 g) chopped kale, stems removed
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1-2 teaspoons unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 13.5-ounce (399 ml) can light coconut milk
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • Dash of ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup (53 g) bread crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

Instructions

  1. In an 8-inch cast iron skillet or oven-safe pan, warm the butter over medium-low heat. Once hot, add onions to the skillet and saute for 5 minutes, or until nearly translucent. Next, add garlic and ginger and saute for 2 minutes, then add kale to the pan.
  2. Sprinkle a pinch of salt over the kale and stir everything together - the salt will help draw out some of the water from the kale. Saute for 5 minutes, or until kale is completely wilted and reduced in size. Add flour, to the mixture and combine until coated.
  3. Then, add coconut milk, pepper, and nutmeg to the kale, stirring and simmering uncovered over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your broiler to 450F (230C or gas mark 8).
  4. In a small bowl, combine bread crumbs and garlic salt, then drizzle olive oil over it and mix together with your hand (it's easier). Stir another pinch of salt into the creamed kale, then top with bread crumb mixture.
  5. Place skillet under broiler for 3 to 5 minutes or until golden brown in color. Cool for 5 minutes before serving, and enjoy!

Notes

  • Vegan butter - you can also use refined coconut oil or another high-temperature cooking oil.
  • Yellow onion - white or brown onions should also work in this recipe, though I don't recommend red onion.
  • Garlic cloves - use 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder in its place. And add with the kale instead of beforehand.
  • Fresh ginger - in a pinch, you can use about 1/2 teaspoon of dried ginger if you don't have fresh on hand.
  • Light coconut milk - Can't find light coconut milk? Use half full-fat coconut milk/half water.
  • Bread crumbs - you're welcome to use gluten-free crumbs if need be, and panko crumbs will also work well!
  • Olive oil - I use this for the bread crumbs because it's easy, but if you want to melt some vegan butter down for it, that would be delicious, as well.

Recommended Products

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 219Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 8gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 324mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 6g

Did you make this recipe?

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Serving spoon in a cast iron skillet filled with creamed kale next to dinner plates

I hope that, most importantly, y’all have a safe weekend and enjoy yourselves. <3

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