The No-Cream Creamed Spinach

Source: Micki Seibel, January 2013

Source: Micki Seibel, January 2013

One of the few things I do miss about not being able to eat dairy is the occasional side dish of creamed spinach. Inspired by the Caribbean dish, Callaloo which is a spinach soup, this dairy-free spinach dish uses coconut milk to achieve the creamy texture. The mild spice and citrus are reminiscent of traditional callaloo. However, the liquid is drastically reduced to transform the Latin soup into a chewy side dish. Serve it over rice, and you also have a vegetarian entree.


  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 2 chiles, seeds and ribs removed and finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seed, crushed
  • 1/2 cups chicken broth (substitute vegetable broth to make it vegetarian)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup bottled clam juice (substitute mushroom broth for vegetarian)
  • 10 oz  fresh spinach
  • juice of 2 limes
  • kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste


  1. Heat the peanut oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the onion, garlic, and chiles and saute until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the cumin, coriander, broth, coconut milk, and clam juice and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
  5. Add the spinach and simmer until the spinach is wilted and cooked, about 5 minutes.
  6. Using a handheld stick blender (or, if you don’t have one,  transfer to a blender) puree the spinach mixture until it is smooth.
  7. Stir in the lime juice, salt, and pepper and serve.