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Flash in the Pan: Cheryl’s Creamy Coconut Collards

[Sometimes, you just want to eat something now.  I’ve decided to offer a mini-post every once in a while, for a dish that comes together incredibly quickly or else is so easy to make that no recipe is required. Here’s today’s “Flash in the Pan.” (For other FitP recipes, see “Categories” at right).]


Before I get to today’s super-quick, super-easy, SUPER DELICIOUS recipe, I wanted to respond to all your generous comments about the new blog home (AND remind you all that there is only ONE WEEK left to enter the giveaway contest to win a quart (liter) of pure maple syrup or a custom-baked cake–be sure to get your comments in!) 

First : Thank you for all your positive feedback and support!  And thanks, too, for following DDD to its new home. 🙂  I’m glad that, overall, most of you like the new site.  I’ve attempted to incorporate as many of the suggestions as I could; please know that changes are limited by (a) the existing template, some of which can’t be modified without extensive knowledge of html (my knowledge of which extends about as far as the length of an eyelash); and (b) how much I can badger entice beg request from Blain, who has been implementing these revisions for me. 

Interestingly, I deliberately chose the white background and sparse look to replicate the old blog (even though it, too, was all white in back with an orange title and green blog post titles, it seems as if many of us–myself included–found the old site less “bare” looking!  I wonder what genetic wiring that’s connected to. . . ?).  I have changed the font, the glaring black-against-white color, and the comments link (the best we could do is highlight it at the bottom of each post, which I hope makes it more visible). 

The original idea for the site was to add a banner under the title (there’s a thin, long white space there now) with assorted photos across the top, but honestly, I don’t like any of my photos enough to leave them there all the time; and I’m growing rather fond of the clean, austere look (I figure at least something in my life should be unencumbered!). I’d love to one day put up a cartoon of The Girls’ faces as a kind of mascot (to the right of title “Diet, Dessert and Dogs”), but so far my cartooning skills aren’t up to snuff.  Any volunteers??

So, for now, anyway, this is the new look of DDD.  I’m sure it will evolve and grow with time. . . and after I take a few courses in web design. 😉

And now, on to today’s supercalafragafantabuwonderlicious veggie recipe

(I liked it.  Can you tell?)


[I know our cruciferous friend here isn’t exactly photogenic.  But he makes up for it a thousandfold in personality, believe me!]

Well, with my current (ACD-imposed) gluten-free diet–which will likely drag on  improve my transit time  leave me with post-traumatic stress sydrome continue for at least another month, I’ve been relying mostly on tried-and-true favorites, plus a whole lot of raw dishes (mostly salads–too boring to blog about). 

For some reason, I don’t seem to possess my usual zeal to create many new recipes based on the ACD requirements.  Oh, and I’m hungry all the time.  No, really, all the time.  (I used to know a guy in university who was such a chain smoker that his body woke him up around 3:00 AM every night so he could have a cigarette.  He’d roll out of bed, light up in the dark, then butt out and go back to sleep.  Well, that’s pretty much what it feels like to me, except substitute “food–ANY food” for “cigarettes.”) 

And–worst of all–I seem to have misplaced my sense of humor on this diet. 

Curse thou, wretched ACD–

Do not my humor take from me!

(Thank goodness I haven’t lost my sense of poetry–for the time being, anyway).

While I’m waiting for both hunger to subside and humor to return, I discovered a simple and irresistible recipe to help tide me over. For quite some time now, I’ve been a regular follower of Cheryl’s cheery, informative blog, Gluten-Free Goodness (you should see some of the incredible, innovative ways she meets the Daring Bakers’ challenges on a restricted diet!).  And every month, I read her contribution to the “Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger” event, and think, “Hmmm. . . . I should take part in that, too.” Though I’m not entirely gluten-free (except when following the ACD), I actually prefer most GF grains to wheat or spelt, and tend to cook that way quite often.

I read about Cheryl’s Coconut Curried Greens a couple of weeks ago and immediately thought, “Yes!  I love collards, too!”  And I’m always on the lookout for new ways to make them.  I mean, oil and garlic is great, but sometimes, you want something a little different–creamy, say, and coconutty, and a little spicy.

This Indian-inspired dish (it features a good hit of garam masala, one of my favorite Indian spices) is ready in a flash and rewards you with a rich, velvety sauce, one that’s slightly sweet from the combination of aforementioned spice and coconut milk–the perfect foil for the assertive, slightly bitter collards.  And the extra bit of sauce that pools at the bottom of the pan is perfect for dipping some chickpea cheela, which is exactly what I made to go alongside.

As Cheryl mentions in her own post, these are so good that she and her hubby “ended up fighting over leftovers.”  The HH and I didn’t fight, but we did resort to that age-old method used by moms everywhere, to ensure fairness when splitting food between bickering siblings:  one of us (that would be me) got to divide the mixture in half, thereby determining the size of each portion; and the other (the HH) got to choose which one he wanted first.  It’s the perfect way to guarantee absolutely equal division of portions, believe me. 

So, finally, here is my first entry to this month’s Adopt a Gluten Free Blogger.  Head on over to Book of Yum’s blog to see all the amazing GF creations!

I’m also entering this recipe in Kristen’s Fight Back Fridays blog carnival for healthy foods. . . check it out!

Creamy Coconut Collards

from Gluten Free Goodness: Recipe here


The only change I made to Cheryl’s original recipe was in preparation of the greens: rather than boil them first and then add to the sauce, I simply added the shredded greens to the coconut milk mixture in the pan and let the whole thing simmer for about 8-10 minutes for the sauce to thicken. I also used a can of full-fat coconut milk instead of the fresh coconut.

Last Year at this Time: Quinoa Salad with Buckwheat and Cranberries (and it happens to be gluten-free!)

© 2009 Diet, Dessert and Dogs


43 comments to Flash in the Pan: Cheryl’s Creamy Coconut Collards

  • I’m happy to see you’re settling into your new home! Thanks for all the GF links; I’ll check them out for my mom.


  • That sounds like an interesting recipe. I love how you cross things out in your posts. It makes me laugh without fail.


  • Josiane

    This recipe looks like a wonderful addition to my repertoire of different ways to prepare and enjoy greens! Thanks for sharing it!


  • ooohh! i never would have thought to combine coconut ‘n collards – this is just too awesome! thanks for the link to the recipe, Ricki! (fingers crossed on the maple syrup contest! and thanks again!) and you can blog about salads any day if ya like. i loooove me a tasty salad – i make sure to have one every day! mmmmmm!


  • Hang in there! It is such a tough thing that you are doing and sugar (in any form) is the most addictive substance on earth. Make sure you have lots of snacky things around. Try and dehydrate some kale and carrots so you can have some crunchy snacks at the ready. If you are in to meditation, breathing exercises or meditation- give that a go. Bringing awareness to the cravings is a huge help in getting through the moment. I know I know… all of this is easier said than done.


  • Courtney

    I would say it sounds like your sense of humor is alive and kicking :o) Hang in there–I know how tough it is. But you CAN do it! And just think of how much better you will feel once it is all done…when IS it all done, by the way?! Do you have a set end date? You said at least another month–are you going to wait and see how you feel?

    Anyway, I am in love with all things garam masala, so I am sure this dish will be in my future soon!



  • Congrats on the move! I think it looks great. The content of a blog is far more important to its success than its decoration. And your content, as always, is interesting to read and delicious to cook 🙂 This recipe looks AWESOME. thanks!


  • ohh, collards and coconut?! what an amazing flavor combo!


  • Aly

    Mmm, looks great (the dish and the aesthetic changes)!


  • Thanks for being so sweet, Ricki! Simple and easy is the way to go, and coconut goes well with pretty much anything in my book. DH and I will have to work on more equal ways of splitting leftovers, but he’s resigned to the fact that either I get what I want or he has to hear me complain, and so making me happy makes him happy…or at least, less unhappy. =)


  • sounds great to me – always looking for new ways to eat greens so would like to try this with silverbeet (chard) or even frozen spinach

    and I agree that one person halving food and the other choosing is the best way to divvy up yummy food (unless one is at work and the other at home in which case there is no competition!)


  • Never mind that collards aren’t the most photogenic of foods, the coconut combination sounds absolutely amazing!


  • Mmmmmm greens and coconut?!?! YUM!

    Hope you’re feeling more like your usual self soon!


  • Hey love.

    1. Anything with coconut can’t go wrong.. even collards. (I dont really care for collards… maybe yours are better, but mine are always too bitter.)

    2. I’m enjoying the site layout more and more. Keep up the good work.


  • Congrats on the new site! It looks amazing. I’ve seen so many amazing collard recipes lately and I really wish we had those fantastic greens over here, too!


  • i love collards!! those look amazing! love your newly discovered blog, and i can’t wait for your cookbook!


  • That looks fantastic! I love collards – they’re one of the few vegetables that grows really well where I live and there’s just nothing like collards fresh from the garden. Your new site looks fantastic!


  • I don’t know that I’ve ever had collard greens nor seen them in the grocery store hmm I should keep an eye out. Cooked in coconut milk sounds delicious though!


  • OH my goodness, as I’m sure you know, I LOVE COLLARDS!!! I am absolutely in love with the recipe, and can’t wait to fix it… especially since your photo is so gorgeous!!

    Sending lots of good luck cheers – you can make it!! Just one month!! Go Ricki!! I’m rooting for you!! *hugs*


  • OMG… I soooo am going to make this dish. I have all the ingredients I think…

    also, your beet salad from last post looks fabulous! I really want it.


  • The collards look so creamy and delicious. I can’t wait to try this out. I love how rich coconut milk makes everything its added to.


  • Jes

    Oh those look so good! I wish I’d had the recipe two nights ago when I was using up the collards in my fridge. Next time though!


  • I’ve got to admit, I’ve only eaten collards raw, but I think that this recipe would be a good place to start for a cooked version- Yum!


  • You know, I’ve always thought that collards were a little bland on their own (exactly why all those Southerners choose rendered bacon fat to flavor it). And instead of the savory route, why not go in the sweet direction?! Fantastic idea! Seriously, I wish I could double or triple star this post so that I’ll remember it for the future. Coconut and collards… I’m still in shock 🙂


  • Ricki

    Hope they can be of help. And of course, anyone else can eat GF foods, too! 😉

    Glad to make you laugh (almost as important as eating one’s collard greens!) 😉

    Let me know how you like it if you do give it a try!


    I wouldn’t have thought of the combination, either–I think Cheryl is a genius! 🙂

    Thanks so much for all the information and advice! I actually did make myself some kale chips last week (just baked on low heat, not dehydrated). I’ve known about sugar’s addictive qualities for years, but as you say, easier said than done. . . but now I’m finally doing! 🙂

    Thanks so much for the motivation! Yes, I’m planning to do this for another month (well, 3 1/2 weeks, now). I have a high school reunion weekend at the end of April and hope to be able to eat a little more “normally” at that. . .but may go straight back to ths ACD if I find I’m not feeling better by then!

    Aw, thanks so much! Your own new “home” is looking pretty spiffy, too!

    It did turn out to be just that–I was so glad to have found this recipe!

    Thanks so much! 🙂

    It’s a brilliant recipe! And it sounds like you’ve worked out the perfect way to split it with the DH–he just gives you what you want (now if only I could somehow get that to happen in our house. .. ) 😉

    I bet this would be fabulous with chard or spinach–I think I have to try that out next!

    Glad you could see past the photo! It really was delicious. 🙂

    Thanks so much! (But I’d actually prefer to feel like a different self–why not aspire to something better?!) 😉

    Thanks so much! I’ve never found collards to be bitter, really, but I know that lots of people do. The sauce is a little sweet, which makes for a nice counterbalancing effect.

    It’s too bad you can’t get them there! But you could always try chard, or spinach as a substitute, as Johanna suggested–I bet it would still be delicious!

    Thanks so much for your comment, and for reading! I’m so glad you like the blog. And I promise, the collards are wonderful!

    Thanks so much! You’re so lucky to have fresh collards where you live–I bet they will taste even better that way. 🙂

    It’s really worth looking for them! Let me know what you think if you do give it a try.

    Astra Libris,
    Yay for collards-lovers! And thanks so much for the encouraging words (and hug)–it really helps. 🙂

    Thought you might like the raw dishes! 😉 Glad you like the look of this one, too.

    Yes, coconut milk is great, isn’t it? I’ve been eating it a little more than usual, I’m afraid, since it’s one of the few yummy foods I can have on this diet!

    There’s always more collards to come! 😉

    And I’ve never eaten them raw! But now I’ll try it that way, and you can try this. 😉

    It’s got just a hint of sweetness. . . but just enough to make it delectable. 🙂


  • These look magnificent! We always have collards at the co-op, and now I have good recipe to try for them them. Thanks!


  • You haven’t lost your sense of humor at all – you had me royally entertained!
    I noted this on Cheryl’s blog, too, and it made me wish I could get collards even more! I’ve only ever had them raw (used to roll things like raw tacos, etc.), but I know they’d be great with coconut milk (well, isn’t everything great with coconut milk?).
    And I am soooo going to copy you with your dividing up the rest of things idea. I’ve never heard of that – would have come in handy growing up, I can tell you, but Monsieur Fish and I will indeed try it out!


  • coconut milk and collard = meant to be together.
    I love, love, love the changes you’ve made to the already-fantastic look of this site, Ricki. congratulations on many jobs well done!


  • that sounds like an amazing recipe. good luck with your hunger pangs… i can’t even imagine how grumpy i’d be if i was hungry ALL the time. i mean, i’m only hungry MOST of the time and michael will tell you, i am no peach to be around when food needs to be in my belly NOW. for the record, i’d like to say that i think you are still quite humorous. i smiled and/or chuckled several times while reading this post 🙂


  • This looks so good. I never would have thought of the coconut milk combo with the greens. I am starting to like coconut milk in just about everything now though so it sounds good to me!


  • Ricki

    Great! Glad you’ll be able to use them now. 🙂

    Aw, thanks, but you didn’t have to say so. 😉 Funny (no humor reference intended), I’ve never had RAW collards! And hope the splitting maneuver works with Guppy!

    Thanks so much. Whoo! 🙂

    Well, I use the term “hungry” interchangeably with “feel like eating”–I’m sure it’s not textbook hunger, just cravings. But ALL THE TIME!! Trying not to be grumpy. . . and thanks for the humor comment. Saved me from despair! 😉

    I’m with you on the coconut milk! Delish (esp. with these collards!). 🙂


  • Oh yum! I made something like this on the fly a couple of days ago for lunch. It was sooo good; I wondered why I hadn’t made anything like it before.

    Thanks for joining in the Fight Back Friday fun. It seems like most people today have either shared a recipe or written about starting their gardens this year. What fun! All very inspiring stuff.

    (AKA FoodRenegade)


  • This dish sounds totally delicious! What a tempting way to prepare greens.


  • I love greens, and this is something I’ve never tried. I saw that you’re putting a blog list together. I know you’re a frequent commenter and reader over at ND, so if you add me to your list I’d be honored.


  • The comments link does stand out now! A cartoon of The Girls’ faces as mascots would be so cute!! I wish I could draw!

    I’m sorry your diet is making you hungry all the time and that your sense of humor is on strike. Stupid health issues and restricted diets!

    You had me at coconutty with this one! And I disagree, you have so many gorgeous pictures that could make up a banner! You do! You do! 😀


  • Mmm…what a great way to eat some greens!


  • i’m intrigued by this flavor combo! coconut milk never did me wrong though 🙂 off to go look at pics of the girls…


  • Love the new look for the blog, and this recipe sounds intriguing too!


  • This looks wonderful! I use Thai red curry paste with coconut and greens a LOT (it’s a last minute dinner for one for me). The garam masala would be a great way for me to switch up a favorite. I always wilt instead of boil too. It’s much easier and I feel like I’m losing fewer vitamins.


  • That looks fantastic Ricki. I love your flash in a pan recipes.


  • Hi Ricki,
    Just came upon your site via other blogs (can’t recall where it started…Veggie Girl?) – but what really drew me here was the name! You’ll see occasional bits about my dog, Ellie, on my site as well. Also – I’m a big coconut fan, as well as green leafies. So this recipe really speaks to me. I look forward to more…thanks!


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