Creamy Greens & Coconut Linguine


We aren’t major carnivores, but I’m trying to plan the veggie meals in more intentionally.

Well, maybe I should rephrase that. I am not a major carnivore. My hubby deals with this, and appreciates a hot meal on his plate, even if he’d really prefer that his daily dinner once had a heartbeat.

For a few years, we’ve been pretty consistently buying only organic eggs and dairy, and buying mostly organic produce. I’m certainly not the preachy “excuse me, is your hot chocolate syrup organic?” coffee shop patron, but I feel okay about paying the extra few bucks at the checkout for the warm visual I get about happy cows and chickens, and healthy soil.

Still, I’ve had this niggling guilt about the conventionally- (read: kinda terribly-) raised piggies who provide delicious, delicious bacon companions for my waffles, and all their little farm friends.

I have, nonetheless, never totally been able to stomach the giant price hike associated with buying everything organic. Remembering the hefty price tag on our organic Christmas turkey still makes me twitch.

SO I am trying out a new approach, which involves buying meat more “thoughtfully”, but simply buying less. With a few meals a week relying on legumes, tofu, nuts and dairy for the protein, I find I’m able to make the bottom line work out.

Making meat stretch further with mixed dishes (soups, casseroles, stir-fries, curries, etc) bulked up with grains and veggies (rather than meat and potatoes style meals) helps economize, too.

Let me just say, I am most definitely not trying to toss out guilt to anyone – I know that where I’m from, conventional food is expensive enough, and many people struggle to afford healthy meals for their families. The real change has to be made at the policy level, and no one should feel bad about the food they put on their plates because of our country’s sucky questionable agricultural practices.

But in any case, I just thought I’d share my personal strategy, in case it works for your wallet, too.


One of our meatless meals this week was this gorgeous thai-inspired creamy linguine pasta, lush with coconut milk, ginger and garlic; speckled green with bright flecks of mint, kale and spinach.

The sauce is made in minutes by wilting big bunches of hearty greens with coconut milk, and pureeing it all together.

It is so insanely scrumptious that you WILL lick the plate, and will probably make the sauce again the next day as a soup…


I used kale and spinach, but feel free to sub any greens you have on hand – swiss chard is an easy switch, but rapini, broccoli, or even zucchini would work well!

If you’re not feeling the vegetarian-ness, a handful of shrimp tossed into the sauce after pureeing, simmered until just opaque, would be an absolutely perfect protein companion.

Creamy Greens & Coconut Linguine
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
  • 1 lb/454 grams linguine
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 jalapeno (ribs and seeds removed if less heat is preferred)
  • 1½ tbsp finely grated ginger
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed, chopped
  • 1 bunch spinach, chopped
  • ¼ cup (loosely packed) fresh mint leaves
  • salt
  1. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling, salted water until al dente, 8-10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, jalapeno and ginger; cook until garlic is soft, about a minute. Add coconut milk, cover and turn up heat to bring to a simmer.
  3. Add kale and spinach; cover and cook until just wilted and bright green (depending on the size of your pot, you may need to add it in bunches, letting a handful wilt then tossing in another handful).
  4. Add mint and remove from heat. Puree sauce using an immersion blender (or a regular stand blender - just puree in batches or the steam created can blow the lid off). Add salt in big pinches, tasting as you go, until the flavours pop - then it is properly seasoned.
  5. When the pasta is cooked, scoop out a cup of the pasta water before draining it. Toss the pasta with the sauce, adding splashes of pasta water if needed to thin out to desired consistency.
  • erinehm

    I definitely hear you

  • wvanillasugar

    This sounds lovely! Such a fabulous recipe.

  • playfulcooking

    I know what you mean. As much as we enjoy meat for my meal, over the past couple years, we have slowly converted to more veggie and once in a week, meat. It worked for us, both for the wallet and health. 
    As for this pasta, it will happen soon in my kitchen. I am a sucker for pasta and specially the kind that not loaded with tomato sauce and cheese.

  • Manju Dilip

    This is interesting ..I had never thought of a coconut milk sauce for pasta , and adding a handful of shrimps is a good tip too.,Will be trying this out soon and Ill let you know the effects..Thank you dear..

  • La Torontoise

    Jennifer, I only now arrived at your blog, love the recipes and your photography.
    And your paragraph about organic food resonates with me a lot. Fortunately, I’m living and working now in Europe and spend most of my vacation in France where organic food is not so much different in terms of prices. Can not reach
    90% organic on most days, but I do cook meals every once in a while, with all-organic ingredients: -)
    Love the color of these linguines and hope to impress the family this weekend by trying them out.
    All the best!

  • Katie Produce On Parade

    Oh my goodness, this looks wonderful. Such lovely photos as well!

  • foodess

    @La Torontoise Thank you for your kind words! Hope your family enjoys the recipe.

  • foodess

    Manju Dilip Hope you enjoy! :)

  • foodess

    playfulcooking Hope you enjoy, Kankana!

  • foodess

    wvanillasugar Thanks, Katrina!

  • foodess

    erinehm What a fabulous strategy, Erin! I wonder if Vancouver has something similar…

  • erinehm

    foodess It is in Vancouver – fresh fish pick-ups at Granville Island Fisherman’s Wharf, frozen fish at most of the farmer’s markets.

  • lynneux

    I’m totally with you: I’d rather eat better (ie. grass-fed, organic, free-range, humanely raised, etc) meats, eggs and dairy but given their spendy-ness, it means eating this kind of protein less frequently. I love the challenge of being vegetarian or vegan 3 or 4 days per week, and overall I just feel healthier. I LOVE this recipe, but I’m wondering if I could serve it with rice stick noodles? I picked up a package at South Seas Trading Co. a couple of weeks ago and have been debating how to use them. They are a bit thicker/wider than linguine, but definitely texturally different. What do you think? Worth a shot?

  • bhatdixy

    i wholeheartedly  agree with you when it comes to organic produce and meat. I am trying to make a switch currently but still cant justify buying everything organic..meat, egg, and milk is something I have been feeling very strongly about. Just pinned this recipe.

  • foodess

    lynneux Totally worth a shot!!! I think it would work.  Let me know how it turns out ;)

  • foodess

    erinehm foodess Thanks for the tip – I’ll check it out!

  • foodess

    Katie Produce On Parade Thank you, Katie!!! :)

  • cocopanda

    Yet another beautifully written post, Foodess. I also try my best to be mindful of the food consumed at my home – where its from/how raised. Too bad those darn organics prices aren’t the friendliest….yet. Also, without intentionally doing it, we tend to eat a lot of meals without the meat, so I try to throw in some extra greens or proteins where I can.
    I am stoked to give this recipe a whirl. It looks and sounds de-lic-ious.

  • Liz

    Thank you for this delicious & easy recipe! I made mine with kale, broccoli & spaghetti. Even my meat loving hubby praised it.

  • lynneux

    foodess So I tried the rice stick noodles and they were really good! I think the key is soaking them in the boiling water until they are just al dente and then tossing them with the sauce. They cook a little more on their own and were just firm enough. The green coconut sauce was perfect. We did grilled prawns alongside for a dinner party and everyone raved :)

  • foodess

    lynneux I’m so glad they worked out well, for a dinner party no less!!! :)

  • meigancam01

    I am really interested in what you wrote here. This looks absolutely perfect. All these tinny details are give me a lot of knowledge.

  • DELIA68


  • Heather Rando

    I made this tonight, and it was delicious! I  used cilantro instead of mint, and I topped it with roasted broccoli florets and toasted pine nuts. Very beautiful to look at as well!

  • Hazel E.

    i’m eating this right now… sooo delicious! i was gonna add tofu but i was lazy. so refrshing! i never thought mint + pasta is good combination

  • Shi

    Can i add milk instead of coconut milk?

  • Debbie Cottrell

    Thank you so much for this! It turned out as one of the best pasta dishes I have ever made.

  • dental needs

    Thanks for that! It’s just the answer I needed.

  • Coulinjo

    I just made this and it’s wonderful – thank you :) I used spiralised zucchini instead of linguine and lemon juice. Awesomr recipe. (p.s. it’s not possible to be a somtimes-vegan; that’s plant-based diet :) )