I've been working on perfecting this recipe for Indian Saag Paneer for over a year, first lightening it up to fit within my Weight Watchers plan, and now, morphing it into a vegan Saag "Paneer". A traditional Saag Paneer includes cubes of Indian cheese and heavy cream--not Healthy Girl friendly at all. But because it is my number one favorite Indian dish, I'm practically obsessed with getting it right (ie tasty and healthy). So without further adoo (how on earth do you spell that?), here is my Saag Tofu:
2 packages firm tofu
Tamari or low sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp low sodium vegetable broth
6 medium or 4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 Tbsp minced (or grated) ginger
1 1/2 cups tomato sauce (I used Trader Joe's low fat Marinara Sauce in the green can)
1 Tbsp garam masala
1 Tbsp ground coriander
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
2 16 oz. bags frozen spinach (or 3 10 oz. boxes), thawed
1 bag fresh baby spinach
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Open and drain packages of tofu. Wrap each block of tofu in paper towels (a few layers around) and place wrapped tofu block under a cookie sheet weighted with something a bit heavy on top of it. After 15 minutes, discard wet paper towels and cut blocks of tofu into 1" squares. Line cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. Place tofu squares on cookie sheet and drizzle lightly with Bragg Liquid Aminos or low sodium soy sauce. "Broil" the tofu squares for about 40 minutes, shaking the cookie sheet every 10-15 minutes, until the tofu is chewy and looks like this:
Remove tofu from oven and set aside.
Heat vegetable broth in a large skillet or pot on medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger, stiffing frequently, until garlic just starts to brown. Immediately reduce heat to low and stir in tomato sauce, coriander, cumin, garam masala and salt. Partly cover and simmer for 8 minutes, stirring frequently.
Stir in defrosted spinach (it is okay if it is not totally defrosted at this point). When incorporated and hot, stir in fresh spinach. When fresh spinach is wilted, using a hand/immersion blender, puree mixture until smooth (or as smooth as you would like it, it's up to you).
Simmer 8-10 minutes until spinach turns an olive green color. Stir in almond milk. Gently mix in tofu cubes. Remove from heat and serve. Great served right away with rice or naan and raita. Keeps well in the refrigerator for leftovers.
Looks just like the real thing, huh?