This Indian-inspired recipe is one of John Mackey’s favorites. It is quite simple to make, but it takes a lot of fresh spinach (saag) to get the right texture and flavor. Tofu substitutes well for the paneer cheese used in traditional recipes, as it has a similar texture and mild flavor. Recipe by Dan Marek.
Indian Saag Spinach and Tofu ‘Cheese’ Paneer Vegan Recipe
- 1 (14-ounce) block firm tofu, drained
- 1 cup unsweetened soy milk or other nondairy milk
- 1/2 (15-ounce) can coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons curry powder
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 10 ounces fresh spinach
- 1 bunch mustard greens, trimmed
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 ½ tablespoons minced fresh ginger
- 1 (6-ounce) can no-added-sodium tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon cumin seed
- Wrap the drained tofu in a few layers of paper towels, then sandwich it between two plates and
- weight down the top plate with a heavy book. Press for at least 10 minutes and up to 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together the soy milk, coconut milk, curry powder, cayenne, and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice. Cut the pressed tofu into roughly 1/2 by 3-inch strips and place them in the bowl. Cover with the marinade and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
- Remove the tofu from the marinade, reserving the marinade. Place the tofu strips on the prepared
- baking sheet, leaving space between them (if they touch, they will stick together). Bake for 20 minutes, then flip the tofu slices using a spatula and bake until slightly firm to the touch, about 20 minutes more.
- Meanwhile, heat a large sauté pan over medium high heat. When hot, add the onion and dry sauté, stirring to prevent sticking, until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons water and stir to deglaze the pan. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Submerge the spinach and mustard greens in the boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove with tongs and transfer to a food processor. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, tomato paste, cumin, remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and the reserved marinade. Puree until mostly smooth.
- Pour the spinach mixture back into the pan and reheat over low heat. Add the tofu strips and mix gently until coated and warmed through.
- Serve hot.
Excerpted from the book THE WHOLE FOODS COOKBOOK by John Mackey, Alona Pulde, MD and Matthew Lederman,. Recipes by The Sarno Brothers of Wicked Healthy Copyright © 2018 by Whole Foods Market IP, LP and Transition to Health, Inc. Reprinted with permission of Grand Central Life & Style. All rights reserved. MD
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