Magical, GREEN & Vegan Indian Sauce
HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Any trick-or-treating plans in store for ya today? OR are you stuck at work like me?! AND don't forget- score a $3 boooorito today at Chipotle if you dress up and go in any time after 3. My sisters do this every year, so it is drilled in my head for life. BUT if you're like me, you're looking forward to running out the door when the clock hits 6 (errrr probably closer to 6:30), to get home and whip up dinner. Most likely a big bowl of soup, get comfortable on the couch in some warm PJs, and catch up on any shows you missed over the weekend. Yes. My Monday night in a nutshell.
SO as you may notice, time to time I [attempt to] cook up Indian cuisine, and although they aren't necessarily authentic, they are super tasty! To be honest, I've only had Indian food a few times before, and when I've ordered in the past, I'd alwaaaays order Palak Paneer. It's just so good! And always a dish I felt was a safe choice, being that it's just cheese & spinach over a warm bed of rice. If you aren't an Indian food wiz, and it isn't your normal go-to, ordering a new dish can be a bit tricky. I personally can't always understand the dish names without reading the little descriptions underneath. But believe it or not, you'd be surprised with how many dishes are vegetarian! BUT, doesn't always mean vegan ( :| )
ANYWAY, back to this creaaamy Palak. Since I've gone dairy free, I've been doing a lot of recipe research & developing to find some new meals to cook that are new and mega exciting! And of course my goal when cooking is to make each dish better than the last. I'd say I nailed this one! Palak 'not-so-Paneer', made with a "cheesy" tofu, just hit the spot. And a greeeeeen fresh spinach sauce that really makes your taste buds *zing*. It has all the combinations of spicy & salty & a hint of authenticity (well, one can hope, right?). I mean, come on. 10 OUNCES of fresh spinach leaves, cooked & made into a freshhhh paste sauce? What more can one want?! HELLO, IRON!
Thank YOU Food52 for another incredible recipe, that I made my own. I am so in Palak Paneer loveEeEe.
| Vegan• Gluten Free |
I N G R E D I E N T S:
- 1 14oz Block of extra firm Tofu
- 2 Tbs of fresh lemon juice
- 3 Tbs of Water
- 1/2 tsp of sea salt
- 3 Tbs of Nutritional Yeast
- 10 oz of Fresh spinach leaves
- 1 poblano pepper, diced (seeds & stem removed)
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 Tbs of fresh ginger, minced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 Tomato, diced/chopped by hand
- 1/2 tsp of sea salt
- 1/2 tsp of Curry powder
- 1 tsp of cumin powder
- 2 tsp of coriander powder
- Dash of red pepper flakes
- Half a lime, juiced (about 1 Tbs)
- 1/2 cup of coconut milk (canned)
- Splash of olive oil
TOFU: Since your tofu needs to marinate for a bit, do this ahead of time! I recommend the night before so you're ready to go the next day. Make sure to press out as much water as possible first. Cut your block into little cubes and put them into container. In a separate small dish, whisk together your lemon, water, salt & nutritional yeast. Pour over your tofu, cover tightly, and place it in the fridge to marinate (at least 6-8 hours).
PREPARE: When your tofu is done marinating and you're ready to cook, preheat the oven to 400° degrees Fahrenheit. Pop your tofu in the over for about 25 minutes, so they get a bit golden & slightly crispy around the edges. Now, add your spices together in a small dish, and chop up your veggies separately to set aside.
PALAAAK!: Next, in a large pot of boiling water, add your spinach and cook for just a minute or two. Once they're done cooking, put your spinach leaves into to a bowl of ice water. This will preserve their vibrancy! Once they cool a bit, squeeze out as much water as you can, and add to a food processor. Process until a paste consistency & set aside. NOW, Add your olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, toss in your onions & pepper. Cook for about 8 minutes, or until they just begin to brown. Then, add in your garlic and ginger and saute for just another minute or so. Add in your spices, tomato, lime juice, spinach puree & coconut milk. Mmmm. Cook while stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes, or until desired thickness of sauce. Add your tofu and kill the heat. Adjust to taste with some additional sea salt & red pepper, and serve over rice. And of course a piece of hot Naan too. A must. YUM!
*Notes: If you aren't a tofu person, you can totally substitute it for something you enjoy more. The sauce is just THAT good on it's own, so adding your favorite fish, cheese, meat, or protein will only make it better :)