Palak Tofu: A Healthy Palak Paneer

by Anjali @ The Picky Eater on January 29, 2015

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Palak Paneer is a classic North Indian dish. Walk into any Indian restaurant, and you’re almost guaranteed to see “Palak Paneer” or “Saag Paneer” on the menu.

It is traditionally a rich stew made with heavy cream, butter or ghee, paneer (which is a type of cheese used in Indian cooking), spinach, and tons of warm spices like cumin, turmeric, and coriander.

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It’s definitely an indulgent dish, since the heavy cream, butter and cheese are usually more prevalent in the dish than the spinach :)

I’ve gotten tons of requests for a healthier palak paneer recipe in the past, but I’ve never found a recipe that’s good enough to replace the original. This one might be the winner though!

It is full of spices, creamy and rich, but thanks to low fat milk, coconut oil for cooking, and tofu in place of paneer, it’s only about 200 calories for 1/4 of the ENTIRE recipe.

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Eat it with rice, naan, roti, or your favorite Indian side dish. It will leave you feeling satisfied – as if you had just walked out of a fancy Indian restaurant. It’s baby friendly too! I served it to Layla (minus the cayenne) and she gobbled it up!

The Ingredients

Adapted from Manjula’s Kitchen

  • 1 10 oz package of chopped frozen spinach or 4 cups of fresh finely chopped spinach
  • 1 package extra firm tofu
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 1 tsp chopped ginger
  • 1.5 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seed
  • Pinch of asafetida (hing)
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 2 tbsp of whole wheat flour
  • 1.5 cups 1% low fat milk
  • 1/2 tomato diced to garnish

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The Directions

Step 1: Dice your tofu into big cubes. Spray a large pan with olive oil cooking spray. Pan-fry the tofu on each side until it is firm and slightly browned.

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Step 2: Take the tofu out of the pan, place in a bowl and set aside. Meanwhile, blend the tomatoes and ginger until they come together in a smooth puree.

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Step 3: Combine the tomato mixture with the coriander powder, turmeric, cumin powder and cayenne (if you are making it for your kids – you can leave the cayenne out here and add it in at the end just for you!)

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Step 4: Mix the whole wheat flour with the milk and set aside.

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Step 5: Heat coconut oil in a large pan. Test the heat by adding one cumin seed to the oil; if it cracks/pops right away it is ready. Add hing and cumin seed. After cumin seeds pop, add the tomato puree mixture, and let it cook for a few minutes until the tomato puree is about half in volume.

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Step 6: Add the spinach and salt. Let cook on low for about 10 minutes.

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Step 7: Add the milk mixture, and let cook on low another 4-5 minutes until everything is combined.

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Step 8: Add the tofu and fold it gently into the spinach mixture, let simmer for 2-3 minutes. Serve with diced tomatoes, roti, whole wheat tortillas, naan or rice.

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And that is it! A traditional Indian dish from scratch, start to finish, that you can feel great about eating. I hope you enjoy this as much as we did!

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Palak Tofu: A Healthy Palak Paneer

Total Time: 60 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Calories per serving: 216.7

Fat per serving: 11.6g

Nutritional Info Per Serving: 216.7 Calories, 11.6g Fat (2.1g Saturated), 350mg Sodium, 14.9g Carbs, 2.8g Fiber, 5.3g Sugar, 17.5g Protein

Ingredients

  • 1 10 oz package of chopped frozen spinach or 4 cups of fresh finely chopped spinach
  • 1 package extra firm tofu
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 1 tsp chopped ginger
  • 1.5 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seed
  • Pinch of asafetida (hing)
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 2 tbsp of whole wheat flour
  • 1.5 cups 1% low fat milk
  • 1/2 tomato diced to garnish

Directions

  1. Dice your tofu into big cubes. Spray a large pan with olive oil cooking spray. Pan-fry the tofu on each side until it is firm and slightly browned.
  2. Take the tofu out of the pan, place in a bowl and set aside. Meanwhile, blend the tomatoes and ginger until they come together in a smooth puree.
  3. Combine the tomato mixture with the coriander powder, turmeric, cumin powder and cayenne (if you are making it for your kids - you can leave the cayenne out here and add it in at the end just for you!)
  4. Mix the whole wheat flour with the milk and set aside.
  5. Heat coconut oil in a large pan. Test the heat by adding one cumin seed to the oil; if it cracks/pops right away it is ready. Add hing and cumin seed. After cumin seeds pop, add the tomato puree mixture, and let it cook for a few minutes until the tomato puree is about half in volume.
  6. Add the spinach and salt. Let cook on low for about 10 minutes.
  7. Add the milk mixture, and let cook on low another 4-5 minutes until everything is combined.
  8. Add the tofu and fold it gently into the spinach mixture, let simmer for 2-3 minutes. Serve with diced tomatoes, roti, whole wheat tortillas, naan or rice.

Notes

Adapted from Manjula's Kitchen

http://pickyeaterblog.com/palak-tofu-a-healthy-palak-paneer/

{ 2 comments }

French Toast Bread Pudding

by Anjali @ The Picky Eater on January 27, 2015

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That’s right.

French. Toast. Bread. Pudding.

For Breakfast.

Need I say more??

This is one of the husband’s favorite meals. Sometimes I make it for brunch, but often I make it for dinner (as a breakfast for dinner meal) – along with some roasted rosemary potatoes (recipe coming soon) and a green smoothie.

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It is so super healthy for you, but literally tastes like dessert. It doesn’t get much better than that! I was inspired by a recipe I found on HungryGirl, but I changed the ingredients to make them more natural / less processed and whole-food based.

The result?

A baked french toast that is to die for.

The Ingredients

Adapted from HungryGirl

  • 8 slices sprouted wheat bread – around 60-70 calories per slice
  • 1 medium apple (preferably Fuji) diced
  • 4 oz. low fat cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened soymilk (I like WestSoy – with just two ingredients: organic soybeans + water)
  • 1 cup liquid egg whites
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 3/4 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp brown sugar

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The Directions

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8-inch by 8-inch baking dish with olive oil spray. Place bread cubes evenly along the bottom of the dish.

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Step 2: Sprinkle diced apple evenly over the bread.

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Step 3: In a blender, combine all other ingredients (cream cheese through brown sugar in the list above). Blend until lump-free and smooth. Pour mixture over the bread and apple. Make sure bread is soaked in the liquid mixture. If needed, toss lightly to coat.

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Step 4: Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes, until egg mixture is pretty firm and cooked through. Let cool slightly and cut into 8 squares.

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This is an amazing recipe for a super low calorie, fiber filled, and really flavorful french toast. Most recipes like this one would run you 500+ calories for 1-2 slices of french toast, but this recipe gives you a HUGE portion for less than 150 calories! The husband and I usually take seconds, which is always fun to do when you know it’s good for you :)

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French Toast Bread Pudding

Total Time: 60 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Serving Size: 1/8 of the dish

Calories per serving: 144.6

Fat per serving: 5g

Nutritional Info Per Serving: 144.6 Calories, 5g Fat (2.5g Saturated), 220.1mg Sodium, 16.3g Carbs, 3.7g Fiber, 6.9g Sugar, 9.1g Protein

Ingredients

  • 8 slices sprouted wheat bread - around 60-70 calories per slice
  • 1 medium apple (preferably Fuji) diced
  • 4 oz. low fat cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened soymilk (I like WestSoy - with just two ingredients: organic soybeans + water)
  • 1 cup liquid egg whites
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 3/4 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp brown sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8-inch by 8-inch baking dish with olive oil spray. Place bread cubes evenly along the bottom of the dish.
  2. Sprinkle diced apple evenly over the bread.
  3. In a blender, combine all other ingredients (cream cheese through brown sugar in the list above). Blend until lump-free and smooth. Pour mixture over the bread and apple. Make sure bread is soaked in the liquid mixture. If needed, toss lightly to coat.
  4. Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes, until egg mixture is pretty firm and cooked through. Let cool slightly and cut into 8 squares.

Notes

Adapted from HungryGirl

http://pickyeaterblog.com/french-toast-bread-pudding/

{ 11 comments }

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