Lower in calories and saturated fat, this healthier palak tofu still packs plenty of spice and flavor!
Whenever Bry and I go out for Indian food, our go-to is always the saag paneer. Generally speaking, saag paneer is an Indian vegetarian curry made from leafy greens, tomatoes, cream, and paneer (a type of soft cheese). While delicious and deceptively healthy thanks to the spinach, saag paneer is often loaded with saturated fat and high in calories. And when you only eat it maybe once a month that isn’t a big deal, after all it’s important to enjoy the foods you love. However, in order to enjoy this dish more than just every once and awhile I decided I would take on the challenge of making a healthier (and easier) version for home.
While I won’t pretend to be an expert in Indian cuisine (I’m far from it), I’ve been told that the two main differences between palak paneer and saag paneer is that the former is made only from spinach and contains very little cream, whereas the latter can be a combination of green leafy vegetables and contains a heavy amount of cream. Seeing as this recipe doesn’t include any cream, I figured it was more appropriate to call it “palak” rather than “saag.”
Okay, so how is this recipe healthier? As mentioned above, I nixed the cream and substituted with unsweetened almond milk. However, the next time I make it, I will likely use coconut milk (the kind that comes in a carton near the almond milk, not the canned) as it would provide a richer flavor. I upped the spinach amount, used whole wheat flour to help thicken the curry, and reduced the amount of oil used. The most noticeable difference is using tofu rather than paneer. Tofu is much lower in fat and is easier to find for a standard weeknight dinner. However, if you want to add a bit of indulgence back into the recipe, using paneer instead of tofu would be fine.
I know I haven’t been posting nutrition facts lately, but I couldn’t help myself with this one! For ¼ of the recipe (including the rice): 360 calories, 1 gram saturated fat, 46 grams carbohydrate, 5 grams fiber, and 18 grams protein.
As with any dish you cook, be sure to be tasting as you go to adjust how salty and spicy you want it.
So here’s a toast to a spinach-filled meal!
Recipe adapted from Picky Eater Blog
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This looks so creamy and amazing! Yum, can’t wait to try!
Thanks Lauren! Let me know what you think when you try it!
This looks like something from a gourmet restaurant!! Definitely trying this for my vegetarian husband 🙂
Thanks Kathryn! I hope he likes it 🙂