Saag it to me baby! (I know… sorry, I couldn’t help it.)  But really, I love making and eating this dish.  Not only is it incredibly delicious, it’s incredibly good for you!  Everywhere you look these days you’ll find someone telling you to eat more greens.  Andddd, they’re right!  Greens, especially deep, hearty greens like kale, collards, and chard are jam packed with nutrients like iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium and a veritable shit ton of vitamins (K.C.E. and some B’s) and don’t even get me started on phytonutrients (beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin) that protect your eyes and maintain a healthful glow.

 

Greens Galore!

“Perhaps the star of these nutrients is Vitamin K. A cup of most cooked greens provides at least nine times the minimum recommended intake of Vitamin K a day. That’s right, just one cup. Even a couple of cups of raw dark salad greens provides the minimum all on their own.

  • Regulates blood clotting
  • Helps protect bones from osteoporosis
  • May help prevent and possibly even reduce atherosclerosis by reducing calcium in arterial plaques
  • May be a key regulator of inflammation and may help protect us from inflammatory diseases including arthritis.”

 

Read the entire article about the health benefits of greens at verywell.com.

Anyway, you get the point.  Eating greens is the bomb and my Super Saag recipe is the funnest way to get ’em in.  Paneer is a type of fresh cheese common in Indian, Middle Eastern, and Himalayan cuisine.  Tofu is a great substitute for paneer as they are similar in texture and consistency and you can easily flavor tofu to mimic the tangy cheese by baking it with lemon juice and spices.  This tofu “paneer” pairs perfectly with the Super Saag as the chewy morsels dot the creamy greens giving added protein and substance.

Make this on a grey winter afternoon or whenever you want to trick someone into eating some serious greens.

 

WHAT YOU NEED

  • 2 tablespoons oil – your choice – olive, canola, coconut, etc.

    Chilies, Garlic, and Ginger – the essentials

  • 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons peeled and grated ginger
  • 6 cloves of garlic – minced
  • 4 roma tomatoes – chopped
  • 2 thai green chilies (or any other green chili) – minced (option: remove the seeds for less spiciness)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt – plus more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper – to taste
  • 12 cups greens of choice (kale, chard, collards, spinach) – rinsed, stemmed, and chopped into small pieces
  • Cilantro – for garnish
  • Lemon wedges – for garnish (optional – I like mine extra lemony)
  • 1 14 or 16 oz block of extra firm tofu (not the silken kind) – cubed
    • Tofu Braise
      • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
      • 2 tablespoons tamari
      • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
      • 1 teaspoon garam masala
      • 1 clove of garlic – pressed or mined finely

 

WHAT YOU DO

  1. Firstly, preheat the your oven (or toaster oven) to 375. Mix the Tofu Braise ingredients together in a small bowl or measuring cup.  Place the tofu in a medium sized bowl, pour the braise over the tofu and stir to mix.   Bake the tofu for 15 minutes, flip, and bake for another 15 minutes until.  Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large stockpot heat the oil over medium high heat.  Add the cumin and turmeric and allow to sizzle for 30 seconds.
  3. Add the onion and cook until browned, 3-5 min.
  4. Add the ginger root and garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
  5. Add the tomatoes, chiles, tomato paste, water, coriander, garam masala, sea salt, and pepper.
  6. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
  7. Add the greens in several batches allowing the first ones to wilt a bit before adding the next – stirring in between additions.
  8. Place a lid on the stockpot and allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the greens are very soft and wilted.
  9. Use an immersion blender or transfer the mixture to a food processor and blend until smooth.
  10. Add the baked tofu and allow to heat through.
  11. Top with cilantro and serve with lemon wedges, basmati rice, and/or your favorite Indian bread.

 

Chow Down Eaters!

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