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Indian Spiced Spinach with Paneer on Zucchini

Indian Spiced Spinach with Paneer over Zucchini

I buy mostly fresh vegetables and fruits, but certain frozen ones can’t be beat—like Trader Joe’s frozen spinach. A full one pound, the spinach is loose, not in a block, so you can use whatever amount you want. I often take about a third for my frittatas, for example. Both their organic and pesticide free (not sure what the difference is, other than a certification) are around $2.00—a real bargain compared to the 7 ounces of  organic baby spinach that goes for $5.00.

Trader Joe’s Spinach

As you can see, I just open the bag and let it defrost in a colander for a couple hours. If it is still frozen when I need it, I run some hot water on it and remove excess water. It doesn’t need to cook; just put it into what recipe you need it for.

For example, my spinach artichoke dip is super easy because I defrost the spinach, mix it with the rest of the ingredients and bake. Boom—done!

I make this recipe with either paneer or tofu. The last time I made it, I put it on a bed of spaghetti squash. Both are good.

Indian Spiced Spinach with Paneer on Zucchini

2 pounds frozen spinach, drained and squeezed dry

2 cans coconut cream or milk

2 medium onions, chopped

6 cloves garlic, minced

1 “ piece ginger, minced

2 tablespoons coriander

2 tablespoons cumin

1 tablespoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes or 1 tablespoon Korean red pepper

2 tablespoons mild curry

Salt

Pepper

Coconut or avocado oil or ghee

Water or chicken stock as needed

2 pounds tofu, dried and crumbled

Or

1-2 8 ounce blocks of paneer, cut into small pieces and dusted with spices

1 spaghetti squash, roasted or 2 zucchini, spiralized

Saute onion until wilted on medium heat. Add ginger and garlic and stir until fragrant, about a minutes. Add spices and turn to low and stir for a couple minutes. Add coconut milk or cream. Heat and add spinach and cook until hot. Add some water or chicken stock as needed.

Tofu

Salt and pepper

1 tablespoon Korean red pepper flakes or ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons avocado oil

Put on broiler and rack 6 inches away from broiler. Spread tofu on a tray on parchment. Add oil and spices. Broil 20-25 minutes or until brown, turning mid-way through.

Paneer

Ghee or avocado oil

Sauté on medium high until brown

Put squash on a plate, add spinach and top with paneer or tofu. If using zucchini, keep it raw and put a mound on each plates and top with spinach mixture and tofu or paneer.

 

Indian Spiced Spinach with Broiled & Crumbled Tofu on Spaghetti Squash

Indian Spiced Spinach with Broiled & Crumbled Tofu on Spaghetti Squash

This is simple to make. Just assemble all your spices beforehand and you’re good to go.

This was my first time making crumbled, broiled tofu and it was amazing! The tofu was crunchy and so freaking good! Want to try it in salad and in a whole lot more recipes. A game changer!

Because I couldn’t decide which to use, I added both paneer and tofu in the dish, but one is totally fine.

Indian Spiced Spinach

2 pounds frozen spinach, drained and squeezed dry

1 can coconut cream or milk

2 medium onions, chopped

6 cloves garlic, minced

1 “ piece ginger, minced

2 tablespoons coriander

2 tablespoons cumin

1 tablespoon turmeric

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons mild curry

Salt

Pepper

Coconut or avocado oil or ghee

Water or chicken stock as needed

2 pounds tofu, dried and crumbled

And/or

Paneer

4-8 ounces, depending if you are using tofu or alone Paneer

Cut into small pieces and dusted with spices, then sauteed until brown in some oil on medium high.

1 spaghetti squash, roasted

Saute onion until wilted on medium heat. Add ginger and garlic and stir until fragrant, about a minutes. Add spices and turn to low and stir for a couple minutes. Add coconut milk or cream. Heat and add spinach and cook until hot. Add some water or chicken stock as needed.

Broiled & Crumbled Tofu

Crumbled and broiled tofu

1 pound firm or extra firm tofu, dried and crumbled

Salt and pepper

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons avocado oil

Put on broiler and rack 6 inches away from broiler. Spread tofu on a tray on parchment paper. Add oil and spices and mix. Broil 20-25 minutes or until brown, turning mid-way through.

Paneer

Ghee or avocado oil

Sauté on medium high until brown

Put squash on a plate, add spinach and top with paneer or tofu. Serve with Patak’s Mango Relish

Kale, Bacon and Paneer Salad

Kale, Bacon and Paneer Salad

I had a beautiful head of kale from the farmer’s market, and decided to make salad.

I also had free-range bacon from where I get all my bacon—Hemlock Hill Farm in Cortlandt Manor, NY. I go there a few times a year and buy their thick-cut bacon; I package it in packs of four and freeze. I even use the fat for cooking eggs and such. Once you eat free-range, pasture fed meat, you’ll never go back. Humanely treated, better tasting and better for you!

I had some Paneer

Paneer Cheese

that needed to be used up, so I decided that would work fine. (If you can’t find this Indian cheese, gruyere or whatever else strikes your fancy is works.) Paneer is very plain tasting, unless you marinate it first in spices. But it has a fantastic chewy texture that is even better when eating low carb, because you brown it and it gets crusty on the outside, but stays soft inside and doesn’t melt. Very cool.

You will have plenty of dressing leftover for other salads and it will keep a couple weeks.

Kale Bacon and Paneer Salad

Serves 4

Medium head kale, spin removed and torn or cut into bite sized pieces

1 large carrot, spiralized

1 jicama, spiralized

1 8 ounce package of paneer, cut into small cubes

4 ounces bacon, cooked and cut into small pieces

Handful pecans, small pieces toasted

extra virgin olive or avocado oil

Massage a handful of oil into kale and let sit a bit. Heat a cast iron pan on medium low and add oil when hot add paneer, some salt and pepper and brown. Add remaining ingredients, dressing, and serve.

Dressing

(Will have leftover)

1 shallot

1 cup avocado oil

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

¼ cup red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon hot sauce, like Yuzu

Salt and pepper

Combine in a blender or food processor. Taste and adjust according to taste.

 

Yuzu Hot Sauce 

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Copyright © 2021 Norma Lehmeier Hartie
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