I had a lovely and very foodie indulgent vacation, so it’s definitely time to go back to healthy little lunches, including Kale Spinach Saag Paneer. Saag Paneer is one of my favorite dishes. I love using a blend of both spinach and kale. I found a beautiful bunch of Redbor kale, which is a spectacular shade of purple and threw that in with a large handful of spinach. The result is a spicy, fragrant mixture of greens. I’m also feeling ahead of the game on the 2017 food trend for purple vegetables, since I cooked this on New Year’s Day.
Kale Spinach Saag Paneer is a fairly quick dish to put together. The kale and spinach can be cooked while the rice is cooking.
You can definitely substitute store bought paneer for the home made paneer in this recipe. Fresh paneer takes just two ingredients, but is best made the day before and refrigerated overnight, so takes a little bit of planning. That said, how impressive is it to be able to tell your workmates that you made your own cheese?
I love how the paneer takes on the waffled texture of the cheesecloth. I also am a big fan of the transformation of milk into whey and curds when an acid is added. In this case, I use white vinegar to make my paneer. I’ve tried lemon juice, but haven’t had the same success. I also don’t salt it when I’m making this recipe, as the kale and spinach saag paneer is well salted from the kale and spinach. I do, however, take the extra time to lightly brown the paneer.
The lightly browned paneer goes right into the kale and spinach. This recipe freezes really well, so it’s a great candidate for lunch. Kale spinach saag paneer is also a light meal and pairs well with a salad or some naan bread.
I hope you enjoy this one as much as I do! Hope everyone is having a great start to 2017!
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 bunch kale, de-stemmed and roughly chopped
- 2 cups spinach
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup half and half
- Paneer cheese, chopped into squares
- 2 cups cooked rice
- 1/2 gallon milk - whole milk works best, but you can also make this with 1% or 2%
- 3 tablespoons white vinegar
- If you are making paneer, start with this first. Bring the milk to a boil in a large saucepan. Stir constantly so that the milk doesn't burn. When the milk reaches a full boil, take it off the heat and pour in the vinegar. Let the milk sit for 10 minutes so that the whey and curds have time to separate.
- When the curds and whey have separated, strain out the curds into a cheesecloth lined strainer. You can keep the whey and use it in place of water for other recipes. Let the curds drain for at least an hour, pressing them by putting a bowl over them with a heavy can in the bowl. Refrigerate the paneer overnight.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a non-stick saute pan or a cast iron skillet. Add the onions, and cook until they are soft and fragrant. Add in the kale and cook for 7 minutes. Add the spinach and cook for another 7 - 10 minutes, or until all the vegetables are wilted. Add the spices from the turmeric to the salt and stir well. Add the half and half and simmer for 7 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in another non-stick skillet. Add the paneer and cook for a few minute on each side until it is browned.
- Serve the kale spinach saag paneer over the rice, with the paneer evenly divided between each serving.
- Serves 3 - 4
This post has been linked to Tinned Tomatoes: Meat Free Mondays. Check out each week’s list of great recipes!