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spinach

Tatsoi Saag Paneer

Tatsoi Saag Paneer

Saag Paneer has always been one of my favorite Indian dishes. It’s super savory, has that slight hint of both sweet and rich components going on from a touch of cream, and has a smoothness that feels divine on top of Naan, or even rice.

It’s also incredibly easy to create at home, which isn’t always the case when it comes to Indian food.

Tatsoi

Technically, this dish would require whipping up your own mild, fresh cheese, known as the paneer, which in itself isn’t actually all that complicated. However, this version of Saag Paneer swaps the cheese for tofu, making it even more convenient and quick to whip up. Perhaps I should rename it to Saag Tofu, but I think the Tatsoi in the title is enough of a curveball in itself.

What’s tatsoi, and what’s it doing in this recipe? Typically, at least in the states, Saag Paneer is made with spinach. You could certainly use that in my version too, and I’ve included instructions to do so. However, I chose to use tatsoi instead, because, well, I have a garden full of it. If you’re wondering what to do with your own tatsoi, I would highly recommend you put it to use in this.

Tatsoi Saag Paneer

Like spinach, tatsoi is a tender green, although with just slightly more of a bite…especially when you let it reach its flowering point in the garden. (Pick it before this if you can.)

In comparison to most other greens though, the flavor is subtle, and the texture is creamy. This makes it so adaptable for this dish, where the dominance of flavors should remain in its collection of spices.

Tatsoi

If you’re not familiar with tatsoi, try it out if you can and get your adventure thriving in the kitchen. It grows abundantly during the spring months, and can also be found for pretty cheap in most Asian markets. Again though, spinach is a guaranteed go-to, and will also work wonders here, so have no fear if tatsoi can’t be found.

Philadelphia Community Garden

Serve the Saag alongside basmati rice, preferably of the fiber-rich, brown variety, and a warm piece of naan. This dish will also goes well with a wide range of other Indian dishes, from curries to masalas, and more. So if you feel inspired, make a feast.

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Simple Pasta with Summer Squash and Spinach

Simple Pasta with Summer Squash and Spinach

Sometimes, nothing is more beautiful than a simple bowl of pasta.

It’s when I’m really hungry that these words couldn’t feel more true, and this time of year, that means after a long, hot summer run. After one of those, first I want watermelon. And then I want pasta.

Summertime (er, late springtime). It feels so good.

Simple Pasta with Summer Squash and Spinach

When the weather is nice, I spend a ton of time outside. More often than not, that means after work, I’m out strolling, cycling, running, or just hanging around until the sun just sets. I could be with my friends. I could be by myself. It doesn’t matter – when it’s warm out, I’m out. And I’m loving every minute of it.

However, this often leaves me locking up my bike at the end of the evening and heading inside with a sudden realization of hunger, and the urge to eat ASAP. Anyone else turn into a monster on occasion, too?

If so, you know that’s when simple recipes like this prove themselves to be rather handy.

Simple Pasta with Summer Squash and Spinach

Here, a quick saute of some onions, squash and spinach create a light and easy sauce for a meal you can make in under 30 minutes. It’s filling, yet not in the kind of way that will weigh you down on a balmy summer night, and is spruced up with parsley to make it feel extra fresh.

Simple Pasta with Summer Squash and Spinach

I don’t cook with a butter a lot, but I find that adding a Tbsp. to this enhances the inherent butteriness of yellow summer squash. Feel free to use all olive oil if that’s your preference. However, a little browned butter goes a long way to enrich the sauce, and pairs well with the lemony tones of the parsley.

Also, be sure to stick with angel hair or spaghettini when choosing your whole wheat pasta. While this sauce is certainly flavorful, it’s delicate, so to truly experience all of its nuances, a thinner pasta works best.

Pasta_SummerSquash_blog

Pair this with a side salad, and a cold beverage of your choice, and you create a no-fuss summer meal for any night of the week.

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Pumpkin Coconut Veggie Curry over Black Rice

Pumpkin Coconut Veggie Curry over Black Rice

I’ve been doing a ton of cooking with friends lately, which I love. There’s something special about gathering around cutting boards and cookbooks, and creating something from scratch. Especially when it means spending time with people who make you laugh and forget all your worries. Nights of food and laughter will always be my favorite.

This month has been filled with lots of those, making it feel as if Christmas came early. Minus all the Christmas cookies. I have yet to bake one holiday treat this year! Gasp. Throw me some ideas, friends. This weekend, I  shall bake. And get down with some DIY gifting.

Because all that free time spent cooking lately means I have lots and lots of gifting to catch up on this weekend. Cue morning yoga and evening wine to keep my sanity. And some of this leftover pumpkin coconut curry from an earlier silliness-filled cooking sesh with the help of Louie, my new sous chef. (Every food blogger needs a sous chef, right? My mom likes to think I need a dishwasher, too…but that’s another story.)

Pumpkin Coconut Veggie Curry over Black Rice

Coconut curry holds a sweet spot in my life. As of lately, black rice does too. Combine the two, and you’re in for a treat. Not only does the orange pumpkin in this recipe look beautifully with the rice, but it compliments its nuttiness as well.

Creamy and slightly rich, but packed full of so many healthy ingredients, this is the kind of meal to bring out when dining with company. Want to show the world vegan food can taste great? Make coconut curry. And add pumpkin, cashews, veggies and cilantro.

This is not faint on flavor. Add it to your dinner rotation and it too will feel like Christmas came early, all times of the year.

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Spring Green Smoothie

Green Smoothie

I bring you this recipe not because it’s a new, novel idea. Let’s get real. Green smoothies are so five years ago. However, a phased-out fad they are not. These powerhouse shakes can still be an incredibly life-changing diet addition and shouldn’t be forgotten. (Insert advertising slogan here. But seriously, they are wonderful.)

For that reason I must say, Green Smoothie, I am sorry for forgetting you. Once a daily drink, I let you leave my life for weeks and weeks too many. Never again.

I’m not sure when and how I fell off the smoothie bandwagon, but no fruit and greens have been spinning together in my blender lately. Kale, onions and herbs, yes, but no early morning, creamy green creations have been going down, that is, up until springtime finally hit.

I bring you this recipe because perhaps you, like me, need a reminder that green smoothies are a great way to kickstart your day and get your diet back in line. The nutrient-filled drink is packed with vitamins and minerals, meaning lots of energy for you.

As I use the spring season to take time to reorganize my life, I am realizing the value of clean eating and the energy it can provide. It is this energy that I need to prioritize what’s important to me and also to deliberate what is not. Lots of shifting, and changing, and goal reorientation is taking place for me right now. And with all of that, I want to revamp my diet too. A healthy body is a healthy mind, and a huge part of this stems from food.

I am excited to start bringing green smoothies back into my mornings and starting my days off on a high note. Whether you’re making some life changes or not, that’s never a bad game plan. Waking up with a healthy breakfast and a positive attitude is literally the best way to carry on life. Sometimes easier said than done, but I’d say this four-ingredient recipe is a pretty simple start. Enjoy.

Green Smoothie Ingredients

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Tomato Spinach Skillet Eggs

Eat light, eat right. That’s the motto I strive to abide by the week before every holiday feast.

With the presence of more casseroles, desserts and traditions than one girl’s body could ever need, I like to prepare in advance. Unfortunately, this is NOT always an easy task.

My kitchen’s been under a persistent state of production since Monday in preparation for Thanksgiving. And I’m not even hosting the feast. I will, however, be bringing two dishes to the table, a large basket of biscuits included.

It’s these buttery biscuits that are negating my motto. Never in my life have I made biscuits (the horror of this statement!). This, of course, means I must taste each batch as they come out of the oven, hours after dinner’s been served.

Like a cookie, one flaky biscuit leads to two, and before I know it, I’m not doing so hot with the whole eat light goal for the week. Oh well. Biscuits are worth it, especially when sampling two different varieties. Somehow, I’ve convinced myself 6:30 AM runs are worth it, too. No doubt, those will be the life and death of me.

Anyway, when constant cooking and cleaning is going down in the kitchen, simple, one-pot meals like these are essential. This one’s healthy, too, so you can feel good about eating this for any meal during the days leading up to, or following, a hearty holiday meal. Eat light, eat right, eat this. Little mess included.

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