Updated: Aug 29, 2020
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Recently gone vegan and missing your favorite Indian take-out or freezer meal option? You can put those cravings to rest with this Vegan Palak Paneer!
Now I won’t claim that this Palak Paneer is the most authentic recipe. It’s even close. But, it’s comforting, nourishing, and perfect for meal prepping.
This plant based meal is loaded with vegan protein sources. The creamy sauce is spinach based and the “paneer” is made from tofu. I like to add a side of brown rice or quinoa to up the protein content even more. Just a couple bites of this and you’ll be ready to take down the meat industry with one punch….okay that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but this meal does make for a great pre or post workout meal.
Making the “paneer” is not labor intensive, but does take a little forethought in order to get the flavor and texture right. I HIGHLY recommend freezing and draining your tofu overnight. It not only will help the tofu absorb the marinade, but also give it the firm texture of paneer. Once it’s ready though, the rest of the meal comes together quickly. A pro tip is to always keep a pack of tofu in the freezer to use whenever the palak paneer cravings call.
If you make this recipe or any others on my blog, tag me in a photo on Instagram @figisisters . I would love to see your recreation!
Makes about 3 servings
1 x 16 oz - Package - Firm Tofu
2 tbsp - Lemon Juice - About the juice of one lemon
18 g - White Miso Paste
2 tbsp - Vegetable Broth
320 g - Frozen Spinach
1 - Serrano Pepper - Deseeded and diced
1 - Medium Yellow Onion - Diced
3-4 Cloves - Garlic - Minced
1 tbsp - Lime Juice
180 g - Full Fat Coconut Milk
120 ml - Water
½ tbsp - Freshly Grated Ginger
¼ tbsp - Kosher Salt
1 tsp - Garam Marsala
½ tsp - Ground Cumin
¼ tsp - Cayenne Pepper
½ tsp - Ground Coriander
½ tsp - Mustard Seeds
¼ tsp - Ground Cardamom
Rice - For Serving
Naan Bread - For serving
Cilantro Leaves - For Garnish
Coconut Cream - For Garnish
The night before, press tofu with a tofu press* until all excess water is expelled. Freeze for at least 4 hours. Defrost, and press again until all excess water is expelled*.
In a bowl, whisk together lemon juice, miso paste, and vegetable broth.
Slice tofu into half inch cubes. Add tofu to the marinade and stir until completely coated. Cover and allow to marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to 4 hours.
Preheat oven to 400F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place tofu cubes on the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Flip halfway through.
Defrost frozen spinach. Place spinach in a clean dish towel. Squeeze until all excess water is drained.
In a pan over medium-high heat, using a non-stick method of choice (Cooking spray, non-stick cookware, oil, etc), add onion and pepper. Saute until the onions is translucent. Add in garlic and ginger. Saute until garlic is fragrant.
Add spinach and remaining spices to the pan. Stir until vegetables are coated in spices.
Transfer spinach mixture to a blender. Add water and blend until nearly smooth.
Return spinach mixture to the pan over low heat. Stir in coconut milk and lime juice.
If serving immediately, add in tofu cubes. If meal prepping, portion palak paneer out into tupperware containers and add tofu on top to keep it crispy until ready to eat.
Store in the fridge for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 2 months.
Before serving, garnish with a drizzle of coconut milk and cilantro leaves. Serve with a side of rice or naan bread.
If you don’t have a tofu press, you can make your own by placing the tofu between two plates and stacking something heavy on top such as large books, cans, water jugs, etc.
Pressing and freezing the tofu helps the texture and makes it more crispy.
Want something sweet to meal prep for breakfast? How about these Peanut Butter and Jelly Chia Seed Puddings?