Mother’s Day dinner and Saag “Paneer”

After I posted the last update, I was in a bit of a rush to head back to my parent’s neighbourhood to meet with my sister and begin making plans for tonight’s Mother’s Day dinner.

Lunch was quick – salsa, sautéed baby spinach (yep, I’m obsessed!), an In A Jiffy Spelt Veggie Burger patty and heated mango sandwiched between one slice of toasted Ezekiel 4:9 bread. On the side, I had the remaining sautéed baby spinach, topped with heated mango and some unsweetened coconut. It was perfect and totally hit the spot.

When I got home, I was still hungry, so I gladly helped myself to some leftover french toast that my sister made for my mom earlier that morning. Isn’t she sweet? I had it with about 1 tsp of maple syrup (pictured below).

After that we went to pick up some supplies for tonight’s dinner. I found it really amusing how the grocery store treated sale items in the below picture. Imagine if it were like this in the downtown stores near me? Then maybe I wouldn’t have so much trouble finding items that are on sale … usually by the time I make it into the store, all the shelves are empty as sale items rarely last long.

When we got home, my sister put me in charge of cooking dinner, and she took care of dessert. I suspect she didn’t want me messing around with her Julia Child Crepes and Frangipane. Admittedly, I probably didn’t want to know exactly what went into the recipe, because she knows I attack a recipe by trying to substitute everything possible. I decided she was probably wise in keeping me away and just focused on my two courses; Curried Cauliflower and Potato and Saag “Paneer” which were enjoyed with some whole wheat naan.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t very pleased with the Curried Cauliflower and Potato dish. I overcooked the potato and my spice ratios were all off so I won’t be sharing the recipe. It all began well enough though…

The Saag “Paneer” is a totally different story. This is a dish that I will be making again very soon. Why is it “Paneer” instead of regular Paneer? Because I’ve replaced the fried cheese with…. extra-firm tofu! Don’t get me wrong, I love the fried Indian cottage cheese, but buying it isn’t really ever feasible, and usually the sauce that it’s cooked in at restaurant leaves me with an upset tummy. Whenever I am in the mood for it at home, I’ve found that using extra-firm tofu is perfectly satisfying. This dish is already vegetarian, and could easily be made vegan by substituting the milk and butter with unsweetened soy/almond milk alone, or with some vegan butter substitute.

Saag “Paneer”

(based off this recipe)

Ingredients:

  • 2 packages of extra firm tofu, drained and patted dry (it is very important that you do this!), cubed (1/2 inches)
  • 6-8 cups of fresh, washed spinach (could use 2 packages of frozen spinach)
  • 3 tbsp onion (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp tomato (chopped)
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt to taste

Directions:

1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a non-stick pan at low-medium heat.Add cubed tofu and fry until light golden brown (you don’t want a hard crust to form). Remove and set aside.

2. Heat the other tbsp of oil in pan. Sauté onion until light golden brown. Add fresh spinach and cook until it turns into a paste.

3. Add spices and tomatoes. Simmer for few minutes.


4. Add milk, tofu, and milk to spinach curry. Cook another 10 minutes or so in medium heat. Add salt to taste.

5. Enjoy with rice, naan, roti, and/or paratha.

After dinner, my job was to help my sister assemble the crepes. She prepared them on the stove, and I added the frangipane that she made earlier, rolled them up, brushed them with melted butter (are you cringing yet?), added some shaved dark chocolate on top and stuck them in the oven for a few minutes.

I also toasted some sliced almonds and added that to each crepe when they came out. Served with a few fresh strawberries, I will admit that these were pretty darn incredible. My sister has always been a fantastic dessert -making machine. She makes oatmeal cookies like no one else.

And now I will leave you with some adorable posts of Minou, my beloved black cat. Unfortunately, he didn’t do too well living in my bachelor apartment so I reluctantly gave him back to my parents temporarily until I figure things out and eventually move into a bigger place that can accommodate him and my other cat, Pepper. I miss them so much. I mean, how can you resist this face?

Minou trying to get my attention because he’s hungry and wants me to follow him….

….to the food bowl. Here he sits impatiently, waiting to be fed.

And because I was too busy taking cute pictures of him, he decided to take matters into his own hands and make sure that I knew he had brought me there to feed him.

I also made an unpleasant discovery today. Not only was my knee really hurting after my run, but I discovered a small reddish looking bruise in the exact spot that my knee was hurting. Definitely not happy to have discovered this. 🙁 I am going to look into seeing someone as soon as possible tomorrow to get it looked at. With my half-marathon coming up in less than a month, I’m really starting to get nervous about whether I’ll make it to race day — and whether I’ll be able to even begin marathon training as soon as the half is over.

Have you ever encountered anything like the bruise that I’ve described above? What did it turn out to be, and how did you recover from it?

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3 thoughts on “Mother’s Day dinner and Saag “Paneer””

    1. Sarah-Mae – yeah, it turns out that I gave that bruise to myself when I idiotically used my foam roller over it. My physio looked horrified when I told her that I used it when I got home yesterday after my long run. But I’m glad it wasn’t more serious than that!

  1. I liked your food so much I took some for lunch today.
    And I know what I’m good at – desserts- I will commend you for not making any protest and you watched me adding mounds of butter all through the cooking process 🙂

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