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Saag Comfort

February 23, 2010


I’m feeling pretty under the weather today, a mixture of Z’s leftover sickness (ew, sounds gross) and a crazy weekend of fun and not a lot of sleep (but well worth it!!). Plus it has been gray all day and is supposed to snow later. I can’t wait until the spring. I didn’t even make it to the gym, not wanting to upset my immune system and end up being out of commission for a week. Obviously tonight I am craving some comfort food.

Its strange that I find Indian food comforting. When I was little, my Mom would always give me Marmite on toast or pasta with Parmesan cheese. But ever since I discovered I was gluten intolerant, my childhood comfort foods are no longer an option. No chicken noodle soup, no pizza even. I would sit, wishing for a warm bowl of something, and one day Indian spices swarmed my brain. If there is anything to have a warm bowl of, it is curry, or vindaloo, or saag. The spices are delicate yet powerful; even a cold Indian dish has warming qualities, full of cumin and cardamon.

For my cooking learning curve, saag is also simple. So simple it can use as few as two ingredients (not counting the spices). Lucky for me Z also has an affinity for Indian food, and we bought a bag of spinach during our last trip to Stop & Shop. Score!

Saag with Tofu

2 bags of spinach

1 block of tofu

1/4 teaspoon olive oil

1 teaspoon cumin

2 teaspoon curry powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

Salt and pepper

In a large pan, wilt the spinach in the olive oil. I have to take the spinach by the handful and wilt it until there is enough room to add more. When it is all successfully wilted, add  the seasonings. Mix, taste, and adjust to your liking.

Put the spinach in your food processor and add about 1/2 a cup of water. Blend until smooth.

Cut up the tofu into 1/2 inch cubes. Add them with a little oil to the pan the spinach was in. Add salt, pepper, garlic, and curry powder to taste.

When the tofu has warmed through, add to the spinach and savor!

Unfortunately I forgot how much spinach cooks down. Tonight I only had 1 bag of spinach, which turns into enough wilted leaves for only one person! I managed to convince Z that eating a healthy meal is also about portion control when he looked sadly and the small dollop of saag on his plate. To make up for it I gave him a whole half a block of tofu.

I also hardly ever eat tofu, let alone cook it. I thought it would go well with this dish (it did) but in reality I am utterly clueless. I have heard about marinating it, which I think would make a big difference. I started eating the meal as you see it in the pictures above, but it wasn’t quite at the comfort level I required. So I did this:

Aah, exactly what I needed! A huge plate of blended, Indian goodness! I highly succeeded with this dish (yeah!!). Usually Z comes in with his seasoning hands, throwing in all of the flavors that I left out or was stingy with. This time, when he tasted it to adjust the seasoning, he stepped back and said “It doesn’t need anything”. Umm…come again?! I actually seasoned an Indian dish correctly, the Holy Grail of seasoned food? *Pats self on back* Z gave it his stamp of approval (healthy and cheap!), and by now you all know that Z’s approval is numero uno in my book 🙂

I’m going to try to relax tonight and, I’m not going to lie, Z did come home with some espresso chip ice cream. I’m not usually a fan of sweets…but I’m not usually a fan of saying no if they’re there!

What is your go-to comfort food?

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. February 23, 2010 9:45 pm

    Your saag looks delicious! I’ve honestly never had it but I adore spinach and tofu so I imagine I would love this recipe! My go to comfort food is pizza. Not necessarily the same warm feeling I get from a nice hearty beef stew, but I love pizza with all my heart and it soothes me like nothing else!
    Have a wonderful night!

  2. February 23, 2010 10:24 pm

    that looks fantastic, i recently discovered my love of indian! i actually picked up some paneer this weekend to try saag paneer 🙂

    feel better soon!

  3. February 23, 2010 10:58 pm

    Oh gosh, I LOVE saag. I tried making it at home, but I just can’t get it the way it should be! I wonder why? Maybe because I don’t have ghee…

    Anyway. Comfort food = oats…and grilled cheese sandwiches!

  4. February 24, 2010 8:51 am

    I’ve never heard of Saag. I don’t eat a lot of Indian food, perhaps I’ll give this a go.

  5. February 24, 2010 9:33 am

    I’m with Z on this one. Love how healthy and cheap it is!

  6. February 24, 2010 9:47 am

    Going to make this today!
    I love Indian food..

  7. February 24, 2010 12:18 pm

    This meal looks EXACTLY like the inside of my favorite Amy’s spinach and tofu frozen burrito! Seriously, it makes my mouth water to look at it haha. I will definitely be following in your footsteps on this one.

  8. February 24, 2010 1:53 pm

    That looks great, like my kind of comfort food as a huge curry fan.

  9. peanutbutterfingers permalink
    February 24, 2010 4:56 pm

    my go-to comfort food is mashed potatoes. they’re so delicious & remind me of family dinners. 🙂

  10. February 24, 2010 11:44 pm

    I love Indian food and have been wanting to learn how to cook more dishes – saag paneer is actually my favorite so I’ll have to make this 🙂 Yours looks SO comforting and delicious!

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