Healthy Saag Paneer – This healthy Indian dish is packed with calcium and folates, as well as being gluten-free and vegetarian. You can make it vegan by using tofu in place of the Indian paneer cheese. Although it is usually served as a side dish I like to serve it as a main meal accompanied by naan bread. A classic Saag Paneer recipe uses ghee, clarified butter, but in an attempt to make this recipe WW friendly, I have suggested and used Fry Light, a low fat spray oil. You can of course use ghee for a richer and more authentic Saag Paneer, but we really didn’t miss the ghee as this dish is packed with flavour.
For Meat Free Monday
Today’s recipe for Healthy Saag Paneer is a simply stunning vegetarian dish that is a favourite here at Chez Lavender & Lovage. Although it is usually served as a side dish I like to serve it as a main meal accompanied by naan bread, with a wedge of lemon for an extra lemony tang and fresh coriander leaves. A classic Saag Paneer recipe uses ghee, clarified butter, but in an attempt to make this recipe WW friendly, I have suggested and used Fry Light, a low fat spray oil. You can of course use ghee for a richer and more authentic Saag Paneer, but we really didn’t miss the ghee as this dish is packed with flavour.
This recipe serves four people as a main meal, and between six and eight as an accompaniment, as part of an Indian buffet maybe? I have had saag paneer in numerous restaurants, and I always find it too “soupy”, my recipe for Healthy Saag Paneer has a bit more body and texture to it, as I don’t mince or pulse the onions, garlic and ginger, and I prefer to use fresh spinach instead of frozen spinach, which I find too watery and too “mashed” up or pureed. All you need to do with fresh baby spinach leaves is to pour boiling water over them in a colander, and let them drain for a while.
This healthy Indian dish is packed with calcium and folates, as well as being gluten-free and vegetarian. You can make it vegan by using tofu in place of the Indian paneer cheese, and by using vegetable oil in place of ghee or the spray oil as I have done. I’ve been enjoying lots of Indian spinach recipes lately, and last week I shared another fabulous Indian spinach dish for Coconut, Ginger and Spinach Dhal, which I called a flu’ and cold busting dhal recipe. Spinach is well known for its nutritional properties, being rich in iron, vitamins K which is important for maintaining healthy bones, and vitamins C and B2. It’s also high in magnesium which improves vitality and the quality of blood.
I hope you enjoy today’s recipe for Healthy Saag Paneer, which I’ve posted for a Meat Free Monday idea. The recipe is shared below in a printable card, and I’ve also added a few other meat-free recipes that would be great for a winter lunch for family supper dish. PLEASE do let me know if you make my healthy version of saag paneer, and if you enjoyed it, Karen
MORE Meat Free Monday Vegetarian Recipes
Spicy Black Bean & Avocado Quesadillas – A delicious and easy way to perk up a festive brunch, lunch or supper using Flatbreads, which are so versatile and handy to have on hand. This is a wonderfully light, tasty meal uses Flatbreads, which adds great texture and taste to these quesadillas. Can be made vegan by omitting the cheese.
Aubergine & Tomato Curry with Indian Flatbreads: A bright and vibrant vegetarian curry that is bursting with flavour. The curry is served with quick and easy non-yeast recipe for Indian style flatbreads, which are made with yogurt, flour, salt and butter, and are the perfect accompaniment with the curry.
Whole Roast Cauliflower Cheese with Wild Garlic: A stunning and very easy to prepare cauliflower cheese that has wild garlic added to the quick cheese sauce. Perfect for any late Winter or Spring supper or weekend luncheon.
Toasted Cauliflower and Chickpea Curry – A simple vegan curry that is packed with lots of your five-a-day and some fabulous spices, such a turmeric, ginger and chilli.
Healthy Saag Paneer Recipe
- Fry Light spray oil
- 1 teaspoon Kashmiri chilli powder
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 450g paneer, cut into even-size cubes
- 500g washed fresh baby spinach leaves
- 1 large onion, peeled and finely diced
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely diced
- 1" (2.5cm) piece ginger root, peeled and very finely diced
- 2 red or green chillies, trimmed and finely diced
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 lemon, quartered, to serve
- Coriander leaves, to serve
- Place the cubed paneer cheese into a bowl and spray with the Fry Light, then add the Kashmiri chilli powder and the ground turmeric, mix well to coat and cover and set to one side.
- Place the baby spinach leaves into colander, and then pour over boiling water. Allow the wilted spinach to sit in the colander to drain.
- Spay some Fry Light in a large frying pan or a saute pan and fry the paneer over a medium heat for about 5 minutes, until they are golden brown, turning them all the time so they are evenly browned. Remove the paneer and set them to one side.
- Spray the pan with more Fry Light and add the onion, garlic, ginger and chillies. Saute for 8 to 10 minutes until they are a dark golden brown, adding a little water if the mixture gets too dry. Add the garam masala and cook for a further 2 to 3 minutes, stirring all the time to coat the onion mixture.
- Add the drained spinach and the lemon juice, cook for a further 2 to 3 minutes before adding the paneer, and cook for 3 minutes more.
- Serve immediately with wedges of lemon on the side, fresh coriander leaves as a garnish and warm naan bread.
Make this recipe vegan by using tofu in place of paneer cheese. Omit the chillies for a less spicy version. Can be served as part of a curry or Indian buffet as a side dish, serves 6 to 8 this way.
Nutrition InformationYield 4 servings Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 530Total Fat 35gSaturated Fat 16gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 15gCholesterol 78mgSodium 1004mgCarbohydrates 30gFiber 6gSugar 6gProtein 27g