Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Every cuisine has both healthy and indulgent extremes, but it seems especially do well with in terms of both nutrition and flavor with Indian food. This weekend I went all out on the extreme end of the spectrum - butter chicken with cheese naan (yes, I realize cheese naan is not an authentic dish) but on Monday I wanted to atone for the sins of the weekend with an unassailably healthy meal. Brown rice, spinach, and tofu could easy be a bland bowl of punishment, but the plethora of vibrant spices create a vibrant bowl of flavor. Being a Wisconsin girl, I'll be the first to admit that tofu by no means is a substitute for cheese, but if you think of this a wonderful way to prepare tofu instead of a way to replace paneer, you won't be disappointed. The only real area of caution with this recipe is the yogurt addition - if it is added too quickly or over too high heat, the yogurt will curdle and look a lot less appetizing, although it will still taste just as delicious. If you're in need of a little restorative eating after a weekend of excess, this is recipe for you. Each bite takes away a bit of Bacchanalia, leaving your belly full, body revitalized, and mind eased.
adapted from Eating Well
1 14-ounce package water-packed extra-firm tofu, drained
4 teaspoons canola oil, divided
1 onion, sliced 1/4 inch thick
4 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 pound baby spinach
1 cup low-fat plain yogurt
1 tablespoon curry powder, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste (optional)
Brown rice or whole wheat naan, for serving (optional)
1. Cut tofu into thirds lengthwise and eighths crosswise. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tofu and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring gently every 2 to 3 minutes, until browned on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
2. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil to the pan and reduce heat to medium. Add onion, garlic, ginger and mustard seeds and cook until the onion is translucent, 4 to 6 minutes. Add spinach in batches small enough to fit in the pan and cook, stirring frequently and adding a pinch of salt with each addition, until all the spinach has been added and has wilted, 4 to 6 minutes more.
3. Meanwhile, combine yogurt, , curry powder, cumin, cayenne and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the yogurt mixture to the pan, 1 spoonful at a time, stirring thoroughly with each addition. After the yogurt addition is complete, add tofu and cook until warmed through, just a couple of minutes. Serve promptly with rice or naan.