Vegan Saag Tofu Paneer

This meal is a spiced, green powerhouse with filling plant-protein. Creamy vegan saag tofu paneer is sure to please even spinach haters (at least it did in my house). It’s quick and easy too; a terrific and unique weekday meal that’s hearty, comforting, and satisfying. Slightly adapted from Serious Eats.

Produce On Parade - Vegan Saag Tofu Paneer - This meal is a spiced, green powerhouse with filling plant-protein. Creamy vegan saag tofu paneer is sure to please even spinach haters (at least it did in my house). It’s quick and easy too; a terrific and unique weekday meal that’s hearty, comforting, and satisfying. Slightly adapted from Serious Eats.

Life with an infant is difficult. I know this is a **stunning revelation** to all of you who have raised children...*cough* sarcasm. Everything is a compromise and there are no survivors. In case you don't know what it's like, here's just a glimpse: Oliver is down for his patented 12 minute nap (oh sweet joy); do I shower or eat? Eat. As fast as I can. Meals are no longer savored but inhaled in manner that would shock any observer. What's this? Miraculously, his 12 minute nap has turned into a 20 minute nap. Do I shower or just sit and zone out for as long as I possibly can? Definitely zone out. This could mean reading a book, pursuing Facebook, checking Instagram, snuggling with the pups, or literally just zoning out. Zoning out it is. Alert the press! This is turning into a half hour nap!! Do I shower or try to clean up the house/do something productive. Clean the house. Or try, oh fresh hell... he's awake. 

Life with a newly minted teeny person is a constant battle of decisions. Mostly over whether to tackle personal hygiene or do any of the other basic, everyday life things that you took for granted, nay even put off, before having a child. My mornings, exhausted after waiting for Oliver to fall asleep hopefully by midnight and then waking up to nurse three plus times a night, are decisively rushed. Like a sleep-drunk wonder woman, I whirlwind around trying to tidy the house and clean up the kitchen (whoops, I must have zoned out for the remaining half an hour of the nap), and make things easier for Todd while he is home; preparing the bottles, arranging the cloth diapers, feeding the dogs, getting my lunch together, making a giant pot of coffee (why did we go with a pour-over?!), and putting together a quick breakfast for him. 

Motherhood is rarely glamorous or even joyful all the time. This is no time to be a Pollyanna, but unfortunately that is what many new mothers portray. Honestly, my hair is permanently frizzled, my clothes probably need a good washing, and my eyes speak the truth at how run-down I am trying to work out how to best be Mother, Wife, Employee, Friend, Myself. Sometimes my mood is quiet or frustrated or overwhelmed. The thirty pounds I'm still hefting around is getting really, really old, and pumping three times a day is (in the words of a fellow coworker) "annoying and a hassle". Who wouldn't be a little irritable? Prior to pregnancy, running five miles a day during my lunch break or doing an hour of yoga was just part of me. Now it's all I can do to drag my lumpy, tired body to do the grocery shopping or... seriously... half the time I just fall asleep on the tiny bench in one of our mammography dressing rooms that we don't use, shhhhh. It's probably the most pathetic thing you've ever seen. But I'm okay with that. I'm okay telling the whole world that this is a struggle. A struggle I've brought upon myself, I know, and a struggle that is pretty much the best thing ever. But it sucks. But it's the best.

I'm not complaining. I want to let you know that if you find yourself not as cheerful as people think you should be with new motherhood or 100% rainbows and giggles with your new life or perhaps you're just downright f-ing freaked that your hair is falling out at an alarming and worrying rate and the fact that you can no longer run one measly mile without walking (damn bedrest)... if you can relate to any of this at all; I tell you this... you are not alone. Hang in there. You're not alone and despite social media and every mother ever telling you that that little bundle of joy is the best thing to have ever happened to you (it really is though)... it's still okay to be anxious, tired, and not feel like yourself sometimes. And not even in a postpartum depression way either. You don't need a medical diagnosis to feel out of sorts (though if you suspect you might have PPD, please seek medical guidance). Also, you don't have to apologize for it or make excuses! It's okay to take your time to adjust. Don't let anyone make you feel as though you should rush it or pretend to be happier than you are.

A lot of my days are super happy. I'm incredibly lucky to have such a loving husband, terrific job, and in general a pretty wonderful life. My little fella is quite possibly the best thing that I've ever experienced, but I'd be lying to say sometimes I don't feel like myself or that I'm too exhausted to leave the bed. And that sleep-deprivation can be a real bitch. It can make me feel like a bad mom sometimes, but I'm here to tell you that (just like I tell Oliver), everything's okay. Mommas, we'll get through to the other side. If you need a little help, ask for it! I confess I am TERRIBLE at doing this, but hopefully you can inspire me. 

Also... you guys... horror of all horrors, I'm twelve books behind schedule for my yearly reading quota. #realproblems #moresarcasm #whoamI

I have a lot of momma-to-be friends out there; I hope you found this both terrifying and helpful, but mostly helpful.. and somewhat comforting... but truly scary. The hair thing is for real. I'll be partially bald soon. Below is a recipe I included in this post, mostly so I could find a way to vent. It's really delicous. 

Vegan Saag Tofu Paneer

Recipe by Kathleen @ Produce On Parade

This meal is a spiced, green powerhouse with filling plant-protein. Creamy vegan saag tofu paneer is sure to please even spinach haters (at least it did in my house). It’s quick and easy too; a terrific and unique weekday meal that’s hearty, comforting, and satisfying. Slightly adapted from Serious Eats.

Ingredients

  • 12 oz firm or extra-firm tofu, pressed and cubed
  • 1 tbsp miso paste (I like red)
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice (2 lemons), divided
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • Dash of kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • ⅔ cup vegan milk
  • ½ head of small cauliflower, florets chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1-inch knob of ginger, minced
  • Dash of crushed red pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • ⅛ tsp ground cardamom
  • 4 oz fresh swiss chard, destemmed and chopped
  • 8 oz fresh spinach
  • 1 heaping cup frozen corn

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. In a large bowl whisk together the miso, half the lemon juice, and 1 tbsp oil. Add the cubed tofu and toss to coat, sprinkling with salt and pepper. Bake in a single layer on the sheet for about 25 minutes until golden brown. Set aside.
  2. While the tofu cooks, combine the milk and cauliflower in large rimmed frying pan; bring to a boil over high heat then reduce to a simmer. Cook for about 10 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender; transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside.
  3. In the now empty frying pan, heat the remaining 1 tbsp oil over medium-low. Saute the garlic, ginger, crushed red pepper, and remaining spices in the pan for about 5 minutes until fragrant. Stir in the chard, spinach, and corn; cook for about 5 minutes until the chard is wilted.
  4. Stir in the blended cauliflower to combine, then toss in the baked tofu; add additional milk to obtain desired consistency and cook over medium for about 5 minutes.
  5. Serve hot, over rice or with vegan naan.
Produce On Parade - Vegan Saag Tofu Paneer - This meal is a spiced, green powerhouse with filling plant-protein. Creamy vegan saag tofu paneer is sure to please even spinach haters (at least it did in my house). It’s quick and easy too; a terrific and unique weekday meal that’s hearty, comforting, and satisfying. Slightly adapted from Serious Eats.