A Vegan Saag Packed with a Medley of Cancer-Protection

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spinach-saag-and-golden-tofu copyFans of Indian food know that saag is a spinach sauce seasoned with cumin, turmeric and other spices that have cancer-preventing qualities. Our new Healthy Recipe for Spinach Saag (pronounced sog) uses health-protective soy as the protein in this delicious dish.

Restaurants feature saag made with paneer, a type of Indian cottage cheese. Paneer has a similar texture and color to firm tofu, made from soybeans. Soy adds protein, nutrients and a set of phytochemicals called isoflavones to your foods.

In this recipe, the tofu is given an appetizing golden color from sautéing first in neutrally-flavored canola oil. If the canola oil doesn’t produce enough of a golden effect, stir in a pinch of turmeric as you sautee it. When you add the tofu to the spinach sauce, it will absorb the flavors of the turmeric, ginger, cumin, coriander, garam masala spice mix and onions.

garammasalaGaram masala (left) is easy to find in the seasoning sections of grocery stores. Its unique taste comes from garlic powder and ground fennel and anise seeds, green peppercorn, red pepper flakes and white pepper.

You can also use collard or mustard greens for part or all of the spinach. Either way, eating dark leafy greens is important for good health and cancer prevention. Our recipe adds tomatoes to this delicious sauce as well. Serve it with brown or brown basmati rice or whole-wheat flat bread.

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Author: Cathy Wolz

Catherine Wolz is a writer, editor, and publications consultant for AICR.