Vegan saag paneer recipe: support your nervous system with calcium-rich spinach

Posted by for Recipes

Downing spinach may not give us superhuman strength, but its nutritional benefits still do wonders for our body. The leafy veg is the highest plant source of quercetin (an infection-fighting compound) and its calcium content supports a strong nervous system and healthy bones.

So, when you’re missing meeting friends at your local Indian, stir the superfood into a vegan version of saag paneer.  Also made using nutrient-dense yeast (full of vitamin B12) to boost energy levels and high-protein tofu for muscle growth, this meal will leave you feeling tough enough to take on the bad guys – and anything else your day throws at you. 



250g firm tofu 

1 lemon

2 tbsp nutritional yeast

1 tbsp white miso paste 

1 tsp coconut oil, melted


1 onion

2 garlic cloves

15g fresh ginger 

2 tomatoes

500g fresh spinach leaves 

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp cumin seeds 

2 tsp garam masala

½ tsp ground turmeric

½ tsp chilli flakes

2 tbsp soya cream salt and black pepper



Press the tofu using a tofu press or place it between two clean tea towels. Lay it on a plate and put a weight on top. Leave for at least 30 minutes to drain off any liquid and firm up. 

Zest, halve and juice the lemon into a mixing bowl. 

Add the nutritional yeast, miso paste and coconut oil and mix with a fork to combine. 

Cut the pressed tofu into 1.5cm cubes. 

Tip the cubes into the mixing bowl, toss to coat and leave to marinate for 25-30 minutes. 

Spread the cubes out on the lined baking tray, put the tray in the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes until golden. Turn them once, halfway through the cooking time.


Peel and finely dice the onion. 

Peel and grate the garlic. 

Peel the ginger by scraping off the skin with a spoon, then grate it. 

Dice the tomatoes. 

Roughly chop the spinach.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. 

Add the cumin seeds and stir for 30 seconds. 

Add the onion and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring for 5-7 minutes. 

Add the garlic and ginger and stir for 1 minute. 

Add the garam masala, turmeric and chilli flakes and stir for 30 seconds. 

Add the tomatoes and stir for 3-4 minutes. 

Add the spinach and stir for 2 minutes. 

Add the soya cream and stir for 2 minutes until the saag has a creamy consistency. 

Taste the saag and season to perfection with salt and pepper. Transfer the saag to a serving bowl. 

Take the paneer out of the oven. Place the paneer cubes on the saag and serve immediately with brown rice, wholemeal chapatis or roti.

Image and recipe courtesy of BOSH! Healthy Vegan by Henry Firth & Ian Theasly (HQ, HarperCollins)

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Chloe Gray

Chloe Gray is the senior writer for's fitness brand Strong Women. When she's not writing or lifting weights, she's most likely found practicing handstands, sipping a gin and tonic or eating peanut butter straight out of the jar (not all at the same time).

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