This whole soft-food thing has been a great brain exercise for us. I’m feeling like I’ve eaten enough white carbs to do me for a while, so thinking of things that are soft and flavorful but NOT bread/pasta/rice is a real challenge. I managed a small bowl of chili at a restaurant last weekend and realized that beans are my friends – soft, nutritious and full of protein. We decided to make red lentil dal for dinner, one of the softest and most comforting foods out there. To round it out, we made one of our favorite Indian dishes, saag paneer (spinach with panir cheese). Panir is the tofu of India: bland on its own, but a great foil for and absorber of strong flavors.
I love saag paneer not just because it’s softly spicy and full of cheese – it’s also really easy to make, assuming you can buy panir at your local shop like we can. If you have to make it from scratch…well, in that case, you might want to make something else (unless you have better luck making cheese than I do). Same with the greens – you could certainly buy a bunch of fresh spinach, but this is a dish where I think it’s better by far to just pull a bag of chopped spinach out of the freezer.