Last night my roommate and I started talking about our grocery bills. Now, I almost never go out to eat, have a habit of spontaneously feeding random people, and love to cook… so, I would expect that I spend more on groceries, or at least more on groceries per person, than the average American. Still, I couldn’t resist running the numbers to find out just how much I have spent at the grocery store this month. The actual number, $284, doesn’t bother me too much, but if I break that out per week that is $71, to technically feed one person… and that is only if I don’t go to the grocery store again till May. I was going to go to the farmer’s market day, but instead I decided, that I would challenge myself to make it until Thursday without buying more groceries.
This shouldn’t be too hard, as my fridge and freezer are still quite full of food. But it is random food, food I bought without a plan or is leftover from a previous meal. Which means, it is the perfect food for some creativity. On taking stock of my fridge this afternoon, I realized I had half an onion, tomatoes, a full bag of spinach, and a jalapeno pepper. Excitedly I thought, I could make palak paneer! But, I was missing the “paneer” part. If I made my favorite palak paneer recipe, I would also need cashews and cilantro-ginger-garlic paste. But, never fear, I did have peanuts, ginger, garlic, and potatoes.
If you want a fabulous Saag Paneer recipe, you can’t go wrong with Mahanandi’s takeon this classic North Indian dish. I like it better than any restaurant version I’ve had, and it is better for me (no heavy gravy to weigh down the sauce). But this rendition is also quite good, and worth repeating as tracking down inexpensive paneer can be challenging.
Recipe after the jump