Monday, December 6, 2010

Tofu Stuffed Shells [Vegan] &
Parmesan Crisps [Vegetarian]

I remember once mentioning to Adam that I was going to make stuffed shells. He asked what was in it and when I told him ricotta cheese, he said something I'd never heard him say before: I hate ricotta! Coming from a man who'll eat just about anything, I knew he meant it. But, my dear -vegetarian for over a year- boyfriend does love tofu. So, after some research, I replaced the ricotta with tofu, a much healthier ingredient. It's great in shells, ziti's or lasagnas.

1 box jumbo shells
1 jar tomato sauce (dairy free for vegan shells)
1 block firm tofu
1/2 cup chopped spinach
1/4 cup chopped basil
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp oregano
1/4 cup nutritional yeast (optional)
black pepper (to taste)

Cook shells according to package directions. Drain and allow to cool.
Preheat oven at 350. Place a layer of sauce on the bottom of a 13x9 baking dish.

Meanwhile, open your block of tofu and drain water from container. Then absorb as much water as possible by pressing some paper towels down over all sides of the tofu. Break apart tofu and place in a medium size bowl. Mix in lemon juice, garlic powder, oregano and pepper. If you're using nutritional yeast, mix it in as well. Nutritional yeast is not essential to this recipe. It will give it more of a cheesy flavor and a bit more protein. It is an ingredient most vegans have on hand and use. (You can even make vegan nacho cheese with it)

Chop spinach and basil and then add to the tofu. Place mixture in a food processor and blend until tofu is about the same consistency of ricotta. If you don't have a food processor you can use your hands to mix and squeeze everything together.

Spoon about 2 tablespoons of tofu ricotta into stuffed shells and place in sauce covered dish.(I like a lot of filling so we had less shells than you would if you only fill with 2 tablespoons worth) Place more sauce over shells. Cover dish with foil and bake for 15 minutes.

Parmesan Crisps

This is the easiest thing you will ever make. And oh so freaking yummy. I got this recipe from Gwyneth Paltrow's website All you need is shredded parmesan cheese. Place 2 tablespoons of cheese in flat circles on a baking pan. Cook at 400 for 5 minutes. Allow to cool for 1 minute then remove and consume.

I am happy to say that Adam loved the stuffed shells. He had three servings! And the parmesan crisps are great with any pasta dish.

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