Sunday, February 19, 2012

Stuffed Shells!

  I just had to share this recipe that I made yesterday for a family dinner at my parents house.  My mom was making baked Mac and Cheese, Pear Salad, and a meat dish.  I decided to help her out by bringing a dish instead of having her make a separate dish just for me (even though she would be happy to do it!).  I made a stuffed shell recipe that I've been dying to try and I'm so glad I did.  It was really good and so easy to make! 
   I got the recipe from the Little House of Veggies blog.  I stumbled upon it a while ago and never got around to making it.  You seriously have to make this!  I had it for dinner again tonight and layered it on a bed of spinach with a splash of olive oil and brown rice vinegar.  So yum!  Oh, and the non-vegans that tried this liked it as well... so go ahead and make it!
Sun-Dried Tomato Tofu Ricotta
Stuffed Shells with Spinach

   Read on for the recipe or click here: 

Stuffed Shells  
with Sun-dried Tomato Tofu Ricotta, Spinach, and Garlic and  Herb Tomato Sauce

Step 1: Sun-dried Tomato Tofu Ricotta with Spinach:
1 Pkg. Organic Extra Firm Tofu, drained and crumbled
Juice of 1 lemon
1 clove garlic, minced
3 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
3 Tbsp. fresh basil
3 Tbsp. Italian parsley
2 Tbsp. Nutritional yeast flakes
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp  dried oregano
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ume plum vinegar, or red wine vinegar
fresh cracked pepper
1 Tbsp. olive oil
8 ounces organic frozen spinach, thawed. Squeeze as much water out of the spinach as possible.

In a large bowl, crumble the tofu up. Add all other ingredients and mix well to incorporate. Set aside.

Step 2: Garlic and Herb Tomato sauce
1 29-ounce can Organic Tomato puree
3/4/ cup vegetable broth (look for no salt added)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 cloves of garlic
2 tsp. ume plum vinegar or red wine vinegar
2 tsp. dried oregano
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp dried rosemary
1/8 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp. dried red pepper flakes (add 1/2 tsp if you like more heat)
fresh cracked pepper

In a Vitamix or regular blender add all ingredients. Blend for just a minute until incorporated and mixed well. Set aside.

Step 3: Cook the jumbo shells
Using a very large soup pot,  cook the shells until they are very Al Dente. Think of it as under cooking them slightly. You don''t want the noodles to get too soft or it will be really hard to work with them and stuff them. Once they are cooked to very Al Dente, drain the noodles. Rinse briefly with cold water to prevent them from sticking together.

Step 4: Stuff the Shells
This is the perfect task to ask your kids to help you with!  First get a large Pyrex  or any large dish that you have that is oven safe. Cover the bottom of the dish with some of the sauce to cover it completely, reserving plenty of sauce to pour over the top of the shells. Fill each shell using a spoon and place in the dish. After you have stuffed all of the shells, pour the remaining sauce all over the top. Then drizzle an extra 2-3 Tbsp. of olive oil over the top.
Step 5: Baking the shells
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Loosely cover the shells with some foil and bake for about 15 minutes. Remove the foil completely and continue to cook an additional 20-25 minutes, until all the shells are warmed and cooked and warmed entirely. 

Step 6: ENJOY
Serve the shells garnished with some extra parsley and enjoy!

 I followed this recipe almost exactly except that I substituted the dried herbs for fresh ones (except for the Oregano).

By the way, if you haven't noticed, I finally have the cables to the camera!  So check back here to see a photo for the last recipe I posted. 
Ves xx

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