Easy Thai Peanut Bowl

Dinner, Lunch
20 Jan 2013

This is one of those easy throw-together lunches that might not deserve its own “recipe,” but I’m always looking for quick and easy meal ideas, so I thought I’d share!

I’m on a peanut butter kick this week, and had a brick of tofu in the Tofu XPress in the fridge just waiting to be used, so I stirred up this little Thai bowl. It came together quickly, since I used a bag of frozen stir fry veggies, and tasted fantastic! I didn’t have any peanuts on hand, and my scallions had gone bad – but if I had them, they’d be on top!

Thai Peanut Bowl

Thai Peanut Bowl

Thai Peanut Noodle Bowl

by Shelly

Cook Time: 15 mins

Ingredients

  • 4 oz rice noodles
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 block extra firm tofu
  • 1 heaping tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups (1 bag) frozen stir fry vegetables
  • 1 8-oz can sliced water chestnuts
  • 1 tbsp chopped peanuts
  • 2 scallions, sliced

Instructions

Boil water and cook rice noodles per package instructions.

Drain and press tofu, then slice into cubes.

Saute oil, peanut butter, and garlic over medium-high heat for 1 minute.

Add tofu to saute mixture and stir. Cook for 3-4 minutes.

Add vegetables and water chestnuts. Season with salt/pepper to taste. Stir.

Reduce heat to medium and cook for 12 minutes.

Check for seasoning and adjust to taste.

Serve over rice noodles and top with peanuts and scallions.

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Posted: January 20, 2013 at 3:17 pm


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Happy New Year! Have Some Tofu!

Dinner, Holidays, Recipes, Side Dishes
31 Dec 2012

Happy New Year, everybody!

With the new year comes resolutions, and one of mine is definitely to cook more (and blog about it!) I got in some early practice today and made my favorite tofu dish to date: Tofu Dippers.

Tofu Dippers with Avocado Ranch Sauce

Tofu Dippers with Avocado Ranch Sauce

Tofu takes some practice, both in preparation and in appreciation. A bad tofu experience can make it difficult to appreciate this versatile wonder-food. Yes, I just called tofu a wonder-food. It really can be! One thing that has definitely helped me is the Tofu XPress (tofu press). It’s so much easier than the old stack-books-on-a-plate-on-top-of-towels-on-the-tofu method. Properly pressed tofu is the key to it absorbing all of the goodness of marinades, as well as to keeping it firm and not mushy.

In this case, my dear friend tofu appeals to two of my favorite food styles: finger-foods, and dip-able things. Preparation was not nearly as messy as I had anticipated, and the result was so good that… well, I ate the entire block of tofu in one sitting. Whoops. Who needs side dishes, anyway?

I served my tofu dippers with an avocado ranch sauce (from page 38 of Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day) – basically, a dipping sauce of avocado, vegan mayo, parsley, thyme, and dill. But they would be just as awesome with ketchup or regular ranch dressing.

Without further adieu, here is the recipe:

Tofu Dippers

by Shelly

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25-30 minutes

Keywords: bake appetizer entree vegetarian tofu

Ingredients (2-4 servings)

  • 1 block of extra firm tofu, pressed
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 eggs, beaten, or equivalent egg whites/egg beaters

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Mix together bread crumbs, garlic salt, and chili powder.

Prep the dipping station with 3 shallow bowls. First bowl: corn starch. Second bowl: eggs. Third bowl: bread crumb mixture.

Slice tofu into 1/4 inch thick pieces.

Dip each tofu slice into the corn starch, then the eggs, then the bread crumbs. Tip: keep your left hand as a “dry” hand to grab the tofu and dip it in the corn starch. Then use your right hand as a “wet” hand to dip the tofu into the eggs and bread crumbs.

Set each breaded slice onto a baking sheet lined with parchment or lightly oiled/sprayed.

Bake at 400F for 20 minutes, then flip tofu and bake an additional 5-10 minutes. Breading should be lightly browned.

Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.

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Posted: December 31, 2012 at 8:31 pm


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Pesto Veggie Lasagna

Dinner, Holidays, Recipes, Vegan & Vegetarian
04 Jan 2012

This might be my favorite lasagna ever – and it’s vegan! I know – I’ve been making a lot of “best ever” claims lately, but I’ve really been on a roll in the kitchen. While this recipe is a little bit labor intensive, it’s easy labor – and the end result is beyond worth it.

I made this dish for my family’s Christmas get together in Chicago last week (though it was just vegetarian for them and not vegan, as I couldn’t find Daiya on short notice Christmas eve). It almost didn’t happen; do you have any idea how hard it is to find lasagna noodles at 4pm on Christmas Eve? We had to go to 2 stores, and I got the very last package on the shelf at store #2 (thank you, Target!) It was well worth the search. This lasagna got thumbs-up reviews from even the meat eaters, and I enjoyed it so much that I made it again at home for New Years.

This recipe makes a 9×13″ dish of lasagna – good for 8 serious servings (which in my case means, a freezer full of lasagna!) For the record, it does freeze and reheat very well. If you plan to go that route, let it cool down a bit then portion it out into freezer-safe containers and freeze. You can also make this a day ahead of time and refrigerate it prior to baking, then toss it in the oven when it’s time to make dinner. Just add 5-10 minutes if you’re starting with cold lasagna.

Without further ado, my favorite lasagna recipe of all times:

Pesto Veggie Lasagna

by Shelly Hokanson

Prep Time: 30

Cook Time: 35

Ingredients (8 servings)

Lasagna

  • 1 pkg lasagna noodles (12+ noodles – no-boil are fine)
  • 1 cup pesto – see recipe below
  • 5 – 6 cloves garlic, peeled & minced
  • 5 cups grilled or sautéed veggies – choose from zucchini, eggplant, red or green bell peppers, portobello mushrooms, broccoli, or your favorites. My favorite mix: 1 red pepper – diced, 1 zucchini – cut into half moons, and 1 head of broccoli florets.
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1 lb or 1 – 14oz package herbed tofu, firm or extra firm (Italian herbed tofu works great here), pressed and crumbled
  • 2-3 medium tomatoes, sliced (8 slices)
  • 1 package (8 oz) Daiya mozzarella or other vegan shredded cheese
  • 1 jar of your favorite marinara

Pesto

  • 1/4 cup walnut halves or pieces
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts (or, replace with additional 1/4 cup walnuts)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, scant
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Instructions

This first step is optional, but highly recommended. Preheat a large heavy-bottomed skillet (such as a cast iron skillet) over medium-low heat. Add the walnuts to the dry skillet and toast for 5 minutes, tossing often. Then add the pine nuts and toast an additional 5 minutes. (If using all walnuts, add them all at the start and toast for 10 minutes).

Set toasted nuts aside to cool.

Prep the Veggies

Preheat the oven to 350F.

In a large saute pan, heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and saute for 5 minutes.

As you chop up the rest of your veggies, add them to the pan, stirring often. If the pan dries out, add a tablespoon or two of water to deglaze the pan and keep on saute-ing.

Continue to saute the veggies while preparing the pesto.

Prep the Pesto

Add the toasted nuts to a food processor.

Add the minced garlic, basil, thyme, salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast until the basil leaves are well blended, scraping down the sides of the food processor as necessary.

Slowly stream in the olive oil and process until well combined.

Blend in the lemon juice.

Assemble the Lasagna

In a 13×19″ dish, coat the bottom of the dish with a layer of marinara.

Place one layer of lasagna noodles on the bottom of the dish.

Layer more marinara on top of the noodles.

Then, add the baby spinach over the noodles.

Crumble the tofu on top of the spinach.

Sprinkle a layer of shredded Daiya over the tofu, then add a second layer of noodles.

Coat the noodles with another marinara layer.

Add the veggies to the next layer and top with a generous layer of pesto.

Add the last layer of noodles and coat with remaining marinara.

Add the rest of the shredded cheese. Place 8 dollops of pesto across the top, and add a tomato slice onto each dollop of pesto.

Cover the dish with foil and bake for 35-40 minutes at 350F, until the lasagna is warmed through and the cheese is melted.

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Posted: January 4, 2012 at 5:40 pm


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Rise and Shine

Breakfast, Vegan MoFo
13 Oct 2011

That’s right. It’s tofu time! There’s got to be a way!

I’m not a “savory breakfast” kind of girl. Veggies in the a.m.? No can do. With the versatility of tofu, though, I couldn’t help thinking – why do we always turn tofu into something savory? Why not try turning it into something sweet?

Or, maybe I just had French toast sticks on my mind, and thought maybe tofu would make a good imposter.

Cinnamon Sugared Tofu Sticks

Cinnamon Sugared Tofu Sticks

Oh yeah, I went there. I tossed tofu in a tablespoon of melted Earth Balance, coated it in sugar and cinnamon, and baked it!

The result had breakfast written all over it.

Cinnamon Sugared Tofu Sticks with Maple Syrup

Cinnamon Sugared Tofu Sticks with Maple Syrup

A little pure maple syrup on the side? Don’t mind if I do!

Very yummy. Reminded me of French toast sticks, but more chewy. Next time I make this, I’m going to marinate the tofu in some sort of maple syrup marinade first. I didn’t do any marinating this time – just use a block of plain pressed tofu. I’d like even MORE of the sweet flavor to come through!

Dipped in Maple Syrup

Dipped in Maple Syrup

I suspect that these tofu sticks would make for a filling breakfast alongside some fruit. I should be able to prove that theory shortly!

Rise and shine – it’s tofu time!

Posted: October 13, 2011 at 9:17 am


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Local Tofu and a New Wheat Meat

Dinner, Product Reviews, Vegan MoFo
10 Oct 2011

Yeah, I know – that title will turn away all but the most devout herbivores!

How about: Spaghetti with Italian Sausage and Garlic Toast. Better?

Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Tomato Basil Sauce, Field Roast Italian Sausage (vegan), and Twin Oaks Tofu

Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Tomato Basil Sauce, Field Roast Italian Sausage (vegan), and Twin Oaks Tofu

Let’s start Vegan MoFo Week 2, shall we?

Spaghetti is my comfort food. It reminds me of my dad, which is comforting. After last week’s sad news of the passing of Steve Jobs, I needed some comforting. Since my dad is now hanging out with Steve (asking how he ever managed to corrupt his daughter into drinking the Kool Aid), well, spaghetti it is.

I tried out two new products in this meal – both discovered via a couple of my favorite food bloggers. First up, Twin Oaks Tofu (which I discovered via Kath Eats). First of all, Twin Oaks is a cooperative, worker-owned farm. Second, they make local tofu – the farm is about 60 miles from where I live in Virginia. Third, it’s organic, non-GMO tofu, and it gets rave reviews from everybody I know that has tried it.

That makes plenty of reasons for me to take a stab at it! I grabbed a package of their Italian Herb tofu from the Friendly City Food Co-Op:

Twin Oaks Italian Herb Tofu

Twin Oaks Italian Herb Tofu

Now, word on the street was that this tofu didn’t have to be pressed. Now, it took me a LONG time to finally “figure out” tofu – and only now that I have a handy dandy Tofu XPress tofu press do I truly appreciate it as a meal option. So, a tofu that wouldn’t require a day sitting in a medieval torture device? Interesting.

I figured I would put it to the test of all tests, and try baking it, straight up – no pressing whatsoever. Sliced up, straight out of the package. (I did add a bit of garlic powder to get the garlic toast thing going on).

The other new product in this meal was Field Roast Italian Sausage – a “grain meat” that I discovered via Emily over at Daily Garnish. She had discovered Field Roast veggie dogs at her local market in Seattle, and they sounded better than most of the “fake” meats I’ve tried. I’m not much of a fan of fake meats – but I was never much of a meat fan even when I was eating meat, so it’s not surprising.

Grain or “wheat meats” are usually based on some form of a recipe for seitan, or wheat gluten. Seasoned properly, these “meats” – when prepared properly – can be nearly indistinguishable from “the real thing.” Texture is usually the hardest part to replicate, even if the flavors are spot-on.

I sliced up 2 links of the Italian sausage and sauteed it for just a few minutes until browned, then added a jar of organic tomato basil sauce and simmered for a bit.

I served the sauce and sausage over whole wheat noodles topped with a little ‘nooch Parmesan, and a few garlic tofu slabs on the side.

All I have to say is… look at this tofu!!

Look at this tofu!!

Look at this tofu!!

Seriously, people. Best tofu I’ve ever had. It baked up wonderfully chewy with a nice little crunch on the outside. So flavorful. So easy!

And with regard to the sausages, I have to agree with Emily. Field Roast is top notch in the vegan meats department. I even enjoyed a sausage plain on a giant roll the other day, and it had fantastic flavor and texture. I wish I could find more of their products locally here.

From my plate to yours, here’s to delicious food that makes you feel good!

Posted: October 10, 2011 at 8:34 pm


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Getting the Hang of It

Dinner
18 Apr 2011

I read a quote recently that said if you don’t like tofu, it’s because you’re not preparing it correctly.

I’d venture to say that’s true.

To this point, I would say that tofu is… okay. It’s alright. I eat it sometimes. Half the time, though, I feel like I’m eating it because it’s some sort of unspoken requirement of being vegetarian. But I’m pretty lazy about tofu. I’ve never bothered to properly press it before preparation. I never marinate it long enough. As a result, it’s often bland and (even worse) mushy. Edible, but nothing to write home about.

It’s not that the food blogger world hasn’t given me many great examples of how to prepare tofu. Like I said – I’ve been lazy.

So when I came across the Tofu Love post over on Peas and Thank You, it struck a nerve – a nerve that was craving tacos at the moment. And now that I have an awesome toaster/convection oven that broils super-easily, I decided to – ONE time – make tofu correctly.

I pressed it like crazy! Went through way too many paper towels. Cleaned up the giant stack of toppled magazines (aka my tofu press) several times as they crashed off the tofu, off the counter, onto the floor. (For the record, I just ordered a real tofu press – no more wasting paper towels – and fyi, shipping is cheaper ordering straight from the maker vs. Amazon).

I marinated it… well, not as long as I was supposed to, but long enough for all of the liquid to be soaked up.

I broiled it… and broiled it a little longer.

I gotta say…. it worked! No mushy tofu! It was kinda crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside. Delicious inside an organic taco shell from Whole Foods, with some cheddar Daiya and Isa’s Sanctuary Dressing.

Tofu Tacos

Tofu Tacos

I kind of liked that the tofu wasn’t all crumbled up like traditional taco meat. It made it much easier to eat – ‘cuz, you know, otherwise all the crumbles always fall out the other end of the taco.

Enjoyed these bad boys with a side of asparagus, and a big bowl of greens – with about 1/4 cucumber and about 1/4 cup of the chickpea/artichoke salad from last week.

Behold, a pretty typical dinner around these parts:

Tofu Tacos, Asparagus, and Greens with Chickpea & Artichoke Salad

Tofu Tacos, Asparagus, and Greens with Chickpea & Artichoke Salad

I spent some time in the kitchen today, not only making the tofu tacos, but making a few staples to get me through the week. I bring my lunches to work (and some days, my dinners too). When I don’t plan ahead, I end up scrambling and then eating PB&J all week. Not ideal. I just can’t bring myself to have a bowl of greens with a PB&J. My veggie intake suffers when I don’t plan ahead.

Today’s kitchen adventures were actually repeats. I’m on a roll lately with a few recipes! I made:

  • A double-batch of Isa’s Chickpea Cutlets from Veganomicon. Half are in the freezer, half are in the fridge. These are SO good in sandwiches!
  • A batch of Sanctuary Dressing from Isa’s Appetite for Reduction (my new go-to dressing…. similar to ranch, but more of a creamy dill). I finally picked up some Mori-Nu tofu at Whole Foods, and it works WAY better in dressings than the refrigerated water-packed stuff.
  • A batch of Golden Chickpea & Artichoke salad from Vegan Yum Yum. I just happened to pick up more pitas to stuff… coincidence? I think not.

Add that to what I made a few days ago (and am still working on, leftovers-wise):

  • A couple Belgian waffles from Isa’s Old Fashioned Chelsea Waffles recipe in Vegan Brunch
  • Sweet Cashew Cream, also from Vegan Brunch
  • Easy Breezy Cheezy Sauce – Isa’s recipe, but I forget from which cookbook.

I’ve got some good eats in my future! Though there will be a PB&J in there somewhere. I just love PB&J! I could eat it every single day, really.

Speaking of peanut butter… I just got a shipment of chocolate PB2 (powdered peanut butter). Never tried it before, but I’m thinking it might be a good addition to my Fancy Oatmeal. Fewer calories than my beloved Justin’s Chocolate Almond Butter…. not that I’m giving up Justin’s. I just picked up a brand new jar of the Chocolate Almond Butter, actually. I was intrigued by Emily’s review of various powdered peanut butters over on Daily Garnish, and picked up some of the now-discontinued Trader Joe’s peanut flour. Haven’t tried that yet, either – and now I’m afraid to, because if I love it, I can’t get it anymore! At any rate, the PB2 and TJ’s are soon to go into my peanut butter rotation, primarily as oatmeal toppings.

Last but not least, I’ve got a tiny batch of soy yogurt in the yogurt maker. My almond milk yogurt attempts were both failures (the first with store-bought almond milk, and the second with homemade almond milk). Let’s hope the third time is a charm. I really like yogurt, but the store-bought soy yogurts are crazy high on sweeteners and calories, and I’m not a big fan of the taste of the coconut milk based yogurts.

Thus concludes today’s kitchen adventures. What did you do in the kitchen this weekend?

Posted: April 18, 2011 at 10:03 pm


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Apples and Miso?

Dinner
01 Apr 2011

Oh, tofu. I have neglected thee. It’s not you, it’s me. You’re flexible and accommodating. You’re always there when I need you – even if you require some thawing first. (Yes, I freeze some of my tofu). Really, it’s not you. You’re everything that is good and true. It’s me. I’ve been too lazy to give you the time and space you need to shine.

I haven’t had tofu in a few months. Why? Who knows. I like tofu. You can turn it into basically any flavor. I’ve just been lazy, I guess – finding it too much of a PITA to bother with the whole tofu pressing process and the marinating. So when I saw this recipe in Isa’s cookbook, I decided to buy some fresh tofu and just go for it.

Appetite for Reduction has a recipe for Apple Miso tofu that sounded like it might go well with some stir fried veggies and basmati rice.

Apples and miso? Really, Isa? Well, OK… if you say so. You’re the chef. I like apples. I like miso. Let’s rock this!

My version turned out more moist than it was supposed to – the tofu never really browned. But that didn’t stop me from loading up my plate.

Apple Miso Tofu Stir Fry

Apple Miso Tofu Stir Fry

The verdict? It was freakin’ delicious – maybe my favorite tofu dish to date.

I sauteed some stir fry veggies in tamari and threw some basmati brown rice in the rice cooker for the occasion.

Apple Miso Close-Up!

Apple Miso Close-Up!

And that’s even with me cheating and not marinating for very long. (Heh – I say “not very long” but that really means, “hardly at all.” I might have marinated the tofu for, oh, 10 minutes? Isa recommended 1-8 hours).

I’m sorry, tofu. I can still be lazy sometimes. Please forgive me!

Maybe “impatient” is a better word.

At any rate, having apples with dinner is pretty darn cool.

Posted: April 1, 2011 at 12:40 am


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No-Mess Sweet & Sour Tofu

Recipes, Vegan & Vegetarian
07 May 2010

I just received my first issue of Vegetarian Times magazine (I love magazines!!), and was excited to see a section with some recipes made using FOIL! Recently, my sister-in-law Amanda suggested I try roasting veggies and such with foil for easy clean-up. I hadn’t thought of that (I’m new to this “cooking” thing, remember?!) So when VT came to my rescue with some recipes, I barely waited a day to try one out.

My first foil adventure is with the Sweet & Sour Tofu Packets recipe from the May/June 2010 edition of Vegetarian Times. I adapted the recipe to what I had on hand, leaving out a few spices and using a bag of frozen organic tri-colored peppers instead of the recommended fresh red and green ones. Still, it turned out really good!

Sweet and sour tofu ingredients

I’m totally hooked on these Garlic Gold nuggets from Kath’s Open Sky Store. They’re tasty and crunchy and organic!

TofuI’m also totally digging tofu. It’s so versatile! And it takes on the flavor of whatever you cook it with. This recipe originally called for Asian-marinated tofu, but as hungry as I was, I just couldn’t bring myself to commit to the hour or so required for a proper soaking. I knew, however, that the tofu would pick up the wonderful flavors of the pineapple and coconut milk, so I wasn’t worried.

I learned a tofu trick from Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s “Food for Thought” podcast over at Compassionate Cooks. She recommends freezing the firm varieties of tofu, then thawing them before using. It makes the tofu much easier to drain (you can almost wring it out!) – no more stacking towels and books on your tofu blocks. It worked really well for this recipe and saved me a good 20 minutes or so.

making packetsHere’s a packet, ready to fold up and pop into the oven! Tofu, veggies, pineapple, and a sweet-and-sour coconut milk sauce. I learned some cool things about coconut milk from another recent book purchase – Thrive: The Vegan Nutrition Guide by Brendan Brazier. He explains how that while coconut milk is high in saturated fat, it is made up of short-chain and medium-chain fatty acids that the body quickly turns into energy instead of storing as fat. That’s a good thing for people looking for a quick energy boost or for weight loss. It also contains lots of vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes.

Sweet and sour tofu over brown riceTada! My packets turned out a little runny – I drained off some of the liquid before storing the remaining leftovers, but hadn’t figured that out in time for this plate! I served the sweet and sour tofu over brown rice. It was exactly what I was expecting – yummy, sweet, and sour. This meal came together really quickly and had very little clean-up due to the use of the foil packets. Thumbs up!

[recipe-show recipe=sweet-and-sour-tofu]

EpicOrganic.net

Posted: May 7, 2010 at 8:10 pm


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Update on Spinach Stuffed Shells

Recipes
25 Jan 2010

Hi all -

Just wanted to update you on the spinach stuffed shells with tofu ricotta. After yesterday’s disappointing sauce experience, I had the shells again today for lunch, but this time with a red pasta sauce that I already knew I liked.

The result – fantastic! The stuffed shells were delicious and they made great leftovers.

I’ll definitely make this one again :)

EpicOrganic.net

Posted: January 25, 2010 at 6:02 pm


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Of Spinach and Tofu

Recipes
24 Jan 2010

This afternoon, I took on my biggest cooking task yet, and included 2 new-to-me foods: spinach and tofu. My mother insists I liked spinach when I was a kid, but I certainly can’t imagine that ever being the case. But, with my recent discovery that baby spinach can go rogue-like-ninja in my smoothies, I figured I’d give grown-up spinach a try.

The recipe: Spinach stuffed shells with tofu ricotta. I got this recipe from the book, Skinny Bitch in the Kitch, but modified it to remain vegetarian but not vegan. (Hey, I like real cheese – what can I say?)

Now, I went all-out on this one – making the entire thing from scratch, including the sauce – but came to the conclusion that the sauce just wasn’t all that good. Good thing I had enough shells to make a second batch with my favorite organic pasta sauce in a jar. So, for this recipe, I left the sauce out of the instructions and recommended a premade sauce instead.

Alrighty, so let’s get cooking!

The only ingredients I used that were not organic were the pasta shells, the Parmesan cheese, and the bread crumbs. Everything else (the tofu, spinach, onions, garlic, etc) was organic.

I ran into trouble right out of the gate, when my rarely-used food processor (it may have been used once in its life) showed up dead on arrival. The original recipe said that the ricotta mixture needed to be pureed, so I tried the blender. Epic fail. The mixture was too thick, and nothing blended – except my wooden spoon when I stuck it too far down while trying to get the stuff moving. There goes half an hour picking wood chips out of my tofu ricotta.

I almost gave up right there, but decided to forge on (praying I wouldn’t be eating tiny wood splinters later). I mashed up the tofu mixture with a fork and added the spinach.

Tofu Ricotta with SpinachIn the meantime, I was also making the white cream sauce. I had a feeling it wasn’t going to be my favorite thing in the world. The consistency was bizarre, like jiggly pudding. My gut told me I probably should have used regular milk instead of the soy milk required by the recipe, but I’d never cooked with soy milk before (only drank it in smoothies), so I figured I’d step outside the box.

white cream sauceWhen the shells were done boiling, I rinsed and cooled them, then stuffed them with the tofu ricotta mixture and covered them with sauce. I had 8 or so more shells than I had sauce, so I put together a second smaller pan of stuffed shells with organic red pasta sauce from a jar. I baked them for 30 minutes and…

At last, the stuffed shells were done, and the moment of truth was upon me.

Stuffed ShellsFeeling completely terrified of the spinach, I conjured up some bravery and took a bite. It was… OK. I might even say it was good, if it hadn’t taken me so long to make. (I was well over an hour of prep with my blender snafu). The sauce was really… not so good. But the tofu ricotta mixture was quite good. I pushed the sauce aside and ate the shells without it. (It was easy to push aside… it kind of had a life of its own, like a blob of goo).

So, while this meal was a little disappointing, I believe I will enjoy the few shells I’ve got in the fridge with the red sauce instead. And I learned a couple valuable lessons: tofu really does take on the flavor of whatever you cook it with (mmm, garlic!), and never stick wooden spoons in the blender. (That probably goes for non-wooden spoons or any other foreign objects as well).

[recipe-show recipe=tofu-stuffed-shells]

EpicOrganic.net

Posted: January 24, 2010 at 7:22 pm


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