What's for dinner? stuffed shells, with leftovers
Like Nicci, I start asking myself this question around 4 p.m. each afternoon. Monday, I took the afternoon off because of allergies, and I napped and watched Food Network. Giada, Paula, Ina and Elie did their thing while I dozed.
Soon 5 p.m. rolled around, and I got hungry. Watching Food TV is not a good idea when you're hungry. A bit of rooting around online turned up this recipe. But I'm not a meat eater, so I changed it a bit.
As I wrote on Monday -- from the couch -- I usually cook for one. But Monday night, I cooked for a friend, too. With this recipe (just half a box of shells), we each had dinner and lunch the next day, plus leftovers. (Serving size was 3-4 shells.) Reader Kelly says she and her boyfriend often do the same thing.
I added spinach for added iron and calcium, plus mushrooms for protein because I omitted the turkey. And I substituted half a package of silken tofu for half the ricotta. (My friend never figured it out.) My mom and I frequently do this when we need ricotta in a pasta dish. Tofu cuts calories, has the same texture and adds protein!
Stuffed shells with artichokes, spinach and mushrooms
1/2 box large shell pasta, cooked but still firm
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 T olive oil
1/4 c onion, diced
1 c frozen spinach
1 c frozen artichokes, chopped (Trader Joe's carries these)
1/2 package mushrooms
8 ounces low-fat ricotta cheese
1/2 package firm silken tofu (make sure it's silken)
1 egg white
1/2 t oregano
1 jar pasta sauce (I only had tomato-basil, but Giada used arrabiata.)
1/2 c shredded mozzarella cheese
salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste
In a saute pan, heat olive oil and garlic over medium, add onion and cook until translucent. Add mushrooms, cook until nicely browned. Add spinach and artichokes and cook until heated through and most water has evaporated, about 5-7 minutes. Allow to cool slightly.
Mash tofu in a bowl with ricotta, egg white oregano and salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Add vegetables, stir well.
In a large baking dish, spread a thin layer of sauce. Fill shells with mixture, then cover with remaining sauce and mozzarella cheese. Bake at 400 degrees until cheese is brown, about 20 minutes.
(I hope this recipe is OK, but tell me if I forgot something. I'm no expert -- obviously!) You could easily double this recipe for guests -- I only used half a package of shells. Or, even easier: Use it as a lasagna filling... I love no-cook lasagna noodles.
Share your meat-free pasta recipes with me!