Stuffed shells are probably one of my top three favorite dishes of all time. Anytime I see stuffed shells I automatically think of my mom since she used to make them for my family when we were growing up. They are hands down one of the most nostalgic and comforting meals, ever. The only issue - they can kind of be calorie bombs. Now, I am definitely not opposed to splurging and eating a days worth of calories in cheesy, saucy shell form but every once and awhile, I just want to chow down without feeling like a nap is mandatory after my meal. The gluten-free shells I made today were definitely not heavy and not nap inducing. Why? Two words: tofu ricotta. Sound strange and slightly less than appetizing? It's not. Really. Seriously.
Stick with me here.
Vegan, gluten-free stuffed shells stuffed with a mushroom and green pepper "ricotta" mix. Um, delicious.
Jenna over at Eat, Live, Run posted a recipe for vegan stuffed shells this morning (Hi Jenna - you're a genius) and they've been haunting my (day)dreams ever since. All through work I was thinking about what items I needed to make them and how I was going to rush to grab the goods before yoga class. Thinking about these shells helped me get through a particularly difficult half-moon in yoga class and as soon as I walked in the door, I immediately set to work. Turns out, these bad boys are easy.
You make your "ricottta" with some tofu (I used local herbed tofu) , nutritional yeast (buy this now and put on absolutely everything), and garlic cloves. Whirl it up until it gets a bit cheesy looking.
Add in some mushrooms and green peppers or whatever veggie you like (spinach would be awesome) and whirl it some more until it looks like ricotta cheese. Done.
Stuff your gluten-free shells and put them in a pan with some marinara sauce. I used jarred sauce but feel free to make your own.
Sprinkle some more nutritional yeast on the top for good measure. Oh yeah.
Bake it up. Thirty minutes later you have this - it's ooey, it's gooey, and it's pretty good for you.
P.S. My fiancé, the culinary student who has a tattoo declaring his love for pork products, ate about half of the pan of these shells because they were so good. Did I just get him to like tofu?
Gluten-free Vegan Stuffed Shells
Slightly adapted from Eat, Live, Run
Yields: 6-8 servings
Please read through Jenna's recipe for complete list of ingredients and prep steps. Here are my modifications.
1 package brown rice gluten-free pasta shells, cooked according to package instructions
1 package extra firm herbed tofu, (if your tofu is plain, follow Jenna's instructions. If you have herbed tofu, omit oregano in original recipe)
1 cup mushrooms, diced
1 cup green pepper, diced
- add these after you mix together tofu, nutritional yeast, and garlic
- I added a quick sprinkle of nutritional yeast on top of the shells, feel free to do the same. (Trust me, you want to.)