Kale, Tofu, and Sundried Tomato Stuffed Shells with Lemon-Garlic Sauce

By using beans as the main ingredient in the sauce, you get a hint of hummus taste, extra fibre and protein, and a hearty, satisfying taste. The filling is infinitely adaptable — and amazing with mashed butternut squash and spinach, too.

pasta 1

Kale, Tofu, and Sundried Tomato Stuffed Shells with Lemon-Garlic Sauce

For the pasta:
1 8oz (226 g) box whole grain jumbo shells (I recommend Tinkyada)
Salted water, for boiling

For the filling:
1 (350 g) package extra-firm tofu, squeezed of excess moisture
Zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoon large-flaked nutritional yeast
1/2 cup packed sundried tomatoes, chopped (I use no-salt added, sulphite-free ones)
Boiling water for the tomatoes
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 cups finely chopped kale, packed
1 cup crimini mushrooms, chopped
2 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
Fine sea or Himalayan salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste

For the sauce:
1 bulb roasted garlic (this is listed first in the instructions)
1 can (398 ml) organic, no-salt added navy beans (about 1 1/2 cups) (I like Eden’s)
1 lemon, juiced (use the same lemon you used for the zest)
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons roasted cashew butter
2 tablespoons roasted tahini
1 tablespoon large-flaked nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Fine sea or Himalayan salt to taste
Water from the soaked sundried tomatoes (see instructions)

To roast the garlic, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (230 degrees C). Thinly slice the top of the whole garlic bulb, exposing the cloves. Wrap in foil. Bake until soft, about 45 minutes.

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Prepare pasta according to package directions.

While the noodles are cooking, prepare the filling. Crumble the tofu in a large bowl. Stir in the zest and nutritional yeast. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onions, cook until softened. Add the kale, mushrooms and Italian seasoning. Drain the tomatoes, reserving the liquid. Add the mixture to the tofu, along with the sundried tomatoes. Mix to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, put all of the sauce ingredients in a food processor. Use only half of the garlic and half of the lemon. Whizz until smooth. Add additional garlic, lemon, salt, pepper and nutritional yeast to taste. Set aside. (I use the whole bulb and whole lemon, although different sizes may be according to taste). Use the sundried tomato water to thin to a sauce consistency.

Once the noodles are cooked al dente, drain well. Assemble them in a 9×13 glass baking dish. Divide the mixture in the noodles. Top with the sauce. Cover with foil and bake at 350°F (180°C) for 30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

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Stuffed Shells with Roasted Vegetables and Creamy Dill Sauce

Roasting the vegetables adds a smoky flavour to whole grain stuffed shells with a new twist. The creamy sauce is deceptively rich, infused with garlic and fresh dill.

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Stuffed Shells with Roasted Vegetables and Creamy Dill Sauce

1 (227g/8 oz) package of jumbo pasta shells (I recommend Tinkyada)

For the roasted vegetables:
2 leeks, washed thoroughly and chopped into 1-cm cubes (just the whites)
1 medium zucchini, chopped into 1-cm cubes
3 medium carrots, chopped into 1-cm cubes
1 large red bell pepper, chopped into 1-cm cubes
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Fine sea salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste

For the sauce:
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, minced
4 scallions, minced (just the whites)
3 tablespoons arrowroot flour
2 cups unsweetened nondairy milk
Fine sea salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons fresh dill, minced

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add noodles and cook according to package directions. Drain well.

Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C).Toss all chopped vegetables, except for peas, with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and spread on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for about 20 minutes, stirring often, until tender. Lower temperature to 375°F (190°C).

To make the sauce, heat the oil in a medium saucepan. Add the garlic and scallions, stirring for about one minute, until fragrant. Add the arrowroot, whisking quickly, adding nondairy milk, a little at a time, to keep it smooth. After a few splashes, it should be a thick paste. Add the rest of the milk, continuing to whisk. Bring to medium heat, whisking frequently, allowing to cook until thickened, about 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in dill.

Once vegetables are finished, spread a bit of the sauce mixture in the bottom of a 9×13 pan. Arrange noodles, stuffing each with about two tablespoons (30 ml) of filling. Top with additional sauce.

Bake for about 20 minutes. Let sit 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Vegan Fettucine Alfredo

Coconut milk replaces traditional heavy cream in this veganized variation. Not a coconut lover? Not to worry, the coconut is dominated (in a good way) by the roasted garlic.

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Vegan Fettuccine Alfredo

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 shallot, minced
1 (14oz.) can full fat coconut milk, refrigerated at least 24 hours
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1/4 teaspoon  ground nutmeg
1 bulb roasted garlic*
Fresh ground pepper and salt to taste
1 lb (454g) fettuccine, cooked

In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil. Add shallot, letting cook until softened. Open the can of the coconut milk, and skim the thick cream from top, saving the thin liquid on the bottom for another use (smoothie?). Add the cream, nutritional yeast, and nutmeg to the skillet. Squeeze garlic from the bulb onto a cutting board and mash it a bit with a fork. Add it to skillet, mix well, and season with fresh ground pepper and salt to taste. Toss with the fettuccine and garnish with parsley.

*To roast the garlic, slice a thin layer from the top of a bulb and wrap in foil. Bake in a 425 degree F oven for about 45 minutes until softened, then squeeze out the creamy cloves.