Saturday, March 26, 2011

And away we go….tofu and Spinach Stuffed Shells

Tofu Spinach Shells

I got into the kitchen the other day with the same vigor and enthusiasm that I used to have, back when I wasn't batshit crazy. It felt good; the washing, the chopping, the weight of the knife in my hand as I gave the vegetables the business side of things. I haven't wanted to cook in so long, and the smell of something home made filled the house with that warm cozy lived in essence. This activity was spurned on by the tremendous outpouring of love, encouragement and "at a way girl" that came from everyone who commented or emailed or just listened to me one on one. I cannot thank you enough, I repeat, and I mean it, I cannot thank you enough for all being part of my life and for caring. Sometimes I wonder what I did to deserve such amazing people in my life, I honestly still haven't figured that out, but I'll take it, that's for damn sure. 

Since I posted last week about my troubles and my decision to seek help and start therapy I've noticed a real sort of pick me up in my mood, sort of like the day that you are going to go to the hairdresser and get all your hair cut off, you will inevitably have the best God damn hair day of your life, just to fuck with you. But, I'm no fool, I know that this increased state of happiness has an expiration date if I don't get help, so the countdown is on, just a few more days. I will have to make something extra special fancy for that post…

So, Borders, poor sad Borders is closing some of its stores and yes, my store is one of the ones that will be vacated, so everything is on sale. Now, I usually turn my nose up at the recipe books with 1,001 anywhere in the title, purely because anything with 1,001 things in it clearly has not been vetted enough, but it was on sale so I thought what the heck and went ahead and bought a book titled 1,001 Low-Fat Vegetarian Recipes: Delicious, easy to make, healthy meals for anyone.

My first foray into this 1,001 recipe odyssey was this recipe, chosen purely because I had a block of tofu in the refrigerator threatening to walk away on its own if I didn't do something with it soon. And my suspicions were correct, these recipes will offer you the base for a great recipe, but tweaking will be needed to make them really good. I made this recipe according to the instructions and Chris and I both decided that the recipe would have been much better had the stuffing mixture been blended in a food processor instead of being left chunky, so - if you make this recipe, do as you want, but we both thought that it needed to be processed to make the recipe really good.

Shells Stuffed with Spinach and Tofu

1 1/2 cups chopped onions
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 package (10 ounces) baby spinach
3/4 cups finely chopped parsley
1 1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 package (14 oz size) firm tofu finely chopped
1 1/2 cups (6oz) fat free mozzarella cheese (I used low fat or part skim)
2 tbsp grated fat free Parmesan cheese (I used regular)
20 jumbo pasta shells (6oz) cooked, warm
2 cups tomato sauce (I made sauce from scratch with diced tomato, tomato paste, garlic and onion)

1. Sautee onions and garlic in a lightly greased skillet until transparant, 3 to 5 minutes. Add spinach, parsley and basil and cook, covered, over medium heat until spinach is wilted, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly; stir in tofu and cheeses.

2. Stuff each shell with about 3 tbsp cheese mixture. Arrange shells in baking pan and spoon tomato sauce over. Bake 350 degrees, loosely covered, until hot 20 to 25 minutes.

Rating = Meh, I really think this could be much better if everything was processed and perhaps fresh basil was used, throw in some sun dried tomatoes…you get the picture, I'd make it again, I's just tweak it.


Brenna said...

I'll be cheering you on in person, too. I can't wait for the Wallis half. Can I buy you a beer afterward? Love this recipe, the only thing about stuffed shells I don't like is all the damn ricotta (ditto manicotti).

AM said...

Processing would also do a better job of hiding the tofu, which my beloved will not eat.

JB said...

Brenna - yes, of course, I would love love love to grab a drink with you after, although I must admit, I hate beer - any places pour a good pint of hard cider up in those parts?