Man, I've been all about food lately, haven't I?
Ah, well - I do love food, that ain't no secret!
After I finished reading The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone, I was inspired to try out a few of her recipes - one of which I made for Father's Day. It was her version of Vegan Shells & Cheese, and it was a HUGE hit. Honestly I didn't miss the cheese at all!
You must give this baby a try - I enjoyed it immensely, as did the rest of my family. Every one of us went back for seconds!
Vegan Shells & "Cheese"
(Serves about 4)
1 package of shell pasta
1 jar of tomato sauce (I only used about 1/2 of this, so if you already have that much in your fridge, you're all set)
1 package of extra firm tofu
Nutritional yeast (I used about a 1/2 a cup - available in the bulk section of Whole Foods)
Fresh basil, chopped
Salt and pepper
Lemon juice (I used 1/2 of a fresh-squeezed lemon)
Vegan mozzarella cheese - shredded, about 1 cup (the original recipe did NOT call for this. I added it myself, and think the additional texture was worth it. You can find this at Whole Foods - try Almond Cheese, or Rice Cheese - although beware hard-core vegans, as Rice cheese isn't always 100% vegan since sometimes it still contains Casein, a hormone found in cow's milk. Read your labels, kiddos!)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Boil the shell pasta according to package directions.
Mash up the tofu with a fork until it resembles a firm ricotta cheese texture. Add nutritional yeast, basil, garlic powder, salt, pepper, fake cheese (if you're using it) and lemon juice.
In a casserole dish, spread out some tomato sauce.
Fill the shells with a couple spoon-fulls of the tofu filling.
Top with the remaining tomato sauce, and bake for 15-20 minutes.
How can something so simple be so easy AND delicious?? I have no idea. I'm gonna be making this meal a lot, that's for darn sure!