Wednesday, June 23, 2010

BEST Vegan Shells & Cheese!

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

Garlic powder
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!

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