Stuffed Pasta Shells -- Basil-Tofu Ricotta Recipe added!

UsodaUsoda Posts: 918Registered Users
What would be a good side dish for Stuffed Pasta Shells do you think?

I'm serving homemade sourdough bread, but am wondering about adding a side of steamed broccoli, cauliflower and carrots.

Any suggestions?

Comments

  • NetGNetG Posts: 8,116Registered Users
    Depends what you're stuffing them with! And what kind of sauce you're using over?

    I enjoy simple steamed until they just lose an edge on their crunch veggies w/ more complex main dishes. I don't think I'd use carrots with both cauliflower and broccoli, but that's me - to me, it's tooo sweet. If you're serving a spicier tomato sauce w/ the pasta and want to sweeten, I think carrots and corn would be good, or the broccoli and cauliflower would be a strong enough taste to compete with the tomato sauce.
    The pews never miss a sermon but that doesn't get them one step closer to Heaven.
    -Speckla

    But at least the pews never attend yoga!
  • 2poodles2poodles Posts: 2,485Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Steamed veggies - your choice - drizzled w/balsamic vinegar. Yum...
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]2Poodles :flower: Southeast PA
    fine, med porosity, normal elasticity
    Currently using the following 2 - 3 x/week:
    Living Proof Perfect Hair Day suphate-free Poo, cone-free CO and styling treatment, plus KCCC

  • UsodaUsoda Posts: 918Registered Users
    NetG: doh! I should have added that I'm using a ricotta filling with marinara sauce. I'm thinking you're right on about the broccoli and cauliflower being strong enough to complement the sauce. I'm already using carrots in the sauce, so having it as a side too would be overkill I think.

    2poodles: I heart balsamic vinegar; pouring it over veggies sounds so simple and delicious.

    Thank you guys for helping me figure out what to serve.

    Now that I'm home, I'd like to post the recipe that I use. I'm staving off dairy in lieu of healthier options. This is a recipe I have found and treasure. I've copied it word for word and hope people try it, because it's cheaper to make and tastier and healthier.

    Cheers.




    Basil-Tofu Ricotta

    Use as a filling for stuffed shells, mixed with tomato sauce in pasta, or as a topping for pizza.

    • 1 pound medium-firm tofu, pressed
    • 2 teaspoon lemon juice
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • Dash fresh black pepper
    • Handful fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
      (ten leaves or so)
    • 2 teaspoon olive oil
    • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
    In a large bowl, mush the tofu up with your hands, till it's crumbly.

    Add the lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, and basil. Mush with your hands again; this time you want it to get very mushy so squeeze through your fingers and mush until it reaches the consistency of ricotta cheese. This may take a 2 to 5 minutes.

    Add the olive oil, stir with a fork. Add the nutritional yeast and mix all ingredients well. Use a fork now, because the oil will make it sticky. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

    Makes about 2 cups.



    Recipe from:
    Vegan with a Vengeance - Isa Chandra Moskowitz
  • fluffywonderdoodlefluffywonderdoodle Posts: 316Registered Users
    WOW, thank you for the tofu ricotta recipe!! I've recently developed a lactose intolerance, and I'm really missing good old CHEESE. Since I'm vegetarian I'm used to tofu recipes and this looks like a great one... thanks again! Usoda, have you made this before? Is it good?
  • NetGNetG Posts: 8,116Registered Users
    Usoda, that sounds great! Can I come over for dinner? ;)


    I like using tofu if I want to make a "cream" sauce, too. Blend it up even more finely than you would for the ricotta replacement, use some margarine or other non-dairy butter replacement (is margarine non-dairy? I don't know) and that should work well. I use a yogurt spread instead of butter since I'm not lactose intolerant, but I'm sure you have a substitute which works well!
    The pews never miss a sermon but that doesn't get them one step closer to Heaven.
    -Speckla

    But at least the pews never attend yoga!
  • UsodaUsoda Posts: 918Registered Users
    WOW, thank you for the tofu ricotta recipe!! I've recently developed a lactose intolerance, and I'm really missing good old CHEESE. Since I'm vegetarian I'm used to tofu recipes and this looks like a great one... thanks again! Usoda, have you made this before? Is it good?

    Oh yes, I've definitely made this before! I wouldn't post a recipe w/o knowing for sure if it worked -- that would not be cool, imo.

    It does work, however, and I actually think it's pretty fabulous. I don't think it's an exact clone of ricotta, but it's pretty close.

    The thing I've found is that when I use a medium textured tofu as opposed to extra firm, it tastes better and the texture is more comparable to ricotta.

    I do squeeze the hell out of the tofu before adding it.

    Also, nutritional yeast can be found in a bulk section at almost any health store or Whole Foods (just FYI, in case you didn't know -- some people are like 'what's nutritional yeast?')

    I know cutting out dairy is a challenge, but I wish you luck. I like not having dairy in my system, because my skin always looks so much better.

    If you are looking for other recipes to help with any dairy blues, I've got some that I've been meaning to post on the 'Tried and True Veg. Recipes' thread. Including one for a divine chocolate pudding, and an alfredo sauce.
  • UsodaUsoda Posts: 918Registered Users
    NetG wrote: »
    Usoda, that sounds great! Can I come over for dinner? ;)


    I like using tofu if I want to make a "cream" sauce, too. Blend it up even more finely than you would for the ricotta replacement, use some margarine or other non-dairy butter replacement (is margarine non-dairy? I don't know) and that should work well. I use a yogurt spread instead of butter since I'm not lactose intolerant, but I'm sure you have a substitute which works well!

    (NetG: What's with this weather? Did you see all the snow on the mountains today?!)

    Have you ever tried Earth Balance? You can get it from TJ's or Wild Oats. It's really, really good and made out of healthy oils like olive.

    I love using silken tofu for cream sauces, oh so good.
  • NetGNetG Posts: 8,116Registered Users
    This weather is insane.

    And apparently it made my car decide to protest with a flat tire. At 2am.


    Ugh! I decided driving the last mile home, slowly, on the rim, was safer than changing the tire at night in the rain on a road w/ a 40mph speed limit and the occasional super scary freak show. My life's worth more than a rim!



    I think my dad and stepmother have Earth Balance, and it's GOOD! I am usually nowhere near a TJs or Wild Oats when I'm food shopping, but may have to try getting myself some... Good food habits are a big plus!
    The pews never miss a sermon but that doesn't get them one step closer to Heaven.
    -Speckla

    But at least the pews never attend yoga!
  • love yourself firstlove yourself first Posts: 5,398Registered Users
    Sounds yummy :)
    "Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people."
    "I think that somehow, we learn who we really are and then we live with that decision."
    - Eleanor Roosevelt (both quotes)

    (taking a break from posting starting late august 2009)
  • Riot CrrlRiot Crrl Posts: 3,135Registered Users
    Yum yum yum

    Ricotta and feta may be two of the most believable cheese replacements I have tried. And also Cheeze Whiz... that one is kind of scarily accurate.

    I have like two books on cheese replacement recipes, anyone let me know if you need any recipes for this. I mean, they cover many cheeses, like Muenster and Gruyere and stuff.
  • love yourself firstlove yourself first Posts: 5,398Registered Users
    Riot Crrl wrote: »

    I have like two books on cheese replacement recipes, anyone let me know if you need any recipes for this. I mean, they cover many cheeses, like Muenster and Gruyere and stuff.

    Yes please! Name of book and author would be great. Anything you want to type up about it would be welcome too. You rock :)
    "Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people."
    "I think that somehow, we learn who we really are and then we live with that decision."
    - Eleanor Roosevelt (both quotes)

    (taking a break from posting starting late august 2009)
  • badgercurlsbadgercurls Posts: 3,077Registered Users
    That sounds great! And this is coming from someone who is a dairy-addict. I may have to try it tonight if I can find whole-grain shells at the grocery store.

    NetG - I've seen EarthBalance at regular grocery stores, too, if TJ's is too far away. If you have a grocery store that has a natural/organic section or stocks some natural/organic dairy products and substitutes, you may be able to find it there. I haven't tried it but keep hearing great stuff about it!
  • wild~hairwild~hair Posts: 9,890Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I would love the name of that book as well. LI is a pain.
  • Riot CrrlRiot Crrl Posts: 3,135Registered Users
    Joanne Stepaniak, she has a lot of good vegan books. In particular I am thinking of The Nutritional Yeast Cookbook and The Uncheese Cookbook.
  • love yourself firstlove yourself first Posts: 5,398Registered Users
    Riot Crrl,

    Thanks!! I love cheese, but like to be healthy so will play around with cheese substitutes a bit, and share with family and friends :)
    "Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people."
    "I think that somehow, we learn who we really are and then we live with that decision."
    - Eleanor Roosevelt (both quotes)

    (taking a break from posting starting late august 2009)

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