Monday, April 11, 2011

Meatless Monday (or any day of the week)

I like to not cook with meat. One, I think it's more sustainable, two, it's healthier (except when you're using a ton of cheese like this recipe), and three it's easier to make without planning (I always have frozen meat in the freezer, so that takes time to defrost-a blog on that is forthcoming).
My oldest son doesn't really like meat either, so when I asked him what he wanted me to make for dinner, it wasn't a surprise he asked for stuffed shells. I didn't have any jumbo shells, but I had some lasagna noodles which make great rolled lasagna and perfect individual portions.

Vegetarian Stuffed Shells (or rolled lasagna)

Cook your choice of pasta until soft, but not al dente (it will soften up more when cooked in the oven)
Saute onion and garlic. If you really like vegetables and no one else will complain, add finely chopped mushrooms, bell peppers and zucchini
Puree 1-2 cans chickpeas in blender or food processor then add defrosted spinach (well drained) and fresh or dried Italian herbs
Mix 1 egg, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese and any of the following:
cottage cheese
Parmesan cheese
Romano cheese
add the sauted mix and chickpea mix

Spray a large casserole pan and pour a small amount of red pasta sauce on the bottom.
Stuff the shells and layer them in the casserole pan. If you have enough for 2 layers, make sure you pour more pasta sauce over the first layer before adding the second layer on. If using lasagna shells, spread the mixture along the noodle, leaving about 1/2 an inch empty. Start with the empty side to roll up. You can lay the lasagnas either flat or with the rolls facing up, on it's side.
Once all the stuffing is used up, pour enough sauce to cover the noodles, then top with more cheese as desired.
Cook at 350 for 30-45 minutes until you're hungry and your salad is ready.

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