Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Spinach Stuffed Shells w/ Creamy Marinara
-Bring a big pot of water to a boil, and add 1 full box of Tinkyada Brown Rice Shells (not the mini shells for shells and cheese...but the kind you stuff...just to clarify!)
-Boil for about 15 minutes (the noodles will not be done, but we're going to bake them later).
-Thaw 6 c. of frozen spinach (yup...6 c!)...usually I'll squeeze the extra water out of the spinach, but this time, I just threw it all into a large saute pan over medium heat, and cooked the water out. Either way, you can do whatever you feel most comfortable with.
-To the saute pan and spinach (once most of the moisture has been cooked out), add:
2 6 oz packages of mushrooms (I accidentally got "the restaurant blend"...and they worked just fine...but whatever you want will work)
1 t. garlic powder
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 t. dried basil
1 t. dried oregano
1/2 t. sea salt
-Saute for about 5-7 minutes to incorporate flavors
-If you don't have any left over Creamy Alfredo Sauce, here's the recipe...it will make way more than what you need, so freeze the rest, or make up a White Lasagna, and freeze it!
Creamy Alfredo Sauce:
Over medium heat, slowly heat up:
4 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 T. garlic powder
-If you heat the garlic up too quickly, it will burn and turn bitter, so do it slowly, for like 5 minutes to incorporate flavors.
1 qt of MimicCreme (The only place I've seen this is at health food stores...it's a soy-free, dairy-free cream substitute made from almonds and cashews...it can be used as a cream substitute wherever cream is needed.)
-Slowly bring to a boil over medium heat. While that's heating up, mix together:
6 t. corn starch
6 t. warm water
-When the cream mixture starts to bubble, slowly whisk in the corn starch mixture and lower heat once it starts to thicken. (lower to low...just to clarify!)
-Squeeze the juice from 1 lemon into the cream mixture (if I had to guess, I'd say 2-3 tablespoons)...whisk in.
2 t. sea salt
plenty of fresh pepper
1 t. dried oregano
1 t. dried basil
1 t. nutritional yeast
-Note: from the lemon juice to all of the spices, these can all be added to accommodate your taste...however, let it simmer for a while to let all of the flavors blend together. I actually let my sauce heat on low for about 20 minutes before I tasted it.
-Another note: if you feel like your sauce is too thick, add a splash of unsweetened almond milk, or even a little dry white wine.
-For this shells recipe, you will need 2 c. of the alfredo sauce and 1 c. of marinara.
-Preheat oven to 350
-Stuff your shells with about 1 T. of the spinach mixture...enough to fill them, but not super full...I was able to stuff 27 shells with the spinach mixture...which was all the shells in the box.
-Once shells have been stuffed and lined into a 9x13 (or if you're separating and freezing, a few smaller containers), pour Creamy Marinara over them, sprinkle with "parmesan cheese", and cover with aluminum foil.
"Parmesan Cheese" Recipe
1 1/2 c. panko bread crumbs (yes, you should use the panko, because their texture holds up the best)
3 T. nutritional yeast
1 T. garlic powder
1 t. sea salt
3 T. extra virgin olive oil
-Mix all together until the crumbs are evenly coated with the oil and seasonings.
-Bake for 25 minutes covered, then uncover and bake for another 5 minutes. You'll want the sauce to be bubbly, and the noodles to be fully cooked. (You may want to test them before you call them complete!)
-Like I said before...these are amazing! And they make a lot! What I did to freeze them was: stuffed the shells, put the sauce and "Parmesan Cheese" on the top, and then covered them in a double layer of aluminum foil. (Make sure that they are completely cooled before you cover them or condensation will form and they'll get icy.)