Nutrition Ambition

Welcome to my vegan food blog! When it comes to food, my philosophy is that taking time to lovingly prepare your own meals can result in better health and greater life satisfaction. I use natural, whole ingredients to create nourishing, exciting meals which replenish mind, body and spirit. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Dinner with my Sister

Of all the dishes I cook for my family, Italian Stuffed Pasta Shells is probably the #1 favorite. It is simple, flavorful, nourishing and comforting. Plus, it can be assembled ahead of time and baked right before you're ready to eat. So, when I invited my sister over for dinner tonight, it was a no-brainer as to what I was going to cook.

Here's what the shells look like before being slathered in marinara sauce:

Ingredients (serves 4-5 generously)
* 15-17 large pasta shells
* 1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce (I love Newman's Own Mushroom Marinara)

For the filling:
* 1 block firm tofu, drained and patted dry (do not use silken) then mashed up in a large bowl
* 1/2 teaspoon each: dried oregano, dried basil, salt and garlic powder
* 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
* 1 teaspoon soy Parmesan (optional but really good)
* 2 tablespoons olive oil

Mix all filling ingredients together well. If possible, cover the surface of the mashed tofu with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours to let the flavors combine.

Cook the pasta shells in boiling salted water until just under al dente, about 7-9 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.

Cover the bottom of a large, shallow baking dish with about 1/3 of the marinara sauce. Fill each cooked pasta shell with 1-2 tablespoons of the tofu mixture, then lay each shell neatly in the dish. Cover with the rest of the sauce and sprinkle with soy Parmesan and/or any leftover tofu mixture. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Along with this steaming dish of deliciousness, I made some special Roasted Garlic and Herb Bread, which couldn't be easier:

To make the roasted garlic: simply get your bad self a whole bulb of garlic (not a clove, but the whole darn thing) and just cut the top off it, so all the cloves get their little heads cut off. Place on a small piece of aluminum foil and drizzle with olive oil. Wrap the garlic up (not too tight) and bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. Let cool before squeezing each soft clove out of the skin.
For the garlic bread, mix together 3 tablespoons of Earth Balance, some dried oregano, basil and thyme along with the contents of a whole bulb of roasted garlic. Spread this on both sides of 4-5 slices of whole grain bread and bake at 350-375 for about 10 minutes until golden and crispy.

Finally, to finish off this glorious feast, I made a colorful fresh salad consisting of spinach, lettuce, radishes, purple cabbage and sugar snap peas.

I was delighted to find out that I have been tagged for a meme by the wonderful and sweet Bazu! Here's what she had to say about my blog: "Roxy comes up with some of the most colorful, refreshing recipes I've ever come across. Whether ultra-healthy or super-decadent, you won't be able to get her foods out of your mind!" So, as per the directive, I will name at least 5 of my favorite blogs, and therefore these people will be tagged to, lets say, either name their top 5 blogs, or top 5 anything!

* Vive le Vegan! Dreena Burton is always coming up with new and mouth-watering recipes that are both nourishing and comforting at the same time. In my eyes, her specialty is dessert! I will admit that I bought her The Everyday Vegan just for the coconut-raspberry bar recipe!

* Don't Get Mad, Get Vegan! This vegan goddess really knows how to make food fun, easy and personal. I love all her ideas on homemade veggie burgers especially, and the photos are wonderful.

* Supper and the Single Girl: Danielle does a beautiful job of fusing quick and easy with yummy and healthy. I look forward to the stories she shares in each post as well as the great recipes and ideas.

* Pisces Place: Kleo has a sweet, vivacious personality that really comes through in her blog. Not only food, but she also blogs about her adorable dogs, events she attends, and animal activist issues.

* What do Vegans Eat? This is a fun and unique food blog that invites anyone to post their recipes and ideas. It really has a very diverse recipe collection and is a great source for new ideas. Very fun!


Blogger bazu said...

Hmmm... blogger just ate my comment! What the...?
That dinner looks so good- no wonder it's your family's favorite! Those garlic toasts especially are calling to me.
Thanks for participating in the meme! I've never seen "supper and the single girl" so this gives me the chance to check it out!

5:29 AM  
Blogger mommamu said...

I made this an my family loved it! Thanks Roxy...

11:35 AM  

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