Thursday, April 28, 2011

Failed Italian Genes

I was excited all day long to make Vegan Stoner's Kale Stuffed Shells tonight. The biggest change we made to the recipe was using manicotti instead of shells. This was NOT a preference, believe me; for some reason we couldn't find the large shells anywhere at Whole Foods. We got water boiling, threw in the manicotti, and got to work on the stuffing. The stuffing we created, I must say, was incredibly delicious. We made several modifications including adding fresh cut tomato and using Italian Seasoning instead of All Purpose Spice. After the noodles were done, we laid them out on paper towels to dry.

Stuffing time. Disastrous. I had hoped my Italian genes would kick in and stuffing manicotti would be second nature to me. Wrong-o. It took both of us, me holding the noodle opened and pinching one end shut, my fiance spooning filling into the little opening, me cursing every time I put them in a pan because some (or most) of the filling would spurt out. Frustration, indeed! Filling was splattered on the top of the stove, and bits were falling to the floor, much to the chagrin of our cats. Stuffing shells would have been SO much easier!

After stuffing the manicotti noodles, we added a step to the recipe. We covered them with a nice jar of tomato sauce and stuck them in the oven for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees. As they baked, I made a nice fresh salad from kale, dandelion greens, yellow pepper, mushrooms, cucumber and carrot, while my fiance made a nice vinaigrette to pour over it. 

Although stuffing the manicotti noodles was a fiasco, this dish was pretty good. We liked the flavor of the kale paired with nutritional yeast and the ricotta-like textured tofu. The tomatoes added another layer of sweet flavor against the bitterness of the greens in our salads. We will try making this again - but next time, with SHELLS! 

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