Protein-Packed Lemony Chard Stuffed Shells

If you are a vegetarian you no doubt get asked all the time by [mostly] well meaning omnivores  “how do you get enough protein?” The more nutritionally-aware may even ask you about your iron intake.  This dish has all the answers.  It is made with crumbled tofu instead of riccota (you’ll never miss the cheese I promise) and the iron in the chard is made absorbable by the vitamin C in the lemon- making this recipe both delicious AND functional!

One of my favorite cookbook authors of all time is Robin Robertson- this recipe is out of One Dish Vegetarian Meals.  While just about every recipe in the book (and all of her books) is delicious, I have not found any of them to be doable with one dish.  But this one is worth it- easy, summery, light.  Since there is no ricotta it leaves you full, but not feeling like you ate a brick.  And the amount of chard you can fit in there is amazing!  It’s a great dish to just keep a tray of in the freezer for unexpected company. 

Oh- and between you and me, I can’t even count the number of tofu-haters that have gobbled this dish up and asked for seconds.  It is a GREAT way to get more protein into your family’s diet, especially if you are vegetarians.

To make it vegan simply omit the parmesan cheese.

 
PROTEIN-PACKED LEMONY CHARD STUFFED SHELLS – serves 6
 
 Make Ahead and Make it Easy
 
Cook up the filling, stuff the shells and place the pan in the fridge until you are ready to bake it- add the sauce before baking.  Or, assemble everything (sauce included) and freeze it til you are ready to eat it!  If frozen, double the cooking time.
 
Ingredients
  • 1/2 box jumbo shells, cooked al dente
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 scallions, minced
  • 1 cup white mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch chard, rinsed and finely chopped
  • 1 block firm tofu, drained and blotted dry
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (omit to make vegan)
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of one lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 16 oz jar of your favorite “red” pasta sauce

How to make it

  1. Cook the shells until they are about one minute shy of being “done.”  Remove them and run under cold water.
  2. Heat oven to 350.
  3. Heat the olive oil over medium heat and saute the shallots for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the mushrooms and saute another 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in the chard, cover, and cook for about 3 more minutes.  Turn off the heat.
  6. In a large bowl crumble the tofu in your hands until it resembles ricotta cheese.
  7. Stir in the parmesan (if using), lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt and pepper.
  8. Add the chard mixture and mix well.
  9. Using a teaspoon fill each shell and place it in a 9×13 baking dish.  continue until you’re out of shells or the pan is full, and sprinkle any leftover chard mixture over the shells.
  10. Pour sauce over the shells and bake for 30 minutes.

Adapted From One Dish Vegetarian Meals by Robin Robertson

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s