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.
- 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
- Cook the shells until they are about one minute shy of being “done.” Remove them and run under cold water.
- Heat oven to 350.
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat and saute the shallots for about 5 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms and saute another 5 minutes.
- Stir in the chard, cover, and cook for about 3 more minutes. Turn off the heat.
- In a large bowl crumble the tofu in your hands until it resembles ricotta cheese.
- Stir in the parmesan (if using), lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt and pepper.
- Add the chard mixture and mix well.
- 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.
- Pour sauce over the shells and bake for 30 minutes.
Adapted From One Dish Vegetarian Meals by Robin Robertson