Lactose-free Veggie-stuffed Shells

September 23, 2010

I get a little peeved by people who shy away from vegetarian or vegan food because they think it is gross or bland. I have two guesses as to why these notions exist:

a.) they have never tried vegetarian/vegan food and are jumping to conclusions! OR

b.) they have had vegetarian/vegan food that has been poorly prepared.

Craig and I don’t often eat a vegan dishes, but the one I prepared last night was, and if you have never had a good vegan dish, you should give this one a try!

Lactose-free Veggie-stuffed Shells

They were so flavorful and hearty–yet not heavy!

I think this dish would change anyone’s mind about vegetarian/vegan foods!

Lactose-free Veggie-stuffed Shells

Yield: 12 servings


1 package (12 oz.) jumbo pasta shells

1/2 pound sliced fresh mushrooms

1 medium onion, chopped

1 Tablespoon olive oil

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 package (12.3 oz.) silken extra-firm tofu

3 Tablespoon lemon juice

1 package (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

1 can (3.8 oz.) sliced ripe olives, drained (I used kalamata olives.)

3 Tablespoons minced fresh basil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1 jar (26 oz.) meatless spaghetti sauce

1/4 cup pine nuts


1. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute mushrooms and onion in oil until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.

2. In a large bowl, mash tofu with lemon juice. Stir in spinach, olives, basil, salt, and pepper. Add to mushroom mixture; heat through. Spoon into shells.

3. Spread 1 cup spaghetti sauce in a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange shells over sauce; top with remaining sauce. Sprinkle with pine nuts. Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover; bake 5-10 minutes longer or until bubbly.


Time: 5:00 a.m.

Weather: 39*, chilly!, clear, no precipitation

Distance: 6 miles (pace ~ 8:20 minutes per mile)

Notes: I had a good run overall. Good–not great though–probably from only getting 6 hours of sleep, having quite a bit of stress, a lingering cold, and less mileage over the past few weeks due to my injury. However, it was COLD! Okay, cold for September. I should have grabbed some mittens and an ear warmer!


Work has been kicking my butt again! I feel so drained and am lacking motivation, which is a really bad thing considering we are only 1 month into school!! I’m not quite sure how I’m going to make it to May!

I’m off to bed!

    1. Those stuffed shells look so good! I hate too when people say they don’t like vegetarian or vegan food. There are so many dishes that are always vegetarian/vegan but if you put a label on it, something they would have liked suddenly becomes weird.

    1. those stuffed shells look great! question: for your early morning runs now, i assume it’s dark, so do you take any light with you? it’s starting to be totally dark in the mornings here so i have to figure out what to do. thanks!

      1. It is pitch dark! I don’t take any sort of light with me; I know, I’m bad. I’m a minimalist and don’t like to carry anything extra with me. I’ve thought about running with a headlamp.

    1. i loved the shells honey, but you can also make them just vegitarian (like what I do) by adding gradded paramesian cheese or keep them Vegan by not.

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