Sunday, June 29, 2008

Catching Up - and Spiced Tempeh-Stuffed Shells


Is it really possible to catch up after such an absence! Whew!!!!!

Well, first, let me say thank you to everyone who wrote in to say lovely words about the loss of our little beagle Made' aka Maddie, our second (though older) dog-daughter on 14 June. She is so sadly missed by us all, but your thoughtfulness and kindness has somehow made it easier to bear. Meanwhile, our younger girl, Casey, is reaping the benefits of having full-time attention of both her parents. Well, you can imagine!!!

Soooooo, you ask, what have you been cooking/eating since your last food post??? Good question. I seem to have taken some photos, wobbly ones mostly (so what's new there? LOL), but nevertheless they remind me that we have eaten a few things other than salads and wraps and fresh fruit. Not that those three things don't make for very nutritious as well as tasty eating, but they don't exactly make for an exciting food diary!

So here goes on one of the things that seem to have come across our table since arriving back from Paris a month ago.


These are, you guessed it, another version of my Stuffed Shells recipe, which you can see HERE in my first experiment with such a dish and HERE as the then preferred version. I still like both of those, but I decided to branch out just a tiny bit and make this lot from tempeh and add much more creative spice to the mixture. I followed the same basic method as before, but rather than basil or spinach I used handfuls of chopped cilantro (coriander leaves) and used chopped jalapeno, ground cumin seeds, lime zest and juice, miso, nutritional yeast and goodness knows what else (it was a while ago - I must make it again to get it right!) to the stuffing. The result was amazing. The tempeh was mashed to make it like ground, er, ground stuff.

Here it is at the point I'd just put it into the shells.

At this point it still needed a sauce, right? I had none ready in fridge or freezer, so I grabbed a can or tomatoes, added onions and garlic to them with some cayenne, zapped them in a blender and poured it over the dish like this:

The crumby topping, above, is a mix of wholewheat cracker crumbs zapped in a mini-processor with some cashews and nutritional yeast plus varied dried herbs and paprika.

The baked result you have already seen - somehow it never looks quite as nice as the unbaked version when I do things. But it was excellent to eat, and here you have, below, a quick snapshot of my plate before I took it to the table.

The taste was more fusion than Italian, but that's the joy of being able to please oneself in the kitchen. My husband voted for this version over the two others, so that's good enough for me :)

More later :)


VeggieGirl said...

I lost my pet about a week ago (and posted on my blog about it), so now I DEFINITELY know what you're going through - hang in there.

What a gorgeous dish!

River said...

Oh Veggiegirl I'm so very very sorry. I have just read your blog item on your beloved Kiwi - and she was such a beauty and such a miracle indeed - but sadly my software (I think it was mine) or my server acted up and I couldn't add a comment. I'm going to try again now.

Thank you so much for caring about Made' - especially when you yourself have been going through such a rough - and similar - time. It means something special getting kind words from you and I hug you for them.

Best love and special hugs, River

Anardana said...

That looks SO good! Really!!
..and thanks for the sweet comment on mine :)

Veggie said...

Sounds good, I like your cilantro idea.

Anonymous said...

Those are some mad presentation skillz... expecially in the last photo!

Carrie™ said...

The presentation of this dish looks 4 star for sure!

Erin said...

That plate looks really nice! I love love love stuffed shells, in any form.

Rural Vegan said...

I absolutely love stuffed shells of all varieties. I must try these!