Better Off Well




Stuffed Shells with Quinoa and Cashew Cheese

My friend, Jen, is a rock star. She hosts parties. She challenges herself. She helps people when they need it. She listens. She loves everyone, and everyone loves her. Jen started this Facebook dinner group for our little town and it's really taking off. Women are sharing recipes and pictures and ideas.

Sometimes there is the photo of the bowl of Special K.

Which makes us all chuckle.

No judgment. We are all doing what we can.

What this group did for me is make me realize how little variety I had in my meal repertoire as of late. Sure, I always have lots of different plants in my fridge, but there are only so many ways you can throw them together in a pan before they are yet-another-night-of-sauteed-vegetables.

Were it just me, I'd be fine with that. But I have a little man who deserves some variety.

So last night, I took this on. It kind of all just came to me at some point in the afternoon, after I found the gluten-free pasta shells. I cooked quinoa and made the cashew cheese ahead of time, so it made dinner prep pretty easy.

Stuffed Shells w/ Quinoa & Cashew Cheese

Serves 3-4

1 8 oz. box Tinkyada brown rice shells 2 c cooked quinoa 1 c prepared cashew cheese (not baked) 2 c frozen peas 6 artichoke hearts, chopped 1 jar favorite Italian Herb spaghetti sauce (mine is 365 brand)*

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Cook pasta till just slightly al dente. (Be sure to test so they're not TOO al dente. They should not crunch.)

While pasta is cooking, mix quinoa with peas, chopped artichoke hearts, cashew cheese, and half the jar of sauce. When shells are done, rinse in cold water and place in prepared baking pan. Stuff spoonfuls of mixture into each shell. Pour remaining sauce over stuffed shells and place, uncovered, into oven for 12-15 minutes. (Gas stoves sometimes cook faster.)

Remove. Allow to cool for a few minutes, and serve. Garnish with parsley, if preferred.

pasta sauce
pasta sauce

*Note: if you don't have Italian Herb sauce, just add 1 tsp each of marjoram, oregano, parsley, and rosemary, and garlic powder.