Saturday, October 31, 2009

Stuffed Manicotti

Tonight I got to come home early, so I was able to make manicotti for dinner.

Last night, J and I made up the cashew cheese to use as the base for the stuffing. I took the recipe from Dreena Burton. I don't have truffle oil (really, who does?), so I used 1 heaping spoonful of nutritional yeast instead, and used 4 T of water. My blender sort of conked out though, and wouldn't blend, so I think my cashew cheese was a little less smooth than anticipated. Still tasty though! I stuck it in the fridge last night after making it with J.

Tonight, I cooked the manicotti (1/2 package, 7 pieces) according to the package directions. Well, two of the manicotti fell completely into pieces and another in half, so I think I got some faulty manicotti there. But I made it work with the five I had left. (Next time I'm looking for some large shells instead. Much less of a chance - I think - of them all falling apart on me.)

While my manicotti was in the water, I pre-heated the oven to 365 and I chopped and fried (in 2 T of olive oil) the tastiest (and funniest-looking) mushrooms. J and I picked them out at the farmers' market last Saturday (got to get ready for tomorrow morning!). I also chopped up a bunch of cilantro from last week's farmers' market buy. I took two handfuls of the cilantro and the fried mushrooms and added them in a large bowl to the cashew cheese, stirring with my wooden spoon. I took the manicotti out of the water after their allotted seven minutes and set them aside, saving the water. Then I stuffed the manicotti by hand -- none of that whole trying to use a spoon for me! I placed the five manicotti in a glass pie pan and covered them with basilico tomato sauce (that I got on sale last week). Then I baked the manicotti for 20 minutes.

While the manicotti was baking, I got the water boiling again. I washed and cut up the head of purple broccoli that J picked at the farmers' market last weekend (sensing a theme here?) and put it all in the boiling water, covering the pot. (Not all was in the water; some boiled, some was steamed.) The water, when the broccoli was finished, was purple, and some of the pieces of broccoli were no longer purple.

So, here's what tonight's dinner was for me, D, and J. Stuffed manicotti and broccoli. D said that it was good and he would eat it again, so I consider this a coup. ;) J ate it all ... eventually. I think she was put off initially because we told her it was pasta and cheese, but it doesn't look like the mac and cheese dishes I make for her! Like I said though, she ate it all, so everyone wins tonight. Yum!

And, I have leftover cashew cheese with cilantro and mushrooms because those two manicotti died in the pot. I ate some with triscuits as a snack after I got the two babies to sleep and I've put the rest in the fridge for a snack tomorrow or Sunday.

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