Monday, February 1, 2010


Winter is remarkable. It can be cold, beautiful and a bit dangerous. More than dangerous, especially for my waist line. It's easy to follow suit and stay inside, drink cocoa with peppermint schnapps and live a pretty sedentary life. I received a North Face coat filled with PrimaLoft and I'm no longer afraid of staying outside-- I'm so warm! I sweat when I go snowshoeing! Warm clothes make all the difference in the world. It's gotten better, but there are days when I wish I could take a dose of HiberNol with Chris Farley and call it quits 'till spring. If you get the winter blues, laugh a lil' and know you're not alone!

Now, to the food! Casseroles, stuffed pastas and traditional comfort foods are great to help the winter blahs. They're warm, full of nostalgia and calories. Growing up, I loved stuffed shells and any kind of pasta. When I was 9 and learned that some runners "carbo-load" before a race, I remember asking my mom if I could run in one. Oh, I was a silly, silly kid.

Since I am concerned with the nutritional value in pretty much everything I eat, I made sure to make this "oldie" a new and healthy favorite. We had some leftover frozen squash in the freezer from the fall that I wanted to make some kind of ravioli with. Stuffed shells are kind of like ravioli, but the shells seemed easier at the time. Manicotti could easily be used in place of the shells.

Acorn Squash Ricotta
1 lb firm tofu- pressed
1 1/2 acorn squash - that's just what we had, You could get away with just one or use two.
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 of a lemon- squeezed
1 teaspoon basil
1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
dash of salt and pepper
a few dashes of nutmeg

In a large bowl, mash the squash together. Crumble to tofu into the bowl with the squash. Squeeze lemon over 'ricotta' mixture and add in the dry spices. While you are mixing the Acorn mixture, boil the water and cook the shells. When the shells are to that al dente point, strain and shock them with some cold water to prevent them from cooking more.

Then, stuff the shells! Place them into a pan that has a bit of marinara on the bottom of it to reduce any sticking. Cover with marinara and a little nutritional yeast and put them into a pre-heated oven at 370 for about 45-60 minutes.

I guarantee, people will think this is ricotta.

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