Vegan Shells & Cheese
1/2 box small (about 2 cups dry) pasta shells or macaroni
2 Tablespoons oil or Earth Balance
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
pinch of turmeric
salt & pepper
a few grates of whole nutmeg
shake or two of paprika
2 Tablespoons flour
1 can Ro-Tel, drained, reserving liquid
1 12 oz package silken tofu
additional 1-2 cloves garlic (optional)
1 Tablespoon mustard
additional pinch of turmeric
additional salt & pepper to taste
1 cup frozen peas (optional)
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cook pasta to al dente, reserving 1 cup of cooking water.
3. While pasta boils, melt Earth Balance in a skillet on medium heat and add onion, garlic, salt, pepper and spices and saute for ten minutes.
4. Meanwhile, in a blender add tofu, reserved Ro-Tel juice, turmeric, mustard and additional garlic and spices (if using) and blend until smooth and free of lumps.
5. Add flour to skillet and cook for 2 minutes stirring constantly
6. Add reserved pasta water and Ro-Tel, mixture will resemble a yellowish gravy.
7. Add tofu mixture to gravy and heat until boiling stirring occasionally.
8. You can then use this as a nacho cheese style dip and serve in a crock pot set on low with tortilla chips.
9. If you’re not using with pasta, replace the pasta water with hot veggie broth or non-dairy, unsweetened milk.
10. You can also add beans or Boca crumbles prepared like in vegan 7 layer dip.
11. Add cooked pasta to cheese, add frozen peas and stir to combine. If using an oven-safe skillet, you can put the entire skillet in pre-heated oven, otherwise, transfer to a casserole dish and bake for 20 minutes.
• If you want to get fancy, add crushed crackers or potato chips on top and bake an additional 5 minutes.
• This is a great way to sneak in vegetables for kids. You can even puree cooked cauliflower or yellow squash right along with the tofu.