Vegan Pumpkin Stuffed Shells w/ Garlic Alfredo Sauce

It has been some time… this whole covid shutdown has had me distracted in a weird way, even with mostly everything closed. My boredom finally led me back to cooking again, which led me here. And back with a kick-ass stuffed shell. Pumpkin ricotta filling for all you basic bitches out there. Topped with a super delicious garlic alfredo sauce… I suggest making double because you can make fettuccine alfredo for “Pasta Night: Round 2”. This lovely recipe is as seen on Rainbow Plant Life, and made by the lovely Nisha.

Vegan, Nut-Free

Prep time: 10 minutes; Cook time: 1 hour 5 minutes; Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Serving: 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 24 to 28 jumbo pasta shells
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • Tofu Ricotta (recipe below)
  • 1 cup (240-250g) pumpkin purée
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup (50-60g) vegan parmesan cheese* (optional) 
  • Garlic Béchamel Sauce (recipe below)
  • 15 fresh sage leaves, sliced or torn up

Tofu Ricotta

  • 1 (14-ounce/400g) block of extra-firm tofu
  • 1/4 cup (20g) nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium lemon, juiced and zested 
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Garlic Béchamel Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced 
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
  • 1 (13.5 ounce/400 mL) can “lite” coconut milk**
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (or 175°C). Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with olive oil.
  2. Cook the pasta shells. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil and generously salt the water. Add the jumbo pasta shells and cook according to the box instructions until just al dente (do not overcook!), then drain well. 
  3. Transfer the cooked pasta shells to a baking sheet and drizzle with the 1 tablespoon olive oil to prevent sticking and set aside.
  4. While the pasta is cooking, prepare the Tofu Ricotta. Drain the block of tofu and dab away the excess water with some paper towels. Place the tofu, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, and crushed red pepper flakes (if using) in a food processor and pulse repeatedly until the texture is smooth but still a little chunky, similar to the texture of ricotta cheese.
  5. Make the pumpkin ricotta filling. In a large bowl, combine the Tofu Ricotta, pumpkin purée, nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, black pepper to taste, and vegan parmesan cheese (if using). Fold the ingredients together using a silicone spatula. Taste the filling and adjust the seasonings accordingly, adding more salt, pepper, or nutmeg as needed. Spoon 1-2 tablespoons of the filling into each jumbo pasta shell, and set aside.
  6. Make the Garlic Béchamel Sauce. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat and add the 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add onion and season with a pinch of salt. Cook for 6-7 minutes, or until the onion is softened and lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the flour, whisking constantly for a minute until well incorporated. Gradually pour in the lite coconut milk in stages, whisking after each addition to prevent clumps, and then cook for 2 minutes until the sauce has thickened. 
  7. Transfer the sauce to a blender and add the 1 teaspoon kosher salt and black pepper to taste. Blend until the sauce is smooth and creamy. Taste the sauce for seasonings, adding more salt or pepper as desired. 
  8. Assemble the dish. Pour 1/2 cup of the Garlic Béchamel Sauce in the prepared baking dish. Arrange the stuffed jumbo shells on top of the sauce. Pour the remaining sauce on top of the shells. Scatter the chopped fresh sage leaves on top of the sauce. Bake the stuffed shells for 25 minutes, or until the pasta shells are lightly golden. Serve warm.

Notes:

* The vegan parmesan cheeses I’ve used are Follow Your Heart shredded parmesan and Violife vegan parmesan wedge.

** To make your own “lite” coconut milk, mix together 1 part full-fat canned coconut milk with 2 parts water, stir together until well combined. Then measure out 13.5 ounces (400 mL).

Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

I missed getting this out before basic b season started, but better late than never for all those fiending, pumpkin-loving monsters out there (myself included).

Really good pumpkin taste, love the chocolate chips, and they are nice and moist! So get to bakin’. Also, I would like to thank the lovely Richa for this recipe, link to it here Vegan Richa. She made her recipe into a loaf of pumpkin bread, I chose muffins. The time for muffins is less, so make sure to differentiate! Directions for each will be in the “notes”.

Ingredients:

Dry:

  • 1¾ cups (218.75 g) flour I use all Spelt flour or 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour + 3/4 cup unbleached white
  • ½ cup (60 g) powdered sugar Use 2 tbsp more for sweeter
  • ¼ cup (40 g) brown sugar or coconut sugar or other sugar of choice
  • 2¼ tsp (2.25 tsp) baking powder
  • ¼ tsp (0.25 tsp) baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) salt
  • 2 to 4 tsp pumpkin pie spice or use 11/2 tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp ginger, ¼ to ⅓ tsp nutmeg, ⅛ tsp cloves
  • 3 to 4 tbsp chopped walnuts or pecans or omit to make nut-free
  • 3 tbsp mini chocolate chips or cranberries or currants

Wet:

  • 1 cup (116 g) + 2 Tbsp pureed pumpkin not pumpkin pie mix
  • ½ cup (122 ml) non dairy milk
  • 3 to 4 Tbsp (4 Tbsp) oil
  • 1 tablespoon molasses or use maple syrup
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • pumpkin seeds or vegan mini chocolate chips for topping optional

Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 365 degrees F / 180ºc.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the dry ingredients until well combined. Mix in the nuts and chocolate chips if using. *If your coconut sugar has large granules, pulse in a blender to grind to finer state and use.
  • Add the wet ingredients and mix well. it will take a minute or 2 for the pumpkin puree to combine well. Mix until there are no pumpkin or flour streaks in the mixture. Add a tbsp more non dairy milk if needed.
  • Transfer to a parchment lined or well greased and floured loaf pan. Top with chocolate chips or pumpkin seeds or a streusel of choice.
  • Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until the toothpick from the center comes out almost clean.
  • Cool for 15 minutes then remove from the pan. Cool completely before slicing. Store on the counter for the day or refrigerate for upto 6 days.

Notes

  1. Pumpkin puree consistencies vary depending on the brand. if your pumpkin puree is too liquid, use 1 tbsp less.
  2. Use Butternut squash puree or sweet potato puree instead of pumpkin for variation
  3. To make into muffins, bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, check with a toothpick to make sure they’re cooked through.

Delicious Winter Soup: Made w Butternut Squash and Lentils

Please try this. I’m telling you, if you crave to feel comfort and love in a bite of food, you’ll be happy with this recipe. It’s so tasty and warm and full of flavor. I can’t EVEN. Serve with a side of buttered up garlic bread, omggggg.

This amazing recipe is borrowed from the lovely Deryn at, Running on Real Food.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium white onion, about 2 cups diced (300 g)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 rib celery, chopped, about 1/2 cup (85 g)
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 cup uncooked red lentils
  • 3 cups cubed butternut squash (350 g)
  • 1/2 cup light or full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups vegetable broth

Instructions:

  1. Add the onion, garlic and celery to a large soup pot with 2-3 tbsp vegetable broth.
  2. Cook over medium-high heat for 7-8 minutes until softened and fragrant. If the pot dries out, add a few more splashes of broth.
  3. Add the curry powder and cumin, stir and cook for 2-3 more minutes.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a light simmer.
  5. Lightly simmer, uncovered for about 20 minutes until the butternut squash and lentils are tender.
  6. Carefully scoop out 2 cups of the soup and add to a blender. Puree until smooth the pour back into the pot.
  7. Enjoy right away or store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days. It can also be frozen for up to months.