●VEGAN STUFFED SHELLS WITH ROASTED EGGPLANT●

●INGREDIENTS●
•15 jumbo shells (gluten-free for GF eaters)
•1 tsp olive oil
•3/4 (~1 1/4 cup) block firm tofu, slightly patted dry
•1 1/2 Tbsp vegan basil pesto (shouldn’t contain cheese)
•Pinch sea salt
•1/2 cup dairy-free mozzarella cheese shreds, such as (Go Veggie or Daiya)*
•1/2 large eggplant, cut into 1/4 inch rounds
•1 1/2 cups favorite marinara sauce

●PREPARATION●

●FOR THE EGGPLANT●
Sprinkle eggplant rounds with sea salt and place in a colander over the sink to let drain. After 10 minutes rinse lightly and then pat dry. Slice into quarters, place on a cookie sheet and toss in olive oil and sea salt. Broil for 5-10 minutes or until slightly browned and softened, tossing once or twice to ensure even roasting. Set aside.

•Next, bring a pot of water to a boil and add shells and a pinch of sea salt. Stir once and cook according to package instructions. Also, preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C).

•While the shells are cooking, add tofu to a food processor and pulse a couple times to break it up. Then add pesto, a healthy pinch of sea salt, dairy-free mozzarella shreds and mix until just combined. Taste a little and see if you need more salt or pesto. Then stir in roasted eggplant.

•Once the shells are done, drain and let cool slightly. Pour 1/2 cup red sauce in the bottom of a 10-inch cast iron or 8×8 pan, then stuff shells with generous spoonfuls of filling.

•Arrange shells split side up in the pan and then top with remaining tomato sauce – they should be covered but not drowning. Bake for 35 minutes or until warm and bubbly. Serve immediately. These go great with Caesar salad, steamed broccoli and/or garlic bread.

●NOTES●

*If you’re not a fan of dairy-free “cheese,” simply leave it out and sub it with more eggplant or tofu.
*If not vegan, you can add an egg for extra binding while breaking down the tofu in food processor. This is not necessary though.

●INFORMATION SOURCES●
https://minimalistbaker.com/vegan-stuffed-shells-with-roasted-eggplant/