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Ricotta and Spinach Suffed Manicotti

What you need: 

1 pound firm tofu, drained
1 (10 ounce) package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1 tablespoon garlic powder or 1-2 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
1/4 cup nurtritional yeast flakes
3 or 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 (8 ounce) package manicotti noodles
1 (24 ounce) tomato sauce (I like Barilla Lasagna and Casserole Sauce)
vegan mozzarella, shredded, optional (I use Soymage)

What you do: 

1. A little trick I learned working in a good Italian restaurant in New Jersey. You do not need to precook the manicotti noodles, just leave the filling a bit wetter than you normally would. The same goes for lasagna noodles. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Put tofu into food processor or bowl. Add spinach, garlic, salt, pepper, oregano, yeast flakes, and about 2 tablespoons olive oil. Pulse or mix by hand in bowl until well mixed and smooth, scraping sides of bowl. Taste. Adjust seasoning.
3. Fill large zip lock or regular plastic bag with mixture. Snip about a dime sized hole in bottom corner. Pipe mixture into manicotti shells, filling compactly.
4. Pour tomato sauce into a large bowl. Fill jar with about 1/2-3/4 cup water. Put top back on jar and shake well to further remove any remaining sauce. Add to sauce in bowl, mix well adding some olive oil. Ladle 1/2 sauce into a large retangular pan.
5. Put stuffed manicoti into sauce. Top with remaining sauce. Bake, covered 20-25 minutes. Remove cover and top with vegan mozzarella, if using. Bake another 10-15 minutes, until nice and bubbly and a little crunchy. Let cool a bit and enjoy!

Preparation Time: 
40 min
Cooking Time: 
Servings: 
4

SO HOW'D IT GO?

This recipe is one example of the many amazing things you can do with tofu!  You could easily fool anyone into eating tofu with this recipe!  I LOVED this and so did my friend who is such a meat lover he likes his meet to practically still be bleeding...ew.  I used the Whole Foods 365 Classic Marinara sauce, and I thought it really gave this a classic manicotti feel.  You MUST try this when you are in the mood for something delicious!  ;)b

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Delicious!

I subbed out the frozen spinach for a combination of sauteed fresh spinach and arugula (had some greens that needed to get used quickly). I didn't have manicotti so I used no-bake lasagna noodles. At first I thought it was a little dense and the noodles weren't cooked as much (not the recipe's fault, since it had to do with my layering of the lasagna). But as with most baked Italian dishes, it settled and the leftovers were even better.

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I've made this recipe a few times and can't get over how tasty it is! Last time I made it I used the whole bag of frozen spinach (16 oz) which turned out great. It was thicker in my weak blender but I just added about 1/4 cup water and it blended fine. Because I choose not to pre-cook the shells, some of them are a little crunchy when they come out of the oven, but I love saving steps in the kitchen so it's definitely worth it to me. Also, I use the Mushroom pasta sauce, which I love. An easy dish to serve to omni friends.

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Wow, just wow!  ;)b

I didn't alter the recipe at all.  I didn't even cook the manicotti first, but added more liquid.  For tomato sauce, I just whirled two cans of Del Monte seasoned diced tomatos in the blender.  It was soooo good.  Set up wasn't too bad, stuffing all those damn little noodles was, and because I didn't cook the noodles first, it took about 45 minutes for this to cook.  I didn't want to eat crunchy noodles.  You can cook the noodles first, and that cuts baking time down, or don't cook the noodles first and increase baking time.  Either way, in the end it probably takes more time, but I think not cooking the noodles first makes for less dishes to wash!

Thanks for the recipe, it was great.  Definately one I will make again.  My son even ate it...mostly.  And lately he is pretty finiky.

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Yummy! I changed this recipe quite a bit, but the I loved the consistancy of the tofu and spinach filling. I used 'chicken' seasoning and worked super well. I skipped the nut. yeast b/c I'm not a fine. Thanks for posting, I wouldn't have thought to sub tofu in for ricotta :)

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I've made this recipie a bunch of times, each time I made it differently. I used brocolli instead of spinach, it was great too. I also use the "cheese" goop as a sauce for homemade pasta and as a filling for raviolli. Good stuff.

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question.... I have a very difficult time finding nut yeast, would the filling still taste good without?  Thanks!

Around where I live it is in many stores but usually in the same isle as whey protien and the stuff like that

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I forgot to add that a few tablespoons of fresh lemon juice to the "Ricotta" really make a big difference! This holds true for all fake cheeses you make at home.

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I've been changing the unchangeable these past few weeks. My parents have finally agreed to let me changed their All-American diets! This is something I'm sure many of you can appreciate. It requires a very delicate process of slowly replacing certain old favorites with Vegan substitutes, without getting too crazy.

I've gone from making meals with some veggies and some dairy 3 weeks ago to now being able to serve an entirely vegan meal without complaint!

I changed a few things in this recipe. I used fresh steamed spinach, fresh basil and fresh oregano. It added a delightfully fresh flavor to the sauce and "ricotta". As my mom put it, it was a "Flavor Adventure!"

This recipe wins on all accounts. I loved it, my traditionally carnivorous parents loved it. It will become a classic in our family I'm sure.

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These were excellent! I made stuffed shells and even my very non-vegan husband loved these! Thanks for the recipe!

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