Since being back in the States (read about my trip here, here, and here) I have been all about comfort food - 4 am much needed Ihop run (I blame the jetlag), comforting slow cooker stews, Pho at our small Vietnamese restaurant and this Creamy Pumpkin Sauce & Kale Stuffed Shells - I kinda foresee the rest of this Fall and Winter season being the same. #nothingbutcomfortfood
I had some pumpkin puree leftover after the vegan pumpkin brownies which had been hiding in the freezer, until the idea of turning them into a savory, creamy pumpkin sauce hit me.
The sauce is creamy, savory, and very comforting to the body and soul; cottage cheese happily marries pumpkin puree here. Also, cottage cheese is a great source of protein (1 cup ~ 25 grams of protein). I threw in kale for good measure but feel free to substitute with spinach or leave it altogether. However, I find sneaking them in this way makes eating veggies easier, especially for non-vegetables eaters.
As much as I love cooking, I do not fancy standing more than an hour in the kitchen on a weekday therefore this recipe perfectly fits the bill. Allow the sauce to simmer - stuff the shells - bake and then indulge!
Since we are talking about not spending alot of time in the kitchen, I was so happy when Dorot contacted me asking if I wanted to try their frozen herb and spices that come in neatly packaged freezer trays. I loved the simplicity of just popping a cube of frozen crushed garlic into this sauce. I am so looking forward to trying their herbs because herbs like cilantro and basil go wasted around here more often than I would like to admit; so having a frozen product will definitely change that. The only thing with Dorot products is that I was not able to find it at grocery stores around me (Walmart, Kroger, Tom Thumb) only Trader Joe's had it (mine only carried garlic and basil). I was told that Kroger usually does have it and at Walmart look under the line Pop & Cook.
Now get stuffing friends!
for about 15 shells
15 shells, cooked according to the package and drained
½ cup pumpkin puree
½ cup cottage cheese (I use low-fat)
½ onion, chopped
2 Dorot's garlic cubes (or use 2 garlic cloves)
2 kale leaves, stems removed and chopped
2-3 tablespoon water
½ teaspoon nutmeg powder
1 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
¼ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
salt and pepper, to taste
- Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
- In a medium sauce pan, heat oil/butter over medium heat then sautee onion until slightly soft. Add garlic and kale to the mix.
- Add 2-3 tablespoon of water if it starts to stick to the bottom.
- Pour pumpkin puree to the mixture, stirring everything together. Cook for a minute or two until kale wilts a little bit.
- Add cottage cheese, nutmeg, oregano and cook for 5-8 minutes or until the sauce looks creamy and cottage cheese blends in.
- Add salt and pepper and adjust taste as necessary.
- Remove from heat and set aside the mixture.
- Spoon about ½ tablespoon mixture into cooked pasta shells and place them in a baking tray (greased with cooking spray or oil).
- Top the shells with mozzarella cheese, spoon little sauce on top and bake for 20-25 minutes or until cheese melts.
- Serve immediately.
- My shells were little chewy on the outside but it could be because I cooked the shells previous day and reheated them in the microwave before using it. Topping shells with additional sauce helped keep alot.
- Serve them immediately to prevent it from hardening, although reheating them next day works just fine.
So, friends what kind of food are you indulging in lately?
Have you heard or tried Dorot products? What do you think?
Dorot sent me coupons to buy their products free of charge but all the opinions are 100% mine as usual.