Friday, July 16, 2010

The Octagon, Kids without Bikes and Shells stuffed with Tofu and Spinach

Shells and I haven't interacted much. While my mom and sister were hunting them on the beach I was jumping hurricane sized waves with my brother. As my uncle and brother fired them at the shooting range I was miles away doing my best Iker Casilla impression. And as my college roommates paired them with Velveeta cheese for dinner, I was too busy mixing corn and baked beans to notice.

In fact, before trying my hand at stuffed shells this week, the only prior experience I had with them was when I went to Puerto Rico and collected some beautiful ones to take back to my mother. Unfortunately the creatures were still inside, something I didn't realize, and when I opened my bag to show them to her it smelled like the Hotel Riviera.

Spinach and Tofu Stuffed Shells
(printable version)

-20 shells (about half of a twelve ounce box)
-12 ounces marinara sauce
-2 cups of baby spinach
-14 ounces soft tofu
-2 tsp. lemon juice
-1/4 tsp. salt
-1/4 cup nutritional flakes
-1 Tbs. basil
-1/2 cup Parmesan, grated
-1 cup Mozzarella
-pepper (to taste)

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Cook the pasta according to directions, drain and run under cold water until cool. Set aside.

3. Drain the tofu. In a large bowl mush the tofu until smooth. Combine the tofu with lemon juice, salt and nutritional flakes and mix with your hands until taking the consistency of ricotta cheese. Add the basil and stir with a spoon. Finally combine the tofu mixture with spinach and Parmesan.

4. Spread the marinara sauce onto the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish that is broiler proof. Spoon the tofu and spinach mixture into the shells and place them in the baking dish. Continue until all of the tofu filling has been used. Sprinkle mozzarella over top the shells and bake for 10-12 minutes.

5. Increase the oven heat to a broil. Broil the shells until the cheese begins to brown (about five minutes in my oven). Serve hot.

*I used so little marinara sauce because I didn't realize I had no more. You could probably double the amount I used and be fine.

People try to inspire and I can't blame them for that. But oftentimes their inspiration comes in the form of canned cliches that sound hollow (like a shell) and rehearsed when stated. This is something the Octagon attack in their new song, "Clew Haywood." They state "today is the first day of the rest of your life, don't give me that nonsense, I don't want to hear it." I'm with them. The Octagon have a new album, Warm Love and Cool Dreams Forever, which you can check out here.

The Octagon-Clew Haywood

Something else I have been enjoying lately is Kids without Bikes from Victoria, Australia. Their song "My Eyes Exploded Thanks to My Friends" is like a drive on a dirt road. It starts out all bouncy and full of potholes but then the speed increases and things get out of control. Here is a live version of the song, below you can download the studio version courtesy of Triple J Unearthed.

Kids without Bikes-My Eyes Exploded Thanks to my Friends