October 26, 2010

Unattractive Food

I can promise you delicious food.

I can promise you healthy food.

I can't, however, promise you attractive food.

This recipe proves that point.

(Gluten free) Pumpkin goat cheese stuffed shells with vegan spiced bechamel

- 1 package gluten-free jumbo shell pasta (I used this brand)
- 4-5 oz goat cheese (I used this; it's lovely)
- 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/2 tbsp fresh sage
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- Vegan bechamel
- S&P, to taste

For bechamel
- I simply used this recipe but used spelt flour, Earth Balance, and added 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice for fun.

- Preheat oven to 375.
- Allow goat cheese to sit at room temperature until slightly softened. Add cheese to a bowl and fold in pumpkin and herbs until you get a smooth and light consistency. Season to taste. Set aside.
- Cook pasta 5 minutes shy of cooking instructions (this particular brand called for a 20 minute cook time, so I stopped cooking them after 15 minutes). Drain and set aside.
- While pasta cools, prepare the bechamel according to the aforementioned recipe.
- To assemble, spoon enough bechamel on the bottom of your desired casserole dish to fully coat the bottom. Stuff the shells using 1-2 teaspoons of the goat cheese mixture. Close shells just slightly and place cut side down in the casserole dish. Top with remaining bechamel.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.

Serves 4

I really tried to make this dish look appealing, but it's just so beige. Despite that, it's a completely wonderful dish. It's delicately spiced, herbaceous and a tad sweet. Plus, it's out of control creamy without being heavy. Another added bonus is that even though this recipe includes cheese and bechamel, it's completely healthy.

Oh, I also adore goat cheese. This may lose me more readers, but it's true.

Does it look better now?


No? Fine, I also massaged some purple kale.

(Mom, you'll be glad to know I only used half a head of kale this time).

I fold.

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  1. I think this dish happens to look delicious! Salivating at the sight of these pictures, actually :)

  2. This looks very attractive to me!

  3. @Gina

    Thanks Gina! I usually prefer more color in my meals, but I assure you this was tasty.

  4. holy moly that looks amazing! it's very attractive to me! GEEZ!

  5. I think it looks good! I love your recipes, they never seem difficult but they're definitely not generic.

  6. I agree that this may lose some readers...I know I'm one of them.

    I came to your website because you were posting about vegan food. I stayed because of your passion for the meals and I was inspired by your personal transformation. But to now be posting with goat cheese and salmon, I gotta say, you've lost the reason I first started reading.

    It's not a judgement on what is right or wrong, just an acknowledgement of what I am interested in. I also don't feel that adding vegan bechamel makes it appealing for me. It's like seeing that Outback Steakhouse offers a 1/2 pound of sirloin with vegan peas covered in butter and cream. Sure, the peas are vegan but there's no point in saying vegan...cause it isn't.

  7. @MindfulGuitar

    I'm sorry you feel that way. My passion is still there as well as my love for vegan and raw foods and I don't think this undermines my personal transformation at all. I'm simply doing what's best for me right now; if that includes occasionally eating goat dairy and fish, then so be it.

    I'm not claiming the dish is vegan, but the sauce is vegan. Considering traditional bechamel is typically not vegan in the slightest, I feel like it's perfectly fine to call it what it is.

  8. @Kate

    Thank you. :) Most of them aren't difficult at all, I swear!

  9. Nice site, nice and easy on the eyes and great content too.