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Vegetarian Mexican Stuffed Shells


What do you love?  Do you find yourself thinking about it at random times throughout the day and missing it when it's gone?  When Jake and I moved away from Boston, we also moved away from Mexico Lindo, our favorite restaurant.  It was (and still is) an oasis filled with bright flavors and equally bright decor.  Since moving, we had an underwhelming dinner at a local Mexican restaurant here in Pittsburgh and pined for the good old days when we took authentic enchiladas and mouth-watering nachos for granted. So, naturally, I try to put a dash of cumin into every corner of my life.  Including Italian food.  Is that even legal?  Hopefully, no one's Italian grandmother reads this blog.  Or anyone in the mafia for that matter.  Yikes.

Almost a year ago, my dad made a Delicious (capital D intended because it was that good) Mexican lasagna that I couldn't get enough of.  Half the pan ended up in my belly and on my hips.  So when I saw that Maeghan from The Way to His Heart has a Mexican stuffed shell recipe, I didn't have any choice but to make it.  Of course, I couldn't make it the same recipe because hers has ground meat in it, but black beans and veggies make an awesome substitute.  Next up will be trying to recreate that Mexican lasagna from my dad!

Vegatarian Mexican Stuffed Shells

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup diced onions
  • 1/2 cup diced peppers (any color)
  • 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1-2 tablespoons of taco seasoning (either buy a packet or make your own combo with cumin, salt, garlic, chili powder, oregano, etc.), to taste
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup diced black olives
  • 6 ounces cream cheese
  • ~20 large/jumbo pasta shells
  • 2 cups salsa
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup monterey jack or pepper jack cheese
  • Sour cream, avocado, salsa, etc. for serving

Heat the oil in a frying pan and add in the onions and peppers.  Let them cook until softened, about 5-10 minutes.  Add in the beans, taco seasoning, corn and black olives.  If it is too dry, throw in a little water.  Next, add the cream cheese and stir until it is melted.  Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, boil the pasta shells according to the package and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large cake pan, put about 1/2 cup of the salsa in an even layer on the bottom to prevent sticking.  Then, fill the shells with the bean mixture and place into the pan.  Cover with the rest of the salsa and bake covered for about 20 minutes.  Then sprinkle with the cheeses and bake uncovered for another 15-20 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly.  Top with any condiments you prefer and enjoy!

Source: inspired by The Way to His Heart

Happy Birthday, Lily!

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