Category Archives: Appetizer

Meatless Monday: Queso Fundido Con Soyrizo

Forbidden Rice Blog | Meatless Monday: Queso Fundido Con Soyrizo

The first time I saw queso fundido on a menu, I thought it was nearly too good to be true. A dish filled with melty cheese whose only purpose is to be eaten? It’s the stuff dreams are made of. It’s also one of my weaknesses and I can’t/won’t apologize!

The first time I made queso fundido, I loaded it up with freshly roasted poblano peppers and we demolished the entire thing in one sitting with a bunch of tortilla chips. The poblanos had a subtle smokiness without being overly spicy.

This queso is layered with nicely spicy vegetarian chorizo. There are numerous brands of soy chorizo, but my preference is actually Trader Joe’s brand. You can eat the queso with warm corn tortillas or use tortilla chips to enjoy it as a warm, cheesy dip. (Really if you’re feeling more keen on eating it by the spoonful, I wouldn’t thwart your endeavors.)

Forbidden Rice Blog | Meatless Monday: Queso Fundido Con Soyrizo

Meatless Monday: Queso Fundido Con Soyrizo

Serves 6-8 people.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 a large onion, diced
12 ounces Soyrizo
1 7-ounce can diced green chiles
8 ounces monterey jack cheese, shredded
16 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 large roma tomatoes, diced

Forbidden Rice Blog | Meatless Monday: Queso Fundido Con Soyrizo


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Heat the oil in a 10-inch cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Add the diced onion and sauté just until the onion soften and becomes fragrant. Crumble in the soyrizo and cook, occasionally stirring, until the soyrizo browns (8-10 minutes). Add in the green chiles and sauté for an additional minute or so.

Scoop out half of the soyrizo mixture and place in a small bowl until needed. Sprinkle on half of the cheese over the remaining soyrizo that’s in the pan. Layer on the soyrizo that you removed, over this layer of cheese, followed by the remaining shredded cheese.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until bubbly and golden brown on top. Sprinkle on the diced tomato and cilantro, then serve immediately, with warm tortillas or chips.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Meatless Monday: Queso Fundido Con Soyrizo

Meatless Monday: Cinco de Mayo Recipes

Forbidden Rice Blog | Meatless Monday: Cinco de Mayo Recipes

It’s no secret that we eat a lot of Mexican food, year-round. While some folks seem to wait until Cinco de Mayo rolls around to indulge in their favorite Mexican-inspired dishes, I prefer to enjoy them whenever the hell I feel inclined.

If you’re looking for some vegetarian-friendly recipes (with the inclusion of a couple fish recipes) to celebrate, here are some ideas:

Forbidden Rice Blog | Meatless Monday: Cinco de Mayo Recipes

Appetizers and Sides
Toasted Coconut, Cilantro and Lime Rice
Avocado Green Tomato Salsa
Roasted Poblano Guacamole
Green Chile and Tomatillo Enchilada Sauce
Cheesy Anaheim and Poblano Pepper Rice
Summer Corn Salad
Ancho Chili and Pepita Mole
Chile Colorado Sauce (Basic Red Chile Sauce)
Spanish Red Rice
Easy Salsa Verde
Cilantro Lime Rice
Slow Cooked Black Beans

Forbidden Rice Blog | Meatless Monday: Cinco de Mayo Recipes

Main Dishes
Tofu and Cheese Enchiladas
Vegetarian Tamale Casserole
Jalapeno and Cheese Tamales
Homemade Seitan Carnitas
Spicy Fish Tacos
Chorizo and Cheese Enchiladas
Spicy Citrus Fish Tacos with Creamy Avocado Sauce
Crispy Tofu Tacos with Creamy Roasted Poblano Sauce and Grilled Cotija Cheese
Roasted Poblano Chilaquiles with Fried Eggs
Corn and Poblano Pizza with Cilantro Pesto
Vegetarian Posole with Roasted Peppers, Pinto Beans and Soyrizo
Rajas de Poblano con Elote y Crema Tacos

Forbidden Rice Blog | Meatless Monday: Cinco de Mayo Recipes

Apricot and Berry Sangria
Spicy Bloody Mary
Classic Margarita
Watermelon Margaritas

Cheesy Stuffed Twice-Baked Potatoes

Forbidden Rice Blog | Cheesy Stuffed Twice-Baked Potatoes

Alright, alright… I have been meaning to share this recipe since the Super Bowl happened. Let’s not backtrack to how long ago that was. While I’m not a huge fan of potatoes in general (albeit, for no good reasons), twice baked potatoes tend to serve up as excellent comfort food. They are filled with creamy mashed potatoes, covered in melty cheese, but also have a crispiness that one would find in really good french fries. A win-win situation.

The filling can offer itself up as a vehicle for creativity. The things you can throw into the mix are endless. However, I was making these to share with young kids and I wasn’t sure how adventurous I could get before they wouldn’t touch the potatoes at all. That said, these are easy. Creamy, cheesy, flavorful… and while the kids didn’t know how to eat a twice baked potato (as in, pick it up with your hands and shove it in your mouth… don’t use a spoon to scoop out the cheesy mashed potatoes and throw away the skin!), the adults may or may not have topped theirs with vegetarian chili, a little more cheese, and certainly a little more sour cream.

Even better, the leftovers can be reheated and just may be even more delicious the next day!

Forbidden Rice Blog | Cheesy Stuffed Twice-Baked Potatoes

Cheesy Stuffed Twice-Baked Potatoes

Makes 30 stuffed potatoes.

15 medium russet potatoes, scrubbed well
8 ounces low or full fat sour cream
6 tablespoons milk
8 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard powder
4 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F and position racks in top and bottom thirds of the oven. Use a fork to poke 10 to 12 deep holes all over the potato so that moisture can escape while it’s cooking. scBake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the skin feels crisp, but flesh beneath feels soft.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Cheesy Stuffed Twice-Baked Potatoes

Slice each potato in half, lengthwise. Carefully scoop out the inside of each potato skin, being careful to not break the skin. Leave a small rim of potato to keep the skin from falling apart or tearing. Place the scooped out insides in a large bowl, then lay the hollowed out potato skin on a baking sheet, hollow side facing up.

Add the sour cream, milk, half of the shredded cheese, scallions, garlic, pepper, salt and mustard powder to the scooped out insides. Mash this filling up until smooth and creamy, using a potato masher. Set aside until needed.

Brush each of the hollowed out potato skins with half of the melted butter. Place in the oven for 2-3 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove from the oven, then flip over, so the skin is facing up. Brush with the remaining melted butter, then return to the oven for another 2-3 minutes, until slightly crisp to the touch.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Cheesy Stuffed Twice-Baked Potatoes

Fill each of the potato skins generously with the filling. Top each potato with a little more grated cheese, then bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown on top and warmed all the way through.

Serve hot/warm for best flavor and consistency.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Cheesy Stuffed Twice-Baked Potatoes

Meatless Monday: Creamy Vegan Coconut Pumpkin Soup


Things I especially love about this time of year are plentiful.  While the days are noticeably shorter, there is still daylight. And in that daylight, there are still  warm hours of the day. I can still get by with wearing tank tops and shorts without feeling like a crazy person. The leaves have been vibrant shades of orange, red and yellow, for a while now. Our fall has been mild so far; it’s obviously here — the trees are threatening to go bare, while brightly colored leaves litter the street; the mornings and evenings are cold enough for light sweaters and we’ve turned the heat on a few times now. Today has been wet and overcast, seeming ominous about the winter that slowly approaches.

Soup weather. I have never been someone who gets really excited about soup. Its taken almost three decades to grow any appreciation at all. Yesterday, however, it’s precisely what felt needed and the anticipation of cooking something that would bring warmth into the house and fill our home with the scent of homey, earthy food seemed necessary. Since our friends Ray and Janet shared some of their homegrown pumpkins with us again this year, I knew I wanted to experiment with a pumpkin soup (although I say every year that I will not succumb to the pumpkin-flavored-scented-whatever-everything-anything).

This soup is creamy and filling while remaining completely vegan. The beans add a fullness to the soup, while the coconut lends a bit of sweetness. It’s perfect for this time of year!


Creamy Vegan Coconut Pumpkin Soup

Serves 8 – 1o people.

One 4-pound cooking pumpkin
1/4 cup coconut manna
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1- 15 ounce can cannellini beans
4 cups vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1- 13.66 ounce can full-fat coconut milk



Cut the pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds and membranous threads. Cut each half into four or five strips, following the natural vertical stripes along the sides of the pumpkin. Use a vegetable peeler or sharp knife to peel the outer skin from the pumpkin. Dice into 1-inch cubes.

In a large stock pot, heat the olive oil and coconut manna together over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and saute until translucent (5-7 minutes).

Stir in the salt, coriander, pepper, cubed pumpkin, cannellini beans, broth and bay leaf. Cover and cook until the pumpkin is fork-tender (15-20 minutes). Once the pumpkin is fall-apart tender, remove the bay leaf and then puree the soup until smooth (you may have to do this in batches if working with a smaller blender or food processor).

Return the pureed soup to the stove over low heat. Stir in the coconut milk and vinegar, heating until the soup reaches your desired serving temperature. Serve while hot, topped with fresh black pepper and/or a bit of plain yogurt or sour cream (dairy-free versions of either of those will keep this soup completely vegan).


Meatless Monday: Raw Green Bean Salad with Slow Roasted Tomatoes and Feta


Even as a child (because I was  weird one!) green beans were one of my favorite vegetables! Granted, those green beans also often accompanied a frozen package of corn, peas, and oddly square-shaped carrots.

Last growing season I accidentally planted a couple bush bean plants instead of the pole beans I really wanted to grow. We didn’t have much of a harvest. This year, I planted some pole beans and anticipated a poor grow-season. However, we’ve been bombarded with a frequently consistent crop of green beans.

This salad is easy to throw together, flavorful and tastes great as a side dish or main dish.


Raw Green Bean Salad with Slow Roasted Tomatoes and Feta


For the tomatoes:
1 pound Roma tomatoes, cut into rounds 1/4-inch thick
1/2 pound grape tomatoes, cut in half
good quality olive oil for drizzling, about 1/4 cup
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

For the salad:
2 cups fresh green beans, cleaned* and cut into 1 1/2″ pieces
zest from one lemon
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced fine
1/4 cup crumbled feta
salt and pepper, to taste

  • To clean the beans, simply wash them and snap off the ends, removing the tough string if one is present.



Prepare the tomatoes:  Preheat oven to 225 degrees F. Arrange 2 oven racks to the middle and bottom positions of your oven. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Arrange the tomatoes, cut side up, on the baking sheets. Drizzle tomatoes with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 3 hours, until tomatoes are soft and shriveled. Rotate the sheets among the racks every 45 minutes or so, to cook the tomatoes evenly. Cool tomatoes until they’re comfortable to handle.

Prepare the dressing: In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the lemon zest, juice, olive oil, vinegar and minced garlic until completely combined.

Prepare the salad: In a large bowl, combine the cut beans, roasted tomatoes (as many of them as you want; the rest can be stored in a small glass jar filled with olive oil) and feta. Pour the oil and vinegar mixture over the beans along with some salt and pepper, then gently toss until everything is well coated. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes, up to a few hours, before serving.