Category Archives: Gluten-Free

The Perfect Steel Cut Oats

Forbidden Rice Blog | Perfect Steel Cut Oats (5 of 6)

There is something perfectly simple, hearty and delicious when it comes to a bowl of steel cut oatmeal. This time of year, especially, a warm bowl of oats is gratifying and the perfect way to celebrate cold winter mornings. As a kid, my mom would regularly make a pot of oatmeal for before-school-breakfasts. Usually plain oats that had been perfectly cooked, and on the counter would sit little dishes of brown sugar, raisins, milk and butter to add to our individual bowls.

I didn’t care for oatmeal then, although that probably had more to do with my lack of interest in breakfast, in general… Or perhaps it was the time crunch of struggling to stay in bed as long as possible, followed by a shower that took nearly too long, then the mad dash to the bus stop, sometimes literally racing the bus up our street, hoping to get there in time. Who has time for breakfast in that madness (which, lets be honest – was probably served up with some teenage sass as well)?

As an adult, my tastes have changed. While I still don’t typically eat breakfast before noon, I find myself thoroughly enjoying a bowl of oats. Plus I’m old enough to appreciate the health benefits, too! They’re relatively low in calories, contain lovely amounts of fiber and they are a good source of protein providing, 7 grams per 1/4 cup serving.

Besides, oatmeal is super customizable. You can let the following recipe merely act as a base and add toppings or other ingredients to your liking. Feel free to make this bowl your own and enjoy it often, throughout this winter!

Forbidden Rice Blog | Perfect Steel Cut Oats (2 of 6)

Perfect Steel Cut Oats

Serves 6 or so

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups steel cut oats
6 cups boiling water
2 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
additional milk, brown sugar and cinnamon for serving

Forbidden Rice Blog | Perfect Steel Cut Oats (3 of 6)

Directions:

In a large pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the oats and sauté, stirring, for about 3 minutes until the oats smell toasty.

Add the boiling water, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Keep on a low simmer for 25-30 minutes.

Gently stir the milk into the oats. Cook for another 10 minutes. Stir in the brown sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Cook for 5 more minutes, then scoop into serving bowls.

Top with additional milk if you’d like, brown sugar and cinnamon to your liking.

  • You can easily add other toppings if you’d like. Some favorites around here:

— Mash a banana or two, then stir that in along with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter when you add the milk to the oats.

— Peel, then dice up an apple into bite size pieces. Add to the oats when you add the milk, along with 1 teaspoon cinnamon.

— Sliced pears are great on oats.

— Stir in cranberries, raisins, currants, chopped pecans, chopped walnuts, etc.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Perfect Steel Cut Oats (4 of 6)

Forbidden Rice Blog | Perfect Steel Cut Oats (6 of 6)

The Top 15 Posts of 2015

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To say so long to 2015, here’s a quick roundup of this little blog’s most popular recipes throughout the year!  Thank you all for your continued support of this endeavor. May the new year be filled with new recipes, full bellies, copious amounts of laughter and some new adventures in this blog space! Happy End-of-2015!

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Top 15 Posts in 2015

Forbidden Rice Blog | Top 15 of 2015

#15:   Vegan Chicken and Herb Dumplings

Forbidden Rice Blog | Top 15 of 2015

#14:  Creamy Jalapeño Mac and Cheese

Forbidden Rice Blog | Top 15 of 2015

#13:   Creamy Sweet Corn Risotto

Forbidden Rice Blog | Top 15 of 2015

#12:  Chocolate Ice Cream

Forbidden Rice Blog | Top 15 of 2015

#11:  Ethiopian Mesir Wat

Forbidden Rice Blog | Top 15 of 2015

#10:  Panko Crusted Tempura Shrimp

Forbidden Rice Blog | Top 15 of 2015

#9:  Homemade Falafels

Forbidden Rice Blog | Top 15 of 2015

#8:  Malted Waffles

Forbidden Rice Blog | Top 15 of 2015

#7:  Barbecue “Pulled” Seitan

Forbidden Rice Blog | Top 15 of 2015

#6:  Cowboy Caviar

Forbidden Rice Blog | Top 15 of 2015

#5:  Lavender Vanilla Bourbon Cocktail

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#4:  Miso Mushroom Ramen with Vegetarian Wontons and Crispy Tofu

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#3:  Purple Sweet Potato Pie

Forbidden Rice Blog | Top 15 of 2015

#2:  Baked Barbecue Panko Tofu
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#1:  Leo’s Limoncello

 

Happiest New Year to YOU!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Tofu Pudding

photo 3Don’t run off too quickly! If there was ever something a girl could cook up that would make her immediately feel like a total hippie, tofu pudding is at the top of the list. Tofu pudding — does the name itself make you cringe? It did for me, for a long time. The first time I ever tried “chocolate tofu pudding” was a definite no-go. One bite of this particular store-bought variety was enough for me to swear it off forever. And I did for nearly a decade after that one bite.

Then a couple weeks ago, Vincent’s mom gave us a bit of chocolate tofu mousse she’d made. I didn’t know it was tofu until my husband told me so when it was half gone. I think the trick is two-fold: using the right tofu (so it’s creamy without residual graininess or tofu-tasting) and using good quality chocolate so that flavor takes over. I found myself immediately thinking how can I make this into puddings of other flavors? Chocolate peanut butter seemed urgently necessary.

This pudding is ridiculously creamy, sweet, and certainly it doesn’t feel like you’re being cheated out of dessert by this healthier option. This particular tofu pudding has nearly half the calories and fat as a traditional pudding, with added protein and an equal amount of tastiness. Plus it’s cheap and easy to throw together, as well as entirely kid-friendly.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Tofu Pudding

Serves 8-10 people.

Ingredients:
For the peanut butter pudding:
one 12-ounce package silken soft tofu (the unrefrigerated, shelf-stable kind)
2 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the chocolate pudding:
one 12-ounce package silken soft tofu (the unrefrigerated, shelf-stable kind)
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

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Directions:

Prepare the peanut butter tofu pudding: Blend one box of tofu in a blender until smooth and creamy (1-2 minutes).  Add the sugar, peanut butter, and vanilla. Blend again until completely smooth. Scoop the pudding into a bowl until needed.

Prepare the chocolate tofu pudding: Melt the chocolate chips. To do so, place water in the bottom of a double boiler so the top of the water is a 1/2 inch below the upper pan. Then place the double boiler over low heat. Stir the chocolate constantly until it is melted. The water in the bottom of the double boiler should not come to boiling while the chocolate is melting.

While the chocolate cools slightly, blend the remaining box of tofu in your blender (I didn’t even rinse it out after making the peanut butter pudding first) until smooth and creamy. Add in the sugar, cocoa powder, unsweetened cocoa, vanilla and melted (and slightly cooled) chocolate. Blend until smooth and completely combined.

Layer the pudding: In a serving dish, scoop in half the chocolate pudding. Smooth out the top. Gently scoop the peanut butter pudding over the first layer of chocolate pudding. Smooth over the top, then gently add the remaining chocolate pudding on top, smoothing it out. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

You can serve the pudding scooped out as is, or top with whipped cream if you prefer!

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Ethiopian Food, Part 3: Mesir Wat

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For a little while, I thought I was just going to share a slew of Ethiopian food recipes with you. We got started… then life happened and somehow today is October?! With school in full swing, football and water polo both also heavily in effect, time seems scarce. We’ve been traveling a lot, mostly relative to the kids’ sport events, but typically this means a very fast paced drive out of town, rush to events, drive back to town, drive to more events… and by the end of those three or so day stretches, the last thing my brain is coherent enough to do is write down recipe that make any sense.

Regardless, here we are! And I’m bringing you a delicious Ethiopian lentil stew that is perhaps one of my favorite dishes when it comes to such cuisine. Lentils are super easy to deal with and pack a good bit of nutrition. They help lower blood cholesterol due to high amounts of soluble fiber (such fiber also being excellent for preventing digestive disruptions). They’re great for folks with diabetes, as the same soluble fiber traps carbohydrates, which stabilizes blood sugar levels by slowing down digestion. They have a decent amount of proteins and iron, too!

There are many different types of “wat” or “wot” when it comes to Ethiopian food, which basically translates to a stew or curry. When it comes to mesir wat, red lentils are cooked until thick and creamy with berbere spice, creating a very hearty and comforting dish. The addition of berbere makes this dish slightly spicy, but mainly very flavorful.

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Ethiopian Food, Part 3: Mesir Wat [Pureed Red Lentil Stew]

Serves 4-6 people.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups dried red lentils
2 cups water
1 large onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons berbere spice
salt and pepper

Directions:

Place the onion, garlic and ginger in a food processor or blender and puree. Add a little water if necessary.

Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add the berbere spice, rapidly stirring, enough to color the oil and cook spices through, about 30 seconds.

Add the onion puree and sauté until the excess moisture evaporates and the onion loses its raw aroma, about 5-10 minutes, being sure not to burn the mixture. Add the lentils and water to the saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer until the lentils are cooked through, falling apart, (30 to 40 minutes). Add water if necessary to keep the lentils from drying out.

Stir in salt and pepper to taste and then serve.

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Ethiopian Food, Part 1: Injera and Berbere Spice Blend

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One benefit of having kids around who are adventurous eaters is it often means trying new foods. Two summers ago, we were in Berkeley, California and decided to go out for sit-down-style dinner. There was an Ethiopian restaurant down the street and both kids were eager to check it out. I was hesitant, as I didn’t even know what “Ethiopian food” meant as far as cuisine — would there be enough vegetarian options to make it worth the effort? I was pleasantly surprised.

When you enter an Ethiopian restaurant, there is no silverware involved. The entire meal is eaten with your hands. Likely, the dishes will be served on a platter lined with injera, a traditional Ethiopian bread made with teff flour. Injera looks like a big, spongy pancake, about the size of a pizza, but tastes like a mild sourdough bread. Essentially, it’s a large sourdough crepe. The food will be served in a ring of mounds on the injera like a painter’s palette, accompanied by more injera which you tear off into pieces, then use to pinch the different stews on the platter.

Injera is a source of protein and vitamins, but also your serving utensil. The flatbread made from teff is incredibly high in fiber, iron and calcium. It has all the amino acids required to be a complete protein, but it’s also gluten-free. When eating Ethiopian food, it’s expected that you’ll simply tear off a piece of injera, grab some food with it, roll it up, pop the whole thing into your mouth and repeat until finished.

Another quintessential part of Ethiopian cuisine is a spice blend referred to as berbere. Berbere is an integral spice blend in Ethiopian cuisine. Full of both flavor and fiery heat, this brightly colored, highly aromatic seasoning blend is a staple in any Ethiopian kitchen. It’s used as a rub for meats, poultry, or fish, as well as a seasoning for stews, soups, grains and vegetables.

Here are two recipes — one for a homemade berbere spice blend and another for homemade injera. Coming up shortly, I’ll share with you a few different Ethiopian dishes you can serve with the injera, which uses the berbere spice blend you can find here.

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Berbere Spice Blend

Yields about 1/2 cup spice blend.

Ingredients:
4 teaspoons whole coriander seeds
2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
4 whole allspice berries
seeds from 8 whole cardamom pods
8 whole cloves
10 dried red chiles, seeds removed (Thai chiles work well)
6 tablespoons sweet paprika (NOT smoked)
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons turmeric

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Directions:

In a heavy bottomed skillet, toast the whole spices and chilies (the first 8 listed ingredients), over high heat, shaking the pan to prevent scorching. Toast until fragrant, 3 or so minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let the mixture cool completely.

Once the spices are cooled, grind them in a spice or coffee grinder. Add all remaining ground spices and salt, then grind everything together.

Store in an air-tight container until needed.

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Injera

Ingredients:
1/2 cup teff flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:

Put the teff flour in a large mixing bowl, then sift in the all-purpose flour. Slowly stir in the water, trying to avoid any lumps. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature for 3 days.

The mixture should become bubbly and frothy over the few days. If it doesn’t appear to ferment on its own, you can add a teaspoon of yeast after the first day.

After three days, stir the salt into the batter.

Heat a nonstick pan (make sure the surface of the pan is smooth) or lightly oiled cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, until a water drop will dance on the surface.

Spoon about 1/4-cup of batter into the center of the pan. Tilt the pan with a circular motion so that the batter coats the surface evenly. Injera should be thicker than a crêpe, but not as thick as a traditional pancake. Cover the pan and cook briefly, until holes form in the injera and the edges lift from the pan (2-3 minutes).

Remove the injera and let cool. Place plastic wrap or foil between successive pieces so they don’t stick together. Continue until all the batter has been cooked.

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