Category Archives: Meatless Meat

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

Meatless Monday: Vegan Philly “Cheese Steak” with Mushrooms and Chipotle Garlic Mayo

Vegan Philly “Cheese Steak” with Mushrooms and Chipotle Garlic Mayo, Field Roast, Cooks in the Field 2015, Vegan Philly Cheesesteak

For the most part, if you were to browse through all the recipes on this blog, you’d probably assume I am a longtime vegetarian.  Save for a few seafood recipes and the occasional meat-centric photograph while eating outside of our home, the recipes here are vegetarian. I’ll occasionally cook fish or shrimp, but for the most part my cooking IS vegetarian and has been for a good seven or so years.

I enjoy working with new plant-based ingredients. There have been times I’ve attempted to challenge myself to keep certain recipes vegan, using no dairy whatsoever, which is often the hardest ingredients for me to omit. I like cheese. Like REALLY enjoy cheese.

When I saw Field Roast’s Chao Slices, I was curious about this vegan coconut “cheese,” seasoned with a traditional Vietnamese fermented soybean curd. The most difficult thing about vegan cheeses has often seemed to be the weird aftertaste, which certainly doesn’t seem like “real” cheese (and why should I expect it to?!) as well as the lack of melting. However, this Chao Cheese is both delicious and melty!

My instant thought was VEGAN CHEESE STEAK! Because… why not? These sandwiches are FILLING. As in you cold probably divide the filling into six sandwiches rather than four, but I live in a house filled with hungry boys who thoroughly enjoy eating. Either way, you won’t be disappointed by the quality or flavor in these cheese steaks or feel like you missed out by opting for a vegan version of a Philly classic.

Vegan Philly “Cheese Steak” with Mushrooms and Chipotle Garlic Mayo, Field Roast, Cooks in the Field 2015, Vegan Philly Cheesesteak

Vegan Philly “Cheese Steak” with Mushrooms and Chipotle Garlic Mayo

Serves 4 (hefty servings)

2 tablespoons oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 pound crimini mushrooms, chopped
1 tablespoon dried parsley
smoked sea salt and pepper to your liking

2 white onions, halved then sliced thinly
1 large (or 2 small) green bell pepper, sliced in thin strips
3 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon smoked sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

3/4 cup Vegenaise
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
juice from 1/2 a lemon
pinch of smoked sea salt and pepper

3 packages Field Roast Smoked Tomato Deli Slices
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 slices Field Roast Chao Creamy Original Vegan Cheese
2-3 Roma tomatoes, sliced about 1/4-inch thick
1 pound sourdough baguette, cut into four equal portions

Vegan Philly “Cheese Steak” with Mushrooms and Chipotle Garlic Mayo, Field Roast, Cooks in the Field 2015, Vegan Philly Cheesesteak


Prepare the mushrooms: Heat two tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for about 20 seconds. Add the mushrooms and sauté until tender but not mushy (4-5 minutes). Toss with the parsley, salt and pepper. Set aside, off the heat, until needed.

Vegan Philly “Cheese Steak” with Mushrooms and Chipotle Garlic Mayo, Field Roast, Cooks in the Field 2015, Vegan Philly Cheesesteak

Prepare the onions and peppers: Heat the three tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat (you can use the same pan you cooked the mushrooms in). Add the onions and cook until nearly translucent (4-5 minutes). Add the strips of bell pepper, teaspoon of salt, and half teaspoon of pepper. Sauté until the peppers are tender (4-5 minutes). Set aside until needed.

Prepare the sauce: Whisk together the Vegenaise, chipotle peppers, minced garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper until well combined. Set aside until needed. (Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.)

Prepare the veggie meat: Roughly chop the deli slices into un-uniform bite size pieces. Heat two tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chopped deli slices to the pan and sauté until lightly brown. Add the mushrooms, onion and peppers, along with four torn up Chao slices. Toss to evenly distribute the ingredients until the Chao begins to melt. Place the remaining four slices of Chao over the mixture, in a single layer, then reduce heat to medium-low and cover, allowing the Chao to melt.

Vegan Philly “Cheese Steak” with Mushrooms and Chipotle Garlic Mayo, Field Roast, Cooks in the Field 2015, Vegan Philly Cheesesteak

Meanwhile turn your oven on to broil. Slice each of the baguette portions lengthwise. Place the bread under the broiler, cut-side up, until lightly toasted.

To make the sandwiches, spread some of the chipotle mayo on each of the baguette halves. Top with the deli slice mixture (1/4 of the filling per sandwich). Top with slices of tomato, close the sandwich and serve immediately.

Vegan Philly “Cheese Steak” with Mushrooms and Chipotle Garlic Mayo, Field Roast, Cooks in the Field 2015, Vegan Philly Cheesesteak

Vegan Philly “Cheese Steak” with Mushrooms and Chipotle Garlic Mayo

Vegan Philly “Cheese Steak” with Mushrooms and Chipotle Garlic Mayo, Field Roast, Cooks in the Field 2015, Vegan Philly Cheesesteak

  • Disclaimer: All opinions on these ingredients are my own. I was not paid or sponsored by Field Roast or any other company to use these products.

Vegetarian Turkey Pepper Panini

Forbidden Rice Blog | Vegetarian Turkey Pepper Panini, sandwiches, Tofurky, veggie panini

Around here, there is one type of sandwich that stands out, far above all else. It’s what the kids refer to as a “chop chop.” I think it came about one day a few years ago when my husband and I were experimenting with a vegetarian Philly cheesesteak-type of sandwich. Making that sandwich involved aggressive chopping of veggie meat to mimic the shredded/chopped up cheesesteak style of meat preperation.

The next time Vincent wanted a sandwich like the above-mentioned one, he told me, “Julie, will you help me? I’m not good at the chop-chop part!” Since then, this torn/chopped up veggie meat sandwich has been referred to simply as a “chop chop.” It’s requested multiple times every week. Variations are limited to what happens to be in the house at the moment. Tofurky deli slices work the best, although you can use different flavors — they’re all delicious. Cheese-type is entirely up to you, although it’s worth noting that cheddar tends to break down more greasily, mozzarella, monterey jack or fontina adds a lovely stretchiness, and anything else can be used for flavor variation as well.

The following chop chop panini was inspired by some Mediterranean flavors. If I had kalamata olives (or even black olives) on hand, I probably would’ve included them too. I prefer sourdough bread for panini making, but feel free to use whatever you’d like. You want something that will hold up to the fillings though, perhaps a thickly cut brioche or challah, a baguette with the rounded ends trimmed off, or possibly ciabatta bread?

Feel free to use the following recipe as a template for future chop chop sandwich making. Change up the Tofurky flavors. Vary the cheese, add in different embellishments (Artichoke hearts? Pesto? Slices of avocado? Thinly sliced eggplant? Fresh spinach?). Use different sauces if you want — I made a delicious garlic sriracha mayo once that worked well. You really can’t go (too) wrong! ;) Happy eating!

Forbidden Rice Blog | Vegetarian Turkey Pepper Panini

Vegetarian Turkey Pepper Panini

Serves 2.

1 package Peppered Tofurky Deli Slices
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
4 ounces provolone cheese, shredded
2 ounces havarti cheese, shredded
1 ounce smoked mozzarella, shredded
5-7 olive oil packed sundried tomatoes, sliced thin
10-12 sliced peproncinis
2 tablespoons vegenaise (or mayonnaise if you prefer)
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
4 large slices thick-cut sourdough bread (or your preferred sandwich making bread)

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Preheat your panini press according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

While the panini press heats, in a medium sized saucepan, add the tablespoon of oil. Place over medium heat on your stovetop. Tear up the Tofurky slices into large bite sized pieces (messy is encouraged!). You can do this with your hands, a sharp knife, or even a pair of kitchen scissors! Add the tofurky to the heated oil. Use a spatula to coat the tofurky. Add in the salt, garlic, sun dried tomatoes and peproncinis. Next, sprinkle in half of the shredded provolone, all of the havarti and mozzarella. Reduce heat to low and cover, cooking for 2-3 minutes, until the cheese has melted.

On two of the bread slices, spread the Vegenaise. On the other two bread slices, spread the dijon mustard. Sprinkle the remaining provolone cheese over the Vegenaise-coated side. Next, split the Tofurky mix between the two sandwiches. Top with the mustard-coated bread. Brush the outside of both sandwiches with olive oil.

Cook in your panini maker until the outsides are golden brown (use the manufacturer’s instructions). Slice in half and serve immediately.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Vegetarian Turkey Pepper Panini

Forbidden Rice Blog | Vegetarian Turkey Pepper Panini

Meatless Monday: Fettuccine Alfredo with Vegetarian Chik’n


Every now and then, I crave certain foods wherein I simply start off knowing, if I eat this, certainly it’ll satisfy my craving for the next year. Maybe the next 6 months. Fettuccine alfredo and homemade fried doughnuts are probably at the top of that list, hands down. If I weren’t too concerned about balancing my health and nutritional intake, perhaps I would eat doughnuts and fettuccine alfredo more frequently. Maybe even in the same day.Gasp!

But I do care, so when I give in to making either of these dishes, I know it’ll be well enjoyed. There is nothing low calorie, low butter, or low fat about fettuccine alfredo — let’s just be real.  Traditional fettuccine alfredo didn’t originally contain cream. Warm pasta was simply tossed with butter, parmesan cheese, and pepper. As the cheese melted from the heat coming from the pasta, a beautiful sauce formed. I do enjoy the rich creaminess that results in using cream, though.

I prefer dried fettuccine noodles to freshly made pasta, as the sauce is so incredibly rich that fresh pasta makes things much too heavy. Plus the dried noodles seem to hold up under this creamy sauce much better. The addition of Quorn Chik’n Tenders that have been sautéed in spices and herbs makes this a deliciously simple, filling, kid-friendly meal.


Fettuccine Alfredo with Vegetarian Chik’n Tenders

Serves 8-10 people.

18 ounces Quorn Chik’n Tenders (one and a half bags)
3 tablespoons olive oil
8 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes (optional)
1 1/2 pounds dried fettuccine noodles
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk
1 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
zest and juice from one lemon
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried parsley
small pinch of fresh nutmeg



Prepare the Quorn Chik’n:  In a large saucepan (I use one similar to this), heat the three tablespoons of oil over medium-high. Once the oil is hot, add the minced garlic and Quorn Tenders, gently tossing to coat everything with oil. Sprinkle in the 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, dried basil dried oregano, and red chili flakes if you’re using them, and the lemon juice. Sauté until the tenders are lightly golden brown. Remove the cooked tenders from the pan.

Prepare the pasta: Cook the fettuccine to al dente, as per the directions on the pasta packaging. Drain, reserving about a half cup of pasta cooking water.

Prepare the sauce: In the pan you used to cook the Quorn Chik’n, pour the heavy cream and milk. Add in the stick of butter (you can cut it into smaller pieces for quicker melting). Occasionally stir the mixture until the butter has completely melted. Whisk in all of the parmesan, the lemon zest, half teaspoon of black pepper, salt, parsley and nutmeg. The sauce should almost instantly begin to thicken once the cheese is added.

Finish things off: Now that the sauce is nicely thickened, gently fold in the pasta. Once all the noodles are coated with the sauce, fold in the Quorn Chik’n Tenders. Serve immediately.

*For reheating, should you have leftovers: Cream based sauces can be tricky to reheat, as separation from the butter and cream naturally begins to happen. To reheat this pasta, add a few tablespoons of milk, half and half, or cream to a large sauce pan, bringing the temperature up over medium heat. Once the milk is warm, add in the leftover cold pasta. Gently break the noodles and sauce apart (not too quickly, as it’ll become easier as the pasta and sauce warm up). Gently fold the noodles into the added milk, occasionally stirring/folding all the ingredients together until the pasta is heated through. You can add more or less milk as needed, to reach your preferred consistency.




Meatless Monday: Pumpkin White Bean Chili

photo 5

Have you had your fill of Thanksgiving leftovers? Are you over it, ready to move on from turkey to other foods for the next few weeks? We don’t cook turkey around here, but I am certainly okay with not eating mashed potatoes, Tofurky, other veggie roasts, stuffing, etc., etc., for a while.

If you’re in need of something filling, a dish that is both comfort food and this lovely fall season wrapped up in a bowl, the following white bean and pumpkin chili just might satisfy such a craving. Having never eaten, nor made a white bean chili, I decided to do what I frequently do in the kitchen — and wing it.

This chili was gone in a day and a half, which is saying a lot because typically if I make chili, it sits in the fridge for a week… and then half of it gets thrown in the freezer where it’s forgotten for a year or so. It’s hearty and robust, not overly spicy, but wonderfully flavorful!

photo 3

Pumpkin White Bean Chili

Yields about 5 quarts

1 small cooking pumpkin (about 1 1/2 – 2 pounds)
4 Quorn Chik’n Cutlets (unbreaded)
2 tablespoons oil
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper
1 large onion, diced
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 poblano peppers, stem/seeds/ribs removed, than diced
2 small yellow bell peppers, stem/seeds/ribs removed, than diced
3 small anaheim peppers, stem/seeds/ribs removed, than diced
2 dried bay leaves
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 cups cannellini beans
2 cups diced tomatoes (I like the fire-roasted ones)
6 cups No-Chicken broth
1/4 cup sour cream

photo 2


Prepare the pumpkin: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the stem from your pumpkin, then slice the pumpkin in half. Scrape out the seeds and fibers, then place the pumpkin halves [cut side down] on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 1 to 2 hours, or until tender. Cool, then cut each half into 1-inch thick strips. Slice off the rind from each strip, then dice the cooked pumpkin into 1-inch cubes. Set aside until needed.

Prepare the Quorn Chik’n: Place a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add half of the oil and the minced garlic. Place all four cutlets in the pan. Drizzle with the remaining oil and a semi-generous amount of salt and pepper. Cook until lightly golden brown, then flip and cook on the remaining side. Continue cooking until tender, golden brown, and heated all the way through. Remove the cutlet from the heat and dice into chunks. Set aside until needed.

Prepare the chili: In a large pot (I like my dutch oven for this), heat four tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Add the diced onion and peppers, cooking until tender. Add in the bay leaves, garlic, cumin, two teaspoons salt, coriander, oregano, chili powder, and ground turmeric. Stir until well combined. Next, add in the beans, tomatoes, No-Chicken broth, cubed pumpkin and diced Quorn Chik’n. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, up to a few hours. You can add more broth if you prefer your chili a little less thick. Stir in the sour cream right before serving. Taste, then add salt and pepper to your liking.

The chili can be served with more sour cream to top off each bowl, minced cilantro, grated cheddar, cornbread, etc.

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photo 1