Category Archives: Meatless Monday

Moosewood Cookbook’s Pasta Al Cavolfiore [Spaghetti with Cauliflower]

Forbidden Rice Blog | Moosewood's Cauliflower Spaghetti (8 of 8)

Hello World,

Long time no see. How in the world we’ve reached the middle of November eludes me. It appears this humble little blog inevitably took the back burner to busy life schedules. Regardless, here we are, with one of my favorite recipes for over two decades.

Mollie Katzen’s original Moosewood Cookbook was released in the late 70’s. My parents received the book from my dad’s parents as a wedding gift. Growing up, there were two staples in our house: the lasagna and the pasta al cavolfiore, or spaghetti with cauliflower. The lasagna was often reserved for dinners in which we had company over. The spaghetti? One of my favorite meals to request for my birthday. When a kid requests cauliflower spaghetti for any meal… really, it cannot be bad.

The cookbook was re-released in the early 2000’s as a 40th Anniversary edition, but to be frank, the recipes in the 70’s version are much better. If you’re looking for recipes that do in fact have less butter, cheese, dairy, then the new edition is for you. Perhaps for myself it’s as much about nostalgia – the memory of my mom in the kitchen chopping cauliflower or the smell of basil cooking with garlic in hot olive oil – as the less healthy recipes. Regardless, here’s the original pasta al cavolfiore recipe. May it bring you as much joy as it does for my heart and belly.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Moosewood's Cauliflower Spaghetti (2 of 8)

Moosewood Cookbook’s Pasta Al Cavolfiore [Spaghetti with Cauliflower]

Serves 6-8 folks.

1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium head of cauliflower, broken or cut into 1-inch flowerets
3 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 cups tomato puree
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
1 pound uncooked, thin spaghetti

Forbidden Rice Blog | Moosewood's Cauliflower Spaghetti (5 of 8)

Heat half of the oil (2 tablespoons) in a deep skillet. Add the garlic, bay leaf, and basil. Sauté until fragrant (about 1 minute). Add the cauliflower then sprinkle with the salt. Cook until the cauliflower is tender (15-20 minutes).

Once the cauliflower is tender, add the tomato puree, stirring to combine. Simmer for 15-20 minutes. In a bowl, combine the parmesan and cheddar cheeses, mixing thoroughly.

While the sauce simmers, cook the pasta according to the package instructions.

Once the pasta has cooked, drain. In a large baking dish toss the cooked pasta with the remaining oil (2 tablespoons), butter and half of the cheese. Pour the cauliflower sauce over the pasta, then top with the remaining cheese. Serve immediately.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Moosewood's Cauliflower Spaghetti (3 of 8)

Forbidden Rice Blog | Moosewood's Cauliflower Spaghetti (7 of 8)

Forbidden Rice Blog | Moosewood's Cauliflower Spaghetti (1 of 8)

Forbidden Rice Blog | Moosewood's Cauliflower Spaghetti (4 of 8)

Homemade Yumm! Bowls

Forbidden Rice Blog | Meatless Monday- Homemade Yumm Bowls (8 of 8)

Although Ashland doesn’t have one, various cities here in Oregon (and even Washington now) we have a restaurant chain called Cafe Yumm, which promotes earth-friendly, healthy food. The most popular menu items are essentially glorified bowls of rice and beans, but the addition of their secret “Yumm Sauce” is oddly addicting. The sauce is uniquely rich and tangy, gluten free and vegan, and when added to wraps, rice bowls, sandwiches, soups, etc., you cannot go wrong.

The first time I had a Yumm bowl was while traveling through Eugene, Oregon (birthplace of the original Yumm Cafe). Often when on the road, we eat a lot of Mexican food and pizza, because they’re easy vegetarian options. However, the discovery of the yumm bowl felt like a dynamic discovery. It was much healthier feeling and certainly a very fulfilling meal.

There are many copy-cat homemade Yumm Sauce recipes floating around the web, each with slight variations. Most use soybeans, which I opted not to use (for sheer inability to find them while at the grocery store). You can tweak the ingredients to your desired flavor.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Meatless Monday- Homemade Yumm Bowls (5 of 8)

Homemade Yumm! Bowls


For the Yumm sauce (yields about 4 cups):
1 cup almond flour/meal
2/3 cup nutritional/brewers yeast
1 cup cooked garbanzo beans
1/2 cup cooked cannellini beans
1 cup water or vegetable broth
2/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
4 cloves garlic
1 1/2-2 teaspoons salt
3 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 cup sunflower (or other lightly flavored) oil

For the bowls:
medium grain brown rice, cooked
black beans, cooked
mild or medium red salsa
shredded cheddar cheese
diced tomatoes
avocado slices
sour cream
sliced olives
chopped cilantro
Yumm sauce

Forbidden Rice Blog | Meatless Monday- Homemade Yumm Bowls (7 of 8)

To make the sauce, combine the almond meal, nutritional yeast, garbanzo beans, cannellini beans, water or broth, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, salt and curry powder in a food processor or high speed blender. Blend until all the ingredients come together into a thick, almost paste-like sauce. Add in the oil and blend again until smooth. Refrigerate at least an hour before using so the flavors can meld together. You can make the sauce up to 24 hours in advance.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Meatless Monday- Homemade Yumm Bowls (3 of 8)

To assemble the Yumm! bowls, layer your desired amounts of rice, beans, salsa, cheese, diced tomato, avocado slices, Yumm Sauce, sour cream, olives, and cilantro.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Meatless Monday- Homemade Yumm Bowls (6 of 8)

Meatless Monday: Veggie Chowder

Forbidden Rice Blog | Meatless Monday  Veggie Chowder

It’s mid September. Is that too early for soup? Just a few days ago Southern Oregon temperatures still reached the triple digits. The next few days, we aren’t expecting temps out of the 60’s. Can we say Fall is here?

Soup never screams excitement to me. It’s a comfort food. Maybe it’s a lot of boring standing around in front of the stove stirring chunks of vegetables together. Maybe you like that kind of thing. I won’t judge you.

Soup’s a transporter of the seasons, wanted or not. The following chowder is comforting, hearty, quite easy to throw together and a good Fall or Winter basic soup staple.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Meatless Monday  Veggie Chowder

Veggie Chowder

Serves 8-10 people


1 stick butter
1 lage onion, diced
4 stalks celery, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
5 cups whole milk
4 cups (1 quart) No-Chicken broth
4 large carrots, peeled and diced into 1/8-inch thick rounds
1 small head of broccoli, trimmed into florets and bite-size pieces
3 ears of fresh corn, trimmed off the cob (or roughly 2 cups frozen corn)
5-6 medium sized russet potatoes, peeled and cut in 1-inch cubes
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon dried dill
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper\
8 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
chives, chopped

Forbidden Rice Blog | Meatless Monday  Veggie Chowder


In a large stock pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté until tender (5-6 minutes). Add the celery and garlic, cooking until fragrant (about 2 more minutes).

Sprinkle in the flour, being sure to coat all the vegetables. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Pour in the milk and broth, stirring well. Continue cooking until the soup begins to thicken (5-10 minutes).

Add in the carrots, broccoli, corn, potatoes, salt, dill, coriander and pepper. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook the soup until the potatoes and corn are tender (an hour or so). Taste and add more salt or pepper if you prefer.

Serve topped with sharp cheddar and a sprinkle of chives.

** If you want a thinner soup, feel free to add more broth or milk.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Meatless Monday  Veggie Chowder

Forbidden Rice Blog | Meatless Monday  Veggie Chowder

Meatless Monday: Homemade Falafels

Forbidden Rice Blog | Falafels (3 of 7)

I’ve totally been MIA. Cooking? Yes, totally. Sporadically, but yes. This last post sort of demonstrates the immediate busyness we generally find ourselves in come September.  My food photography is frequently overrun by kids’ activity photos.

Sometimes I feel like I’m complaining. The never ending cleaning is overwhelming and the constant go-go-go gets wearing. But the truth is I don’t mind on one hand. I really suck at meal planning, but the craziness of keeping up with everyone sort of lends itself to having to learn better techniques of such things.

The following recipe is one that can serve as multiple meals (another plus in the overly-busy-lifestyle). These falafels are great on their own, served with hummus or other tahini-based sauces. They also make great sandwiches or protein for a hefty salad. Delicious hot or cold, that also makes leftovers easy to deal with!

Forbidden Rice Blog | Falafels (7 of 7)

Homemade Falafels

Yields about 30 falafel balls

1 pound dry garbanzo beans [chickpeas]
1 small onion, peeled and quartered
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
5 cloves garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
small pinch of ground cardamom
vegetable oil for frying

Forbidden Rice Blog | Falafels (5 of 7)


Place the chickpeas in a large bowl and cover them by about 3 inches of cold water. Let them soak overnight.

Drain, then rinse the garbanzo beans. Pour them into your food processor along with the chopped onion, parsley, cloves of garlic, flour, salt, cumin, coriander, pepper, and cardamom.

Pulse all ingredients together until a coarse meal forms. Scrape the sides of the food processor as needed, pushing the mixture down the sides. Process the mixture until a slightly coarse paste forms. You want the mixture to hold together, but don’t overprocess, so you don’t end up with hummus! Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Falafels (2 of 7)

Fill a deep skillet with vegetable oil to a depth of about 1 1/2 inches. Heat the oil slowly over medium heat. Meanwhile, form the falafel mixture into round balls or slider-shaped patties using your hands (about two tablespoons of mixture per falafel). You can make them smaller or larger depending on your personal preference.

Test one ball to make sure your oil is hot enough. At the correct temperature, it should take 2-3 minutes per side to brown. If it browns faster than that, your oil is too hot and your falafels will not be fully cooked in the center. Cool the oil down slightly and try again. When the oil is at the right temperature, fry the falafel balls in batches of 5-6 at a time, until golden brown on both sides. Let the cooked falafels drain on paper towels.

Serve the falafels fresh and hot. My preference is with pita bread, homemade hummus, tzatziki sauce, fresh tomatoes, cucumbers and feta cheese! :)

Forbidden Rice Blog | Falafels (6 of 7)

Forbidden Rice Blog | Falafels (4 of 7)

Meatless Monday: General Tso’s Quorn Chik’n

Forbidden Rice Blog | General Tso's Quorn Chik'n (5 of 7)

Having never eaten General Tso’s chicken, it would seem kind of silly to decide to cook such a thing on a whim. However… rule number one in Julie’s kitchen: have no fear and jump right in.

So what the heck is this dish? Basically, it’s pieces of breaded and fried chicken, covered in a slightly sweet, slightly spicy sauce. It’s found in numerous Asian restaurants, though its origins are in Taiwan. If you want to read a more in depth explanation, check this out.

While everything I cook at home is vegetarian (with the exception of fish), every now and then I do miss cooking/eating chicken. One of the most realistic chicken-like alternatives I’ve found is Quorn Chik’n. Generally I just cook it as I would real chicken. This dish is pretty simple to throw together. We enjoyed it with veggie fried rice, but you could serve it with plain steamed rice or noodles.

Forbidden Rice Blog | General Tso's Quorn Chik'n (7 of 7)

General Tso’s Quorn Chik’n

Serves 6 or so.


For the Chik’n marinade:
1 egg white
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons vodka
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 packages Quorn chik’n tenders

For the dry coating:
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the sauce:
3 tablespoons soy sauce
4 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons vegetable broth
4 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh minced garlic
2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
2 tablespoons chopped chives

1 1/4 quart sunflower or peanut oil
1 cup fresh pineapple, cubed (optional)

Forbidden Rice Blog | General Tso's Quorn Chik'n (2 of 7)


Beat egg white in a large bowl until lightly foamy. Add soy sauce, rice vinegar and vodka. Whisk to combine. Set aside half of marinade in a small bowl. Add baking soda and corn starch to the large bowl and whisk to combine. Add the Quorn Chik’n to the large bowl and turn to coat thoroughly. Cover and set aside.

Combine flour, corn starch, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk until well combined then add the reserved marinade, mixing just until mixture has coarse, mealy clumps. Set aside.

To make the sauce combine soy sauce, wine, vinegar, chicken stock, sugar, sesame seed oil, and cornstarch in a small bowl and stir with a fork until cornstarch is dissolved and no lumps remain. Set aside.

Combine the oil, garlic, ginger, red chili flakes in a large skillet and place over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until vegetables are aromatic and soft, but not brown. Stir sauce mixture and add to skillet. Cook, stirring, until sauce boils and thickens, about 1 minute. Add scallions. Transfer sauce to a bowl to stop cooking, but don’t wipe out your skillet.

Heat the sunflower or peanut oil in a large wok or Dutch oven to 350°F. Transfer the chik’n from the marinade to dry coat mixture, tossing in between each addition to coat chik’n. Once all the Quorn chik’n is added to the dry coat ingredients, toss with your hands, pressing dry mixture onto the chik’n so it adheres, making sure that every piece is coated thoroughly.

Shake off excess coating and carefully lower the flour-coated chik’n into the hot oil, one piece at a time. Once all chicken is added, cook, stirring around until the chik’n is cooked through and very crispy, about 4 minutes. Transfe to a paper towel-lined bowl to drain any excess oil.

Add the chink’n to the empty sauce skillet and return the sauce to the skillet. Toss chik’n, folding it with a rubber spatula until all pieces are thoroughly coated. Fold in the fresh pineapple if you’re using it. Serve immediately with rice.

Forbidden Rice Blog | General Tso's Quorn Chik'n (1 of 7)

Forbidden Rice Blog | General Tso's Quorn Chik'n (3 of 7)

Forbidden Rice Blog | General Tso's Quorn Chik'n (6 of 7)