Category Archives: Salad

The Top 15 Posts of 2015


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!


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


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


#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!

Cowboy Caviar

Forbidden Rice Blog | Cowboy Caviar

Cowboy caviar. A dish that has nothing to do with caviar… or cowboys (except perhaps its Texas-origin). Sometimes called “Texas caviar,” this dish is simply made of fancied up black eyed peas. There are a vast number of such recipes that differ, person to person, or family to family (as is true with many good dishes!).

I had never heard of cowboy caviar, or Texas caviar, or black eyed pea salsa, until I met my husband. We were enjoying chips and salsa one day and he said, “You know, they used to have this black eyed pea salsa here in town that I loved! I haven’t been able to find it for years.” So I did a little inter-web-hunt, trying to see if I could figure out a homemade version.

I’ve found, and tried, numerous versions but the following is probably my favorite. You can eat this as a salsa, served with chips. You can eat it on its own as a side dish. You can even throw it in a salad or burrito!

Forbidden Rice Blog | Cowboy Caviar

Cowboy Caviar

Yields about 4 cups

one 15 ounce can black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
one 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup fresh corn kernels (about 1 large ear of corn)
1 small red bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed, diced small
2 medium roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup diced red onion
1 jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed, diced

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Forbidden Rice Blog | Cowboy Caviar


In a large bowl, combine the peas, beans, corn, bell pepper, tomato, onion, and jalapeño. Gently mix together.

In another bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, lime juice, garlic, oregano, basil, and red chili flakes. Pour this sauce over the black eyed pea mixture, then fold together until well combined. Add salt and pepper to your liking, as well as the chopped cilantro.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Serve as a side dish, or even as a salsa with your preferred chips.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Cowboy Caviar

Forbidden Rice Blog | Cowboy Caviar

Forbidden Rice Blog | Cowboy Caviar

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.


Loaded Baked Potato Salad

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Ever since I was little, when it came to potato salad, I’d be the first one to wrinkle up my nose in disgust. UGH! POTATOES! was my general feeling. Did I have any good reasons? No, but I didn’t care. French fries and potato chips didn’t count as potatoes in my mind. Baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, potato salad, on the other hand… No thank you very much. My distaste for potato salad was two-fold, however. First, it was made primarily of potatoes. (DUH.) Second, it was also heavily laden with mayonnaise. Another “food” I both wouldn’t and couldn’t make myself eat. (Unless it was in my mom’s Hawaiian style potato-macaroni salad, with homemade Japanese pickled cucumbers!)

In college, however, one of my girlfriends had a chef for a father and she often cooked in our dorm kitchen as well. I remember it being close to the end of the school year and she’d been asked to bring a couple dishes to a party event. She made a huge sheet of blondies topped with fresh raspberries and candied pecans and a potato salad, wherein she roasted all of the potatoes before cooling them and mixing them into a salad.

I realized that the potato salads I have not enjoyed in the the past simply lacked a lot of flavor. The potatoes weren’t salted enough when cooked, the mayonnaise was the only prominent taste, there wasn’t much added to the salad overall to make it feel like more than potatoes and mayo… So stealing from my girlfriend’s idea, I decided to attempt a potato salad that carried a lot of flavor. I wanted to roast the potatoes with a lot of garlic, then put together a potato salad that was reminiscent of a loaded baked potato — you know, the ones that have sour cream, chives, bacon, cheddar cheese, etc. This potato salad doesn’t lack in flavor! It’s great on its own or as a side to your favorite picnic dishes.

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Loaded Baked Potato Salad

6 cups cubed red potatoes (about 4 large potatoes)
10 cloves garlic, minced finely
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons creole seasoning
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
4 strips seitan bacon, cooked until crisp then broken into small pieces
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup vegenaise
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon creole seasoning
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 ounces sharp cheddar, grated
1/2 cup chives, chopped
salt to taste


Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, toss together the cubed potatoes, minced garlic, olive oil, teaspoon of salt, one and a half teaspoons creole seasoning and the half teaspoon granulated garlic until all the potatoes are evenly coated. Spread on one or two large baking sheets in a single layer. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until fork-tender, flipping halfway through the cooking time. Allow the potatoes to cool to room temperature.


While the potatoes are baking, prepare the dressing. Whisk together the sour cream, vegenaise, apple cider vinegar, granulated garlic, creole seasoning and pepper until thoroughly combined.

Place the cooled potatoes in a large mixing bowl. Add in the prepared dressing, grated cheddar and chives. Gently fold together until well mixed. Taste and add salt to your liking. Cover and refrigerate until cold before serving.

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Meatless Monday: Pesto Pasta Salad


We are into the swing of little league season, since Silas made the minor leagues this year. That generally means there are at least a couple games weekly, including one mid-week game. Not a huge deal, except those mid-week games tend to fall just late enough into the evening that prime dinner hour comes and goes as we’re sitting at the ballpark while the sun goes down.

No biggie. As it turns out, bringing food to an outdoor sporting event makes the time pass by much more quickly. It almost works as a distraction from the cold weather that loves to roll in halfway through the game, if it wasn’t there to begin with. I have never been particularly good at picnic meal planning, however. Perhaps it’s the overexcitement of wanting to make everything good tasting and flamboyant. I’m not generally an easy slap-together-sandwich kind of girl (this is not an attempt at bragging; if anything it causes me great stress when trying to plan a picnic).

That said, when we were facing a 5:30 game, I knew we’d be there until at least 7:00, if not 7:30. Dinner to go seemed the smart way to plan things. I decided on Italian style pressed sandwiches filled with tofurky, piquillo peppers, fontina and muenster cheeses, pesto, and pepperoncinis. Then as I tried to decide on things to eat with the sandwiches, pasta salad rattled around my head. I knew it would be filling, but the flavors seemed to work with the sandwich fillings, too. This salad is very easy to throw together, but tasty nonetheless. You can make it 24 hours ahead (the flavors melt together better the longer it sits anyway).


Pesto Pasta Salad

Serves 6-8.

8 ounces dried penne pasta
1/3 cup vegenaise
1/4 cup prepared pesto
3 tablespoons gorgonzola cheese
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced fine
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1 cup sweet peppers, diced small
1 cup monterey jack cheese, cut into small cubes
1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
salt and pepper to your liking


Cook the pasta according to the package directions, until just slightly past al dente. Pour into a colander and allow the cooked pasta to cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk together the vegenaise, pesto, gorgonzola, milk, vinegar and minced garlic until thoroughly combined.

Gently toss the cooled pasta, tomatoes, sweet pepper, cheese cubes, and basil together in a large mixing bowl. Add the pesto dressing to the mixture, stirring everything together until well mixed. Taste, then add salt and fresh ground pepper to your liking.

Cover and refrigerate at least one hour before serving.