Category Archives: Sauces

Classic Fettuccine Alfredo

Forbidden Rice Blog | Fettuccine Alfredo (2 of 8)

We’ve been hosting sleepovers nearly every weekend for the last few weeks. My dilemma is never that I adamantly don’t like children (OKKKK that’s not the dilemma MOST DAYS). I often find myself trying to think of a vegetarian meal that will go over well with non-vegetarian guests, especially if it’s a type of cuisine they’re not used to.

Growing up, if I didn’t want to eat what my mom made (sorry, Mom) then I could: 1) eat it anyway or 2) make my own food. In my adulthood, I find myself trying to appease 9-11 year old appetites. WHAT.

I decided to take a chance and make fettuccine alfredo one Friday night when I knew we were hosting one of Silas’s friends. To my amazement, Silas demolished his dinner. His buddy ate two big platefuls AND the next week when he slept over again, he said to me, “Auntie J, that pasta was SO GOOD! OH MY GOODNESS!” So, here’s the recipe for you to have as well!

Note:  I’ve learned that when a recipe calls for scarce ingredients, using quality products is important.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Fettuccine Alfredo (2 of 8)

Fettuccine Alfredo

Serves 6-8 folks.

1 1/2 pounds dried fettuccine noodles
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 cups Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated
salt and fresh ground pepper, to your liking
a pinch of fresh ground nutmeg

Forbidden Rice Blog | Fettuccine Alfredo (4 of 8)


Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Generously salt the water (this is your chance to flavor the pasta as it cooks, so don’t be afraid to salt profusely). Cook the pasta until al dente.

While the pasta is cooking, add the heavy cream, butter, and lemon juice to a medium-sized pot of their own, over medium heat, whisking occasionally to combine. Continue heating and stirring until the butter completely melts and the mixture is well combined. Add the cheese, a half-cup at a time, stirring with each addition until the sauce is smooth. Taste, then add salt and pepper to your liking. Add a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg. Reduce heat to low.

Drain the cooked pasta, reserving about one cup of the cooking liquid. Return the pasta to the pot, then pour the sauce over the noodles. Gently toss well, until all the noodles are covered with sauce. If you need to, add some of the pasta cooking water to help make everything more smooth.

Serve immediately, topping with a bit of fresh ground pepper if you’d like.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Fettuccine Alfredo (5 of 8)

Forbidden Rice Blog | Fettuccine Alfredo (5 of 8)

Forbidden Rice Blog | Fettuccine Alfredo (5 of 8)

Meatless Meatball Subs

Forbidden Rice Blog | Meatless Meatball Subs (6 of 8)

During my first year of college, I lived in the dorms, which meant sharing an 11′ x 17′ living space with my roommate, on a floor made up of twelve rooms, filled with all ‘honor student’ females. Our floor also contained a kitchen — not a common commodity in these dormitories!  Dorm-livin’ meant cafeteria-eatin’ and there were many occasions in which the cafeteria dinner options sounded beyond unappetizing. Cereal or frozen yogurt seemed the most viable options. I didn’t cook in those days of dorm living. Unless you consider saimin (Top Ramen) cooking, which, at 15 cents a piece was doable on my student budget.

However, it turned out my friend Oliva across the hall was an excellent cook — her dad being a chef and all. If we purchased the ingredients, she was often more than obliging in cooking a delicious meal (granted we share the meal with her, too — understandable!).

I remember meatball subs being something I hadn’t eaten before, but one evening when ruminating over grumbling stomachs of what should we have for dinner? Olivia very matter-of-factly said “MEATBALL SANDWICHES.” When Olivia had an opinion on what was going to be cooked and eaten, you were better off just going with that (the alternatives being a mad dash across the street to 7-11 for lord knows what, or a run uphill to the cafeteria, just in case they may still be open, or let’s be real – vending machine pop tarts and Pepsi for dinner). So that’s what we had. Soft pillowy hoagie rolls, filled with homemade meatballs, marinara sauce and cheese. A fork-and-knife type of sandwich, but delicious.

This version isn’t what we had in those days. The ‘meatballs’ are entirely vegetarian, the sauce is homemade and filled with flavor. The fork and knife are optional, but probably helpful.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Meatless Meatball Subs (4 of 8)

Meatless Meatball Subs

Yields 6 very hefty sub sandwiches.


For the marinara sauce:
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 medium sized bell pepper, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 pound crimini mushrooms, diced
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes (with juice)
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons dried basil
generous amount of black pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup freshly minced parsley

For the meatless meatballs:
2 14-ounce tubes Lightlife’s Sausage-Style Gimme Lean
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
4 tablespoons COLD butter
olive oil

For the subs:
6 hoagie style rolls
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
16 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced into pieces about 1/4-inch thick
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
6-8 fresh basil leaves, julienned

Forbidden Rice Blog | Meatless Meatball Subs (7 of 8)


Make the sauce:
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high. Add the onion, bell pepper and garlic, then sauté until the onion is very soft (8 to 10 minutes).

Add the mushrooms and sauté 2-3 minutes, just until the mushrooms slightly soften. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, basil, black pepper, oregano, thyme, and salt. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer, partially covered, for 45-60 minutes. Stir in the fresh parsley at the last minute.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Meatless Meatball Subs (1 of 8)

Make the meatballs while the sauce cooks:

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet. Set aside until needed.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the Gimme Lean, onion, garlic, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, eggs and liquid smoke. Use a box grater to grate the cold butter into the mixture. Using your hands (if you prefer a spoon that’s fine, but your hands make this easier!), mix together the mixture until well combined.

Scoop about 2 tablespoons of mixture and use your hands to roll it into a ball. Place on the greased baking sheet. Continue doing this until all the mixture has been used up, spacing the veggie meatballs about 1-inch apart on the baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes (turning once halfway through), or until the meatballs are nicely crisp and browned on the outsides.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Meatless Meatball Subs (2 of 8)

Make your subs:

Turn your oven on its broil setting.

Mix together the 3 tablespoons melted butter and granulated garlic in a small dish.

Split the hoagie rolls in half lengthwise, being careful to try and keep one side intact. Brush the butter/garlic mixture on the split sides of the hoagie rolls. Place on a baking sheet, buttered side-up. Once all the rolls have been buttered, place under your broiler, watching carefully, until the bread is toasted to just-golden-brown in color.

Remove from the oven and spoon about 2 tablespoons of the sauce on each hoagie. Arrange 4 meatballs on each hoagie, followed by 3-4 more tablespoons of sauce. Top with pieces of mozzarella (as much or as little as you prefer), and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

Return the subs to the oven, under the broiler, again watching closely so your sandwiches don’t burn. Broil until the cheese melts. Remove from the oven and sprinkle a bit of fresh julienned basil over each sandwich.

Serve immediately and enjoy!

Forbidden Rice Blog | Meatless Meatball Subs (8 of 8)

Forbidden Rice Blog | Meatless Meatball Subs (3 of 8)

Forbidden Rice Blog | Meatless Meatball Subs (5 of 8)

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!

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: 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