Category Archives: Sauces

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
Frychos
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

Beverages
Horchata
Apricot and Berry Sangria
Spicy Bloody Mary
Mangorita
Classic Margarita
Watermelon Margaritas

Meatless Monday: Sweet and Sour Tofu

Forbidden Rice Blog | Meatless Monday: Sweet and Sour Tofu

As a kid, Chinese takeout night was my favorite takeout night. In Hawai’i, the conglomeration of cultures makes various cuisines easy to come by. You can go to the “Chinese place” and get Korean, Japanese, Hawaiian, Chinese, American food… We often got dishes like fried rice, pan fried noodles with pork or chicken, sweet and sour spareribs and/or shrimp, egg foo young, egg rolls…

The sweet and sour dishes were always my favorite, next to any noodle-type dishes. Chinese sweet and sour sauce is perhaps the most popular, or familiar Chinese sauce. Possibly because there are numerous dishes that can be made with this sauce.

As with numerous sauces or well known dishes, everyone’s version is slightly different. Some recipes use tomato sauce, others use vinegar and sugar directly. Following are two most commonly used recipe for tuning Chinese sweet and sour sauce. For the following recipe, I used ketchup, which I had seen in numerous recipe. This makes a lot of food, so if you aren’t cooking for an army (or a house filled with boys), you can cut the recipe in half.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Meatless Monday: Sweet and Sour Tofu

Sweet and Sour Tofu

Serves 10-12

Ingredients:
40 ounces super firm high protein tofu, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
2 cups vegetable oil
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 medium pineapple, peeled and cut into bite-size chunks
1 large red bell pepper, cubed after seeds and stem are removed
1 large yellow bell pepper, cubed after seeds and stem are removed
1 white onion, peeled and cut into bite size pieces

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup finely minced fresh pineapple (use some of the same pineapple mentioned above)
1 cup ketchup
1 1/4 cups rice vinegar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
6 tablespoons sriracha
3/4 cup No-Chicken broth
6 tablespoons cornstarch
salt and pepper to your liking

Forbidden Rice Blog | Meatless Monday: Sweet and Sour Tofu

Directions:
Prepare the tofu: heat the two cups of vegetable oil plus two tablespoons sesame oil to about 400 degrees F. Working in batches, fry the tofu until lightly brown and crispy on the outside. Drain on paper towels. Continue frying until all the tofu has been cooked.

Prepare the sauce: heat up the two tablespoons of vegetable oil in pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add the ginger, garlic, and fresh minced pineapple. Stir-fry for 2 minutes or so, until fragrant. Whisk in the ketchup, rice vinegar, brown sugar, and sriracha. Bring all the contents to a boil.

Whisk together the cornstarch and broth until completely combined, then whisk this mixture into the ketchup-based sauce. Continue stirring until the sauce thickens. Add the fried tofu, chopped bell peppers, onion and pineapple, folding into the sauce until evenly coated. Cook for 10-15 minutes, then taste and add salt and pepper to your liking. Serve immediately with rice or whatever starch you prefer.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Meatless Monday: Sweet and Sour Tofu

Forbidden Rice Blog | Meatless Monday: Sweet and Sour Tofu

Forbidden Rice Blog | Meatless Monday: Sweet and Sour Tofu

Forbidden Rice Blog | Meatless Monday: Sweet and Sour Tofu

Creamy Pesto Chik’n Lasagna with Artichokes and Sun Dried Tomato Ricotta

Forbidden Rice Blog | Creamy Pesto Chik'n Lasagna with Artichokes and Sun Dried Tomato Ricotta

For as long as I can remember, my mom has always had an ever-growing collection of cookbooks. The extensive collection was (and probably still is) filled with local Hawai’i recipe books, Korean, Japanese, and Chinese cookbooks up the wa-zoo. There were books whose covers were aged, pages stained with various ingredients from when she cooked those particular recipes. When we went to the library, she almost immediately went to the cookbook section to scope out new books as well (a trait I have happily, apparently, inherited).

One of the cookbooks I lovingly recall is the original Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen, first published in the 1970’s.  The book was a gift to my parents when they married, from my grandparents. The original book contains handwritten recipes, colorless, hand-drawn pictures. (There’s a newer version of this cookbook, where color has been added and many of the recipes have been slightly altered.)

My mom had a handful of staple recipes she’d use from the Moosewood Cookbook. The pasta al cavolfiore (or spaghetti with cauliflower) was probably my most frequent request. The broccoli mushroom noodle casserole was another go-to favorite around our house. However, my top favorite recipe — the one I’d get most excited about when I saw the marinara cooking on the stove, and the cookbook laid out on the kitchen counter, was the vegetable lasagna.

A good lasagna is no small feat.  I think every aspect needs to be flavorful, but not so much that one part of the lasagna overpowers another layer of flavor. The following lasagna isn’t one you’ll find in the beloved Moosewood, but it’s a good one! This pesto lasagna is creamy, very filling and most definitely doesn’t lack in flavor.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Creamy Pesto Chik'n Lasagna with Artichokes and Sun Dried Tomato Ricotta

Creamy Pesto Chik’n Lasagna with Artichokes and Sun Dried Tomato Ricotta

Yields 6-10 servings.

Ingredients:
1- 16 ounce box lasagna noodles
4 ounces butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
8 ounces prepared basil pesto
1 1/2 cups No-Chicken broth
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
2 shallots, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
18 ounces Quorn Chik’n Tenders
1- 19.75 ounce can quartered artichoke hearts
16 ounces whole milk ricotta
2 eggs, beaten
8 ounces sun dried tomatoes, julienned
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 pound part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded

Forbidden Rice Blog | Creamy Pesto Chik'n Lasagna with Artichokes and Sun Dried Tomato Ricotta

Directions:
Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Working batches, cook the lasagna noodles until they are soft and pliable but not limp, 6 to 7 minutes. Remove the pasta from the boiling water and lay flat on a sheet tray to cool. Set aside until needed.

Prepare the sauce: In a large heavy-bottomed pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour until a slight paste forms. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Whisk in the pesto, broth, milk and cream. Occasionally stir until the sauce thickens (6-8 minutes). Whisk in the one teaspoon of granulated garlic, teaspoon of salt, and half teaspoon of pepper. Reduce heat to low until the sauce is needed.

Prepare the Chik’n: In a medium pan, heat the 1/4-cup of olive oil over medium-high. Add in the shallots and minced garlic, then sauté until the shallots soften (3-4 minutes). Add the Quorn Chik’n Tenders and artichoke hearts. Sauté until the tenders are golden brown.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Creamy Pesto Chik'n Lasagna with Artichokes and Sun Dried Tomato Ricotta

Prepare the ricotta: In a large mixing bowl, combine the ricotta, eggs, sun dried tomatoes, teaspoon of salt, parmesan cheese, tablespoon of dried thyme and the tablespoon of granulated garlic. Stir until well combined.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Assemble the lasagna: In the bottom of a 9 by 13-inch deep-dish baking dish, add a couple ladlefuls of sauce and spread out in an even layer. Arrange a layer of the lasagna noodles to completely cover the sauce (4 noodles should work).

Next, add half of the tomato-ricotta mixture, spreading it over the layer of noodles. Add half of the Chik’n over the ricotta layer. Add 1/3 of the sauce over the Chik’n, followed by 1/3 of the shredded mozzarella. Repeat these layers again, then add one more layer of noodles, followed by the remaining sauce, then the remaining mozzarella.

Lightly oil a sheet of foil, then cover the lasagna, oil-side over the cheese. Place the whole pan on a baking sheet (in case of overflow). Bake the lasagna for 1 hour and 15 minutes, removing the foil for the last 15 minutes of cooking. Cool for 15-20 minutes before slicing.

Quorn

 

 

Meatless Monday: Cilantro Lime Rice

Forbidden Rice Blog | Cilantro Lime Rice

I was born and raised in Hawai’i… do you know what that means? Sunshine, every-day-beach-days, warmth, perfect weather, deliriously gorgeous scenery, fresh picked fruits and freshly caught fish? Yes, all those things. But also… rice. Rice with most any, every, meal. Duhhh.

As a child, we’d have rice with cheesy eggs, spam/sausage/bacon/vienna sausage, maybe toast for breakfast. Sometimes fried rice took the place of plainly steamed white rice. One of my “chores” was sometimes to cook rice to accompany dinner (using this method of course, in the rice cooker that took up residence on our kitchen counter for as long as I can remember). Even now, at nearly 30-years-old, I’d prefer rice in the place of potatoes or cornbread like my Southern-born husband usually craves.

However, plainly steamed rice can get old quickly. The following recipe is an excellent solution to embellishing plain rice. For one thing, it’s bright green in color. But aside from color along, it’s flavorful. This rice is far from boring and has taken the place of numerous rice dishes in my kitchen over the last couple weeks. I enjoy it in burritos, veggie tacos, on its own in a bowl with other Mexican-type toppings, or topped with an over-easy egg.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Cilantro Lime Rice

Cilantro Lime Rice

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

2 cups long grain white rice
4 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 a large onion, peeled
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 large bunch of cilantro, tough stems removed
juice and zest from one lime
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
1/4 cup olive oil

Forbidden Rice Blog | Cilantro Lime Rice

Directions:

Fill a medium sized pot with the water, teaspoon of salt, and butter. Bring to a rolling boil. Stir in the rice. When the mixture comes back up to boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 20-25 minutes, until all the water is absorbed.

While the rice is cooking, prepare the sauce. Combine the onion, garlic, cilantro, lime juice and zest, rice vinegar, salt and red chili flakes in a high speed blender. Blend until smooth. Reduce the speed to low and drizzle in the oil until well combined. The sauce will become somewhat creamy looking.

When all the liquid has evaporated in the rice, remove the lid and fluff with a fork. Fold in the cilantro sauce until everything is evenly coated. Serve immediately while warm.

You can enjoy this rice on its own, as a side dish with your favorite beans, in a burrito or taco, etc.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Cilantro Lime Rice

Forbidden Rice Blog | Cilantro Lime Rice

Forbidden Rice Blog | Cilantro Lime Rice

Gemelli with a Mushroom and Sundried Tomato Cream Sauce

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I was going to tell you how I’ve been meaning to write this post for a week and a half now.  I was planning to let you know I haven’t disappeared, my blog isn’t at some official standstill. I thought about bringing up how many times I’ve sat down to write these words, only to fall asleep halfway through, or find myself needing to be in fifteen other places simultaneously. Maybe I should mention we took a super last minute trip to Portland last week with Vincent and his girlfriend, who participated in the USA Olympic Development Program for water polo. I brought work along on the trip, but didn’t touch any of it for three days straight. (I did eat some good food though… and more doughnuts than necessary.)

It seems my to-do list is never complete and constantly growing. On one hand, I don’t mind. I function better as a person when I have things to do. Cooking hasn’t taken some back-burner position (nor has the food consumption around here), but the photographing appears to be an afterthought once dinner has already been demolished. It’s okay. I’ll get back into the swing of things eventually. Bear with me; there is good food to be had… I promise.

Let’s eat more pasta in 2015. No shame in the pasta game around these parts! I do want to explore sauces and noodles in combinations that have nothing to do with marinara or pesto sauce. The following recipe was a leap in that direction and warmly welcomed here.

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Gemelli with a Mushroom and Sundried Tomato Cream Sauce

Serves 6-8 folks.

Ingredients:
1 pound dried gemelli pasta
8-19 large crimini mushrooms, diced bite-size
8 strips of tempeh bacon
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 tablespoons butter
1 large cipollini onion, peeled and diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
8.5 ounces sundried tomatoes (oil packed)
1 pint heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

photo 5

Directions:

Cook the pasta to al dente, in generously salted water according to the package directions. Reserve about 1 cup of the salted cooking water after the pasta has cooked through.

Heat the tablespoon of oil in a medium-large skillet. Cook the tempeh bacon until golden brown on each side. Drain excess oil on a paper towel, then dice into bite-size pieces. Set aside until needed.

In the same skillet you cooked the tempeh, add the 4 tablespoons of butter. Melt over medium-high heat. Add the diced onion and cook, until tender and semi-translucent (4-6 minutes). Add the garlic, thyme, mushrooms and sundried tomatoes. Cook for an additional minute, before adding in the heavy whipping cream. Reduce heat to medium and cook until the sauce begins to thicken slightly (10 minutes or so). Stir in the parmesan cheese, then taste and add pepper and salt to your liking. Continue cooking for an additional 5 minutes. Add the pasta to the sauce, stirring to coat.

Increase the heat to medium high and cook the pasta in the sauce for about 5 more minutes. Sprinkle the parsley on top then serve immediately.

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