Category Archives: Sides

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.

Ingredients:
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

Directions:

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

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

Cheesy Stuffed Twice-Baked Potatoes

Forbidden Rice Blog | Cheesy Stuffed Twice-Baked Potatoes

Alright, alright… I have been meaning to share this recipe since the Super Bowl happened. Let’s not backtrack to how long ago that was. While I’m not a huge fan of potatoes in general (albeit, for no good reasons), twice baked potatoes tend to serve up as excellent comfort food. They are filled with creamy mashed potatoes, covered in melty cheese, but also have a crispiness that one would find in really good french fries. A win-win situation.

The filling can offer itself up as a vehicle for creativity. The things you can throw into the mix are endless. However, I was making these to share with young kids and I wasn’t sure how adventurous I could get before they wouldn’t touch the potatoes at all. That said, these are easy. Creamy, cheesy, flavorful… and while the kids didn’t know how to eat a twice baked potato (as in, pick it up with your hands and shove it in your mouth… don’t use a spoon to scoop out the cheesy mashed potatoes and throw away the skin!), the adults may or may not have topped theirs with vegetarian chili, a little more cheese, and certainly a little more sour cream.

Even better, the leftovers can be reheated and just may be even more delicious the next day!

Forbidden Rice Blog | Cheesy Stuffed Twice-Baked Potatoes

Cheesy Stuffed Twice-Baked Potatoes

Makes 30 stuffed potatoes.

Ingredients:
15 medium russet potatoes, scrubbed well
8 ounces low or full fat sour cream
6 tablespoons milk
8 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard powder
4 tablespoons butter, melted

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F and position racks in top and bottom thirds of the oven. Use a fork to poke 10 to 12 deep holes all over the potato so that moisture can escape while it’s cooking. scBake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the skin feels crisp, but flesh beneath feels soft.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Cheesy Stuffed Twice-Baked Potatoes

Slice each potato in half, lengthwise. Carefully scoop out the inside of each potato skin, being careful to not break the skin. Leave a small rim of potato to keep the skin from falling apart or tearing. Place the scooped out insides in a large bowl, then lay the hollowed out potato skin on a baking sheet, hollow side facing up.

Add the sour cream, milk, half of the shredded cheese, scallions, garlic, pepper, salt and mustard powder to the scooped out insides. Mash this filling up until smooth and creamy, using a potato masher. Set aside until needed.

Brush each of the hollowed out potato skins with half of the melted butter. Place in the oven for 2-3 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove from the oven, then flip over, so the skin is facing up. Brush with the remaining melted butter, then return to the oven for another 2-3 minutes, until slightly crisp to the touch.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Cheesy Stuffed Twice-Baked Potatoes

Fill each of the potato skins generously with the filling. Top each potato with a little more grated cheese, then bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown on top and warmed all the way through.

Serve hot/warm for best flavor and consistency.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Cheesy Stuffed Twice-Baked Potatoes

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

Homemade Rice-A-Roni

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Did you grow up with boxes of Rice-A-Roni laying in your kitchen pantry? Perhaps you merely recall the commercial, whose jingle boasted, “Rice-A-Roni, The San Francisco treat! Rice-A-Roni, its flavor can’t be beat. One pan, no boiling, cooking ease! A flavor that is sure to please. Rice-A-Roni, the San Francisco treat! Ding! Ding!”

It’s one of the first things I learned to cook (albeit the instructions are pretty damn straightforward and uncomplicated). The ingredients of rice and weird little stick-like-looking pastas that I’d pour out of the box always left me curious about what exactly these ingredients were… I eventually figured out that the weird little stick-like-looking pasta was simply broken up vermicelli. So… exactly what they looked like — pieces of broken pasta. 

However, every box also contains ingredient lists wherein half of the ingredients are things I can’t pronounce and things I would prefer not eating. Sometimes an easy side dish is needed – that’s how I found myself researching homemade rice-a-roni. This dish is both flavorful and easy to put together, without additional ingredients that are better left uneaten.

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Homemade Rice-A-Roni

Serves 6

Ingredients:
3/4 cup long grain white rice
1/2 cup small pasta shape (like angel hair noodles broken into pieces 1/2-inch long)
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
14 oz No-Chicken broth

Directions:
Melt the butter and oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the rice and pasta, sautéing until lightly browned.

Add the parsley, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper. Stir to coat everything evenly. Add in the broth, stirring well.

Bring to a boil and then cover, reducing the heat to low. Cook for 20 minutes without lifting lid.

After 20 minutes, check to see if all liquid has been absorbed. Fluff the rice with a fork. Cover and let sit 5 minutes before serving.

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