Category Archives: Snacks

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!

Green Smoothies

Forbidden Rice Blog | Tropical Green Smoothie (6 of 9)

You know those folks who are ALL OVER green smoothies? The ones who tell you how delicious they are, or what a great breakfast or snack they make? I am not one of those people. Up until this recipe, you couldn’t pay me to drink a green smoothie. I think it has to do with the weird green stuff — spirulina, specifically, I don’t want anything to do with. I do understand the nutritional value, but if the stuff doesn’t taste good I sure as hell don’t want it in my smoothie.

On the other hand, raw spinach doesn’t have a strong after (or during, or before) taste. It’s pretty easy to mask and when thrown into a smoothie that has some other sweet, strong flavors to mask its savoriness, it’s simple to add in nutrition without sacrificing flavor. Hooray!

This smoothie is filling and makes a great snack when your energy is running low. I actually had it for lunch one afternoon. Nutrition-wise, it’s under 300 calories, low in fat and sugar, and carries a decent amount of protein. Plus the kids happily drank it, which says a lot as well!

Forbidden Rice Blog | Tropical Green Smoothie (5 of 9)

Green Smoothies

Makes approximately 56 ounces/about 3 1/2 servings.

8 ounces vanilla Greek yogurt
2 frozen bananas
2 cups frozen mango chunks
2 cups fresh pineapple (or frozen)
one 11.2 ounce can pulp-free coconut water
4 ounces pear or apple juice
4 cups spinach

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Combine all the ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Serve immediately.

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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!

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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

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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.

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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! :)

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Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream

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Summer seems to be flying by. I could’ve sworn it was June just yesterday, that the kids were about to get out of school, not start back up again… Vincent’s going into his senior year of high school and Silas into his last year of elementary school. I’m not sure how that happened so quickly.

Regardless, summer produce is still in full swing (thank goodness!). Strawberries luckily make two robust appearances around here — late spring/early summer and then again in the late summer. (I prefer the latter, as the berries always seem a deeper red, sweeter and more delicious!) A good old-fashioned strawberry ice cream celebrates both the loveliness of summer and the wonderful abundance of these beautiful berries. While this recipe does require an ice cream maker, and just a little while to throw together between the chilling and churning, the strawberry ice cream that results is absolutely creamy and delightful (and totally worth your efforts)!

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Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream

Makes a little more than a quart of ice cream.

4 egg yolks
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons half and half
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 pints fresh strawberries, hulled
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
scant 1/4 teaspoon salt

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In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks.

Put the half and half plus half of the sugar in a medium sized pot. Heat over medium heat, being sure the mixture doesn’t boil, occasionally stirring until the sugar dissolves, (5 or so minutes). Set a fine-meshed sieve over a large heatproof bowl.

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Once the half and half mixture is hot, whisk a little of it into the egg yolks to temper them. Whisk all of the warm egg yolks into the hot half and half. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula as you heat the mixture over medium heat (keep scraping the bottom and stirring until the mixture thickens and you can coat the back of a spoon). Again, make sure the mixture doesn’t come to a boil. Remove from the heat and pour through the mesh sieve over a large heatproof bowl. Add the heavy cream to the mixture and stir to combine. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes (or until thoroughly chilled).

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Place the strawberries in a large bowl and mash them a bit with a potato masher. Add the remaining sugar. Let the strawberries macerate in their own juices, stirring occasionally until the sugar has disintegrated, 15 to 20 minutes. Add the berries to the chilled cream mixture. Add the vanilla and salt. Chill, covered, in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes (but up to 2 days in advance).

Freeze the custard according to your ice cream maker’s instructions.

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Forbidden Rice Blog | Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream (6 of 8)

Buttermilk Blueberry Biscuits

Forbidden Rice Blog | Blueberry Biscuits (1 of 4)

My name is Julie Hashimoto-McCreery, I am 30 years and 1.6 months old, and I still do not know the technical difference between scones and biscuits. While there is talk of differences being lightness, or moistness, or savory(ness) or sweetness… when it comes down to it, the best scones AND biscuits I’ve had incorporate few differences. Savory, light, but moist scones? YES. Savory, light, moist biscuits? YES. (Thou shalt never use the words “moist” and “biscuits” together from this day forward.) There’s debate on SHAPE being the determining factor (seriously, folks!).

I call the following recipe biscuits. You could call them scones if you prefer. They are fluffy, not-at-all-dry, packed with fresh blueberries and just a hint of lemon. These biscuits are most excellent while still warm, preferably with a cup of coffee or tea!

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Buttermilk Blueberry Biscuits

Yields about 10-12 biscuits.

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup butter (cold and cut into cubes)
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup very cold buttermilk
zest and juice from 1 large lemon
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
2 cups fresh blueberries
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar

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Preheat the oven to 425 degree F and prepare an ungreased baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a mixing bowl, sift together the 3 cups of flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, cream of tartar, lemon zest and salt. Cut in the butter until the mixture looks like coarse cornmeal.

In a small bowl, lightly toss together the blueberries with the 2 tablespoons flour and 1 tablespoon sugar, until the berries are well coated with the flour. Add the blueberries in the the flour/butter mixture, mixing together well.

In another bowl beat the egg, buttermilk, and lemon juice together lightly with a fork. Add it to the flour mixture, stirring to create a soft dough. (Work quickly, as you want to keep the mixture as cold as possible to keep the butter from breaking down before getting in the oven.) Some of the blueberries will inadvertently get mushed; it’s okay!

Turn the dough out to a floured board and knead it about 15 times. Roll the dough out or pat it out, to about 1-inch thick. Cut into 2-3 inch rounds with a biscuit cutter. Reshape and roll out the remaining dough scraps to make more biscuits. Place the biscuits on your parchment-lined baking sheet, about 2 inches apart.

Bake for 12 – 15 minutes, until the biscuits are golden brown on top. Let the biscuits cool for about 5 minutes, then serve while still warm.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Blueberry Biscuits (3 of 4)