Tag Archives: Quorn

Everyday Life: Week 2

Here’s a look at what week 2 of 2017 looked like:

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I am working on the art of vegetarian Chicago style deep dish pizza. This one’s 5-cheese with the crust made from whole wheat and hempseed flours.

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Lazy BOY.

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Sometimes your husband wants to eat oatmeal for dinner. So you eat a very simple cheese omelet and some toast for dinner.

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Future smoothies.

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Percy is the best snuggler. She sleeps in our bed nearly every night (in Silas’s when he’s here). In the morning, she tends to get up when my husband’s up (too goddamn early). Then! After an hour or so, she’ll climb back into our bed where I’m still asleep and snuggle up! My favorite.

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My husband used to run an open mic every Wednesday at a restaurant here in town. We’d both get dinner included with the job. My favorite thing to order off the menu? “Kitchen Guys Pasta.” Whatever pasta they had the most of, lots of garlic, parmesan, basil, tomatoes, chicken, andouille or chorizo sausage, prawns, lots of red chili flakes. The restaurant’s been closed for a few years, so I haven’t had my pasta… but! This homemade vegetarian version was the closest in flavor to the original, yet! I’m very excited about it.

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The creeks and rivers have been so full and so fast after the snow and rain we’ve had. LOVE it.

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On our afternoon walk, checking out the duck pond that’s currently frozen over!

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A snack of cinnamon raisin english muffin with a bit of macadamia nut butter. So good!

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On this day, Jumpy decided he really liked hanging out in the empty laundry basket…

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It soon led up to this apparent game I happened to find going on.

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Unplanned dinner date out with the husband.

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One of this week’s best Vitamix combos: frozen mangoes, frozen strawberries, frozen bananas and vanilla Siggi’s kefir. Simple and delicious!

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Percy likes to find the biggest stick possible and then carry it for the entirety of our walks… Haha.

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Silas had a sleepover the other night with one of his buddies and that buddy’s little brother. It made me realize that as I’m getting older, I increasingly think about what it must’ve been like for my mom to raise 4 kids (3 of us, barely a year apart). Sleepovers happened almost every weekend (usually my sister’s friends), which my mom handled very gracefully. I welcomed this weekend’s sleepover with lots of silent F-bombs and a couple tequila shots. Luckily, they’re good, well-behaving kids…so even if I wanted to pull out all my hair at the sound of “bruhhhh!” dropping every 2 minutes, or the sound of bottles flipping over and over and over again… I didn’t really mind the whole sleepover thing…

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10 months old this week and this is the attitude she gives about “Percy, it’s time to get up!”

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This was delicious. Quorn ‘naked cutlets’ baked with avocado oil, turmeric, black pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic, sea salt and a bit of oregano. Slapped in a sammich with spinach/baby greens, tomato, avocado, mild cheddar, vegenaise and some spicy brown mustard on locally made whole wheat sourdough. Easy dinner!


Silas’s basketball season started this weekend… Here’s one of numerous baskets for the day!

I hope you had a good week! : )

Meatless Monday: General Tso’s Quorn Chik’n

Forbidden Rice Blog | General Tso's Quorn Chik'n (5 of 7)

Having never eaten General Tso’s chicken, it would seem kind of silly to decide to cook such a thing on a whim. However… rule number one in Julie’s kitchen: have no fear and jump right in.

So what the heck is this dish? Basically, it’s pieces of breaded and fried chicken, covered in a slightly sweet, slightly spicy sauce. It’s found in numerous Asian restaurants, though its origins are in Taiwan. If you want to read a more in depth explanation, check this out.

While everything I cook at home is vegetarian (with the exception of fish), every now and then I do miss cooking/eating chicken. One of the most realistic chicken-like alternatives I’ve found is Quorn Chik’n. Generally I just cook it as I would real chicken. This dish is pretty simple to throw together. We enjoyed it with veggie fried rice, but you could serve it with plain steamed rice or noodles.

Forbidden Rice Blog | General Tso's Quorn Chik'n (7 of 7)

General Tso’s Quorn Chik’n

Serves 6 or so.

Ingredients:

For the Chik’n marinade:
1 egg white
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons vodka
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 packages Quorn chik’n tenders

For the dry coating:
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the sauce:
3 tablespoons soy sauce
4 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons vegetable broth
4 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh minced garlic
2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
2 tablespoons chopped chives

1 1/4 quart sunflower or peanut oil
1 cup fresh pineapple, cubed (optional)

Forbidden Rice Blog | General Tso's Quorn Chik'n (2 of 7)

Directions:

Beat egg white in a large bowl until lightly foamy. Add soy sauce, rice vinegar and vodka. Whisk to combine. Set aside half of marinade in a small bowl. Add baking soda and corn starch to the large bowl and whisk to combine. Add the Quorn Chik’n to the large bowl and turn to coat thoroughly. Cover and set aside.

Combine flour, corn starch, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk until well combined then add the reserved marinade, mixing just until mixture has coarse, mealy clumps. Set aside.

To make the sauce combine soy sauce, wine, vinegar, chicken stock, sugar, sesame seed oil, and cornstarch in a small bowl and stir with a fork until cornstarch is dissolved and no lumps remain. Set aside.

Combine the oil, garlic, ginger, red chili flakes in a large skillet and place over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until vegetables are aromatic and soft, but not brown. Stir sauce mixture and add to skillet. Cook, stirring, until sauce boils and thickens, about 1 minute. Add scallions. Transfer sauce to a bowl to stop cooking, but don’t wipe out your skillet.

Heat the sunflower or peanut oil in a large wok or Dutch oven to 350°F. Transfer the chik’n from the marinade to dry coat mixture, tossing in between each addition to coat chik’n. Once all the Quorn chik’n is added to the dry coat ingredients, toss with your hands, pressing dry mixture onto the chik’n so it adheres, making sure that every piece is coated thoroughly.

Shake off excess coating and carefully lower the flour-coated chik’n into the hot oil, one piece at a time. Once all chicken is added, cook, stirring around until the chik’n is cooked through and very crispy, about 4 minutes. Transfe to a paper towel-lined bowl to drain any excess oil.

Add the chink’n to the empty sauce skillet and return the sauce to the skillet. Toss chik’n, folding it with a rubber spatula until all pieces are thoroughly coated. Fold in the fresh pineapple if you’re using it. Serve immediately with rice.

Forbidden Rice Blog | General Tso's Quorn Chik'n (1 of 7)

Forbidden Rice Blog | General Tso's Quorn Chik'n (3 of 7)

Forbidden Rice Blog | General Tso's Quorn Chik'n (6 of 7)

Meatless Monday: Breaded Chik’n Cutlets with Heirloom Tomatoes and Feta

Forbidden Rice Blog: Breaded Chik'n Cutlets with Heirloom Tomatoes and Feta | Quorn

One of my favorite vegetarian meat alternative companies is Quorn. The flavor and texture similarity to chicken was what first attracted me to their products. Whenever I am cooking something with Quorn, I often treat it the same way I would’ve cooked chicken years ago.

One of my other favorite things to cook with is summertime produce this time of year. We’ve been out of town frequently and my humble little garden has suffered the effects of neglect. I don’t know how much produce I’ll eventually wind up with, but likely not nearly as much as the last few years. Fortunately I live in a little Oregon valley where the fresh produce is still plentiful and easy to come by.

I had a dish similar to this recently, except it was actual chicken. I immediately knew I wanted to figure out a vegetarian version ASAP. So… I did. While you can get already breaded Quorn Chik’n patties or cutlets (which are also filled with various ingredients like cheese, or garlic and herbs), I decided to get the “naked” cutlets and bread them myself (you get 4 cutlets in that box versus 2 in the already breaded varieties). You can add more or less tomatoes if you prefer, depending on the size of heirlooms you find!

Forbidden Rice Blog: Breaded Chik'n Cutlets with Heirloom Tomatoes and Feta | Quorn

Breaded Chik’n Cutlets with Heirloom Tomatoes and Feta

Serves roughly 8-12 folks.

Ingredients:
3 boxes of Quorn Naked Chik’n Cutlets
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
6 ounces panko bread crumbs
enough oil to coat a deep pan about 1-inch deep
3 large heirloom tomatoes (whatever color/variety you prefer), diced bite-size
one 8-ounce block feta, cut into bite-size cubes
4-ounces goat cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup packed basil leaves, chopped
lemon wedges, for serving

Forbidden Rice Blog: Breaded Chik'n Cutlets with Heirloom Tomatoes and Feta | Quorn

Directions:

Thaw the chik’n cutlets fully. In a small bowl, mix together the salt, garlic, Italian seasoning, pepper and coriander. Heat the oil in a large, flat-bottomed pan over medium-high. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.

Whisk together the milk, eggs, and 1/3 of the seasoning mixture in a dish. In another dish, mix together the bread crumbs and remaining seasoning.

Dip each fully-thawed Quorn cutlet first in the egg-milk mixture, coating both sides. Then dip in the bread crumb mixture, again coating both sides. Fry in the heated oil until golden brown on both sides.

Place the fried cutlet on a large baking sheet that has raised sides. Continue until all the cutlets have been breaded and fried, arranging them in a single layer on the baking sheet.

Top the cutlets with the diced tomatoes, feta, and crumbled goat cheese. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the feta softens, tomatoes are heated through and the goat cheese melts. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with the chopped feta, and serve immediately with lemon wedges to squeeze over individual portions.

Forbidden Rice Blog: Breaded Chik'n Cutlets with Heirloom Tomatoes and Feta | Quorn

Forbidden Rice Blog: Breaded Chik'n Cutlets with Heirloom Tomatoes and Feta | Quorn

Forbidden Rice Blog: Breaded Chik'n Cutlets with Heirloom Tomatoes and Feta | Quorn

Forbidden Rice Blog: Breaded Chik'n Cutlets with Heirloom Tomatoes and Feta | Quorn

Forbidden Rice Blog: Breaded Chik'n Cutlets with Heirloom Tomatoes and Feta | Quorn

Risotto with Roasted Asparagus, Mushrooms, and Chik’n

Forbidden Rice Blog | Risotto with Roasted Asparagus, Mushrooms, and Chik'n

It’s supposedly spring around here, although the cold appears to be lingering for a while longer. Daylight remains present at nearly 7 o’clock and from my bedroom window, I can clearly see the hills surrounding downtown Ashland are purple and pink hued, softly green. I can hear our resident pigeons, cooing and wooing one another, building their nests. The sounds, the colors… they are some of my favorite things about this time of year in the Pacific Northwest.

Then there’s the abundance of fresh produce that seems to swoop into the grocery stores and farmer’s markets mid-spring that weren’t around through the winter. Artichokes, chard and other greens, grapefruit, spinach, peas, lemons, asparagus… they’re everywhere, in abundance and often scream at me to try new dishes.

I used Quorn brand vegetarian chicken in this recipe, which works nicely and maintains its chicken-like consistency in the risotto. The way that the asparagus is prepared prior to adding it to the risotto is actually my favorite way to cook asparagus. Generally I just trim off the tough ends, but cook it exactly the same. Nine year old Silas ate some a couple weeks ago and declared, “this is good ‘sparagus!” So I reckon it must be good if you can get a nine year old boy to ENJOY asparagus ;) !

Forbidden Rice Blog | Risotto with Roasted Asparagus, Mushrooms, and Chik'n

Risotto with Roasted Asparagus, Mushrooms, and Chik’n

Serves 6 or so folks.

Ingredients:
1 pound fresh, thin asparagus
2 teaspoons oil
zest and juice from a large lemon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

8 medium sized crimini mushrooms, diced bite-size
one 12-ounce bag Quorn chik’n tenders
2 tablespoons oil
8 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

2 1/4 cups arborio (risotto) rice
2 teaspoons oil
4 tablespoons butter
1 large shallot, minced
4 cups No-Chicken broth (vegetable broth if you must)
4 cups half and half
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Forbidden Rice Blog | Risotto with Roasted Asparagus, Mushrooms, and Chik'n

Directions:

Prepare the asparagus: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Dice the asparagus into pieces that are about 1 1/2 inches long. Place them on a large rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Drizzle two teaspoons of oil on the asparagus, then sprinkle on the lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Gently turn the asparagus a couple times to coat with the oil and toppings. Bake for 10 minutes (if using really thin asparagus – which is preferable). If thicker asparagus is being used, bake for 12-15 minutes until fork-tender. Drizzle the lemon juice over the asparagus and set it aside until needed.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Risotto with Roasted Asparagus, Mushrooms, and Chik'n

Forbidden Rice Blog | Risotto with Roasted Asparagus, Mushrooms, and Chik'n

Prepare the veggie chicken and mushrooms: In a large saucepan or pot, which you’ll use for the risotto as well (I use one similar to this size and type), heat two tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, Quorn chik’n tenders, diced mushrooms, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, stirring to coat with the oil. Cook, occasionally stirring, until the tenders lightly brown and the mushrooms soften without getting overcooked. Pour the cooked tenders and mushrooms into a large bowl, then set it aside until needed.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Risotto with Roasted Asparagus, Mushrooms, and Chik'n

Warm the broth to make the risotto: Pour all 4 cups of broth and 4 cups of half and half into a saucepan and bring to simmering over low heat. Keep on low, simmering while you prepare the risotto.

Prepare the risotto: In the saucepan you cooked the tenders and mushrooms in, heat two teaspoons of oil and 4 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat. Add the minced shallot and arborio rice, stirring to coat the rice with the oil. Saute until the rice changes in color from translucent to white (2-4 minutes). Once the rice has changed colors, add one cup of the warm broth, stirring it into the rice until fully absorbed. Once the broth is absorbed, add another cup of warm broth, again stirring until completely absorbed.

Continue adding the broth, one cup at a time until all the broth has been incorporated. The risotto will get creamier as more broth is added and absorbed, slowly. When all the broth has been added, stir the 1/2 cup of grated parmesan into the risotto. Gently fold in the roasted asparagus, chicken, and mushrooms. Let the risotto cook for an additional 5 minutes or so, to warm the asparagus, etc., back up. Serve immediately.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Risotto with Roasted Asparagus, Mushrooms, and Chik'n

Forbidden Rice Blog | Risotto with Roasted Asparagus, Mushrooms, and Chik'n

Forbidden Rice Blog | Risotto with Roasted Asparagus, Mushrooms, and Chik'n

Forbidden Rice Blog | Risotto with Roasted Asparagus, Mushrooms, and Chik'n

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