Tag Archives: rice

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


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


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

Meatless Monday : Cinco de Mayo Recipes


We eat a lot of Mexican-style food year-round. For a vegetarian, the possibilities are vast. True, there are many non-vegetarian options as well, but so much of what my love for Mexican food centers around is the flavors. The complexities of heat, taste, depth, spices, and balance of each separate element. This year I’m planning a serve yourself taco menu featuring staples like beans, rice, cheese, guacamole, crema, perhaps a guajillo salsa, a roasted tomatillo salsa, baked tofu “fish,” and homemade corn tortillas. There shall be margaritas, because they’re an essential part of the menu. And Mondays.

Any thoughts on what you’re making or eating this evening? If you’re in need of some entirely vegetarian Cinco de Mayo recipes, here’s a quick round-up of some ideas:

Frychos make a great appetizer or full course on their own.

Some other easy side dishes:

Spanish Red Rice

Cheesy Anaheim and Poblano Pepper Rice

Slow Cooked Black Beans

Some sauces and salsas that can easily accompany any Mexican meal:

Ancho Chili and Pepita Mole

Avocado Green Tomato Salsa

Green Chile and Tomatillo Enchilada Sauce

Roasted Poblano Guacamole

Looking for some main dish ideas? Here are some recipes:

Roasted Poblano Chilaquiles with Fried Eggs (great for breakfast or anytime!)

Crispy Tofu Tacos with Creamy Roasted Poblano Sauce and Grilled Cotija Cheese

Chorizo and Cheese Enchiladas

Seitan Carnitas

Jalapeño Cheese Tamales

Tamale Casserole

Tofu and Cheese Enchiladas

A couple beverage ideas to round things out:

Classic Margarita



Happy celebrating!

Veggie Fried Rice

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Although I am over 2,000 miles away from Kaua’i these days, there are parts of my upbringing that I’ve obviously carried with me. When it comes to food, certain habits still exist. For instance, when I make chili, my southern-born husband instantly asks for cornbread. I on the other hand instantly think of making a pot of rice. When we are kid-free and I’ve done the dishes four times by dinner time, we opt for easy dinners of whatever sounds good. A couple nights ago my husband wanted granola with almond milk and bananas. I had an overwhelming craving for shoyu saimin.

It seems that around here, fried rice is a side dish that accompanies Chinese or Thai takeout. While I was growing up, it could mean a meal in and of itself. Fried rice for breakfast, laden with scrambled eggs, chopped up spam or göteborg sausage and chopped green onion? Hell yeah. In Hawai’i, fried rice can be found on numerous restaurant menus. The differences are vast, depending on where you’re at. Some folks like it sweeter, others more spicy or heavy on the saltiness of soy sauce. Some versions omit meat all together, others have bits of bacon, spam, pork, etc. You may find kim chee fried rice, or versions that contain teriyaki sauce. Everyone has their own preferences.

Myself, I enjoy a semi-salty fried rice, one that has soy sauce and toasted sesame oil for a very savory, earthy flavor. For this recipe I used frozen organic vegetables, but I have also made versions with fresh veggies as well. This fried rice is easy to put together. We ate it along with this sweet and sour tofu and tempeh. The balance of flavors worked well and the meal was incredibly filling. You can eat this rice on its own, too. That’s precisely what I did the following morning, heating it in the wok with a bit of sesame oil.

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Veggie Fried Rice

Yields about 7 cups of fried rice (8-10 servings)


2 1/4 cups long grained white rice
4 1/2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 a yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
5 – 7 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
10 oz. gardener’s blend frozen vegetables (corn, carrots, peas, green beans)
2 green onions, diced
salt and pepper


In a large pot with a lid, combine the rice, water, and half teaspoon of salt. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cook for 25-30 minutes, until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender. Pour the hot rice onto a large sheet pan, spreading it out evenly. Allow the rice to cool to room temperature.

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Once the rice is room temperature, in a large wok, combine the sesame and canola oils over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger. Stir until the onion is tender and translucent.

Add the cooked, cooled, rice into the wok. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to turn the rice into the onion/oil mixture. Add the soy sauce and rice vinegar, then gently turn the rice into the sauce evenly.

Push the rice to one side of the wok, then pour in the eggs. Stir quickly to scramble the eggs up into the hot pan. Fold scrambled eggs into the rice. Add the frozen vegetables to the wok, again folding them into the rice. Allow the fried rice to cook for 10-15 minutes, occasionally stirring, allowing the sauce to be absorbed by the rice.

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Taste, then add salt and pepper to your liking. Top with the green onion and serve immediately.

For best results, heat the leftovers in a hot wok with a scant amount of sesame oil.

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Cinco de Mayo Favorites

Somehow it’s already the first weekend of May. My brain tries to wrap itself around how quickly time flies, but in the midst of doing so, all I can really think about is big fat veggie burritos or tacos laden with freshly cooked beans, melted cheese and spicy sauces of every type imaginable. Then there’s the beverage aspect of the whole ordeal, where I imagine beautiful combinations of fresh fruit juice – or fresh fruit juice within a vast array of adult cocktails. Ultimately I begin to think about how swiftly summer seems to be approaching. Of course that leads me back to thoughts of tacos and margaritas, within the sunshine, of course.

Before we get too far into May, there’s always Cinco de Mayo to celebrate. Some folks need an excuse to devour Mexican food. I’m not in that category of folks; nor is our family. We eat Mexican-inspired dishes weekly. The following is a list of recipes both tried and very much wanting to be tried. Should you find yourself invited to a Cinco de Mayo themed potluck party, left without a clue as to what you can bring, may these recipes motivate you to try them.


Small Bites

Eggplant Parmesan Nachos from Climbing Grier Mountain – nontraditional, but amazing looking and sounding!
Mexican Street Fair Corn  from Food52 – I love the look of this fresh sweet corn.
Chile Lime Tequila Popcorn  from 101 Cookbooks
Molletes  from Leite’s Culinaria



Roasted Tomatillo and Green Olive Salsa from Foodie Crush

Avocado Green Tomato Salsa

Roasted Poblano Guacamole
Green Chile and Tomatillo Enchilada Sauce
Goat Cheese and Roasted Corn Guacamole from Joy the Baker – I’m certain I could eat this by the spoonful, standing at the kitchen counter… 



Cheesy Potato Gratin with Chiles and Corn
Toasted Coconut, Cilantro and Lime Rice
Cheesy Anaheim and Poblano Pepper Rice

img_5877_zps58b05dbeSlow Cooked Black Beans


Main Dishes

Tamale Casserole

img_51642 Jalapeno Cheese Tamales

Chorizo and Cheese Enchiladas
Spicy Citrus Fish Tacos with Creamy Avocado Sauce
Black Bean and Sweet Potato Tacos from Joy the Baker
Charred Asparagus Tacos with Creamy Adobo and Pickled Red Onions from Serious Eats – a great vegetarian spin on tacos!
Chile Rellenos with Brebis Blanche and Tomatillo Salsa from Alana Chernia of Eating From the Ground Up


Mango and Blackberry Mint Margaritas


Homemade Horchata

Blood Orange Margaritas from Alex Thomopoulos – this drink is gorgeous in color and I love the addition of mint.
Roasted Blueberry Basil Margarita from How Sweet It Is
Tequila and Campari with Tangerine from Serious Eats – a larger, pitcher option if you’re hosting dinner for folks… or feel the need for a pitcher-sized drink.
Watermelon-Ginger Agua Fresca from Bon Appetit – for a delicious non-alcoholic beverage option.


Margarita Tarts from A Couple Cooks
Homemade Churros from Or Whatever You Do
Horchata Ice Cream from The Bojon Gourmet – I cannot wait to make this… YUM.


Happy celebrating!

Cheesy Anaheim and Poblano Pepper Rice


Sometimes you need to throw together a dish on a whim. Since I’m not much of a baker most of the time, I prefer contributing savory items. My utmost dreaded requested item: salad. I love to eat salads, mind you. But when it comes to putting them together, I feel like my creativity goes running in the opposite direction from where I need it. We recently had to contribute a side dish for one of the kids’ potluck style dinners. Being quite last minute, I thought, “Oh hell. I’ll made a #%$*ing salad.” Then I realized I had a lot of rice in the house. And cheese. Cheesy rice? Sounded like a decent savory side that didn’t require haphazardly throwing around vegetables.

Long before I started this blog, we’d occasionally eat one-dish meals that consisted of a base of rice, then some kind of sauce thrown in it. Sometimes I’d add veggie sausage, other times broccoli, or tomatoes and corn. When it comes down to it, those meals were like a quick risotto-style dish, only made in half the time. The following rice was born out of knowing my husband’s love for roasted Poblano peppers paired with nearly anything. I actually included Anaheim peppers, too, as they aren’t spicy but add great pepper-flavor.

This rice isn’t overly spicy, but has a great flavor where the peppers are obvious. The cheese adds creaminess, along with a little saltiness that works with the roasted peppers. I ended up opting out of the potluck (sometimes I enjoy being antisocial), but sent the dish along. My husband told me it was quickly gone. I kept a small bowl for myself and ate it with a Quorn brand Turk’y burger and raw spinach. The flavors worked together nicely. You could easily serve this with a bowl of homemade beans, or alongside some enchiladas. Or eat it on it’s own. Whatever your game play, it’ll be a tasty one.


Cheesy Anaheim and Poblano Pepper Rice


2½ cups long grain white rice
1 tsp. salt
5 cups water (or broth)
3 Anaheim peppers
2 Poblano peppers
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ a yellow onion
6 medium-sized tomatillos
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup monterey jack cheese, shredded
½ cup cotija cheese, crumbled
8 oz. light sour cream
½ tsp. dried, ground coriander
1 tsp. dried oregano
salt and pepper to your liking



Roast the peppers. If you have a gas stove, this is easily done by toasting the peppers over an open flame (on high), using tongs to turn the peppers constantly. Once the peppers are nicely blackened on all sides, place in a bowl and then tightly cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

The trapped steam will soften the peppers and loosen their skins. After 15 minutes, pull the stems out of each pepper. Pull the skins off the pepper. I like to do this under running cold water, as it seems to help make the job quicker. You can also use a paper towel to rub off the loosened skins. Holding one end, squeeze the pepper length-wise, to remove the bulk of its seeds.

If you are using an oven, turn it on to the broiler setting. Brush each pepper with 1-2 teaspoons of vegetable, sunflower, or another high-smoke point oil. Arrange the peppers on a baking sheet, then place the sheet on the highest rack in your oven. Keeping a close eye on the peppers, remove them once dark, blackened spots appear. As with stove-top roasted peppers, place in a bowl and cover for 15 minutes. Follow the above directions for removing the skins and seeds.

Cook the rice. Place the 5 cups of water and salt in a large pot with a lid. Bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Stir in the rice, then cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 22-25 minutes, until the  water has evaporated completely.

Turn off the heat. Use a fork to fluff up the rice, then cover again and let the rice sit for 5 minutes.

Attach the large chopping blade to your food processor (or use a high powered blender). Add the roasted Anaheim peppers, one of the Poblano peppers, garlic, onion tomatillos. Blend until smooth. Add in the sour cream until completely combined.

Preheat your oven to 375°F. Lightly oil or butter a 9×9 inch baking pan.

Dice up the remaining Poblano pepper. Fold the diced Poblano pepper as well as the blended pepper mixture into the rice. Add about half of the cheddar, half of the monterey jack cheese and half of the cotija cheese, coriander, oregano, pepper and salt, stirring until everything is evenly combined. Pour the rice into your prepared baking dish.  Sprinkle on the remaining cheddar, monterey jack, and cotija cheese.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the top is nicely golden brown. Allow the rice to sit for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy while still hot.