Ever Evolving Food Blog

Hello Everyone! I have had this blog for years now, and as my personal life has changed, so have my tastes and eating habits...for the better!! I am now a fully plant-based eater, so my newer recipes will reflect this lifestyle and way of eating.

All of my old recipes will remain on my food blog, of course, so there will be a mixture of the old and the new for everyone to look through and choose. You can always play around with any recipe out there and make it your own, whether it's plant-based or not. There are always other options!
Thanks SO much for following! Happy Eating!

What's Cooking With Melissa

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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Chicken Fried Rice

This fried rice recipe can be done in five easy steps. As you can see, it doesn't look like traditional fried rice with carrots and peas. That's because I don't like carrots and peas, so I simply switched out the veggies!

2 large chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
3 large eggs, beaten
2 packages of brown, 90 second rice (I use Uncle Ben's)
1 (12 oz) package frozen 3 pepper & onion medly
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 package of Fried Rice seasoning (I use Sun Bird)
2 Tbs. Light Soy Sauce (I use La Choy)
Promise or Extra Virgin Olive Oil for sauteing

1. Saute chicken in a large pan with about 2 Tbs. of Promise, then set aside.
2. In the same pan, scramble the eggs, then set aside.
3. In a large pan, saute the frozen veggies and rice (do not microwave the rice first) in ~2 Tbs of
extra virgin olive oil for 1-2 minutes.

4. Add the eggs, seasoning packet, and soy sauce and cook for 1 minute.
5. Add in the chicken and cook for 1 minute.

You do not have to use chicken. You could use pork or just leave it as a veggie dish if you want. You can also use your choice of frozen veggies, as well. As always, make it your own and have fun!

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Monday, August 23, 2010

Whole Wheat Sprial Pasta with Sweet Basil Meat Sauce

I feel like I'm cheating a bit with this dish, but it's one of our staple dishes, and it still good food, so I'm putting it on the blog anyway. It's quick, easy, and filling.

3 lbs. lean ground round
2 (24 oz.) jars of Traditional Sweet Basil pasta sauce (Classico Traditional Favorites)
1 (16 oz.) bag of whole wheat spiral pasta (I use Hodgson Mill)

In a large sauce pan, brown the meat. Stir in the 2 jars of pasta sauce, mix well, cover, and simmer on low for 10 minutes.

While the meat sauce is simmering, boil the pasta in a large pot for 14 minutes with a little salt and olive oil. After 14 minutes, drain, then add the meat sauce. Mix the meat sauce and the pasta together until well blended and serve right away.

I know this isn't fancy or even really 'homemade'. It's out of a jar and a bag, but let's be real. Every night can't be spectacular because a lot of people work and are tired when they get home or don't have a lot of time to cook an elaborate meal. This is something that is quick and easy, and it's warm and filling. It will SEEM like you spent a long time making it when, really, it only takes about 15-20 minutes!

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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Chicken & Shrimp Alfredo

This is one of those dishes that can be tweaked to your liking. You could use just chicken, just shrimp, add broccoli, or just have the linguine and Alfredo sauce if you want! I like it any way you serve it!

1/2 box whole wheat linguine
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into bite-size pieces
1 pound shrimp, peeled & deveined
6 Tbs. butter
1 tsp. minced garlic
juice from one lime or 1 Tbs of lime juice
1 can(10 3/4 oz.) Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup
1/2 cup 2% milk
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (I use Bertoli)
extra-virgin olive oil

Boil a large pot of water with 2-3 Tbs of extra-virgin olive oil and 2 pinches of salt and boil linguine for 10 minutes. When it's finished, drain water and 'shock' the pasta with cold tap water. Drain and set aside.

Heat a saucepan on medium-high heat, melt 3 Tbs. butter and cook the chicken pieces until golden. In another, smaller saucepan, heat the other 3 Tbs. of butter, garlic, and lime juice on medium heat until bubbling. Put shrimp in and saute for ~3 minutes. Place cooked shrimp into the saucepan with the cooked chicken.

To the shrimp and chicken, now add the soup, milk, cheese, and linguine. Stir and mix well over medium-low heat until warmed through and well-blended.

This is a very creamy dish. It will seem a little sticky on your fork, but it's VERY creamy when you eat it. It's not too rich but has a really nice flavor. Enjoy!

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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Crock Pot-Style Beef Stew

I love this easy way to make beef stew. It takes about 20 minutes prep-time, and then you just leave it for 7 hours. It makes your house smell wonderful and the crock pot does all the work!

2-3 pounds cubed stew beef
3 diced bell peppers (red, yellow, & orange)
1 large yellow onion, diced
4 Yuk0n Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
3 carrots, peeled and cut into disks
3 parsnips, peeled and cut into disks

1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 Tbs. chili powder (or 1 packet)
2 Tbs. salt
2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. ground mustard
ground pepper to taste
2 OXO cubes (or any beef bullion cubes or paste)

Put the first 6 ingredients into your crock pot, gently mixing (I use my hands) to separate the ingredients and make sure they aren't clumped together. Mix the next 8 ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and then gently fold into the meat and veggies. Boil 4 cups of water, then add 2 OXO cubes and stir until cubes dissolve. Pour bullion over the meat and veggies in the crock pot, then gently stir with a large ladle until well blended. Cook on high for 7 hours, stirring occasionally.

Beef stew is great because picky eaters can pick out parts they don't really like, which leaves more for those of us who like everything! Plus, there is something exciting about leaving your crock pot to cook, leaving your house to run errands, and then walking through the front door again and into that fabulous smell of something yummy cooking!

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