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

Don't Forget to Vote! There is a poll on the right side of this page. What is your favorite whole grain to use when cooking?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Lasagna

This is my Granny's recipe for lasagna that she passed down to me. I used to help her make it when I was a little girl, and I loved it! I loved making it, and I loved eating it! Delicious!

1.5 pounds lean ground beef (crumbled & browned)
1 large yellow onion (diced)
1 Tbs. sugar
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 cans diced petite tomatoes (I use Hunt's with fire-roasted garlic)
1 small can of tomato paste
1 rounded tsp. oregano
2 rounded tsp. parsley
1 bag of shredded, reduced fat mozzarella cheese
1/2 box lasagna noodles (I use whole wheat)

In a medium mixing bowl, mix the following, then set aside:
8 oz. light sour cream
1/2 container of light Parmesan cheese
1 leveled Tbs. oregano
1/2 tsp. basil

Boil noodles in a large pot with ~1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil and ~1 tsp. salt for 12 minutes. Drain and shock with cold water. Set aside.

Saute onion in a little extra virgin olive oil with garlic and sugar. Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, parsley, and browned, ground beef. Stir and heat on low ~5-10 minutes.

In a casserole dish, layer noodles, beef mixture, 1/2 the bag of mozzarella, and ~9-12 dollops of the sour cream & Parmesan mixture. Repeat this whole process once more. Cover the top with the remaining Parmesan cheese and bake at 425 for 20-30 minutes or until top starts to brown and insides are bubbling.

I like to serve my lasagna with lots of garlic bread! It doesn't take much of this dish to fill you up. It's SO filling and yummy! And, NO....this is NOT one of my healthier dishes. Enjoy! ;)


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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Bizcochitos (Mexican Sugar Cookies)

These flavorful cookies are traditionally served to children after church on Christmas Day. They are also usually in the shape of the fleur-de-lis. They are flavored with anise and cinnamon, which gives them a burst of flavor that goes really well with a steaming cup of coffee or hot cocoa!

1 cup margarine
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. anise flavoring
1 egg
1 cup sugar
1 Tbs. milk or brandy
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Beat soften (NOT liquid-melted!) margarine at high speed for 30 seconds until whipped. Add half the flour, anise, egg, sugar, milk, baking powder, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon. Beat until thoroughly combined. Beat in remaining flour. Divide dough into two balls. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours.

One at a time so they don't get too warm, take the balls of dough out of the fridge, roll them into logs on a lightly-floured surface, and slice dough into 1/8 - 1/4 inch circles. Place on a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick spray, and bake at 375 for ~6-8 minutes or until bottoms and edges turn light brown.

You can roll out the dough and cut it with cookie cutters, but slicing them when the dough is chilled is faster, easier, and less messy. They are still good, no matter WHAT shape they're in!!

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Boston Cream Pie

This is a really easy and quick way to make an old favorite, Boston Cream Pie, which is actually a cake. There is another recipe for this dessert in which you make everything from scratch. I prefer the easier route, myself!

1 pkg. Pillsbury Reduced-Sugar yellow cake mix
1 pkg. Jell-O brand, sugar-free, fat-free vanilla pudding
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
2 tsp. butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
~3/4 cup water

Spray two 9-inch, round cake pans with non-stick baking spray and set your oven to 350. Prepare the cake mix according to directions, divide it between the two pans, level batter and bang out the bubbles. Bake according to box instructions (~29 minutes). Then let cool outside of pans for ~20 minutes on a cooling rack.

Prepare the pudding according to the box instructions, then leave in fridge to set (at least 10 minutes) until you're ready to use it.

Cut the rounded top off of one of the cakes to level it. Spread on the pudding, all the way to the edges. Place the other cake on top.

On low heat, melt chocolate and butter in a small sauce pan. Once completely melted, remove from heat and add the vanilla and sugar. Blend well (it may look too dry and chunky, but it will smooth when you add the water). Add the water and stir vigorously over low heat until well blended and able to pour. You may need to add a little more water to get the right consistency. Pour over cake and spread all the way to the edges. Chill and serve.

This is a lower calorie, lower fat version of this yummy dessert. Although it's only about 100 calories and 0.5 grams of fat lower per serving (1/12 of the cake) than the original recipe, it's better than nothing! It all counts in my book! Enjoy!

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