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?

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Lentils

If you're looking for a dish that is tasty, filling, hot, and full of fiber, then this is the perfect dish to try.  Lentils are wonderful because you can fix them in so many different ways.  They can remain a vegetarian dish or you can add meat if you wish.  You can also make them in a variety of flavors, depending on what you add to them.

Ingredients
lentils (8 oz., dry)
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 veggie sausage(13 oz.), cut into bite-sized pieces
4 cups boiled water
2 OXO cubes (or beef bullion cubes)
2 Tbsp. olive oil

Directions
Soak lentils in cold water for 3-4 hours, then drain and set aside just before cooking.
Boil 4 cups of water, remove from heat and add OXO cubes. Stir and set aside. 
In a couple tablespoons of olive oil, brown the sausage and onion (~5-10 min).
Add the drained lentils and stir.  Add the OXO mixture.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook for ~2 hours, stirring every 15 minutes.
Once most of the water has evaporated out and the lentils are soft, it's ready! 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Spinach Cheese Pastry Swirls

This is a fairly simple appetizer, which is great for parties.  I have added bacon to mine, but you could simply leave it out to make it vegetarian.  This is also a savory version.  I'll be making a sweet version of these swirls, as well.  Because it's just a pastry base, you could put anything you wanted inside and make it your own.



Ingredients:
1 egg
1 Tbsp. water
1/2 cup shredded Muenster cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1.4 cup bacon pieces (cooked)
1 green onion, chopped (~2 Tbps)
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
all purpose flour
1/2 of  a 17.3 oz. package Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry (1 sheet), thawed for 40 min.
1 pkg. (10 oz) frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and WELL drained of water

Directions
Beat egg and water together in a small bowl.
Mix together cheeses, bacon, onion, and garlic powder in a medium bowl.
On a floured surface, lay out the pastry.
Brush with egg mixture.
Sprinkle on a layer of cheese mixture, then spinach.
Roll up and cut, seam-side down, in 1/2 inch sections.
Place cut-side down and brush with egg mixture again on the top.
Bake at 400 for 15 minutes or until the pastries are golden brown.
Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Cherry and Cream Cheese Pastry Rolls

This yummy treat is great for parties or get-togethers.  They are easy to make, and there isn't a lot of clean-up.  The cream cheese in the pastry almost makes them taste like danishes.  You can add  any kind of pie filler or jam that you wish, of course.  I chose cherry because I made them close to Christmas and was trying to go for a festive color.  

Ingredients:
1 egg
1 Tbsp. water
all purpose flour
2 sheets (17.3 oz. package) Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry, thawed for 40 min.
1 (8 oz) package of cream cheese
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 (16  oz) can of cherry pie filling

Directions
Beat egg and water together in a small bowl.
Mix together cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and sugar in a medium bowl.
On a floured surface, lay out the pastry.
Brush with egg mixture.
Spread on a layer of cream cheese mixture.
Spoon on and spread a layer of pie filling.
Roll up and cut, seam-side down, in 1/2 inch sections.
Place cut-side down and brush with egg mixture again on the top.
Bake at 400 for 15 minutes or until the pastries are golden brown.
Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Southern Buttermilk Biscuits

Southern Buttermilk Biscuits are one of the most difficult things to master, and I have not mastered them, but when you really want apple butter and there are no biscuit tins in the house, you'll learn how to make biscuits pretty quickly!   At least, that is what happened to me. 

Ingredients
2 cups self-rising flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1/4 cup Crisco All-Vegetable shortening, chilled
3/4 cup buttermilk

Directions
In a large mixing bowl, blend the flour and sugar. Cut in shortening with a fork until the crumbs are pea-sized.  Blend in milk with a fork until dough leaves the sides of bowl
On a floured surface, turn out the dough and knead gently 2-3 times.  Roll dough to 1/2 inch thickness and cut out circles with a glass dipped in flour or a biscuit cutter.  
Place on a greased baking sheet and bake at 500 for 8-10 min.
Makes 12 biscuits.