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, April 15, 2012

Coconut Shrimp and Grilled Scallops

Want a little 'surf and surf''?  Try these two yummy seafood treasures together.  The shrimp is beautifully seasoned with coconut, while the scallops have a taste of Old Bay to give them a bit of a kick.  This way of cooking both the shrimp and the scallops will save you LOADS of calories, as well.  

Ingredients for the Shrimp:
1 cup panko bread crumbs (or 2 bricks of shredded wheat cereal shredded up)
1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs, beaten (or egg beaters)
12 oz. large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Sweet Asian chili sauce for dipping

Ingredients for Scallops:
2 lbs scallops (15-20)
5 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 Tbsp. Old Bay Seasoning

Directions for the Shrimp:
1. Combine the panko or shredded wheat, coconut, salt, and pepper on a plate or shallow bowl.  Place the flour on a separate bowl and the egg in another bowl.  Working with a few at a time, coat the shrimp in flour, then egg, then finally the bread crumb mixture, rolling the shrimp around so that they are fully covered.
2. Place shrimp on a non-stick baking sheet and bake at 450 for 10 minutes, until the shrimp are firm and cooked through and the coating is brown and crispy.

Directions for the Scallops:
1. Pat dry each scallop and lay them on a tray. Sprinkle on some olive oil, coating scallops on all sides. Season the scallops with salt, black pepper, and Old Bay seasoning, making sure that the seasoning covers all sides. I like to do this all in a ziplock bag for easy clean up and to make sure all the scallops are well-coated. Refrigerate until ready to grill.

2. Grill for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side I had some sun-dried tomato marinade down on the grill for some chicken earlier, and just put the scallops right on top of the marinade, and they picked up the taste.  They were fabulous! Serve immediately.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

I know that there are a gazillion ways to fix gumbo.  Well, I've never had it until today, and I wanted to put in it what my family would eat, so there isn't any seafood (although I would have liked to have included shrimp, at least).  There also isn't any okra, from where the dish gets it's African name.  So, can I still call it gumbo?  Well, I'm going to, and I'm going to enjoy it!

2/3 cup of olive oil
2/3 cup of all purpose flour
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 large onion, diced
ground black pepper
4 cloves minced  garlic
4 cups hot water
4 large, boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
12 oz smoked sausage, cut into 1/2 inch slices, then halved
Hot, cooked rice

1. In a deep, heavy pan stir together oil and flour until it's smooth.  Cook over medium-high heat for five minutes, stirring constantly.  Reduce heat to medium and continue stirring continuously for 15 minutes until a dark, reddish brown roux is formed.
2. Stir in vegetables, garlic, and pepper.  Cook for 3-5 minutes until the veggies are tender.  Slowly add the hot water.  Stir in chicken.  Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Add in the sausage and cook for 20 more minutes.*
4.  Serve over hot rice, which you should cook the last 20 minutes of the gumbo, so it will be ready at the same time.

*If you add oysters or shrimp, add them in after the sausage and let them go for 10 more minutes.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Roasted Rosemary Chicken and Eggplant

I try and cook healthy dishes as much as possible, and I'm always looking for tasty recipes because, let's face it, not all healthy dishes are tasty.  This one, however, is delicious.  I had never had eggplant before, so this was really new for me.  I loved it!  This was a really yummy recipe, and if you're a vegetarian, you don't even have to add the chicken.

1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. rosemary
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 clove garlic, minced
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts 
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 red onion, quartered
3 carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

  1. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil, and coat with cooking spray.
  2.  In a large bowl, combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar, rosemary, red pepper flakes, and garlic. Place green bell pepper, red bell pepper, red onion, carrots, and eggplant in the marinade, and toss to coat. Arrange in a single layer on the prepared cookie sheet. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes.
  3. While the veggies are cooking, combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar, rosemary, red pepper flakes, and garlic in the bowl again. Place chicken in the bowl, and marinate 5 minutes.  
  4. Add the chicken to the vegetables and bake for 20 more minutes, or until the chicken juices run clear.