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?

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Honey-Lemon Cake

This cake dates back to Roman times. Romans of the upper class would have this cake served just before the fruit was brought out after the main courses were finished.  The Romans didn't have refined sugar, so they used honey as a sweetener.  That's not all they used honey for. ;)





Ingredients:

1/2 cup honey
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 grape seed oil
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. lemon extract
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup unsweetened soy milk



Directions:
Heat oven to 350 degrees.  
Mix the honey, sugar, oil, eggs, and lemon extract until well blended in a large bowl.
In a smaller, separate bowl, mix the flour and baking powder.
Add some of the flour mixture and milk to the egg mixture and mix well. Continue to add the flour and milk, miking well at each addition.
Coat the pan of your choice with non-stick coconut oil spray.  Pour the batter in (about 2/3 of the way up) and bake for 20-30  minutes (Depending on your choice of pan, you may need to go 40-45 min.).
Test with a wooden toothpick to see if it's done.  When the toothpick comes out clean, it's done.
Serve with fruit and enjoy!

Healthy Holiday Candy Cane

I saw this somewhere on the Internet, and just had to try it. It's easy (if you have a steady hand!) and healthy, and the kids will love it for a healthy holiday snack after Christmas dinner!



Ingredients:
Strawberries, sliced
1 banana, sliced
2 mint leaves for garnish



Directions:
Arrange the strawberry and banana slices alternately into the shape of a candy cane.  Add mint leaves as a garnish. (I only had cilantro when I made this one..... don't do that when you give it to the kiddos!  LOL)

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Israeli Salad

This is a refreshing, clean alternative to traditional side dishes.  It has nothing but fresh vegetables, herbs, and quinoa, and it tastes amazing!  You would exchange or add veggies or even fruit if you like. I thought about adding strawberries, but I thought I would try it like this first. Yum!



Ingredients:
1 large, red bell pepper
1 large, orange bell pepper
1 large cucumber
1/2 large, red onion
1 large, ripe tomato
1 large lemon
1/4 cup chopped, fresh cilantro
1 Tbsp chopped, fresh mint leaves (8-10 mint leaves)
1 cup (uncooked) quinoa


Directions: 
Prepare quinoa according to package directions (should be to boil 2 cups of water, add 1 cup quinoa, boil down on med-low heat for about 15 minutes, then let stand for another 15 minutes). 

Finely chop the peppers, cucumber, onion, and tomato and put into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Chop the cilantro and mint and gently stir into the veggies.  Add the cooled quinoa by gently mixing it into the veggies and herbs.  Add the zest and juice of one lemon, then gently stir into the mixture.

Serve on its own, as a side, or on top of your choice of protein. Enjoy!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Baked Tofu with Pesto Sauce

This is my very first try at tofu. Now, there are two types of tofu. There is the extra firm kind and the silken kind. For MOST tofu dishes, you want to use the extra firm kind.  You will need to press the excess water out of the tofu before marinating.  To do this, use a very clean cloth, a paper towel, and a heavy book or brick. Wrap the tofu in the paper towel and then the cloth like a parcel. Place the heavy object on top of the wrapped tofu and press for 1-4 hours.








Ingredients for Tofu:

1 lb High protein, organic, super firm tofu (Trader Joe's), pressed and cut into 1 inch cubes
3/4 cup organic pesto sauce (Trader Joe's)
1 Tbsp grape seed oil
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar (Trader Joe's)
a pinch of salt and pepper to taste

Directions for Tofu:
Gently toss the tofu with the grape seed oil, balsamic vinegar, and about 6 Tbsp of the pesto sauce.
Marinate in the refrigerator, covered overnight for best results. Before baking, toss the tofu with the liquid ingredients it marinated in to make sure the cubes are evenly coated.

Arrange the tofu cubes in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.  

Serve with veggies over a whole grain of your choice with a dollop of the remaining pesto sauce.





 Trader Joe's is a great place to shop for healthy, fresh, and organic foods.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Roasted Vegetables

This is a nice, easy, healthy, and filling meal. It is also a vegetarian recipe.  It's colorful and fun and delicious, too!  You could serve these veggies with a protein, a salad, quinoa, rice, or just have them on their own.  Any way you serve them, you will love them!!












Ingredients:
2 zucchini, cut into coin pieces

5 white, button mushrooms, quatered
1 fennel bulb, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (save the herb top and finely chop)
2 white new potatoes (medium), quartered
2 red new potatoes (medium), quartered
2 purple new potatoes (medium), quartered 
3 parsnips, peeled and cut into coin pieces
2 Tbsp grape seed oil
1 gallon sized ziplock bag
cracked pepper to taste

Prepare a baking sheet by covering in foil and giving it a light spray so the veggies won't stick. Preheat the oven to 450 F.  Put all cut veggies into the ziplock bag, pour in the grape seed oil, close tightly and  shake gently until the veggies are coated.  

Spread the veggies out into a single layer onto the baking sheet. Sprinkle on the fennel herb top and
the cracked pepper.

Bake at 425 for 30 minutes. Serve.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Sweet Italian Turkey Sausage and Veggie Pita Mixture

I've been making this dish for a long time, and it has always been a favorite of mine. It's delicious and easy and filling and FULL of taste with no added salt or spices.  It's full of colorful veggies, and the Italian turkey sausage is full of protein.  






Ingredients:
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 orange bell pepper, chopped
5 white button mushrooms, chopped
6 green onions, chopped
3 cups of kale, chopped
6 Sweet Italian turkey sausage links, cut open and crumbled in the pan
2 Tbsp grape seed oil
Whole wheat pitas, cut in half

Directions:
In a large frying pan, heat grape seed oil. Crumble the turkey sausage into the pan and fry it like you would hamburger for tacos. Remove from heat and transfer into a medium bowl until later.

In the same pan, sautee the veggies for about 5 minutes until cooked and the kale is wilted.  Add the
turkey crumbles back into the mixture, stir over heat for a couple of minutes until heated through and well-mixed.

Divide into fourths.  Fill each pita half with the mixture and enjoy! 


For 1/4 of the mixture (not including the pita)
Calories 266
Fat 12.4 g
Cholesterol 75 mg
Sodium 884 mg
Carbs 14 g
Fiber 3.2 g
Sugars 2.8 g
Protein 25.8 g


Sunday, June 22, 2014

Kale, Mushroom, and Green Onion Crustless Quiche

I am trying to be a clean eater these days, so I don't eat anything out of a can, a box, frozen meals, junk food, or fast food.  I try, as much as possible to use natural, fresh, organic ingredients when I prepare meals.  It's not always possible, but it is certainly do-able for the major part of what I eat now.  This is a recipe that I made using the best ingredients I could find that were good for me.  









Ingredients:



3 brown, cage-free, grain-fed eggs (Simple Truth)

1 ½ cups unsweetened soy milk (Silk)


½ tsp black pepper

½ tsp nutmeg

2 Tbsp grape seed oil

5 green onions, minced

3 garlic cloves, chopped (or 2 tsp organic minced garlic)

5 white, button mushrooms,diced

2 cups kale, chopped

1-2 Tbsp chives, chopped

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 9-inch glass or ceramic pie pan by brushing with grape seed oil.




In a bowl, whisk together eggs, soymilk, nutmeg, red pepper flakes, and black pepper. Set aside



In a skillet on med-high, heat grape seed oil. Add onions and garlic, cooking until softened (3-5 min). Stir in kale and mushrooms and cook, stirring until wilted (5 min).



Spoon the veggies into the pie pan, then poor the egg and soymilk mixture gently on top.  Sprinkle chives evenly over the top.



Bake until the quiche is just set in the center, about 40-50 min.   Cool completely on a rack before serving.


Serves 6  (amounts were calculated using the MyFitnessPal app)
Calories  107 per slice
Fat 7.9 g per slice
Cholesterol 78.25 mg per slice
Sodium 50.8 mg per slice
Carbs 3.5 g per slice
Fiber 1.2 g per slice
Sugars 1 g per slice
Protein 5.25 g per slice
 

 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

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.




Ingredients:
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
 
Directions:
  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.