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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Saturday, June 17, 2017

Vegan Potato Salad

Vegan Potato Salad
In the summertime, there a lot of cookouts and parties where there is always a big bowl of potato salad.  The plant-based version is quick and easy with a honey mustard twist!  You can use any potato you like, but I prefer red potatoes.  You can also add things, like celery, if you prefer.  Just don't miss out on that yummy potato salad when you head over to your next get-together!  Take a bowl of this, and your friends will all be asking for the recipe!

Ingredients:
6 large red potatoes
1 1/2 cups Veganaise
1/4 cup honey mustard
2 Tbsp dill

Directions:
1. Boil potatoes at a medium boil for 20 minutes, drain, allow to cool completely. Cut cooled potatoes into 1/2 inch pieces. Place in a medium-sized bowl or container.

2. In a small bowl, mix together the Veganaise, honey mustard, and dill.

3. Fold mixture into the potatoes and gently mix.  *Refrigerate if not using right away.


Friday, June 9, 2017

Spiral Spuds

It's summer and time for cookouts, celebrations, and get-togethers!  It's always fun to have creative foods for your guests or your family.  These spiral spuds are easy to make and healthy, too.  I am a plant-based eater, so I don't use butter, cheese, sour cream, or bacon bits, but you could make them "loaded" spiral spuds, if you want by adding your favorite toppings.  I like to pull my spiral spuds apart and eat them humus or salsa.

Ingredients: 
Potatoes (I used large, red potatoes, but any baking potato will work.)
Coconut oil baking spray (If you're WFPB, skip the cooking spray.)
Tajin spice
skewers

Directions:
Bake potatoes for 15 minutes. Don't over-boil because they will be mushy.
Let potatoes cool, and then gently run the skewers up the center of each potato.
Cut the potatoes at an angle on the skewer.
Gently pull the potato spirals open without breaking them. Some of them will probably break apart, but that's okay. ;)
Place on a baking sheet and spray a little cooking spray on each potato.
Sprinkle your spice on each potato and bake at 350 for ~30 minutes.  Just keep an eye on them since each oven is different.
Skewered, gently boiled potatoes




Cut potatoes at an angle for a spiral






Add spice and bake at 325



If you use cheese, just sprinkle the cheese on as the potatoes come out of the oven, and it will melt.

To serve, you could leave them on the skewers or gently pull them off and put them on a plate.  If you serve them at a party, leave the toppings around the serving plate so each guest can dress them how they prefer.  Enjoy! :)

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Vegan Protein Bowl

Plant-Based eaters often times get the question, "But....where do you get your protein?" Did you know that 3.5 ounces of dry lentils contains 25 grams of protein, which is the same as a 3 oz piece of cooked ribeye steak?
Here are some other plant-based proteins in this bowl to show you a comparison:
1 cup black beans = 15 g of protein
1 cup dry couscous = 20 g of protein
1 cup cooked quinoa = 8 g of protein
1 cup cooked edamame = 18.5 g of protein

This bowl is full of gorgeous plant-based proteins, which are not only colorful, but delicious and healthy, as well!  I love food bowls because none of them are ever the same.  You can use what you have on-hand and make them as simple or as complex as you like. :)

Ingredients:
black lentils
Israeli couscous
quinoa blend
baby garbonzo beans
orzo
edamame (cooked and shelled)
black beans
corn
green onions
white button mushrooms
mango

Directions: 
Cook all of the grains and legumes per directions, boil and cut off corn kernels, and chop green onions to taste. Arrange in a bowl, mix gently, and enjoy!
Mixed-up Deliciousness!



Sunday, April 16, 2017

Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

b
Plant-based breakfast bowls are fast, easy, and fun to make.  You can even prepare them the night before if you find yourself rushed for time in the mornings.  One of the great thing about breakfast bowls is that you can use any base you like and mix it up each day.  I alternate between quinoa, bulgur, oatmeal, and brown rice. I even blend the bases sometimes.  I switch up my seeds, fruits, and nuts often, so I never get bored with the taste. Each day and each bowl is different!

People often asked plant-based eaters, "But...how do you get your protein??"  Easy! Plant-based meals are loaded with plant protein. In fact, just 1/4 of a cup of dry quinoa has 6 grams of protein.  I used 1/2 a cup in this particular bowl, so there were 12 grams of protein just from my base.  :)

Quinoa Breakfast Bowl Ingredients:
1/2 cup blended quinoa
1 cup water
1/2 cup blueberries
1/4 cup almonds

Directions:
Bring water to a boil, stir in quinoa, reduce heat, and simmer without stirring for ~12 minutes or until water is gone and quinoa is light and fluffy when stirred.
Place quinoa in a bowl and add fruit and nuts.  Enjoy!

Preparing the night before:
If you prepare your quinoa bowl the night before, make the quinoa and seal in a separate bowl from the fruit and nuts in the refrigerator.  Do not mix the fruit and nuts in until you're ready because they nuts will go soft. 



Saturday, February 4, 2017

Vegetable Stir Fry

This veggie stir fry can be prepared several different ways and with your preference of noodles and vegetables.  If you follow a WFPB diet, use veggie broth to stir fry instead of oil. If you are used to using oil, I would suggest using toasted sesame seed oil.  To make my veggie noodles, I use a Microplane spiral cutter (picture included at the bottom of this post).

Ingredients:
Spinach rice noodles (1/2 package from Whole Foods)
2 large zucchinis
1 large carrots
2 cloves of garlic, smashed and diced
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1 large yellow bell pepper, diced
1/2 large red onion, diced
1 cups of snow peas
1 cup white, sliced mushrooms
sesame seeds to taste (I use between 1/8 - 1/4 cup)
either 1/2 cup veggie broth or 1 Tbsp of toasted sesame seed oil for the stir fry (depending on your diet and tastes)
*Bragg Liquid Amino (optional) to taste (I use about 1/8 cup)
2 handfuls of cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
sprouts of your choice to top it off

Directions
1. Boil the spinach rice noodles for 14 minutes, drain, and immediately cool with cold water in the strainer. 
2. Spiral cut the zucchinis and carrots and set aside.
3. Heat your veggie broth or oil in a large sauce pan.  Once hot, sauté the garlic, sesame seeds, red onion, and bell peppers. Sauté until tender (~5-7 minutes)
4.  Add in the zucchini and carrot noodles, as well as the snow peas and mushrooms.  Saute for another 5-7 minutes until tender.  You could add some Bragg Liquid Amino while you saute if you want additional flavor.
5.  Remove from heat and mix in gently with the cold, drained spinach rice noodles.
6.  Mix in the chopped cilantro.
7.  Add the green onions and sprouts of your choice on top it off.
Microplane Spiral Veggie Cutter

Spiral Cut Zucchini Noodles



Saturday, January 21, 2017

Vegan Pot Pie

I've always loved pot pie since I was a kid.  I still love pot pie, but this version is MUCH healthier than the one I used to make.  While it IS plant-based, I will go ahead and say that it's not WFPB because of the Pillsbury crescent dough I use on top.  I did double check the ingredients on the dough, and no animal products are used.  I also use no oil in this recipe.




Ingredients:
Beautiful, raw veggies!
4 medium red potatoes
1 medium sweet red onion
2 medium orange carrots
6 small radishes
1 small yellow squash
1 small zuchinni
1/2 medium eggplant
1 large parsnip
~ 10 sprigs of fresh thyme (don't use the stems, just the leaves)
cracked pepper and Himalayan pink sea salt to taste
garlic salt to taste
1 cup almond milk (or nut milk of your choice)
2 Tbsp brown rice flour
1 container Pillsbury Crescent Rolls

Directions:
1.  Cut all of the veggies about the same size as your quartered red potatoes so everything bakes evenly.
Veggies are ready to bake!
2.  Mix the veggies up in a big bowl, spread them out in a layer on parchment paper on a large baking sheet.  Sprinkle thyme, salts, and pepper to taste.
3. Bake at 400 for 25 minutes.
4. In a small saucepan, continually stir the almond milk and brown rice flour over medium high heat until it thickens into a gravy. Remove from heat and put to the side.
5. On the lip of a pie plate, place the wide end of the crescent rolls with the narrow ends hanging out. (You can line your pie plate with parchment paper if you don't have a non-stick plate.)
6.  Once the veggies have baked, transfer them into the pie plate, pour the gravy over the veggies, and fold the narrow ends of the crescent rolls up and over the top so all the points come together in the center.
7. Bake for 10 minutes at 375 and serve hot. 

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Vegan Butternut Squash "Mac and Cheese"

I grew up eating macaroni and cheese, so I'm a huge fan.  When I first started transitioning to plant-based living, I was disappointed with the alternative vegan cheeses available.  Luckily, SO many new options are out there now that are amazingly good!  This recipe, however, uses NO pre-made cheese alternative. Instead it uses butternut squash, which is makes it not only super healthy and flavorful, but it's also a sauce freshly made by YOU!






Ingredients:
1 large butternut squash (peeled and cubed)
1/2 red onion (chopped)
1 clove of garlic (chopped)
1 box (32 oz.) low sodium vegetable broth
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
1/8 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp ground pink Himilayan salt
1/8 tsp tumeric
3 Tbsp Bragg's nutritional yeast
1 box of brown rice macaroni noodles
1/4 cup dried bread crumbs or Panko 

Directions:
1.  Sautee garlic and onion in a little vegetable broth until tender (~5 minutes). Add the butternut squash and pour on enough vegetable broth to cover the veggies and garlic.  Bring to a boil while stirring, turn down the heat to medium, and boil for 20 minutes or until the butternut squash is tender.
2.  While the butternut squash is boiling, boil the noodles according directions on the box, drain, and place into a serving bowl. 
3.  Once tender, use a slotted spoon to place the butternut squash, onion, and garlic into a high-powered blender.  Add the remaining ingredients, into the blender, as well.  Blend until smooth and creamy.
4.  Pour the creamy butternut squash sauce over the cooked noodles, gently blend. (Some people like to stop here and eat it as it is. I prefer to bake mine.)
5. Place the mixture into a casserole dish, sprinkle with panko or bread crumbs and bake at 350 for ~15-20 minutes. 


Butternut Squash & Onions Boiling
Before It Bakes

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Vegan Chocolate Banana Bread (oil-free)

This plant-based, oil-free chocolate banana bread recipe will not only satisfy your sweet tooth, but there is minimal clean up, which is always a bonus.  It leaves you more time to have a slice with a friend and a cup of coffee.  No mixers, food processors, or fancy kitchen-work, either.  Whether it's for an dessert or breakfast or even a mid-day snack, this super easy and delicious bread is the way to go!


Ingredients:
3 medium, overripe bananas (sliced)
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup Demerara sugar, organic brown sugar, or granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp cinnamon 
1/8 tsp nutmeg
pinch of pink Himalayan sea salt
1  1/2 cups spelt flour (or brown rice flour for a gluten-free recipe)
1  1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup organic cocoa powder

Directions: 
1. In a large bowl, mash up the bananas with a fork. Using the same fork, stir in the applesauce, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt until well blended. 
2. In a smaller bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cocoa powder together with a spoon, and then sift it into the wet mixture.
3. Pour the entire mixture into a parchment paper-lined bread pan (8" x 4"), and bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Wet and Dry Ingredients
Mixture Before Baking 



Thursday, January 5, 2017

Vegan Quesadilla

This plant-based quesadilla is so flavorful and filling and colorful, you'll be asking yourself why you didn't try it sooner, like I did!  It's so full of fresh veggies and beans that I really didn't need to drizzle the Vegan Valley Alfredo Cheez Sauce on it, but I did because it's so creamy and delicious.  Yum!!

Ingredients:
2 large tortillas (of your choice)
1 cup refried beans
1 cup black beans (cooked and rinsed)
1/2 green bell pepper (sliced)
1/2 small red onion (sliced)
1/3 roasted red bell pepper (chopped)
1/2 cup green onions (chopped)
1 cup pico de gallo
Vegan Valley Alredo Cheez Sauce (to drizzle on
    top)


Directions:
1.  Spread the refried beans over the bottom tortilla, leaving about a 1/2 inch at the edges.
2.  Arrange all of your veggies and black beans over the refried beans, leaving 1/4 of a cup of the  green onions for the topping.
3.  Place to remaining tortilla on top of your quesadilla.
4.  Cook in your quesadilla maker or oven.  If you have a quesadilla maker, it should take 7-10 minutes.  If you use an oven, bake at 350 for about 10 minutes, but keep your eye on it. Ovens will vary.
5.  Put on a plate, cut with a pizza cutter or knife, and top with pico de gallo, green onions, and a drizzle of vegan "cheese" sauce to taste.



This is the quesadilla maker I use.  It's similar to a 
George Forman grill. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Baked Vegan Falafel (oil-free, gluten free)

I have always been a huge fan of falafel, but I've always just bought it.  This recipe is plant-based, so it's egg-less, as well as gluten-free AND oil-free! NO frying! This is a much healthier version of something that is tasty and filling.  Some people like to put their falafel in a pita or sandwich, but I've always loved them on their own with a variety of dipping sauces. Any way you like it, this baked version will be sure to satisfy you!


Ingredients:
1 bundle of fresh parsley (~2 cups)
2 large cloves of garlic (smashed and sliced)
1 large lemon (the juice of of)
1/2 tsp of salt (I use pink Himalayan)
1/2 tsp of cracked pepper
1  1/4 tsp ground cumin
15 oz garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
1/4 cup brown rice flour 



Directions:
1. In a food processor, combine the parsley, garlic, lemon juice, salt, 
    pepper, and cumin.  
2. Into the food processor, add in the garbonzo beans and blend.
3. Pour this mixture into a medium-sized bowl and mix in the flour with a spoon.
4. Form into ~8 balls and refrigerate for 15 minutes before baking 
5. Bake at 375 degrees C on parchment paper for 30-40 minutes, gently  flipping halfway through. 

The mixture after being in the food processor and just before adding the flour

The falafel balls just before baking


Monday, January 2, 2017

Vegan, Gluten-Free Pizza

This plant-based pizza is A-MAZ-ING!  Some people have a fear of making their own pizza crust. DON'T be afraid!  This recipe is super easy and fast.  Some people see the word 'vegan' and turn away. DON'T!  Some of the most flavorful, filling dishes I have ever tried are plant-based.  Not only are they colorful and tasty, but you KNOW what's in them, AND they are healthy...unless you add something crazy like Doritos to your pizza.... 






Ingredients
3 cups brown rice flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
3 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp yeast
3/4 and 1/2 cup warm water
1 Tbsp grape seed oil


My Toppings (this time....because every pizza is different)

pesto
mushrooms (sliced)
roasted red peppers (diced)
red onions (sliced)
corn (boiled and cut off the cob OR grilled if possible)
French, black lentils (soaked for 3 hours and cooked down for 2 hours)

Toppings AFTER the Pizza Cooked
baby arugula
snow pea sprouts
green onions (diced)
a light drizzle of vegan "cheese" sauce 


Directions
In a small bowl, combine yeast and 3/4 cup warm water. Stir gently and let sit for 5 minutes to activate. Stir in 1 Tbsp of sugar.

In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder, and 2 Tbsp of sugar. Gently stir in the yeast mixture, olive oil, and 1/2 cup warm water. Mix with a spoon until blended. Shape dough into two balls and, using your fingers, press out the dough balls, side-by-side, on a baking sheet with parchment paper or with lightly sprayed foil. Pre-bake at 425 for 10 minutes.

Add toppings and bake for another 15-20 minutes. Top with fresh leafy greens, etc., once it's cooled.

Black Bean Burger

There are a lot of black bean burgers out there, and I've tried several.  This is actually a combination of a few that I liked because you know I like to make things my own, and so should you! I never really know if I'm going to like something or like MAKING something until I try it.  Don't ever be afraid to try something new with foods. 





Burger Ingredients

15 oz black beans

1/4 cup dry quinoa 
1/4 cup corn
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup minced bell pepper
1 large garlic clove
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
ground pepper to taste
1 tsp Sriracha
1 Tbsp warm water
1 Tbsp corn starch
1/2 - 2/3 cup of almond flour

Toppings

sprouts
cabbage (chopped)
vegan "cheese" sauce
tomato (sliced)
Romaine lettuce
red onion (sliced)
green onions (chopped)

Directions

1. Mash black beans into a paste with a fork.
2. Cook quinoa.
3. In a small bowl, combine cumin, salt, pepper, Sriracha, water, and corn starch in a bowl.
4. In a large bowl, gently stir quinoa into the beans. Stir in corn, crumbs, onion, bell pepper, and garlic.
5. Fold in the small bowl ingredients with the large bowl ingredients, and mix well.
6. Mix flour in as needed as you form the patties.
7. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, flipping after 10 minutes.


I used a toasted whole wheat English muffin for my bun.  You can use the variety of buns available, you could cut up the burger and put it in a salad, OR you could just eat it without a bun. 

Deviled Egg Alternative (Little Devils)

These "little devils" are from a recipe from Forks Over Knives and are an alternative to deviled eggs for plant-based eaters.  Because they look so similar to actual deviled eggs and have a flavor to match, your friends, family, and guests will definitely want to know how you made them. As I always say, make them your own and add your own toppings.  Be creative!



Ingredients
5-10 red new potatoes
hummus (plain, garlic, or tomato-basil)
paprika
green onions 

Directions
1. Boil the potatoes for 20 minutes.  Let cool completely and then gently cut in half.  
2. Gently spoon hummus on each potato half.
3. Lightly sprinkle with paprika and sliced green onions.

*These will keep in the fridge for a couple of days. 

Plant-Based Breakfast Bowls

Breakfast bowls are the latest food trend.  You can use several different bases like quinoa, oatmeal, bulger, chia porridge, or whatever you like.  I prefer quinoa because it's lighter than the other whole grains. Depending on how hungry you are, you can make these bowls as large or small as you like. You can also be as creative as you want.  To me, the prettier, the better!

This first bowl is a quinoa bowl with strawberries, almonds, pomegranate seeds, chocolate granola, and a couple of tablespoons of a coconut yogurt alternative.



This second bowl is a quinoa bowl with bananas, raspberries, blueberries, peanut butter granola, a couple of teaspoons of a coconut yogurt alternative, with a little cinnamon sprinkled on top. 


Remember that you can create these breakfast bowls however you want with whatever you want.  They are a great, healthy way to start the day and an excellent treat for kids or house guests.