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, 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.

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

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!

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 

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!

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

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!!

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

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!

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 

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.... 

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)

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 

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


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


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!

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

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.