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, July 8, 2017

Mushroom Gravy (Dairy-Free)

I learned to make traditional gravy from my grandmother when I was a little girl using sausage grease, milk, and flour.  After becoming plant-based, I wanted to try one of the mushroom gravy recipes I kept seeing.  I have tweaked this one to suit my tastes.  I do not include white wine or nutritional yeast, but that is always an option if you prefer.  This recipe makes 4+ cups, so make sure you have something to store your extra gravy in.

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups vegetable broth
1 medium yellow onion (chopped)
4 cloves garlic (minced)
12-16 oz cremini mushrooms (finely chopped)
2 tsp dried sage
salt and pepper to taste

1. In a medium bowl, stir flour into 2 cups of the veggie broth with a fork.  Once it's blended and
        smooth, stir in the remaining 2 cups of broth.  Put aside.
2.  In a large saucepan, sautee chopped onion in ~2 tablespoons of water (or oil if you cook with oil)
        for about 5 minutes over medium-high heat.
3.  Mix in the mushrooms, garlic, sage, salt, and pepper and sautee for another 5 minutes, stirring  
        continuously.  *If you think the mixture is beginning to burn, lower the heat just a bit and add
        another 2 tablespoons of water.
4. Slowly stir in the broth/flour mixture. Make sure it's stirred up before you mix it in.  Bring to a boil, then lower heat to medium and cook for 20 minutes, stirring frequently.  *With about 8-10 minutes left, it will begin to thicken up.  At this point, you want to begin stirring more frequently, and you may need to turn the heat down to medium-low if it begins to reduce too quickly and burn.

Pour over your favorite dish or mash and enjoy! :)
Chopped Mushrooms
Cooking the Gravy


Friday, July 7, 2017

Lentil Sheppard's Pie with a Rustic Parsnip Crust

This recipe is from the Forks Over Knives recipes.  I have the FOK app on my phone, which is SO handy when I'm shopping because it provides the ingredient lists for all the recipes.  I decided to tweak just a little and include fennel and chickpeas.  Fennel adds such a nice flavor to savory dishes.  If you've never tried it, don't forget that you can use the green fronds at the top to sprinkle over your dishes with your other herbs in addition to using the bulb to cook into the meal.  I used garbonzo beans to make up for not having enough lentils in my pantry. Sometimes you don't always have everything you need, so mix it up a little and don't be afraid to try new things in your recipes.
*This recipe is plant-based and uses no oil.


1 large carrot (peeled and diced)
1 yellow onion (peeled and diced)
2 stalks of celery (diced)
1 small fennel bulb (peeled, cored, and diced)
2 cloves of garlic (peeled and minced)
1 sprig of rosemary
3/4 cup lentils (rinsed)
1 cup chickpeas (Garbonzo beans)
1 bay leaf
3Tbsp tomato paste
salt & pepper to taste
8 red potatoes (chopped)
4 large parsnips (peeled and chopped)

1. In a large saucepan, sautee onion, carrot, celery, and fennel in a large saucepan over medium heat for ~10 minutes. Add water or veggie broth 1-2 tablespoons at a time to keep the veggies from sticking. If you are used to using oil to sautee with, just use your preferred cooking oil.
2. Add garlic and cook for another minute.
3. Stir in rosemary, lentils, chickpeas, bay leaf, and enough water to cover by 3 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium and cook, covered for 30 minutes.
4. Add tomato paste to the pan and cook for another 15 minutes.
5. Add salt and pepper, remove from heat, and discard the bay leaf and rosemary sprig.
6. Pour into a 9x13-inch baking dish.
7. Meanwhile, in a large pot boil the potatoes and parsnips over medium heat for ~15-20 or until tender.
8. Remove from heat and drain all but ~ 1/2 cup of the water.
9. Mash the boiled potatoes and parsnips until smooth and creamy, adding salt and pepper to taste.  10. Spread the mixture over the lentils and veggies and bake for 25 minutes or until bubbly.  Let sit 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Chopped Veggies

Monday, July 3, 2017

Vegetable Stir-Fry (Oil-Free)

This plant-based stir-fry is quick and easy.  I actually used my leftover veggies from my previous post (Vegan Tacos with an Asian Twist) after a long day of hiking.  I was exhausted when I got home and needed something simple. I used basmati rice, which takes about 40 minutes to cook, but you can use any other rice or grain you want if you need to prepare something more quickly. You can even just eat the stir-fry veggies on their own.

Ingredients for 1 person:
1/2 cup dry basmati rice (or rice of your choice)
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 cup broccoli slaw
1 cup mung bean sprouts
2 chopped white button mushrooms
10 snow peas, cut in half
2 Tbsp sesame seeds
Bragg's Liquid Aminos to taste (or soy sauce, Tamari, etc.)
~2-4 Tbsp vegetable broth (or cooking spray/oil if you prefer)

1. Cook rice per directions on the package.
2. In a skillet on medium, heat vegetable broth. Once heated, sautee onions and peppers until softened (about 2 minutes). 
3. Add the remaining veggies, sesame seeds, and liquid aminos to the skillet and sautee for ~4-5 minutes until all the vegetables are cooked and softened.
4.  Combine the rice and veggies. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Vegan Tacos (with an Asian twist)

I love tacos.  They are fast, easy, and delicious!  Since my transition to a plant-based eating, I have been trying to get away from using meat-replacers, like the Morning Star Crumbles.  I still use them from time to time, but I was becoming a little too dependent on them and have been trying to find other options.  I found these great little ancient grain fusion packets in the Fresh Market that I tried for the first time with this recipe, and they were SO good!  I am going to try and make my own with my own grains and spices now that I see what a great addition this can be to so many recipes...like...maybe lasagna!! :)

3 small soft tacos
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup water chestnuts
2 chopped button mushrooms
1 cup Mung bean sprouts
1 cup broccoli slaw
1 small handful of snow peas (snapped in half)
1/2 cup cilantro
1 packet of Southwestern Ancient Grain Fusion (Made in Nature brand from Fresh Market)
3-4 Tbsp Bragg's Liquid Aminos (natural soy sauce alternative)
1 Tbsp grapeseed oil (or veggie broth/water if you don't use oils)
1 Tbsp plum sauce

1. Brown tacos on each side for about 1 minute per side in a small saucepan on medium-low heat.  I give the pan a light spray of coconut cooking spray before browning each taco, but you can brown them without it if you don't use oils or sprays. Arrange them in a bowl when they are browned and still warm. This helps them keep their shape, and they are easy to fill this way.  *See picture below
2. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the grapeseed oil. When it's heated, sautee the onions and bell pepper for about 2 minutes until softened.
3.  Add into the saucepan the remaining ingredients except the plum sauce and sautee for about 4-5 minutes until heated through and well-blended.
4.  Spoon mixture into each taco and dab a little plum sauce onto each taco, dividing out the 1 tablespoon.  If you've never had plum sauce before, it's very sweet, so you only need a little. Enjoy!