2-22: Salad Bar with Warm Dressing

2-22: Salad Bar with Warm Dressing

I love a good salad bar, or did, before coronavirus turned everything in our lives upside down. One of my family’s favorite restaurants when I was a kid featured an impossibly long salad bar. A friend and I even entered an essay-writing contest at Souplantation back in college and won ourselves 30 free meal passes, which we blew through quicker than you’d expect.

2-22: Salad Bar with Warm Dressing is equivalent to most of these at-home solutions we’ve seen during this pandemic–a pale imitation of the real thing. Consider this recipe the “haircut I did myself because everything is closed” of salad bars.

I suppose if you just lumped all the same ingredients on top of some quinoa and called it a Buddha bowl instead, you could send this recipe forward in time from the 1980s to modern day.

Of course, you’d have to take an artsy picture (or 100), slap some filters on it, and post it to social media with a bunch of hashtags first to really modernize it. Do you think they really eat the food after they take pictures of it, or is it just for the ‘gram? 🤔

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8-27: Classic Beef Stew

8-27: Classic Beef Stew

I came clean in 11-9: Fried Jumbo Shrimp that we’ve been eating plant-based for about 2 years now–most entries that I’ve published since mid-2018 feature me essentially attempting to convert these old recipes into meatless/vegan options. 8-27: Classic Beef Stew will be no different.

I realize that not everyone chooses to eschew meat/dairy, and I’m not here to proselytize or debate it with you. I didn’t write these recipes–the goal of this project has always been to take these existing recipes and attempt to cook them ALL, somehow. The recipes are still here, in their original form–it’s up to you (and me) how to interpret them.


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7-37: Easy Sweet-and-Sour Pork

7-37: Easy Sweet-and-Sour Pork

Sweet-and-sour is not new for Simply Delicious–there’s already 6-27: Sweet-and-Sour Chicken and 11-6: Sweet and Sour Shrimp if you’re in the mood for a different protein besides pork. However, 7-37: Easy Sweet-and-Sour Pork is the only one to advertise itself as “easy”.

Pork is probably the most common version of sweet-and-sour that you see in Chinese restaurants–there’s even a vegan version of it you can buy in most stores. In case you’re looking for something more refined (but maybe not as easy or meatless), here’s Serious Eats’ take on it.


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8-25: Stir-Fried Beef

8-25: Stir-Fried Beef

Stir-fry is not a new concept for Simply Delicious, so you may feel a sense of déjà vu while reading this recipe if you’ve spent any considerable time on this site. 8-25: Stir-Fried Beef isn’t much more than you’re expecting, so if a quick and easy stir-fry is what you’re looking for, read on.

With rice, 10/10.

In this case, 12-28: Tri-Color Risotto. So more like 6/10.


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6-58: Chicken Pie with Puff Pastry

6-58: Chicken Pie with Puff Pastry

Yo. As I’ve said previously, I take breaks from this project when life gets in the way. This summer was BANANAS, and fall seems to be quickly passing me by as well. I haven’t given up on cooking and photographing recipes, but I seem to have dropped the ball on actually writing them up and posting them.

I made the first attempt to rectify this earlier today when I uploaded about 600 pictures from two memory cards that I’ve filled up since May of this year. I made the second when I set up all the folders to start organizing the pictures (we’re talking over 50 recipes here).

Here’s the third: a recipe I cooked back sometime in early 2019, 6-58: Chicken Pie with Puff Pastry. This has been in various draft stages since April, and I’m finally finishing it NOW. This isn’t even part of the memory card dump from today–that’s how far behind I am.

This is essentially chicken pot pie. I mean, how is it not? The major difference between this and Marie Callender’s is that this one only has pastry on top.

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4-15: Scalloped Onions

4-15: Scalloped Onions

“It smells like weird Mexican food in here,” Jamie said as she walked in the door. She wasn’t wrong. The example image sets a rustic farm tone with the watering can, basket of red peppers, and parmesan cheese in the background. The watering can even has onions painted on it. Awesome!

When I saw that it will need reheating before eating, I decided to make this dish in a large rectangle Pyrex. I made this recipe at half size to accommodate the baking dish. I only used two onions because Simply Delicious bases the number of onions on the smaller onions that were available when these recipes were written. Two was more than enough.


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8-43: Chinese Beef and Rice

8-43: Chinese Beef and Rice

8-43: Chinese Beef and Rice is essentially beef stir-fry served with some rice, but it’s done in less than 30 minutes, which is a big plus. This one goes along with several other Chinese restaurant-style dishes that Simply Delicious has featured, including 6-11: Chinese Duck and 11-36: Hong Kong Shrimp.

Chinese cuisine is a lot more prevalent today in the United States than it was 30-40 years ago when Simply Delicious was being written & printed. I suppose we have cookbooks like this to thank in some small part for introducing many 1980s American families to a more global palate.

Speaking of a global palate–I made this dish vegan. Yes, that picture above is vegan–keep reading to find out how. #clickbait


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11-6: Sweet and Sour Shrimp

11-6: Sweet and Sour Shrimp

11-6: Sweet and Sour Shrimp is another of those dishes that I’d love to order from a restaurant and would not think to make at home. Simply Delicious has quite a few Chinese restaurant-style dishes, including 6-27: Sweet-and-Sour Chicken, 6-11: Chinese Duck, and 11-36: Hong Kong Shrimp.

It just so happens that Sweet and Sour Sauce is my favorite version of any dish on a Chinese menu. Shrimp is a decent choice.


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12-15: Pasta with Salami

12-15: Pasta with Salami

Pasta with a thin sauce didn’t seem super appropriate for dinner, so I made 12-15: Pasta with Salami and dished it out for lunch as part of a meal prep. While there are a few differences between the recipe card photo and my final product photo, my creation was similar in spirit to the beautifully shot photo below. The place settings are so retro–such a great scene they set.

The exquisite setup showcases the raw ingredients along with the wonderful cutlery and plating of the dish. How magnificent!


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13-8: Vegetarian Calzone

13-8: Vegetarian Calzone

Much like Ben Wyatt, a late-addition character from NBC’s Parks and Recreation, I have enjoyed my fair share of calzones. Hawaiian calzones are one of my favorite types, pineapple and Canadian bacon can’t be beat! However, when wanting to eat in a health conscious manner, 13-8: Vegetarian Calzone is a great meat-free alternative.

Preparing this dish was super easy. A lot of time can be saved by using ready-bought puff pastry.

Editor’s note: This was a dish I made as part of a big family dinner I cooked with a family friend when I was 13–my step-grandmother is vegetarian and we made this so she’d have something to eat. My mom made her a baked potato for Thanksgiving once, complete with a toothpick-and-construction paper turkey head, wings, and tail that I painstakingly spent the day crafting. She did not appreciate the turkey-potato (too closely resembled an animal for her…go figure), but she did like this calzone. 


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