8-13: Japanese Beef Casserole

8-13: Japanese Beef Casserole

Usually, I give Simply Delicious a hard time for their attempts at “cultural cuisine”–I had gone into 8-13: Japanese Beef Casserole with the same expectations. I even cooked the recipe with that thought in mind–that this was just another lame attempt at something “exotic” for the 1980s housewife crowd to try to excite their disaffected family about. I mean, read that description below and try to imagine how that would go in real life.

However, while researching for the write-up (the last part of this multi-step process), I found some interesting “similar” recipes. I’m still not sure if I’m right or wrong about this one.

Here’s my thoughts on the two things this recipe could be (given my new findings):

  • They might be trying to attempt nikujaga (Japanese “beef stew”), but it’s missing potatoes which are a crucial (and easy to obtain) part of that dish.
  • They’re attempting some sort of pan-Asian sautéed beef/Asian veggies dish that you’d be more likely to find in a dead mall’s food court and just calling it Japanese casserole.

I’m guessing it’s the latter, but if you’d like to decide for yourself, keep reading.

Oh, and that dead mall link above? That’s another one of our projects…


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2-16: Roast Beef Salad with Beans

2-16: Roast Beef Salad with Beans

In case you hadn’t had enough of weird bean salads with 2-19: Country Bean Salad, I present to you its estranged cousin, 2-16: Roast Beef Salad with Beans.

RIP buffet luncheons (and large groups). Although if this is what’s on the menu, I’d have passed on it anyway.


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3-29: Herbed Cucumber Soup

3-29: Herbed Cucumber Soup

Soup isn’t usually thought of as a hot weather food (unless you’re Lisa Simpson). However, if it’s summer and you’re looking for ice-cold soup options AND gazpacho isn’t your thing, maybe try 3-29: Herbed Cucumber Soup instead.

It’s not technically summer anymore at the time of posting this (October 1), but we’re still hitting 100ºF temps here in California, so I think it counts.


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2-19: Country Bean Salad

2-19: Country Bean Salad

I had intended on using the entry for 2-19: Country Bean Salad to make the tired joke about how no one likes bean salad or the person who brings it to a party. And to point out how it was always a skip for me at the salad bar (RIP salad bars/buffets, I will REALLY miss you).

But there’s got to be a reason why “bean salad” is still a thing. Someone must still like it, for it still to exist. And not just in an ironic hipster “I like it specifically because it’s uncool” way. Maybe the vegans? I eat mostly vegan, and it’s still a no-go for me.

Simply Delicious says that this particular variation of bean salad is “typically French”, but I can’t find too many references online that specifically corroborate that claim. I did find a fancy version of this dish done by one of the Top Chefs that might be worth looking at, if you’re interested in bringing this recipe into the 21st century.

Apparently it was part of a particularly infamous (red) wedding meal in Game of Thrones as well. I watched GoT, but the food on the table wasn’t exactly the focus of that scene, so I must have missed it.

Even if it’s been on TV, it’s still not that appetizing to me. But again: someone must be into this stuff, so if it’s you, read on.


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1-31: Crab Cocktail

1-31: Crab Cocktail

Feeling a bit of déjà vu? Maybe you’ve seen 1-31: Crab Cocktail before, or maybe you haven’t. I was doing some recent experimentation on the backend of my website, and long story short: I needed to do a rollback to an earlier version and this one got deleted. So I’m reposting/rewriting it again–however, you’ll miss whatever witty remarks I included with the first version.

I remember saying something about this being a good option for a meal instead of an appetizer (since there’s no parties allowed), and that you should picture yourself eating it near the coast with the breeze in your hair, since between COVID and wildfires, I don’t know if we’re ever getting to leave the house again.


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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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11-9: Fried Jumbo Shrimp

11-9: Fried Jumbo Shrimp

As I mentioned in my last post, this project just passed the 6-year mark, and a lot has changed since I first started it–careers, cities, kitchens, vehicles, family, presidents, even dietary preferences.

For the last two years, we’ve been sticking to a plant-based diet, with the very occasional seafood or dairy indulgence (however, traditional meat itself is totally gone). We’ll still go out for a real sushi dinner here and there (although, not lately due to coronavirus), and every so often, I’ll make a recipe like 11-9: Fried Jumbo Shrimp with real shrimp as a treat.

Fruit from the sea” as a description for shrimp seems strange to me, even though I know Simply Delicious didn’t coin the term. “Fried Jumbo Shrimp” is what they use to lure you into mediocre chain restaurants–it’s not quite haute cuisine.

I’m not doing a good job of selling you on this dish, am I? Well, since fried food doesn’t travel well as takeout, maybe you’d like to take this “opportunity” to learn how to fry your own?


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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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