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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2-12: Tips About Salad Dressing

2-12: Tips About Salad Dressing

Since there’s about to be quite a few salad recipes coming up, I thought I’d put 2-12: Tips About Salad Dressing out there as well. I tried to think of more salad dressing variations than what they list here, but honestly? Most “traditional” salad dressings do fall into one of the three categories they establish: vinaigrette, cream/mayo-based, and low-calorie. Go ahead–can you think of one that doesn’t?

PS: I spy that sneaky tarragon vinegar in their picture below. If you want to learn to make your own, check out 19-7: Fresh and Dried Herbs.

At the restaurant I worked at a few years ago, we made our own dressings from scratch. And by “we”, I mean “me”–I made all the dressings for the whole restaurant every week and kept everything stocked up, since it was my station (garde manger, or pantry chef) that made the salads. We made a blue cheese, ranch, Caesar, creamy balsamic vinaigrette, and another lighter, more traditional vinaigrette.

One of the first times I made the blue cheese dressing (which required a giant immersion blender and a 22-quart Cambro–it’s kind of like mixing concrete in a bucket), a customer liked it so much they asked to buy some to take home. I guess that makes me qualified to write about salad dressings now.

Hey–I have to find something to do while we’re all staying at home for a while. And so do you (probably), so why not read this?


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2-18: Luncheon Salad

2-18: Luncheon Salad

Reporting LIVE (to print), from an undisclosed location in Northern California, USA, currently sheltering-in-place and teleworking due to COVID-19/coronavirus/the apocalypse. It’s getting crazy out there, y’all–stay safe and healthy. And wash your hands.

Since we’re all stuck inside for a while, and I’ve got a big backlog of these to get through (over 50), here’s one more thing to pass the time. 2-18: Luncheon Salad is pure 1980s–turn up the vaporwave (for A E S T H E T I C), find your best matching sweatsuit, and crack open a Tab.

I don’t remember feeling like this salad was a treat–more like a punishment. If you can find some cottage cheese in the store right now, go for it–just don’t invite your friends. #socialdistancing


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15-45: Strawberries with Cottage Cheese

15-45: Strawberries with Cottage Cheese

I had extra strawberries left over from 14-22: Strawberry-Peach Cobbler, so I tried to reuse them into 15-45: Strawberries with Cottage Cheese. Simply Delicious is big on using cottage cheese in an effort to be “low-fat” (all the rage in the 1980s when this book was published) and healthy, but they’re not usually very successful.

Don’t be deceived by their pretty picture here. It’s not ice cream. It’s cottage cheese. Just keep that in mind going in.


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5-10: Scrambled Eggs with Tomatoes

5-10: Scrambled Eggs with Tomatoes

Looking for a quick, healthy breakfast option from Simply Delicious? 5-10: Scrambled Eggs with Tomatoes is from the 1980s, but actually holds up really well 30+ years later. Consider this the predecessor to avocado toast.

This version uses cottage cheese in the scrambled eggs (instead of milk, I assume). If you’re looking to cut calories (and fat) even further, skip the milk and butter altogether–according to the late Anthony Bourdain, you don’t need either for good scrambled eggs.


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19-7: Fresh and Dried Herbs

19-7: Fresh and Dried Herbs

19-7: Fresh and Dried Herbs has been a recipe-in-the-making for a few months. I mention frequently that I often write these entries months after I complete the actual recipe, but this one actually took me that long TO complete.

19-7 Fresh and Dried Herbs

Usually, these Cooking School cards don’t have too much in the way of actual recipes–often times it’s more like the card above, more recommendation than actual recipe. I’m not going to restate what they’ve written here–it’s all good advice. Jump behind the cut for some herb blend recipes as well as a DIY vinegar challenge and BONUS limoncello recipe.


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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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11-35: Grilled Pacific Halibut

11-35: Grilled Pacific Halibut

I have never been known for my skills in preparing fish, but this recipe, 11-35: Grilled Pacific Halibut, helped me become a halibut grilling master! 🐟

Many of the times I failed at cooking fish, I did not marinate the flesh first. Skipping that step definitely makes a difference.

Editor’s note: By the looks of the notations on this card, my mother made this in what looks like July of 1995, although that last digit is difficult to clearly determine–her handwriting has always been a challenge. It might be 1990. She noted that it was “Very Easy” on the back–sounds like Adam may have had a similar experience. 


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5-14: Thai Chicken Omelette

5-14: Thai Chicken Omelette

Looking for a way to use up some leftover chicken for breakfast or lunch? 5-14: Thai Chicken Omelette doesn’t require a ton of ingredients, but makes for a light yet hearty meal. Omelettes are something Simply Delicious does quite a bit of (5-33: Omelette Stacks with Rice, 5-21: Omelette with Herbs, or 5-9: Swiss Cheese and Crouton Omelette are just a few examples), but this one’s definitely a decent take on it.

5-14 Thai Chicken Omelette

Simply Delicious mentions the Thai cuisine featuring lots of fruits and vegetables, but this recipe doesn’t have much in the way of produce, other than maybe the bean sprouts. Try substituting sautéed squash or carrots for a vegetarian alternative to the chicken.


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6-41: Chicken Breasts with Tomato Salsa

6-41: Chicken Breasts with Tomato Salsa

I like dishes that are easy enough to prepare on a weekday night. 6-14: Chicken Breasts with Tomato Salsa teaches you to make a simple salsa to put on top of some tasty chicken breasts. 🍗

I really enjoy dishes like this for dinner: simple and flavorful ingredients which combine to make a nutritious, Simply Delicious meal.


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