3-6: Minestrone

3-6: Minestrone

Minestrone soup has a few specific memories for me: I remember there always being cans of it in our pantry when I was a kid, and all of my favorite Italian restaurants growing up still have it on the menu. My dad was a big minestrone fan–both of those memories are tied pretty closely to him.

3-6: Minestrone comes from the new book, and it’s not surprising that Simply Delicious had a recipe for it–they tend to have their own versions of most of the “classics”.

I’m not sure I’d suggest serving this in what look like miniature barrels in the picture above (imagine trying to clean those). However, the colder weather is coming soon, and this recipe is a good (and cheap) way to meal-prep, eat your veggies, and stay warm all at the same time.


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7-39: Pork Chops with Broccoli and Leek

7-39: Pork Chops with Broccoli and Leek

Looking for a way to use up some winter vegetables? Maybe your veggie box is heavy with leeks and broccoli these days–if so, maybe give 7-39: Pork Chops with Broccoli and Leek a try. It’s got big “we have Chinese food at home” energy.

If malls were still a thing, you could probably find something similar at a generic Chinese/pan-Asian restaurant in the half-empty food court.

If you want to round out your combo plate for the full experience, you could make some 8-25: Stir-Fried Beef or 11-6: Sweet and Sour Shrimp to go with it. Maybe throw in some 6-39: Chicken Pot Stickers or 1-15: Chinese Spring Rolls on the side?


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8-37: Roast Beef in Puff Pastry

8-37: Roast Beef in Puff Pastry

I’ve already covered various types of turnovers (beef/spinach/crab), and 8-37: Roast Beef in Puff Pastry can now be added to that list, even if it’s not officially referred to by Simply Delicious as a turnover.

I wasn’t able to pinpoint when ready-to-bake puff pastry was first available in stores–my guess would be somewhere around the 1960s-70s, but I could be totally wrong.

Think of this recipe as a fancy Hot Pocket, because that’s essentially what it is. Look at you, all sophisticated with your fancy Hot Pocket.


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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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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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11-36: Hong Kong Shrimp

11-36: Hong Kong Shrimp

Sometimes when you use recipes from old cookbooks, they can seem a bit “tone-deaf” when it comes to modern-day sensibilities about race and culture. Despite a questionable name, 11-36: Hong Kong Shrimp contains many ingredients commonly found in Chinese food.

I love the porcelain bowls they served the example dish in. The wooden chopsticks are also a great touch. What a great photo!


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12-33: Individual Beef Lasagna

12-33: Individual Beef Lasagna

Have you ever thought to make individual servings of lasagna? I’ve never thought to make lasagna in single servings and after attempting 12-33: Individual Beef Lasagna, I would not try it again. Join me, won’t you? Watch as I do my best to follow this recipe from deep within the minds of the wacky editors of Simply Delicious.

The example photo looks so elegant. The blue rimmed wine glass is excellent, I wish I had a set of those. The description is not hyperbolic when it says this is a completely new version of lasagna. It’s barely lasagna.


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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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