2-9: Pasta Salad

2-9: Pasta Salad

Howdy, y’all–it’s been a minute since we’ve last met. Like everyone else in the world, things can get busy/stressful/overwhelming for me at times and then unfortunately this project takes a backseat. I’ve still been making recipes here and there though, and I’ve got a few built up to share with you. I can’t promise a robust posting schedule (count me as partly responsible for the death of blogs) but I’ll do my best.

To kick things off, here’s 2-9: Pasta Salad, one from the new book. Ugh, I WANT that kitschy 70s flower/watering can picture–if I found it in a thrift store, it’d definitely be coming home with me. I’ll take those FABULOUS flower-shaped plates too.

I love that this is such a time-capsule of an era where we fully embraced carbs–I don’t know of too many people today that would classify pasta as “nutritious”. We were just on the precipice of the ridiculous food pyramid of the 1990s at this point, where we were advised to eat 6-11 servings of carbs a day and stay far, far away from anything fatty (low-fat/high-sugar EVERYTHING was the result).

I also feel like Simply Delicious couldn’t figure out anything exciting to say about pasta salad, so they attempted to turn it into a half-assed history lesson. “He might have done it, maybe not, who knows! Have some pasta anyway!”

My elementary school education (which occurred around the same time) went pretty much the same way. Oh, the late 80s/early 90s.


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8-15: Cajun-Style Sirloin

8-15: Cajun-Style Sirloin

Looking for something different to do with a cut of beef sirloin? 8-15: Cajun-Style Sirloin is a pretty quick and easy way to prepare beef, and also comes with a bonus cucumber salad recipe as an accompaniment/garnish. The cucumber salad and yogurt topping give this dish almost a Middle Eastern feel–they’re used to cut the heat from the paprika, curry, and cayenne pepper used to season the meat.

I’ve yet to visit Louisiana myself in person, but Simply Delicious has a few different Cajun and Creole recipes to try that can take you there culinarily, at least. There’s even some non-Simply Delicious versions of this recipe out there, if you’re looking for variations. I’m still intrigued by the addition of the cucumber salad and yogurt topping for this version–that seems very avant garde for 1980s home cooking.


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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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8-30: Hungarian Goulash

8-30: Hungarian Goulash

We’ve just passed the 7-year anniversary of starting this project (April 16)…and I’m still nowhere near done. This is going to take me the rest of my life at this rate, I think.

A dish that WON’T take you the rest of your life to complete (notice my flawless segue there) is 8-30: Hungarian Goulash. It’s supposedly a dish for cold days, which are quickly becoming few and far between here in California now that it’s almost May. However, if you’ve still got a touch of cold where you are (or maybe your hemisphere is heading towards winter instead of summer), this might be a good option.

Hungarian goulash is very well-known outside of Simply Delicious…in fact, it’s Hungary’s national dish. 🇭🇺 Many countries have versions of it due to various Hungarian diasporas over the last few centuries. You may know the modern American version better as American chop suey, slumgullion, or maybe Hamburger Helper?


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11-13: Flounder with Sautéed Vegetables

11-13: Flounder with Sautéed Vegetables

I’m still on my quest to finish off the Fish/Seafood chapter, so expect some more fish entries in the near (maybe-not-so-near) future. 11-13: Flounder with Sautéed Vegetables sounds pretty…plain, but maybe that’s not a bad thing when it comes to whipping up an easy-ish dinner these days.

This card looks like it got slightly impacted during the “Great Roach Massacre of ’09“, but the important part (the recipe) is still plenty legible. All you’re missing here is Simply Delicious acting as 1980s hype man for including fish as part of your diet.


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13-9: Enchiladas

13-9: Enchiladas

Enchiladas were always a big hit in one of my previous cooking jobs, and they’re still a big hit when I make them at home for dinner today. Presenting 13-9: Enchiladas as a vegetarian dish (using vegetables as filling instead of meat) is pretty avant-garde for a 1980s cookbook, but you can always adjust the fillings as you wish.

If you want to add some options to your combination plate, you can add in 8-65: Sizzling Skirt Steaks, 3-15: Quick Mexican Soup, or 9-6: Filled Tacos.

Enchiladas were usually (and still are) one of my top choices when going to a Mexican restaurant, and the method here is not that far off from the traditional way to make them.

However, as much of a stickler as I am for authentic/homemade, I like the canned enchilada sauce you buy in the supermarket SO much better and will pretty much always just use that. Can’t tell you why, just my personal preference.


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11-22: Scallops with Tomatoes

11-22: Scallops with Tomatoes

Simply Delicious says that now (winter) is the time for scallops, so here’s 11-22: Scallops with Tomatoes for you. It’s very similar to one of my FAVORITE recipes from this book, 11-12: Creamy Sautéed Shrimp (otherwise known in my family as “Shrimp Something”).

Seafood + butter + curry + tomatoes + cream is pretty much always going to be a win. With rice, 10/10?

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3-7: Snappy Crab Soup

3-7: Snappy Crab Soup

Many moons ago when I first began this project, I wrote about Simply Delicious‘ use of adjectives to spice up the descriptions of their dishes. 3-7: Snappy Crab Soup reminds me of 3-13: Velvety Carrot Soup in its use of flashy words to get you interested in something hard to get excited about.

This is essentially a crab bisque, without the extra steps of simmering shells. The “hot pepper seasoning” they refer to in the blurb above is Tabasco sauce, so this is a mildly Cajun-influenced recipe as well. I remember thinking Tabasco sauce was the HOTTEST thing ever when I was a kid…I’ve learned so much since then. 🦀🌶


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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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13-15: Vegetarian Lasagna

13-15: Vegetarian Lasagna

We’ve covered lasagna dishes on this site before, and 13-15: Vegetarian Lasagna introduces yet another variation of the traditional dish by eschewing tomatoes completely. This version is similar to the Stouffer’s Vegetable Lasagna that my aunt used to bring to dinners all the time as a “homemade dish”. This has no tomato sauce, instead going for cheese and spinach layered between lasagna noodles.

There’s also onions and olives in there as well (I LOVE olives), as well as…chili sauce? I’m not sure why they thought chili sauce was a good addition to this recipe, but at least you can adjust it based on preference.


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