Ahoy there! Like most people who started a blog a while ago, I’m not as consistent with it as I used to be, but I’ll always come back at some point (usually when work is slow and/or we have a holiday weekend coming up…).
Today’s entry is a good one for all you vegetable gardeners out there–13-3: Vegetable Deep Dish Pie. I was growing zucchini and tomatoes last year (that’s when I actually cooked this), so this one was perfect to use some of those up.
Of course, if you’ve got something else in the ground this year (I’ve got a different type of tomato and some assorted pepper plants this time around), you can vary this to accommodate whatever you’ve got or whatever you like. There’s always farmers’ markets as well!
A wise man once said, ” You don’t win friends with salad.” I’m not sure how many friends you’ll be winning with 2-1: West Coast Salad, but if you’re looking for something keto-friendly (we used to call that low-carb or “Atkins-friendly” back in the day, kids) and you need a break from the cookies and candies that are EVERYWHERE around this time of year, this might be the ticket.
By Western shore/West Coast, we’re referring to the western coast of the United States which includes the states of California (where I live and am from), Oregon, and Washington. The seafood is in fact different in the Pacific versus the Atlantic–you won’t find a lot of lobster here, but you will find an abundance of crab and mussels.
Today, I have the last unmade Group 01 recipe in my possession to share with you today, 1-23: Pita Pockets. They’re essentially sandwiches with two sorts of filling, both very 1980s/”light”.
One of my favorite restaurants is called Pita Pockets–I’ve been going there since I was in high school (over 20 years…eeek) and it’s one of the places I try to stop at when I find myself back in Southern California. Their pita sandwiches are very different from what we’ve got here today (and theirs are WAY better).
I remember pitas being a big deal in the 1980s-1990s, so it’s not surprising that they were included in this recipe collection. They’re still super popular today, but they’re not as “new” of a concept. Speaking of new, this one came from the NEW book, hence why I wasn’t aware until relatively recently that Simply Delicious even had a pita sandwich recipe.
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.
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 Deliciousversions 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?