My Favorite Recipes from the 1990s

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I am starting to go back to how I ate before I became a health nut, when I was married and cooked for a family. I am compiling all the old recipes that I can find and remember, that were my favorites. But even before I was a health nut, I did remove skins from chickens for all chicken recipes to cut the fat. And I usually cut back a bit on the oil used. They still tasted great! Click on the recipe titles below and it will take you straight to the recipe!

Arroz Con Pollo (Chicken and Rice)

Lemon Baked Chicken

Shepherd’s Pie

Gyoza (Japanese Potstickers)

Macaroni-Beef Skillet Supper

Egg Fu Yung

Macaroni Salad Ricotta

Miso Soup with Tofu, Kale, Wakame and Scallions

Simmered Cabbage and Shiitake Mushrooms

Turkey “Meatballs” in Squash Shells (Use this recipe over the one in the PDF for Around the World cookbook)

Spanish Rice (Low FODMAP)

Fried Rice (Long Grain)

Chinese Greens With Chicken

Cod Fillet Sauteed in Garlic Oil

Italian Herbed Batter Bread

Savory Turkey (Chicken) Patties

Rice Japanese Style

ARROZ CON POLLO (CHICKEN AND RICE)

1/2 (2 1/2 to 3 pound) broiler-fryer chicken, cut up, skin removed
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 1/2 cups long grain rice, uncooked
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
3 cups water
1 (7 1/2 ounce) can tomatoes, cut up
1/2 tablespoon instant chicken bouillon granules
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon thread saffron, crushed
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup frozen peas
1 (2 ounce) can sliced pimiento, drained and chopped

In a 12-inch skillet brown chicken in hot oil about 15 minutes. Remove chicken from skillet.

In the remaining pan drippings cook and stir rice, onion, and garlic till rice is golden.

Add 3 cups water, undrained tomatoes, bouillon granules, salt, saffron, and pepper. Bring to boiling; stir well. Arrange chicken atop rice mixture. Cover and simmer 30 to 35 minutes or till chicken is tender (and rice is done).

Stir in peas and pimiento; cover and cook 5 minutes more.

Makes 6 servings
Source: Better Homes New Cookbook, 1981


Lemon-Baked Chicken

1 frying chicken (2.5 to 3 lbs.), cut into serving pieces
2 tsp. oil or melted margarine (I often omit oil)
3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic, crushed
freshly ground black pepper

In a bowl, combine lemon juice, oil, garlic and pepper. Arrange chicken in a shallow casserole or baking pan, and pour over it the lemon and oil mixture. Cover and bake at 350 F, until tender, about 40 minutes, basting occasionally. Uncover casserole and bake 10 minutes longer to allow chicken to brown.

Makes 4 servings.


Shepherd’s Pie

To save on calories, on days you eat this, minimize other forms of grains, if you want, since the corn is your grains for the day.

First make dill mashed potatoes as follows:

2 tsp. butter
3 tablespoons milk
4 medium baking potatoes, peeled and cut into eighths
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/3 C sour cream or full fat yogurt
1/2 tsp. dried dill

Place milk and butter in a medium bowl. Cook potatoes in boiling water to cover, 15 minutes or until tender. Drain

Mash with milk and butter in the bowl.

Stir in remaining ingredients.

Now make the Shepherd’s Pie:

Ingredients
1 pound ground beef
Olive oil (1 to 2 tsp.)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
dill mashed potatoes (see above)
2 cups corn (to cover the meat)
salt and pepper and dill to taste

Directions:
In a frying pan that can go in the oven, saute the onions and the garlic in olive oil until wilted, remove. Add the beef to the pan and cook it until done. Remove the fat. Return the onions and the garlic, add salt, pepper and dill, and stir evenly.

Cover the whole thing with corn. Spread the hot mashed potatoes on top of the corn, making grooves.

Set in the oven about 1 hour at 300 degrees F or until the potatoes are all brown and crispy all around the rim.

We use an iron frying pan and it’s just great. You can also use a glass baking casserole and cover with foil to bake. The longer you leave it in the oven, the better because all the flavors marry and it is just nice. You can lower the heat in order to leave it in longer.


Gyoza (Japanese Potstickers)

1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 head napa cabbage, shredded
1/4 C dried minced onions
2 cloves garlic minced
30 gyoza (wonton) wrappers, or as needed
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 C water

Dipping Sauce:
2 tbsp. low salt soy sauce
2 tbsp. Italian dressing (I use low calorie version)

Directions:
Combine ground beef, napa cabbage, dried minced onions, garlic in a bowl.

Arrange gyoza wrappers on a flat work surface. Place 1 teaspoon of meat mixture in the middle of each wrapper. Wet edges with your finger or a brush. Fold up side to form a triangle or semicircle; pinch edges to seal.

Heat oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add 12 to 15 gyoza to the skillet. Cook until golden brown on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Pour in 1/2 C water; cover and cook until water is absorbed, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer gyoza to a plate. Repeat with remaining gyoza.

Mix 2 tbsp. soy and 2 tbsp. Italian dressing to make dipping sauce (make more as needed). Serve dipping side alongside gyoza.


Macaroni-Beef Skillet Supper

1 C elbow macaroni
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 C diced onions
1 clove garlic, mashed
2 tbsp. oil
2 – 8 oz. cans tomato sauce
freshly ground black pepper
1 – 8 oz. can mushroom stems & pieces, drained
2 tbsp. worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning

Cook the macaroni in boiling water according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Saute’ the meat, onion and garlic in oil until the meat loses its pink color and the onions are tender. Add pepper, tomato sauce, mushrooms, Worcestershire sauce and Italian seasoning.

Bring mixture to a boil, then simmer gently for about 5 minutes. Mix in the cooked macaroni and simmer for 5 more minutes.


EGG FU YUNG

INGREDIENTS: 4 servings
½ C cooked meat (chicken, pork, shrimp, or crab)
½ C bamboo shoots or mushrooms
½ C onions
1 stalk celery (1/2 C)
1 C bean sprouts
3 large eggs
1 t salt

¼ C oil for frying

Chopped green onions and toasted sesame seeds for garnish

GRAVY
1¼ C cold soup stock
2 T cornstarch
1 T mirin
1 T soy sauce

Bring gravy to a full boil, stirring constantly, just before serving.

Patties may be made ahead and reheated in the oven. Place on cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees F (190 degree C) for 5 min.

1) Chop meat, bamboo shoots or mushrooms, onions and celery. Do not chop the bean sprouts.
2) Beat eggs with the salt and add to the filling ingredients just before frying.
3) Heat an electric or frying pan to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Pour in the ¼ C oil.
4) Ladle mixture into pan to form small patties. Fry about 2 min., turn over and fry 3 min. more. Adjust temperature as needed (6-8 patties). Wipe pan clean and repeat process, using more oil as needed, until all patties are fried.
5) Serve with hot gravy. Garnish with chopped green onions and toasted sesame seeds.


Macaroni Salad Ricotta

1/4 lb. whole wheat macaroni or Barilla corn/rice pasta, cooked until tender, drained and chilled
1 C ricotta cheese
2 tsp. mustard
1 T or more plain yogurt
1/4 C sliced or chopped ripe olives
1 green pepper, chopped coarsely
2 scallions with tops, chopped
1 T parsley
red pimiento to taste
1/2 tsp. each dill and basil
freshly ground black pepper

Make a dressing with the consistency of mayonnaise by thinning the mustard with a tablespoon or more of yogurt and mixing with the Ricotta. Stir in all other ingredients.

Serve on a bed of salad greens.


MISO SOUP WITH TOFU, KALE, WAKAME AND SCALLIONS

Make dashi stock first:

The most distinctive thing in Japanese cooking is the use of giant kombu (kelp), dried bonito flakes, dried sardines including instant mixes as a basic soup stock. Here is the kelp version. Wipe about a 6 inch square of kelp with a damp cloth (do not wash, or much of the flavor will be lost), soak in 4 cups of water, and let sit for an hour. Heat to the boiling point, but remove the kelp just before the water actually boils. You can use the cooked kelp for other recipes. Your dashi stock is done. Leftover dashi stock may be stored in the refrigerator for 2 – 3 days or may be frozen.

MISO SOUP

Ingredients:

3 C dashi stock
1 T aka or shiro miso
6 oz. tofu
4 tbsp. frozen kale or 2 kale leaves (chopped)
ready to use dehydrated wakame seaweed to taste
scallion to garnish

Heat dashi stock with extra water to a boil, cut tofu into 1/2 in. cubes and add to the stock, along with kale and ready to use wakame seaweed (~1 tbsp. dried). Mix miso with some dashi stock (1 or 2 tsp.) to make paste; add to the boiling stock. Turn off heat right before boiling. Add some frozen or fresh chopped green onions.


Simmered Cabbage and Shiitake Mushrooms

8 dried shiitake mushrooms, softened
(Reserve soaking liquid)
1/2 head cabbage

Simmering Stock:
1 1/4 C reserved liquid from shiitake mushrooms
1/3 C mirin
3 1/2 T soy sauce

Soften shiitake mushrooms in lukewarm water until soft. Cut into quarters. Cut cabbage into 1 1/2 in. (4 cm) squares.

In Dutch oven or large pot, heat simmering sauce over moderate heat to boiling. Add shiitake and continue to cook over moderate heat 4-5 minutes.

Add cabbage and continue to cook until cabbage is tender.


The following recipes came from an international cookbook called Around the World cookbook that is no longer in print. Funny, cuz the recipes were so tasty! I made these a lot around 1997 to 1999 and they were family favorites. I compiled them into a pdf file and the index to the recipes is below. Mussels steamed in wine was delicious, but I have a slight allergy to shellfish, so I probably won’t be making that one. I only include the recipes that I made. The cookbook had a lot more recipes than what I made.

Turkey “Meatballs” in Squash Shells (Use this recipe over the one in the PDF for Around the World cookbook)

Named after the German city of Konigsberg, this dish has a slightly tart flavor, which is common in German cooking.

2 small acorn squashes (about 1 pound each)
2 tablespoons water (if microwaving squash)
1 C plain soft bread crumbs (about 2 slices bread) or 1/2 C oats or 3/4 C oat/rice flour
1/4 C finely chopped onion or green onion
1 egg
1/2 tsp. anchovy paste
1/8 tsp. salt (omit if using cooking wine which has a LOT of salt in it)
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1 pound ground 93% lean skinless turkey or chicken breast (this would also work well with just plain ground turkey)
1/2 to 3/4 C dry white wine or nonalcoholic dry white wine (remember cooking wine has a lot of salt!)
1/2 C low salt chicken broth
4 black peppercorns
3 whole cloves
1 bay leaf
low-sodium chicken broth or water
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour or rice/oats flour
2 teaspoons capers, rinsed and drained
chopped fresh parsley

To cook squashes, cut them in half and remove seeds and strings. If using a microwave, place the squash halves, cut side down, in a microwave-safe baking dish. Prick skin several times with a fork. Add 2 tbsp. water. Cook, covered, on 100% power (high) for 15 to 20 minutes, or until squashes can be easily pierced with a sharp knife. Give dish a half-turn twice during cooking. Drain.

To bake squashes, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (in Gail’s oven she needs to preheat oven to 400 degrees F). Place halves, cut side down, in a baking dish. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Turn cut side up and bake for 20 minutes more, or until tender.

Meanwhile, in a medium mixing bowl, combine bread crumbs, onion or green onion, egg, anchovy paste, salt, and pepper. Add ground turkey and mix well. Shape into 24 balls.

In a large skillet, combine wine, 1/2 C chicken broth, peppercorns, cloves, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium. Add turkey meatballs. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove meatballs and set aside.

Strain liquid from skillet or remove cloves, peppercorns and bay leaves with liquid only into a 1-cup measuring cup. Add enough chicken broth (if necessary) or water (if necessary) to equal 1 C. In a small bowl, stir about 1/4 C liquid and flour mixture to skillet. Stir to mix well. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until thickened and bubbly, stirring often. Add capers. Continue to cook and stir for 1 minutes. Return meatballs to skillet with sauce. Spoon sauce over meatballs. Cook over low heat for about 2 minutes, or until meatballs are heated through. To serve, spoon meatballs with sauce into squash halves. Sprinkle with parsley.


Spanish Rice (Low FODMAP)

1 tbsp. garlic
1/4 C green onions
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 tbsp. prepared mustard
1 tbsp. worcestershire sauce
3 cups cooked rice
1 28 oz. can tomatoes

Saute’ green onions and green pepper in the garlic oil until soft.

Add ground beef and seasonings, stirring until meat loses its pink color. Stir in the cooked rice, the tomatoes, and Worcestershire sauce. Mix thoroughly.

Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.


FRIED RICE (long grain)

2 eggs. beaten
3 T oil
3 strips bacon cut into 1 in. (2.5 cm) pieces
1/2 C cooked meat diced (pork, chicken, shrimp or ham)
1 small onion diced or equivalent green onions
1 C bean sprouts
3 C cooked long grain rice
2-3 T soy sauce
1 green onion chopped

Other meats and vegetables may be used to produce a variety of fried rice.
Chinese sausage can be added to recipe. Cut in small pieces and cook with the bacon.

  1. Heat 1 T oil in the wok and scramble eggs. Remove and set aside.
  2. Fry bacon in the wok until most of the fat is cooked out.
  3. Drain off excess fat and replace with 2 T oil.
  4. Add cooked meat, onions and bean sprouts. Stir-fry about 1 min.
  5. Add rice and soy sauce. Fry until rice is hot, turning temperature down if necessary. Add eggs and mix in with rice. Toss in green onions.

Chinese Greens With Chicken

1/2 lb. chicken
2 tsp. cornstarch
2 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. sugar

1.5 lbs. Chinese greens (bok choy)

3 T oil

1/2 C soup stock
1/2 tsp. salt

2 t cornstarch dissolved in 1 T water

  1. Slice chicken 1/4 in. thick against the grain. Marinate chicken in cornstarch, soy sauce and sugar.
  2. Cut bok choy in 1/2 in. diagonal slices.
  3. Heat 2 T oil in wok and stir-fry chicken on high heat until done. If using cast iron pan, turn down heat right away after adding chicken to prevent burning. When chicken’s done, remove from wok and set aside.
  4. Add 1 T oil and stir-fry bok choy on high heat (medium-high heat if using cast iron skillet) for 1/2 minute. Add soup stock, salt, cover, bring to boil and steam 1 min.
  5. Return chicken to wok and mix, add enough cornstarch mixture to thicken. Serve with white rice.

Cod Fillet Sauteed in Garlic Oil

thawed cod fillet
1/2 tbsp. garlic oil
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
some sea salt
flour for coating

Fish is never good leftover, so only cook enough fish for one meal. Dry and squeeze excess water from the cod fillets with paper towels before coating with flour. Then coat cod fillets with flour.

Add garlic oil to pan over medium heat, until it is preheated. If you have no garlic oil, then just smash some garlic cloves and add them to the oil to give the oil a garlic flavor. Remove the cloves before they burn though, or add the fish right away before the cloves burn.

Saute the flour coated cod fillets in garlic oil for about two minutes. Season with some salt. Turn as needed to ensure fish is cooking evenly on both sides and baste after turning, then continue sauteing for another four minutes, sprinkle some lemon juice over the fish while cooking to help it steam and cover the fish to speed up the cooking process while steaming. Season with salt again.

MAKE SURE NOT TO OVERCOOK FISH, but cook until JUST DONE. When fish flakes easily with a fork, it’s DONE. If fish falls apart, don’t worry about it. It’s more important to cook the fish evenly. Remove any smaller pieces that have finished before larger pieces to ensure no fish gets overcooked and tough.

When fish is done, remove to a heated platter (if you have one), add more lemon juice and pour over fish. Can add other seasonings as desired at this point.


Italian Herbed Batter Bread

This easy bread tastes wonderful toasted. If there’s any left, it makes terrific bread crumbs once stale.

1 package (1 tablespoon) active dry yeast
1/2 C warm water (105 degrees F)
1 C skim milk
2 tbsp. butter
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3 tbsp. honey
2 tbsp. plain yogurt
1 tbsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. salt
4 C all-purpose flour
olive oil spray or olive oil

Combine yeast and warm water in a large metal mixing bowl. Set aside.

In a small saucepan over LOW heat, heat milk and butter, just long enough to melt butter. Don’t want to kill the yeast, so LOW heat.

Add egg, honey, yogurt, Italian seasoning, milk, butter and salt to yeast mixture and blend thoroughly. Stir in the flour. When combined, beat at least 100 strokes by hand or for 1 minute with an electric mixer. Please note that this is a batter, not a solid dough.

Cover with plastic wrap or wet cloth and put the mixing bowl with contents in the oven with temperature set to lowest setting, just enough to keep the batter warm (like 100 degrees F), until batter is almost tripled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Spray or using paper towels saturated with olive oil, grease the loaf pans. Set aside. Stir the batter down and divide evenly among the loaf pans. Cover and put back in the 100 degree F oven and let rise until almost to top of pans, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a knife inserted near the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let cool for about 15 minutes before removing from pan. Cut into 8 slices per loaf and serve hot, warm, or cool.

Store in ziploc bags or airtight containers, but not in the frig, because you don’t want to expose the bread to moisture. Any bread not used right away should be frozen.


Savory Turkey (Chicken) Patties

Yogurt Sauce

1 C plain yogurt (if you use vanilla yogurt, it will taste like an Indian dish)
1 to 2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
Generous pinch of dried dill weed
Black pepper (optional)

Patties

2 slices firm white bread
3/4 lb. ground skinless chicken breast (or ground turkey)
1 egg
1 tsp. dried dill weed
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. salt
black pepper to taste
water, if needed
1/2 C all-purpose flour
1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil to coat the pan
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

To prepare sauce, combine yogurt, cilantro, and pinch of dill weed in a small bowl; season, if desired, with pepper. Cover bowl and refrigerate sauce.

Crumble bread into a large bowl, can discard bread crusts, if you’re picky. To the bread, add ground chicken (or turkey), egg, 1 tsp. dill weed, cumin, salt, and pepper. Mix thoroughly. Add a little water if the mixture is too dry. Roll the meat into 2 to 3 tbsp. meatballs, then flatten the meatballs into patties.

Put the patties into a plate with the 1/2 C flour and coat on all sides. Then transfer the coated patties to another plate, from which you will plop the patties into the fry pan. You should get about 16 patties.

Coat a large skillet with the tsp. extra-virgin olive oil. Fry the patties over medium heat for about 3 minutes on each side. To help with cooking throw in about 1 tbsp. water and cover the pan to steam. The flour coating burns easily, so pay attention to prevent burning of the coating.

When patties are done, remove patties from skillet. To serve, drizzle each patty with the yogurt sauce. Serve with your choice of side dishes or tucked into fresh pita bread and eaten as a sandwich.


Rice Japanese Style

Preparation

Rice increases in volume as it cooks, twice to three times, depending on the kind of rice you use.

If you cook a lot of rice, an automatic Japanese rice cooker will make your work a lot easier, so it’s a good investment.

However, a Dutch oven or a pot with a fitted lid and good heat distribution will do just as well.

As a general rule, equal amounts of rice and water are sufficient. But short grain rice grown in California may need a little more water (1/5 to 1/4 cup). For regular unseasoned cooked rice, 1 cup of rice with 1 1/4 cups of water will make moist, fluffy rice. Generally cooking 2 cups of rice turns out better than cooking 1 cup.

  1. Measure rice carefully.
  2. Wash rice in a big bowl of water. Rub grains gently; wet grains break easily.
  3. Remove any bran or polishing agent. Drain off water well. Repeat this step three more times or until water is almost clear.
  4. Set rice aside for at least 30 min in summer and 1 hour in winter. This allows ample time for rice to absorb the water.
  5. In cooking pot, add rice and correct amount of water. Cover with lid.

How to Cook

MEDIUM HEAT UNTIL WATER BOILS
Cook rice over medium heat until water boils. Do not bring it to boiling point quickly. If the quantity of rice is large, cook rice over high heat from the beginning. The heat can be carried into the center of rice if cooked over medium heat.

HIGH HEAT FOR 1 MIN AFTER BOILING
When it begins to boil, turn heat to high and cook for 1 min. Never lift lid while cooking. Since the lid might bounce from the pressure of the steam, it is better to place a weight, or some dishes on the lid. Rice absorbs enough water.

TURN HEAT TO LOW FOR 4-5 MIN
Turn heat to low and cook for 4-5 min (Be careful not to overboil). Then the pot begins to steam.

THE LOWEST HEAT FOR 10 MIN
Reduce heat to the lowest for 10 min. Every grain of rice absorbs water and becomes plump. It is liable to burn, so cook over the lowest heat.

TURN OFF AND LET STAND FOR 10 MIN
Turn off the heat and let rice stand, covered for 10 min. During this 10 min the grains are allowed to “settle”, and the cooking process is completed by the heat retained in the rice and the walls of the pot.


Check out the pdf file around-the-world-cookbook to get all the recipes indexed below!