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


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:

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

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)

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.


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

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.


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.



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.

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