One of the interesting things about being a self-proclaimed nostalgic food blogger is when I run across food items that are no longer available. Looking for something that isn’t there can turn me into an angry shopper at times but I often find a workaround, like when I made my own madrilène for what I thought was going to be a simple bowl of cold avocado soup.
In just a single lifetime serving sizes have become larger and in tandem food is sold in larger sized containers. Supersize Me. As is the case with this recipe, “Tasteez Fried Chow Mein” is no more. I can’t even find a trace of it performing one of my usually successful Google image searches! So that means it was likely gone way pre-pre-Internet.
Like many of my other posts, I will give you a taste of what it was like back in the good ol’ days with some vintage chow mein commercials, albeit from other brands like La Choy, which seems to have survived the
taste test of time. After you’re done with the recipe, scroll down below where I’ve curated some of my favorite videos from YouTube. 享受! (that’s “enjoy” in Chinese).
❤ I wasn’t very familiar with what “dry onions” were. Maybe something was lost in translation so I used Spice Islands Dry Minced Onions, which was all I could find at my neighborhood store. I think I got this correct!
❤ A word about parsley: While my Mom “Betty” would likely have used curly-leaf parsley, I’ve learned through the years that it’s a little too tickly for my tongue. I’m usually hugging tight to the Italian flat-leaf parsley because I don’t find it wrestling my tastebuds on the way down.
1 cup | tuna
½ cup | celery, chopped
¼ cup | dry onions, chopped
handful | lettuce, chopped
¼ cup | mayonnaise
2 tablespoons | french dressing
1 cup | la choy fried chow mein noodles, lightly crushed
to present/serve | lettuce leaf (optional)
to garnish | parsley, chopped
ii. what to do
1. Mix tuna, celery, dry onions, and lettuce.
2. Stir in the mayo and the French dressing.
3. The recipe doesn’t call for it, but here is where you could chill your tuna salad (totally optional). When ready to serve add the chow mein to the salad mixture and stir to coat.
4. Arrange the tuna salad on your lettuce leaf and garnish with parsley.
Yields 4-6 appetizer-sized servings.
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook
Now on to the vintage videos!
I knew I was in for a treat when my Cousin Jennifer almost came unglued when I told her Cousin Julie gave me this slaw recipe.
This broccoli slaw can last for a few days in the fridge, if it lasts that long!
Foodie Tips ~
♥ The dressing for this is really good. On the next “go” of this dish I will find a way to double the dressing.
♥ This slaw is super flexible. You can eat it solo, try it on lettuce wraps or inside spring roll wrappers.
½ cup | sugar
¼ cup | vegetable oil
¼ cup | red wine vinegar
2 packages | seasoning mix (from the ramen noodles)
2 3 ounce packages | oriental ramen noodles
16 ounce package | broccoli slaw or red cabbage (go for the slaw)
½ to 1 cup | shelled sunflower seeds
1 cup | slivered almonds
optional | lettuce cups or spring roll wrappers (if serving slaw inside a wrapper)
ii. what to do
1. Simmer the dressing ingredients over low heat to dissolve the sugar. Do not boil!
2. In a mixing bowl break up the ramen noodles into bite-sized pieces. Note: remove the seasoning packet before breaking them inside their package.
3. Pour the dressing over the noodles and let rest for 15-30 minutes to soften them slightly.
4. Add the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Chill. (Best if you chill overnight).
5. Add almonds to the slaw last (it keeps them crunchy) and enjoy your finished creation as a side-kick or main dish.
This salad recipe should be in everyone’s cookbook, so best bookmark it now.
My Cousin Julie said this dish is very popular for potluck meals – and when she’s taken this she’s always been asked for the recipe.
It’s that good!
Foodie Tips ~
♥ If you plan to eat this salad right away, run hot water over the frozen peas before adding so that they will defrost. Or you can use canned or fresh peas.
♥ Ingredient amounts may be doubled and layers may be doubled for large party servings. You can add any of the optional ingredients below to make this salad more of an entree then serve it with rolls, iced tea and a dessert! Need some dessert ideas?
♥ You may notice that in my pic above I served my salad from a glass champagne bucket. Whoopsie – no big glass dish for me! If you don’t care as much about the presentation you can layer this salad in any bowl that you’d like but make sure it’s large enough to hold the head of lettuce and all its friends.
♥ If you can serve the salad with the layers in tact send me a pic! It’s probably best to toss the salad just before serving. That is, after everyone has already viewed and snapped pics of your multi-layered wonder.
the main stuff:
1 head | iceburg lettuce, chopped
1 box | frozen peas
2 cans | water chestnuts, drained (I added a can to the recipe below)
5 | green onions, chopped
1 cup | swiss cheese, shredded
optional | ham, chopped
optional | black olives, sliced or chopped (I used 2 cans)
optional | hardboiled eggs, chopped
optional | green peppers, chopped
optional | dealer’s choice :)
1 cup | mayonnaise
1 cup | sour cream
½ – 1 teaspoon | sugar (it’s not me, it’s the ’70s calling!)
1 bottle | hormel brand bacon bits (yummm… a bottle)
1 cup | parmesan cheese, shredded
ii. what to do
1. In a large glass dish layer the first five ingredients to form the base of the salad. Add the optional ingredients, as you wish.
2. Mix together the three topping’s ingredients above and spread over the top of the salad. Be sure to cover to the edges to seal. The salad may be covered with plastic wrap and left in the fridge for a day or two or enjoyed now.
3. When ready to serve sprinkle the salad with the bacon bits and the parmesan cheese.
This photo is of Julie’s original Mom’s Layered Salad recipe. I took this pic on her dining room table which is as big and beautiful as Texas. The wood originated from a bowling alley.
Who would have thunk? My spectacular Cousin Julie, that’s who!
Go Loco For Taco
The idea of “magic” was something I was obsessed with when I was in 5th grade. I dreamed of being a professional magician after seeing a store display on Broadway Avenue… a mechanical magician who could perform tricks compliments of his table, a cup and a few eye-shifty shenanigans.
Oh, yeah… I was hooked.
Magically obsessed, one day I drug my Dad and best friend Sean to Central Park Mall to a magic shop. My eyes rest upon on a magic kit and I knew in a blink it was meant for me.
Dad selflessly bought me and Sean each the magic cred (I remember triple digits, so it was a big deal ~ especially in the 70s).
Back at our upstairs playroom at 2927 Trailend, complete with black light, cloth-covered table and my instruction manual cleverly tucked underneath, I performed ~ almost flawlessly ~ some of the tricks I could decipher.
This recipe? Totally easy to make. And especially easy and great to eat!
1 pound | ground beef
½ cup | onion, chopped
1 package | taco seasoning mix
4 ounces | chopped green chilies, drained
1¼ cups | milk
¾ cup | bisquick brand baking mix
3 | cage free eggs
2 | red tomatoes, sliced
1 cup | monterey jack or cheddar cheese, shredded
to garnish | ice burg lettuce, chopped
to garnish | red tomato, chopped
0. Preheat oven to 400°F.
1. Grease a 10½” pie plate and set aside.
2. Cook and stir beef and onion until brown; drain, then stir in taco seasoning mix.
3. Spread in pie plate and top with chilies.
4. With a blender or hand mixer, beat milk, baking mix and eggs until smooth; about 1 minute.
5. Pour into pie plate.
6. Bake pie 25 minutes then remove from oven.
7. Top with sliced tomatoes and cheese; return to oven and bake until knife inserted in the pie’s center returns clean (about 10 minutes).
8. Cool 5 minutes then top with sour cream, chopped tomatoes, shredded lettuce and cheese.
Serves 6-8 Texans
Great For Breakfast Or Dinner
Foodie Tips ~
♥ Wanna spice up life? Add fresh diced jalapeños to the beef before you cook it. Adventurous!