...where we'll have fun with diet food from the past! I picked up a copy of The Slenderella Cook Book (published in 1957) on an antiquing trip while my parents were here visiting. It's written by a lady who was the "food consultant to Pan American Airways." Can't get more glamorous in 1957 than that!
This dinner is from the 1200-calorie-menus section (that's for the whole day). I've changed the squash and pudding recipes, because I don't use sugar substitutes. Oh, and I left out the vegetable soup, because I'm lazy. I was surprised by how tasty 585 calories could be--the pork chops and squash have excellent sweet and savory flavor and the vanilla pudding in its cool and creamy goodness is so much better than the stuff from a box. Eat like this and you'll be in those shorts in no time! :-)
Pork Chop and Apple Casserole
2 thin boneless pork chops
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1 crisp and tart apple, cored and thinly sliced
2 teaspoons golden raisins
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 cup chicken stock
sprinkle of dried thyme or 1 sprig fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 sprig parsley
Preheat oven to 375˚ Fahrenheit. Preheat broiler, as well.
Place pork chops in a single layer in an oven-proof lidded skillet. Broil 5 minutes on each side then season pork chops with salt and pepper. Add the remaining ingredients and give everything a stir. Put the lid on the skillet and return to oven and bake 1 hour.
To serve, place each pork chop on a plate and top with onion/apple/raisin mixture. Discard the bay leaf and the parsley and thyme sprigs.
Adapted from "Pork Chops and Apple Casserole" in Myra Waldo, The Slenderella Cook Book (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1957), 159.
Brown Sugar and Ginger Baked Acorn Squash
1/2 acorn squash, seeds and stringy bits scraped out
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
pinch ground ginger
Preheat oven to 375˚ Fahrenheit. Brush the cut side of the squash with the melted butter then season well with salt and pepper. Place cut side down on a small baking sheet and bake 40 minutes. Meanwhile, but the brown sugar in a small bowl and stir in the pinch of ginger. Set aside.
After squash has baked 40 minutes, take it out of the oven, turn it over and sprinkle the cut side with the brown sugar/ginger mixture. Leaving the cut side up, return the squash to the oven and bake 20 more minutes.
Adapted from "Squash with Three Toppings" in Everyday Food October 2005, 132 and "Baked Acorn Squash" in Myra Waldo, The Slenderella Cook Book (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1957), 182.
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 eggs or 2 egg yolks
2 cups milk
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch and salt. Whisk in the egg and whisk until mixture is smooth. Whisk in the milk a bit at a time.
Place the saucepan over medium-high heat and whisk until mixture comes up to a boil (will take about 10 to 15 minutes). Let the mixture boil a full minute, still whisking, then remove from the heat.
Whisk in the butter until it melts then whisk in the vanilla. Divide pudding between six ramekins or custard cups (or other small dishes). Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled.
From "Cornstarch Custard" in Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book (Minneapolis: Macmillan and General Mills, 1950), 219.