Thursday, November 3, 2011

New Feature: Think Thin Thursdays...

...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
pinch nutmeg
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.

Serves 2

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.

Serves 2

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.

Vanilla Pudding

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.

Serves 6

From "Cornstarch Custard" in Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book (Minneapolis: Macmillan and General Mills, 1950), 219.


  1. Karen/Small Earth VintageNovember 3, 2011 at 10:00 AM

    Love the graphics on the book cover!

  2. Myra Waldo was also the author (with Gertrude Berg) of the Molly Goldberg Jewish Cookbook (1955)--an excellent cookbook. Waldo was prolific and wide ranging.

    I can't get over that Vogue photo--I'm shocked by the decolletage (is that the right word?)--the shirt seems to be open pretty far down for 1957.

  3. I am giggling over the name of the book - what a fun find! And that vanilla pudding does sounds good...

  4. Those were very glamorous days indeed. The Slenderella Cookbook was a great find. It's nice to be able to eat well and still be slender and glamorous. Thank you for sharing these recipes with Vintage Recipe Thursday, Lauren. :-)

  5. Yummy! (and healthy!) Thank you for the sweet comment!
    xo, Elsie

  6. I like that squash recipe a lot. I love squash in the winter. Not sure about the pork chops though. I haven't cooked chops in years...But I might try it. It all looks good.

  7. What an awesome find! These recipes look great! Thanks so much for your visits to my blog :)

  8. What a fun project! I just love old cookbooks. I honestly didnt know they were counting calories back then, I thought it was all slathered in crisco ;) I love the title of the book! That's catchy!~

  9. Love the cover of the Slenderella cookbook, looks like it was well used. I'm going to have to introduce Think Thin Thursdays here at Silver Screen Suppers Towers. A week working at home where the fridge is just a very short trip from the desk is proving very bad for the waistline!

  10. LOL, "Slenderella" is a cute name. This meal looks perfectly delish - if there are so few calories in it, I am all for it. I am especially keen to try the 'nilla pudding.

  11. I'm glad to see you've already put Slenderella (what a name) to good use! I wasn't sure with all the sugar substitutes that you'd be able to use it...

  12. omg that cookbook is fabulous!


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