Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I Heart the 80s

Although I'm busy promoting my current cookbook, Cookin' Crunk, I'm also working hard on the next book, a collection of veganized trendy foods of the past century. So far, I've been focusing on the 50s and 60s because those decades are kinda sexy. But the book will also include dishes from more modern times, like the 80s and 90s.

I was born in 1980. I grew up eating Pop-Tarts, Pop Rocks, and (my personal fave) Franco American macaroni and cheese in a can (anyone remember that stuff? God, I loved that). Anyway, I created a few 80s dishes this week, one of which was Blackened Tofu:


In my 80s research, I've been running across a lot of recipes for blackened fish or blackened chicken, so why not blackened tofu? It's just marinated, baked tofu coated in spices like chili powder, cayenne, and garlic powder. I did learn one lesson though. Cut back the cayenne. I love spicy food, so I used a whole teaspoon of cayenne for one pound of tofu. It was okay for me, but I know it's way to spicy for a normal palette. I'll work on that. Recipes come about by trail and error.

On the side, I made one of my very favorite 80s recipes — Ramen Noodle Slaw:


My mom makes Ramen slaw every Thanksgiving, and I just LOVE THIS STUFF! Mainly because I'm a Ramen addict (and yes, I always capitalize Ramen because it's that glorious). Anyway, it's cabbage, carrots, and green onions mixed with crunchy Ramen noodles, sunflower seeds, and almonds. The dressing is unlike most other Ramen slaw recipes I've seen because I use WAY less oil and butter. And I retain the seasoning packet because why would you want to throw that goodness out?

What 80s foods would you like to see veganized? I'm up for a challenge and I am willing to try to make homemade versions of packaged foods that were popular back then. In the 80s, everything came in a box or a bag.

16 comments:

radioactivegan said...

You can't forget about Shake and Bake, which may have been an early 90s thing .. but it was so ubiquitous for a while!

Josh said...

Chef Boyardee pizza in a box! My mom made that every Friday in the 80s and then we watched Dukes of Hazard (and then I had to go to bed when Dallas came on). They still actually make this, but I'm sure it's different from what it was in the 80s.

Scissors and Spice said...

Yes! Shake and Bake! I had a dish a Blossom in NYC that tasted JUST like my dad's Shake and Bake pork chops!

Kittee Bee Berns said...

I ate a lot of cheese fondue and french bread.

Anna said...

We used to eat a lot of Hamburger Helper, I really liked that! Also hot dogs with cheese inside them, they were equally gross and lovely.

If you need any testers I'd love to help out!

Barb@ThatWasVegan said...

Beenie Weenies! :)

laceylovesfood said...

The 80s: pasta salad, bread bowls, froyo, wine coolers, fruit roll ups, fish sticks (ewwww), grapefruits. I say grapefruit because my mom totally went on a grapefruit diet in the 80s. I'd also say carbs, because I remember my mom doing this all carb diet, it was vegetarian I think.

AbsurdistGap said...
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AbsurdistGap said...

What a clever idea for a book! I love it. And I hope you'll have some really great casseroles from the 50's. For some reason, I love a casserole.

Also, I second on that tester thing!! Please email me if you need testing. I'm super-thorough. Melissa@foodandloathing.com

moonsword said...

I seem to remember lots of string cheese, yogurt, microwave popcorn, pudding and pop tarts...and yes, oodles of Ramen! I also seem to remember that Tofutti came out back then too, and it was worse than frozen paper pulp. I'm superthankful that we have so many vegan frozen dessert options (and recipes) now! :)
Vegan string cheese...now that would be fun, and a great snacky food for vegan kids if it tasted superyummy! Does anyone make such a thing?

mrsmeyer said...

Cream dried beef on toast (aka sh*t on a shingle)!

*Autumn Tao* said...

Ellios frozen pizza :}

*Autumn Tao* said...
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Nikki said...

I love Ramen too. But my fave from the 80's were the spaghetti-O's with the fake little meatballs. If you could make a vegan version of that I would be very very happy :)

Susan G said...

I remember that mac and cheese! It had long thick noodles like udon.

My personal favorite was Fruit Float (fruit pudding mix in a can), but that may have been a 70's thing. It has a cult following on the web!

tender b. said...

Ellio's frozen pizza, haven't thought of that stuff in years. How true about everything in a box. I remember lots of hamburger helper and micro magic microwaveable meals in my house.