One of my favorite things to do is look for vintage and old timey recipes. I decided to scour the internet for depression era recipes for today’s article. I thought it fitting since many items are scarce in grocery stores today. My grocery store is almost always out of flour. Eggs are a hit and miss. Sometimes they have a ton, sometimes none at all.
I always admired people who lived during the great depression. We can, by no means, compare ourselves to what they went through. With shanty towns, food lines and the dust bowl, things were much worse back then. We live in luxury by comparison. With that said, there are certain things that may be hard to get and we can learn a lot from their strength and creativity.
I tried to find recipes that had basic ingredients. Because they were cheaper, hot dogs were often used as the protein. I have included 2 such recipes here. Under normal circumstances, hot dogs wouldn’t be included as an ingredient on this site, but I wanted to include it for authenticity. Feel free to swap out the hot dogs in favor of a healthier meat or sausage. The main point is use what you’ve got on hand and get creative, as they did.
This one looks rather interesting. But, is a perfect fit for our theme today. If you have limited resources, this is a great recipe. The author of the recipe says: “This historic pie has been in our family for many generations and is always at all of the family get-togethers.“
This recipe is a wonderful way to fill some bellies and stretch just a few ingredients a long way. As the recipe author says: “Indulge in the comforts of old-fashioned cooking with this classic recipe for Old Timey Country Potato Soup. This easy potato soup recipe will give you something delicious and hearty to serve anytime you’re debating over what to put on the dinner table.”
These are very interesting and remind me of a similar cake recipe: water cake. From the author of the recipe: “In the 1930s, producers of a popular radio program called Jake and Lena invited listeners to write in for this recipe. My mother changed the name from Jake and Lena Cookies to Poor Man’s Cookies because they contained no eggs, milk or nuts. Despite the name, the cookies are rich in taste!”
If your grocery store is anything like mine, regular flour is a scarcity. If this is the case, and you have corn meal in your pantry, give this recipe a try. With only four ingredients, it couldn’t be easier!
At the time this lovely video was made, in 2009, Clara was 91 years old. In this video below, she shares a staple of life in the depression: poor man’s meal. I highly recommend watching the video. Clara shares some of her history as she makes the meal.
I HATE doing dishes!! If you’re like me, there’s nothing better or easier than a one dish dinner. The article below lists 10 dinners made in ONE POT! YEAH!
“Dirty dishes are generally unavoidable when you’re cooking, but there is no rule that says you can’t use fewer dishes when life calls for it. And I would say life most definitely calls for it right now.”
We know meal prep is a good idea. It helps us eat healthy food and avoid prepackaged, processed food or worse, fast food. However, if you’re like me, you procrastinate, or don’t do it at all. After all, who wants to spend a weekend day cooking? I mean I like to cook, but, weekends are my time with my better half. So, I’ve searched the internet and come up with some super easy and quick ways to meal prep. My personal favorite are the mason jar soup cups. I think this is a brilliant idea!
How to Meal Prep Smoothies
Here’s a smoothie formula along with a video highlighting 3 ways to prep smoothies.
Mason Jar Salads
Who needs to try an make a salad each morning or even the night before. Here’s an infographic for mason jar salads and one mason jar recipe video
The Overnight Oats Builder
Overnight oats are a great way to meal prep breakfast. Below, you’ll see an infographic for overnight oats, along with 2 videos with a total of 7 recipes.
Everyone likes a good burrito bowl! Here is an infographic showing how to build your own, plus a recipe to get those creative juices flowing.
DIY Instant Soup Cups
I LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea! I think it’s brilliant. I created the infographic below based on the recipe video at the bottom of the page. Once the cups are made, store them in the fridge until needed. If you add protein eat it within 2-3 days. When you eat the cups, remove them from the fridge at least 10 minutes prior to consuming. This will prevent the cold jar from breaking when the water is added. When you’re ready, fill the jar with hot water and let it set until it’s heated through. At this point, eat it from the jar, or pour it into a bowl. I haven’t yet tried my own soup cups. However, I will absolutely try them, because my better half loves soup!
These ideas are super quick to put together. You could throw some burrito bowl ingredients in the oven. While that’s cooking, you can make a few soup cups, a couple of jars of overnight oats, and throw together some smoothie packs. Then, put the burrito bowls together when they’re cooked. I estimate this would take 1-2 hours tops. Then you have up to a week of lunches prepped.
I threw this salad together yesterday as a quick lunch. I am currently working on cleaning out my pantry and had some gluten-free spaghetti to use. I also had some left over pepperoni from making homemade calzones. I always try to keep cheese on hand and Braggs is my go to for bottled vinaigrette.
Why do I use Braggs? Because, sometimes I get lazy, and don’t feel like making my own dressing, so I use bottled dressing. I’m sure many of you can relate. HOWEVER, it is nearly impossible to find bottled dressing that DOES NOT contain soy oil. I like Braggs because it has cold pressed olive oil instead of highly processed soy oil. For this recipe, use your favorite vinaigrette, whether bottled or homemade, the choice is yours.
This recipe came together very quickly and I had a lot remaining. Today, when I had some left over, it was a bit dry, so I added a bit more dressing, to jazz it up.
To add even more flavor to this salad, I’d recommend adding some high quality olives. Kalamata olives are my favorite, but you pick your own. I didn’t add olives this time, mainly because I didn’t have any on hand.
Another optional addition would be to top it with parmesan cheese prior to serving. This would add some zest and a bit of nutty flavor to the dish.