I’ve been perusing my enormouse collection of old cookbooks lately hoping something will inspire me.
After scrolling through Pinterest for so long, all of the recipes start to look the same. My vast collection of cookbooks, though, is full of endless opportunities. I’ve got cookbooks from WWII, from the 60’s, from celebrities like Vincent Price and Salvador Dali, to quirky little historical cookbooks from the Oklahoma State Senate and the Centennial.
A lot of what’s inside is the same: the same jello molds (sick!), the same chicken and rice recipes, the same bundt cakes. But every once in a while, I’ll stumble upon some real gold. My recent buried treasure: the Quilt Cottage Cookbook.
This hails from Iowa and was published in 1984, four years before I was even born. The book contains a collection of recipes from the Iowa Quilters Guild, so you know they are downhome, Midwestern, stick-to-your-ribs type recipes. I used a brisket recipe out of the book to make over the weekend and it turned out really tasty. There’s also a few cake recipes I want to make (including a Laura Ingalls Wilder Gingerbread cake recipe!) tucked away in the yellowed pages.
What stood out the most to me in this cookbook was a recipe for spinach salad. It’s a simple spinach salad, but it has a lofty title: Coachman’s Inn Spinach Salad. I have no clue if the place exists anymore, but I sure am glad Marty Woosley snagged the recipe. I’ve been eating this salad for lunch over the last several days and have been craving it for dinner, too.
The salad is super beefy (minus the beef) so it reminded me of one you would get at a steakhouse before your main course. I also liked the poor man’s tomato vinaigrette it called for—it’s sweet and tangy and extra beefy as well (thanks Worcestershire sauce). The dressing, plus the salad ingredients, makes for a special lunch treat.
Pro-Tip: I prep all my salad ingredients over the weekend and then put them in tupperware so I can easily assemble my salads throughout the week. I sliced up onion and put it in a ziploc bag, made the dressing and kept it in a container, then put the other ingredients (bacon, sliced mushrooms and egg) in a container for easy access.
Steakhouse Spinach Salad
A hearty spinach salad with a cheap and easy tomato vinaigrette.
- 4 cups baby spinach
- 4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and sliced
- 4 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 a red onion, sliced
For the Poor Man’s Tomato Vinaigrette:
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1/4 cup salad vinegar
- 2 TBS. ketchup
- 1 TBS. Worcestershire
- 1 tsp. sugar
- In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients.
- Make the salad: top a bed of spinach with sliced eggs, crumbled bacon, sliced mushrooms and sliced onions. Toss with dressing and serve.
In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients.
Make the salad: top a bed of spinach with sliced eggs, crumbled bacon, sliced mushrooms and sliced onions. Toss with dressing and serve.