1980’s Recipes – Living in the Fast Lane

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Cajun Meat Loaf

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Cajun Meat Loaf

About the Recipe:  This meatloaf has a wonderful blend of flavors with a light spicy touch.  It is delicious served with the sauce and garnished with cilantro and chopped multi-colored sweet chopped peppers. We served this with baked golden potatoes and a fresh salad.  I also think the sauce would be wonderful tossed with shredded beef on a sandwich.  I was surprised that it wasn’t as spicy as I expected.  Also, to make his recipes easier, prepare some of the seasoning mixture ahead of time to use when you are cooking.

pdf for Copy of Recipe – Cajun Meat Loaf

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AND SO THE STORY GOES… Chef Paul Prudhomme was the youngest of thirteen children and his family worked the land as sharecroppers.  They raised their own vegetables and animals for food.  He felt that fabulous food is a part of Cajun pride.  When I met him at a food convention, he was freely handing out samples of his seasoning mix and shared all of his special recipes.   Chef Paul Prudhomme, a sharecropper’s son, became a celebrity chef by sharing what he loved the most.

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1980’s        Living in the Fast Lane
Less Calories, Less Fat, and Less Mess;
Top Trends – Comfort, Ethnic, and Gourmet Nouvelle Cuisine

What’s Happening?

The “me generation” of the 80’s had less time to just sit around; they were movers.  They wanted less calories, less fat, and less mess. Their mantra was make it fast, easy, and healthy.  Microwave ovens soared to the forefront, cooking everything from eggs to steak in minutes. Stores stocked their shelves with new convenient products such as bagged salad, cut-up carrots, quick sauces, pudding pops, bottled dressings, wine coolers, diet soda, lo-cal products, and meals like Lean Cuisine. This was also the time when a seed was planted that would change future generations, Whole Food Market opened up a larger retail natural food store.

Everything in their life was bigger and brighter, filled with new technology, fashions, and lots of entertainment.  Women greeted a job market dressed in power suits with shoulder pads. Cable television with new stations like 24-hour MTV, CNN, and HBO became part of everyday life. Computers were their new toys and resources.  The hip-hop crowd loved break dancing with new music and moves to heavy metal groups. Their food was quick and convenient or rich and indulgent with soaring salads and giant plates. Comfort, ethnic, and gourmet Nouvelle cuisine were top picks.

The best part was that everyone seemed to fit in somewhere. Lawmakers passed the Refugee Act, and programs such as 60 minutes and 20/20 drew large audiences.  Reactions to famine generated “We Are the World” and “Live Aid,” and a sensitivity and awareness to AIDS grew.

President Ronald Reagan, an astute communicator played “cat and mouse” with Soviet Premier Gorbachev. In Berlin, Germany, he even challenged him saying, “Tear down this wall.”  Reagan’s optimistic style and reassuring nature appealed to the public, generating support for Reaganomics, supply-side economics.

Did you know these foods were popular?  Poppyseed Dressing and Raspberry Vinaigrette, Seven Layer Dip, Pesto, California Sushi,  Spinach Artichoke Dip, Pizza Everything, Pasta Salads, Cajun Foods like Blackened Catfish Fajitas, Stuffed French Toast, Coq au Vin Rosettes, Praline Yams.