1940's Liberal Tuesday Meal Plan (2024)

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1940's Liberal Tuesday Meal Plan

August 9, 2021 | Updated April 19, 2022 | Laura

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1940's Liberal Tuesday Meal Plan (1)


✽ The Lily Wallace New American Cook Book's editor-in-chief was Lily Haxworth Wallace. The cookbook was copyrighted by Books, Inc. in 1941. I am currently using the 1946 edition.

✽ You may be able to find used versions of this cookbook (from various publication years) on Amazon. Check it out here! (affiliate link)

The purpose of this Old Recipes section of my blog is to talk about and show pictures of actual meal plans from the 1940s.

Since I didn't create these recipes, I do not post the exact recipe ingredients or word-for-word instructions. My 1946 copy of The Lily Wallace New American Cook Book was found at a garage sale. If you are looking for a copy of this book, I suggest looking on Amazon, Etsy, Ebay, garage sales, estate sales, and library sales.


Lily Wallace New American Cook Book from 1946

I acquired a copy of The Lily Wallace New American Cook Book. I was immediately intrigued by the recipes inside. It's like stepping into the past, and I love it.

This cookbook was written by Lily Haxworth Wallace in 1946. She was a home economics lecturer and writer.

This book came out right after World War II so it holds a lot of fun things such as entertaining, meal plans for all budgets, dieting, how a housewife should be running their home, vitamins, and how to set a table.

This cookbook is packed full of recipes including some pretty strange ones. Anybody care for a Orange Tomato Aspic or maybe you'd prefer the Pineapple and Cheese Salad?

My favorite part of this cookbook besides all of the simple, delicious, and straight-to-the-point recipes are the meal plans in the back.

Originally, I had my mind set on completing an entire week of 1940 cooking. I changed my mind about halfway through making the grocery list.. It's just too much for me.

A HUGE round of applause for any housewife that was able to get all this cooking done plus the other 1000 things I'm sure she had to do as well.

There's four weekly meal plans in the book: Liberal Diet, Moderate-Cost Adequate Diet, Minimum-Cost Adequate Diet, and Restricted Diet for Emergency Use.

The Liberal Diet was listed first so that's what I went with. This plan was made for those with $3,000 or over in annual income, and "provides abundantly the nutrients needed by young and old for the enjoyment of buoyant health."

For reference, $3,000 in 1946 is about $43,000 in today's world (2021).

Each day has breakfast, lunch, and dinner listed. I have already completed the Monday meal plan. So on to Tuesday, it is!

Looking for more 1940s recipes to read about?

→ Check out all of the 1940s meal plans that I've completed so far!

1940s Tuesday Breakfast

1940's Liberal Tuesday Meal Plan (2)

First thing in the morning, I started working on breakfast. It seems as if traditional American breakfasts have not changed much over the years.

The menu was melon, scrambled eggs, toast, and coffee.

I chose a canteloupe for my melon and cut it into slices.

The scrambled eggs were cooked low and slow. Just like Julia Child's scrambled eggs! Milk, pepper, salt, and butter were beaten into the eggs.

One thing I'll mention- the salt. The recipe calls for 3/4 teaspoon of salt for 6 eggs. I thought it was a lot putting it in there, and I was right. Those eggs were salty. Not too salty to eat but none-the-less salty.

Toast was toast, and coffee was coffee.

Overall, a really great weekday breakfast!

Side note- I'm so excited to be using these plates! They were my great-grandma's, and it's such a joy to be using them for these 1940's meals!

1940s Tuesday Lunch

1940's Liberal Tuesday Meal Plan (3)

Lunch menu was carrot and bell pepper salad, sharp cheese, and bran muffins with jelly.

I thought the carrot and bell pepper salad was great. This is coming from somebody who isn't a big fan of bell peppers.

However, I am a big fan of cold mayonnaise salad, and this is exactly what that is. Besides the intense crunching that happens when you eat this salad, it's quite delightful.

As for the bran muffins, I was worried when making them. The ingredients seemed blah to me (flour, bran, sugar, egg, milk, shortening, and dried fruit).

The batter was also soo thick- almost like a bread dough. I decided to add in a little more egg which I think was the right call because the muffins turned out the be a great consistency after baking.

The muffins were also really delicious especially when served with a big glob of grape jelly.

Lastly, there was a plate of sharp cheddar cheese. If you've read any of my previous blogs, you know I LOVE cheese so this was a big win in my book.

In fact, I think the cheese would have been wonderful mixed into the carrot and bell pepper salad.

1940s Tuesday Lunch Dessert

1940's Liberal Tuesday Meal Plan (4)

We had dessert on a weekday during the middle of the day! This was so wild to me. Can you imagine coming home to your wife during your lunch break and her serving you a piece of cake and hot cocoa?

Sounds amazing but a rarity in 2021, indeed.

The piece of cake was supposed to be the leftover honey cake from the previous day. Since I'm not making these meal plans right after each other, I had no leftover honey cake so I opted for buying some cake at the store.

I know, I know. Not very 1940's housewife of me, but it really helped save my sanity.

I picked up some apple cake, whipped up some homemade hot cocoa, and we enjoyed a nice early afternoon dessert together.

1940s Tuesday Dinner

1940's Liberal Tuesday Meal Plan (5)

Dinner's menu consisted of cold ham, creamed celery, beets, baked peaches, and rolls.

Same thing with the ham as with the dessert. It was supposed to be leftover from the previous day so I just picked some ham steaks up at the store and served them cold.

The creamed celery wasn't my favorite thing, but my husband said he didn't mind it.

It's basically just boiled celery in a white sauce. The recipe says you can bake it in the oven with a breadcrumb and cheese crust which I think helped make it taste a little better.

The beets were pretty much just beets. They were boiled until tender, sliced, seasoned, and buttered.

The rolls were so so good! They are called crusty water rolls which means you bake them in the oven with a pan of water. This makes the outside of them really crunchy while the inside stays soft and fluffy.

These rolls, however, take hours to make due to having to wait for them to rise. This means you pretty much start prepping for dinner right after you finish you that dessert from lunch.

Lastly, the peaches were really good too and so simple to make. Canned peach halves are covered in brown sugar and lemon juice and baked until browned. That's it!

If somebody told me to close my eyes and picture a dinner from the 1940's, this is what I would picture. This was a good dinner and a very fancy one for us on a weekday.

This day WORE ME OUT!

Whew! I don't think I sat down all day. Good news though- I think I burned off all the calories I ate today and probably more!

Stay tuned for next 1940's day coming soon! But not too soon, a girl gotta have some rest in between these days.

Category: Old Recipes Cuisine: American
Keywords: 1940 recipes, 1940s recipes, 1940s recipes menu, lily wallace, lily wallace new american cookbook

✽ Would you enjoy this 1940s menu?
→ Let me know by leaving a comment below!

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  • 1940's Liberal Tuesday Meal Plan (12)

More Old Meal Plans:

1940s Monday Meal Plan
1940s Wednesday Meal Plan
1940s Thursday Meal Plan
→ Check out all of the completed old recipes!

Bon appétit!

August 9, 2021 by Laura Ehlers

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1940's Liberal Tuesday Meal Plan (2024)


What was the diet in the 1940s? ›

1940s. In the 1940s, the Second World War was ongoing and food rationing was introduced. Meat, cheese, butter, cooking fats and sugar were heavily restricted, but potatoes, other root vegetables and bread were freely available. People ate a diet much higher in carbohydrates and lower in fats than we do today.

What did people eat for breakfast in 1942? ›

Breakfast: Grapefruit halves, prepared cereal, poached eggs, toasted bran bread, milk and coffee. Electric Institute of Washington test kitchen.

How to eat like the 40s? ›

I call it the Victory Garden Diet ™. Because meat, fats, dairy, and sugars were in limited supply, 1940s eating included a lot more fruits and vegetables than we eat in modern times. Families were encouraged to plant “Victory Gardens” so that more food could be used to feed soldiers.

What were the 7 food groups in the 1940s? ›

In the 1940s, the number of food groups expanded to 7 through “The Basic 7” (green and yellow vegetables; oranges, tomatoes, and grapefruit; potatoes and other vegetables and fruit; milk and milk products; meat, poultry, fish, or eggs; bread, flour, and cereals; and butter and fortified margarine) (10).

What did people snack on in 1940? ›

Other favorites of the time were Bazooka Bubble Gum, Licorice candies, Turkish Taffy, DOTS Candy, Jolly Ranchers, Whoppers Malted Milk Balls, Mike & Ike, and Rain-Blo Bubble Gum. Snacks that emerged during the '40s include Cheerios, Raisin Bran, Chiquita Bananas, Junior Mints, Almond Joy, V8, and Cheetos.

What did dogs eat in the 1940s? ›

The Rise of Commercial Pet Food

During World War II, metal rationing halted all production of canned pet foods, and manufacturers began focusing on dry foods, selling them to customers by promoting the convenience factor. By the mid-1940s, there were two types of dry food: biscuits and kibble; and pellets.

What did poor people eat in WWII? ›

During the war, governments (including the British and American government) introduced the rationing of food supplies. This was done to ensure that everyone at least got some of the little food that was available. Foods that were rationed included meat, fats, milk, sugar, eggs, and coffee.

What was a typical breakfast in the 1940s? ›

1940s: Mint, orange juice, and apple butter

A sample brunch menu includes: orange juice topped with mint, creamed ham and mushrooms, waffles de luxe, maple syrup, apple butter, coffee, and milk. Notable breakthroughs: General Mills rolls out CheeriOats in 1941; the name is changed to Cheerios in 1945.

Were people healthier in the 1940s? ›

The wartime food shortages forced people to adopt new eating patterns. Most people ate less meat, fat, eggs and sugar than they had eaten before. But people who had a poor diet before, were able to increase their intake of protein and vitamins because they received the same ration as everybody else.

What food was invented in 1944? ›

Though it would be another decade before they'd be renamed “TV dinners,” frozen prepackaged dinner trays got their start in 1944. They were created by avid inventor William L. Maxson for the U.S. Navy's transatlantic flights. He also invented the first air fryer, to cook the frozen dinners on those flights.

How healthy were people in the 1940s? ›

Overall, the health of the nation improved in the 1940s. The number of infant deaths fell as infections became easier to treat. The number of people aged sixty-five and over increased from 6.9 percent of the population to 8.2 percent.

How many calories did they eat in the 1940s? ›

Throughout the war each person was allocated a scientifically devised weekly provision of specific foods. We often think of rationing as a 'starvation diet' but the daily calorific value was around 3000 calories. This is up to 1000 more than we are recommended today – so was it still good for us?

What did people eat for breakfast in the 40s? ›

1940s: Mint, orange juice, and apple butter

A sample brunch menu includes: orange juice topped with mint, creamed ham and mushrooms, waffles de luxe, maple syrup, apple butter, coffee, and milk. Notable breakthroughs: General Mills rolls out CheeriOats in 1941; the name is changed to Cheerios in 1945.

What was the diet in the 1950s? ›

There was no such thing as the keto diet in the 1950s—meat and potatoes reigned supreme. You'd find hearty main dishes like Salisbury steak, beef stroganoff and meat loaf on a '50s dinner menu, plus scrumptious sides. Casseroles were also popular, particularly those featuring seafood or ham.


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