I know it’s not cool to admit this and I’m definitely dating myself, but I
like love jello, especially the molded salads made with Jell-O gelatin that you can count on to show up on holiday dinner tables all around America this time of year.
They certainly classify as “retro” or “vintage side dishes,” the topic of this month’s Recipe Redux.
Jello salads were one of my favorite side dishes growing up in the 60s and 70s. I loved their colorful, sweet, jiggly presence on our table, most often for Sunday dinners and holiday meals.
I first learned to make jello salads with my grandmother, who seemed to pass on her love of them to my mother. The flavor and ingredient combinations were endless.
Unfortunately, most of those salads, while tasty, were loaded with less than healthy stuff – sour cream, cream cheese and mayonnaise – for example. Making regular appearances were orange jello with cream cheese, cool whip and mandarin oranges; lime jello with cream cheese, mayonnaise, pineapple and marshmallows; and red jello with cranberry sauce and sour cream.
So for this month’s Recipe Re-dux I’ve decided to resurrect the jello salad of my youth, but give it a healthy makeover by removing a lot of the excess fat. It’s an easy-to-make American cranberry classic perfect for the holidays. I made it with regular jello, but you could always use sugar-free jello instead. With just 2 PointsPlus per serving it’s a fun guiltless indulgence.
Food snobs may be tempted to turn up their noses. I’m unapologetic. You like what you like. I think a simple jello salad has the power to bring a smile to the child lurking within each of us.
- 1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple, in it’s own juice
- 1 package (3 ounces) raspberry flavored gelatin
- 1 can (14 ounces) whole berry cranberry sauce
- ¼ cup chopped celery
- ¼ cup chopped nuts
- Drain pineapple, saving the juice. Add enough water to the juice to total 1-1/4 cups of liquid. In a saucepan, bring the liquid to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the gelatin until it’s dissolved. Break up the cranberry sauce with a fork and stir it into the gelatin mixture. Cool until the mixture begins to thicken and then stir in the crushed pineapple, celery and nuts. Pour into a mold and chill until set.