“Lime Fascination Salad with Walnuts” is a soothing pineapple and jello salad for the the hot summer months. Bonnie made a small recipe of the “Carrot Salad with Golden Raisins & Pineapple” which I featured in April. She had crushed pineapple left over and asked for suggestions to use it. Of course, I like to think of ideas and remembered that we ate lots of jello salads with fruit when growing up. One of my favorites was lime jello with pineapple. It also contained cottage cheese and heavy whipping cream. I decided to update the recipe for a more healthy version and substituted Greek yogurt in the recipe. The fruit salad is just as delicious as the ones I remember from my youth!
Some foods definitely belong to my generation and not the millennial generation (or someone born between 1983 and 1996 and coming of age in the Information Age). These ingredients include Jello, powdered Whip Topping and canned soups. I’m sure there are plenty of other foods, too. And there is technology such as a typewriter, a cassette player and a dial telephone that my kids and grand-kids will never know what to do with, too. Those are memories!
Jello salads were once very common; and they make great recipes — I hate to seem jello become out-of-fashion. Jello recipes were standards in school lunches and cafeteria-type restaurants. I remember that my grandmother always fixed jello with peaches for dessert at Sunday dinner when we went to visit her in Ohio. Jello comes in all sorts of flavors and can be used in many ways including fruit salads and vegetable salads. Add whipped cream (or whipped topping) for a creamy, light dessert. I have a couple of different and unique recipes using the various jello flavors along with ingredients such as cabbage, garden fresh vegetables and even chicken. And what about a “jello shot”? I may try some of these recipes again while I can still find jello.
Recipes from Vintage Cookbook
I couldn’t remember the exact ingredients for the lime and pineapple jello salad, so I located a cookbook from years past. This cookbook is full of recipes from the Mennonite congregation in Berne, Indiana. This group of people immigrated to America from Berne, Switzerland, in the 1700’s and some point moved “west” to Indiana. The cookbook includes some interesting traditional German recipes as well as recipes that these families adapted to their new country.
The members of the congregation are primarily farmers. The cookbook, dating from the 1970’s era, contains recipes including cottage cheese and heavy cream as ingredients as would be typical of a farming family. And guess what, there are two pages of pineapple and jello salads. I hit the jackpot.
However, looking more closely, many of the recipes omitted the quantities of ingredients such as the size of the package of the jello box or the size of the can of pineapple. So, I’m taking my best guess.
Here are the ingredients for my updated salad: lime jello, crushed pineapple, sugar, Chobani Whole Milk Plain Greek Yogurt and walnuts. This is the mid-west — I’m using walnuts and not pecans.
Plus, I entered a contest to make a recipe using California walnuts and have several sample packages to use in recipes. Walnuts have many nutritional benefits in addition to their wonderful flavor.
Cooking with Jello
Instant flavored jello needs to be dissolved in hot water (in contrast to plain gelatin which is dissolved in cold water.). So pour the packet of jello into a large, glass bowl along with the sugar. Add 1 cup of boiling water and stir about three minutes until all the small particles are dissolved. Then set the jello over a small bowl of ice to cool it down until it becomes syrupy.
Meanwhile, while the jello is chilling, toast the walnuts in the oven at 350 degrees for five minutes until they become aromatic. Immediately, remove the walnuts from the oven and transfer to a cutting board. Coarsely, chop the walnuts.
When the jello starts to thicken and become syrupy, add in the other ingredients — crushed pineapple (with juice), yogurt and chopped walnuts. Stir until everything is mixed up.
Pour into a 9″ x 9″ casserole dish, cover with plastic wrap and chill until the molded salad becomes firm.
The traditional method was to serve the molded jello salad on a lettuce leaf. Don’t know why, but it just was.
This is delicious and a healthy way to add fruit to your meals. Yogurt, too. Enjoy an old fashioned molded jello salad!
Molded Lime Fascination Salad
- 1 cup water
- 1 (3 oz) box of instant Lime Jello
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup walnut pieces
- 1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple (or 1 cup) with juice
- 1 cup Chobani Whole Milk Plain Greek Yogurt
- Lettuce leaves (optional)
Method and Steps:
- Boil 1 cup water in microwave or on stove.
- Transfer water to large glass or other non-metallic bowl along with lime jello and sugar.
- Stir 3 minutes until the jello is dissolved.
- Fill a small bowl with ice and water. Set the bowl with dissolved jello over the ice water (not in the ice water). Stir occasionally until the jello starts to become syrupy and thick.
- Meanwhile, heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Place the walnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet.
- Bake for 5 minutes. The walnuts will begin to become aromatic. Don’t over bake; they will quickly burn.
- Remove and immediately transfer to a cutting board. Chop coarsely.
- Add the walnuts to the syrupy jello along with the crushed pineapple and juice and yogurt. Stir to combine all ingredients. Some of the yogurt chunks may remain.
- Transfer the fruit and jello concoction to a 9″ x 9″ Pyrex or other similar casserole dish.
- Cover with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator.
- When ready to serve, remove from refrigerator, cut into squares and serve on lettuce leaves, if desired.