Monday, July 16, 2012

Pineapple Cheesecake Apple Salad (Dessert)

I'm not really sure if this delicious dish qualifies as a salad or dessert!  I suppose it might depend on at what point of the meal you enjoy eating it. If you take a few bites of this sweet, tart dish between bites of your savory main dish, I suppose it's a salad. If you save all the bites of crunchy apple wrapped in cheesecake flavored fluff, it's more like a dessert. Any time you decide to dig in, it's delicious.

I first had this dish at a family potluck at the lake several summers ago. I took a bite expecting something like a waldorf salad.  My taste buds detected the crunchy, tart apple pieces and the sweetness of the pineapple, but it took a few more bites to put my tongue on just what made this dish so incredibly dessert-like. The secret ingredient? Cheesecake flavored pudding mix. The best part? This pudding flavor from Jell-o comes only in a sugar free, fat free version. Mixed with fruit and some fat free (or low fat cool whip) and you've got a low calorie dish that can easily replace many of the fat laden dishes that often appear on potluck tables around the country.

I have taken this dish to many gatherings over the years and it always disappears quickly. I decided to make a batch today because I thought the sweet tartness would be a good ending to our pork carnitas dinner. Tonight we'll enjoy it as "dessert".  We're still recovering from the extra calories we consumed while on vacation a week ago so any low calorie treats I can fit on the menu are welcomed.

This dish is one that is relatively inexpensive to put together if you're in need of a dish to bring to a potluck gathering. I picked up cans of pineapple for 50 cents a can using store specials and coupons. The pudding is a little trickier to find. I usually can find it at Walmart for under $1, but I have not had as much luck finding this particular flavor at local Kroger or Meijer. I almost always have a container of $1 Cool Whip on hand in my freezer. I've made it with both fat free and low fat; I can't tell a huge difference in the end result. I picked up a couple of Granny Smith apples on my last grocery trip for around $1.

Here's the recipe:

Pineapple Cheesecake Apple Salad
1 can crushed pineapple
1 pkg cheesecake flavored pudding mix
2 large Granny Smith apples, chopped
1 container Fat Free or Low Fat Whipped Topping

1. Place crushed pineapple (and juice) into a large mixing bowl.
2. Add pudding mix and stir to combine.
3. Add chopped apples and mix.
4. Fold in whipped topping.
5. Refrigerate at least 2 hours. (actually tastes better the next day!)

Pineapple Cheesecake Apple Salad
Tart, crunchy apples, sweet pineapple held together by cheesecake fluff. . .YUMMY!

What's your favorite recipe that can be placed into two categories?

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