Last-Minute Thanksgiving Tips and Tricks
Whip up a fabulous holiday feast in a hurry.
Lighten Thanksgiving Side Dishes
You probably won't find large Jell-O salads already made (I've seen only
small tubs of prepared Jell-O salad at the market), but making them is a snap.
If you're making a layered salad (see recipe below) your biggest challenge is
having to wait a few hours before you make the second layer (the first layer
needs time to gel in the refrigerator).
When making your favorite Jell-O salads, there are a few easy things you can
do to lighten them up:
- Use sugar-free Jell-O for at least one of the layers.
- For recipes that call for mayo, use
light or low-fat mayonnaise.
- For recipes that call for cream cheese, use light cream cheese instead
(fat-free cream cheese may not go over as well with all your guests).
- For recipes that call for Cool Whip, use light Cool Whip.
Generally this is a dish you have to make at home, but basically it involves
nothing more than assembling the ingredients into the baking dish. Some recipes
even call for canned sweet potatoes or yams.
Keep these dishes light by using less butter than the recipe calls for (add
some fruit juice in its place), half the marshmallows called for, and
substituting Splenda for half the sugar, if desired. You can also use egg
substitute instead of some of the eggs.
Light & Festive Cranberry Jell-O Salad
A Pyrex or see-through 9x13-inch dish works well, because you can see the
colorful layers from the side.
1 (0.6-ounce) box Sugar Free Cranberry Jell-O (makes 4
16-ounce can whole cranberry sauce
1 (6-ounce) box Lime Jell-O
8 ounces light cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple (in juice), drained
8 ounces light Cool Whip (or similar light topping)
2/3 cup walnut or pecan pieces
- Stir 2 cups boiling water into cranberry Jell-O powder in medium bowl, and
stir until completely dissolved (about 2 minutes). Stir in 2 cups ice water.
Then whisk in the can of cranberry sauce. Pour mixture into a 9x13-inch dish
and, with your whisk, spread the cranberries so they are evenly distributed in
the pan. Refrigerate 3-4 hours.
- Stir 2 cups of boiling water into lime JELL-O powder in medium bowl, and
stir until completely dissolved (about 2 minutes). Whisk in the light cream
cheese until mixture is creamy. Stir in 2 cups cold water and the pineapple.
Slowly pour this mixture over the gelled cranberry layer. Put back in the
refrigerator for 3-4 hours.
- Just before serving, spread the light whipped topping over the top and
sprinkle with walnut or pecan pieces.