Quick & Easy Mandarin Orange Jello Salad
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- 24 oz carton cottage cheese (i use small curd)
- 3 oz boxes orange-flavored gelatin (or one large box)
- 4 oz
- whipped topping (half an 8 oz tub)
- small cans mandarin orange slices in light syrup, drained (or 1 large can, drained)
1In a large bowl, thoroughly combine the cottage cheese with the Jello. Mixture will be a little grainy due to undissolved sugar (you can stir it until it dissolves, but I never do and it comes out fine - sugar will usually dissolve during refrigeration, but if it doesn't, it's no big deal).
2Fold in the whipped topping until evenly incorporated. Don't get too vigorous with this as it's possible to stir out all the loft in the topping.
3Make sure the oranges are well drained (if you're frugal you can use the juice to flavor/sweeten something else). OPTIONAL - Reserve several orange sections for decoration - (I usually pull out 16 well-formed slices). Next, gently stir the remaining fruit into the Jello mixture until well distributed. Remember, don't over-do it or you'll lose too much loft from the whipped topping and the dish will be runny.
4Transfer mixture to serving dish, smooth top and (OPTIONAL) arrange reserved orange sections in attractive design (I put a slice at each of the clock numbers, all facing the same direction, plus a "flower" of 4 in the center, usually facing the opposite direction from the numbered slices). Cover; refrigerate. Serve cold.
This can easily be made lower calorie or diabetic friendly by choosing dietetic options for the ingredients. Be forewarned, however, if you use a dietetic product for every option, you will probably be disappointed in the flavor.
If you want more of a Dreamsicle flavor, you can add half a teaspoon of vanilla extract.