Category Archives: Recipes

Posts that contain recipes for HASTY TASTY MEALS

Watergate Salad Revisited

Remember Watergate Salad? That pistachio pudding confection that appeared at Shoney’s salad bars, church potluck dinners, and holiday dinners. Dole published their version, featuring Dole canned crushed pineapple of course, and Jello had theirs, featuring Jello Instant Pistachio Pudding mix. There are variations (some added coconut). This ubiquitous dessert has remained a favorite and continues to make its appearance at dinners and buffets.

Why is it called Watergate Salad? Good question. It’s not a salad and it didn’t originate in Washington DC at the Watergate complex. Unconfirmed stories claim a food writer titled it after Jello introduced its pistachio pudding because the Watergate wiretapping coverup was in the headlines. The name may be silly, but it stuck.

I recently came across my copy of the recipe, handwritten some 40 years ago by Rachel, my late mother-in-law. Making Watergate Salad today was like a visit with her. So, in Rachel’s memory, I made her version of the recipe.

Watergate Salad

Serves 8

🔘1 package instant pudding mix, pistachio*

🔘1 20 oz can crushed pineapple + juice

🔘1 8 oz tub non dairy whipped topping (thawed)

🔘1 cup miniature marshmallows

🔘½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts

🔘1 small jar maraschino cherries, drained and halved

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Refrigerate. Serve.

That’s it. Simple, easy, and light. No wonder this dish is still a favorite.

*To cut calories, I use the sugar-free Jello Instant pudding, but I recommend using regular whipped topping. The fat free and sugar-free versions don’t save many calories, and the texture and taste are significantly better in the regular or extra creamy varieties.

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Pot Pie in an Air Fryer Oven

I hate to waste food, don’t you? That’s why my freezer has little bags of cooked leftovers, just waiting to be used in a stew, casserole, or pot pie.

Today I wanted to make a pot pie from turkey breast leftovers but without heating the oven in my Florida kitchen. So I experimented with my NuWave Bravo air fryer oven. No recipe is required for a pot pie. Mix vegetables in a gravy, cook, and top with dough. Seriously. It’s that easy.

All I need to create a turkey pot pie.

There are a few supermarket helpers you can keep on hand to simplify pot pie, such as pie crust dough, condensed cream of mushroom or chicken soups, and frozen mixed vegetables. You can vary the ingredients and approach, yet it’s basically meat, vegetables, gravy/sauce, and a crust.*

Steam vegetables and add gravy to create filling.

As for today’s experiment, I preheated the air fryer oven for about three minutes at 375°F. After I assembled my turkey pot pie, I placed it in the air fryer oven for 8 minutes (ovens vary—when you smell the aroma, it’s done).

Place dough atop filling.

*Don’t have a crust or time to make one? Top the filling with mashed potatoes for a cottage or shepherds pie.

Next time you need to do a refrigerator crisper drawer (or freezer leftovers) clean-out, think pot pie.

Air fryer oven pot pie

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Filed under kitchen equipment, Turkey Recipes, Vegetables

Potluck Casseroles

It’s the holiday season. Usually this means holiday gatherings and covered dish dinners, but in 2020 … not so much. Yet I am always gathering ideas and recipes for easy, make-ahead meals for a crowd or a few.

Today I made one I call Philly-Cheese Casserole. You can modify this versatile dish in many ways to suit your tastes. Just follow the basics: Layer potatoes, ground meat, aromatic vegetables, and top with cheese. Bake covered at 350°F for 70-75 minutes.

Recipe

Philly-cheesesteak Casserole

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1 pound potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/4”
  • 1 pound ground Chuck*
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 large can diced tomatoes and green chilies, drained
  • 8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper
  • Optional: parsley for garnish

*Don’t go too lean on the ground meat. The fat content works to flavor the casserole. There is no added fat or liquid in this dish.

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In a casserole dish layer potato slices on the bottom. Salt and pepper.
  • Add the ground Chuck. Salt and pepper.
  • Layer peppers and onions atop the meat. Salt and pepper.
  • Spread the canned diced tomatoes.
  • Top casserole with the shredded cheese.
  • Cover and bake for 75 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  • Remove casserole from oven, uncover, and allow it to cool 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh parsley if desired.

Casseroles like this one can be made ahead a day or even frozen. Just give an extra 5 minutes baking time.

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Filed under casseroles, onions, potatoes, Recipes, sweet peppers, tomatoes

Cheesecake under Pressure

Cheesecake is delicious but fattening, so I had never made one. Also, cheesecake baking is labor-intensive, with its water bath and springform pan. Then I read about pressure cooker cheesecake. Now cheesecake can be a Hasty Tasty dish.

You can lighten the cheesecake by substituting Neufchâtel cheese for the cream cheese, but I don’t recommend other low fat substitutions. For me, cheesecake is a decadent dessert I save for a rare treat or to give as an impressive gift.

I made plain cheesecake and topped it with fresh berries. I used a 7” pan and my 6 quart Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus.

Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz. Neufchâtel cheese (room temperature)
  • 2 oz. sour cream
  • 2 eggs (room temperature)
  • 1/2 sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. Vanilla extract
  • 1 cup Graham cracker crumbs for crust
  • 2 Tbsp. Unsalted butter, melted, for crust
A 7” springform pan in a silicone sling fits my 6 quart Instant Pot.

Directions:

  • Prepare crust by combining Graham cracker crumbs and butter. Press mixture into a 7” springform pan.
  • Place crust in freezer for 10-15 minutes.
  • Combine sour cream and Neufchâtel cheese with sugar and beat, but don’t over beat.
  • Add eggs one at a time.
  • Add vanilla extract and stir just until combined.
  • Pour filling into prepared crust.
  • Using a sling, place pan into pressure cooker on a trivet over 10 oz. water.
  • Seal cooker. Cook under pressure for 28-30 minutes.
  • Quick-release pressure and carefully remove cheesecake from the pot. Check for doneness. if edges aren’t set and center jiggles, it’s done. If not, return the pan and trivet to the pressure cooker and cook 5 minutes additional.
  • Cool cheesecake completely on a rack. Cool another 4 hours (or overnight) in the refrigerator.
  • Slice cheesecake into 8 pieces, top (optional), and serve.
  • Cheesecake should be stored in the refrigerator and eaten within 4 days. (It won’t last that long!) 😋

I want to thank Barbara Schrieving for her excellent tutorial on foolproof cheesecake. If you don’t follow her Pressure Cooking Today site, I recommend you subscribe.

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Filed under desserts, Healthful Eating