Probably about 18 months ago I found out that I'm allergic to walnuts and pineapple--enough so that I have to carry an epi-pen. I'm okay not eating walnuts, but I was devastated about eliminating Pineapple from my diet. I'll be honest, it broke my heart a little. Pineapple is one of my very favorites. Hawaiian pizza, fresh cut pineapple, eating the core of the fresh cut pineapple (love it!!), fruit salads, and Frog Eye Salad. I love me some Frog Eye Salad. :)
At one point I tried a bit pineapple, hoping that the allergy wasn't actually an allergy and that it would magically go away. It didn't. I was at my sister's house and she got a little too excited at the thought of using my epi-pen on me. Fortunately, the epi-pen wasn't necessary because as soon as my mouth started to react I spit it out and rinsed my mouth out. After a few minutes I was fine. But I learned my lesson.
Of course, since I found out, I've been seriously craving Frog Eye Salad. I've been fine avoiding other favorite foods, but for some reason, I can't get over the salad. I miss it terribly. It's like manna from Heaven. True Story. I've never met anyone that didn't LOVE it.
Then today, I had an epiphany. What if I substituted the pineapple tidbits and juice out? I looked online for substituted recipes but couldn't find any. So I took a bit of a risk and made my own. It turned out pretty good. Not as divine, but still quite yummy.
Here is the original recipe with the substitutions in brackets next to it.
Frog Eye Salad
6 oz. Acini De Pepe Pasta [I used Ditali Pasta, but prefer the original]
1/2 cup Sugar
1 tbsp. Flour
1/4 tsp. Salt
1 cup Pineapple Juice, from tidbits [Orange Juice]
1 Egg, beaten
2 tsp. Lemon Juice
1 16 oz. can Pineapple Tidbits [Diced Peaches & Pears]
8 oz. Whipped Topping (Cool Whip)
Boil Pasta in water for 10-12 minutes until done al-dente. Drain pasta and rinse with cold water.
Combine sugar, flour, and salt. Mix well. Add pineapple juice [orange juice] and beaten egg. Cook over medium heat until thick, stirring constantly. Add lemon juice. Add sauce to pasta and mix together. Allow pasta and sauce to cool completely.
Add pineapple tidbits [diced peaches and pears] and marshmallows.
Fold in whipped topping and mix thoroughly. Chill.
Lessons I learned from my experimenting:
- The pasta I substituted with was alright, but not my favorite. I prefer the Acini de Pepe.
- I used OJ from concentrate, so I mixed up using 2.5 cans of water instead of 3 thinking that the flavor should be more concentrated. It tasted really orangey. I would have actually diluted it a bit with water. It was good, but a little strong. Lesson learned.
- I loved the pears in the salad--more like pineapple in texture, but not the peaches. I won't add peaches next time.
-There are other versions that add canned mandarin oranges (YUCKY!) and coconut (double yucky!) but I'm not a fan so I don't add those.
- I definitely prefer the original to the new, but the new is a pretty good substitute. :) I'll be making it again.
I consider this a success. YAY! for experimenting with food! :) Now, if they only made gluten free Acini de Pepe Pasta.