One of Brother-Bug’s resolutions for 2014 was to eat a papaya. I love that. So simple. An easy win. So, at the grocery store last week we bought a papaya and waited (with much impatience) for it to ripen.
Last night I made Pad Thai for dinner and it needed a side. It was full of veggies and proteins already, and pantry options were looking slim. Then I found a can of coconut milk and remembered the papaya. Happily, all of those events happened early enough in the day that I had time to utilize the handful of gelatin packets that the Toddler-Bug brought me when he was tearing the pantry apart. And this very tasty gelatin salad was born.
Tropical Gelatin Salad
1 15 oz. can of coconut milk
1 can of crushed pineapple
4 packets of unflavored gelatin
1 can of pineapple chunks (or half a fresh pineapple)
1 ripe papaya
Pour the juice off the pineapples and mix in the gelatin. While the gelatin softens, bring the coconut milk to a low boil. Stir in the pineapple juice, gelatin, and crushed pineapple. Mix well and pour into a 9×13 baking pan. Chill for 3 or more hours until the gelatin is well set.
Once the coconut milk gelatin is set, peel and seed the papaya (and the fresh pineapple if you took that route). Cut the fruit into medium chunks, fairly uniform with a chunk of canned pineapple. Cut the gelatin into similar sized squares. Mix the fruit and gelatin all together in a large bowl.
That’s the kid-friendly version. To make this a little more interesting (though it is plenty good as it is) add some finely shredded fresh basil and red chili flakes, to taste.