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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Cactus Salad

  • 3 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • fresh cilantro (coriander), chopped (to taste)
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups nopalitos (cactus), sliced*
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • soy cheese (optional)
  • ground cumin (to taste)

Drain cactus and mix gently with other ingredients. Refrigerate any leftovers. Keeps well, gets better with age, and is low-calorie! It's also a nice red-white-&-green salad in time for Cinco de Mayo...DH enjoys this as a topping for tacos and quesodillas; if chopped fine, would also make a great salsa!

* I prefer the San Marcos canned brand (I buy the 28 oz. can); they come pre-seasoned and are less aloe-y than the non-brined, jarred cactus.

Happy cooking!
 

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Is nopalitos the same as prickly pear cactus?

Update: I looked on the Internet and found out that nopalito's are the branches of the prickly pear.
 

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This looks great! Thanks for sharing. What type of cheeze do you recommend? A soy parmesan or shredded type?
 

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mmmmmmm yummm prickly pear pads are *so* yummy (I have a yard FULL !) they are so good sauted w/ garlic as well.. their fruits makes wonderful lemonaide & jellies too btw!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hey everyone!

Aprilmoonflower, I'm jealous 'bout you having them 'free-range & organic' right in the ol' yard (that's a budget-helper!)!
Thanks for sharing other uses for them!!! I'm blessed with mucho dandelions, which I also adore (but that's another post -- LOL!)!

Strix, use whichever cheese you prefer (you make the call!). There are a lot of good soy versions of feta and the quesos that would be good here. One note, I did notice that due to the 'light brine' (would hate to see what 'heavy brine' would be -- LOL!), the sodium content is kinda high. You may want to use a soy cheese that's not too salty (unless there are no health issues and that suits your tastes). If you do like things spicy, a nice mellow, soft soy cheese would help to balance things out...I kept the cheese out of the main dish, as I had plenty of lime juice and was afraid that the cheese would get mushy. There are SO many great recipes here, I had to give back to the community!


ebola, you very much could use fresh cactus! I just substituted the canned variety for the ease & convenience of making this recipe! I'm lucky enough that they stock a lot of Latin ingredients in the regular grocery store here (although we do have some great mercados as well)... Oh, and there's another note that I need to mention in regards to your question of seasoning: the San Marcos (tender cactus) brand that I adore is fairly spicy (I'm quite the pepperhead!
) & has several serranos, onions, and cilantro along with the cactus. So if you don't like hot stuff or want to better control the heat, you may want to use fresh or the jarred and add your own amount/type of heat, or rinsing the San Marcos after draining them... (I'll try to find links for the cactus prep and some brands of the jarred nopalitos & post 'em here, 'k?).

Kyo, you are correct! One important thing: if anyone has an allergy to aloe, you may want to substitute tomatillos. Avocados, chaotes, & jicamas would also be a nice addition, too!

You guys are the best! Glad you enjoyed it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Please forgive me, as a lot of the recipes are not v*gan
(sorry, but the first link in particular, gave some excellent directions for preparing fresh nopales, complete with pictures!).

Southwestern Cooking with Cactus!

Had to post this one: Holland is my second home!

Nopalitos

On the third link, I've personally tried the Dona Maria & La Costeña brands of plain nopalitos with good results!

Chile-less canned nopalitos
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi StvSpl!

Glad you liked the recipe!
I don't know where you live -- if in the US, you may want to investigate the 'Ethnic' aisle of your larger grocery stores (I think even WalMart has these types of items in their grocery department, if you shop there...). If you have Hispanic markets in your area, that's even better!
I'm in a small state down South (not for long, though!) and can find nopalitos and other Hispanic items fairly easily. And, I guess a last-resort option would be to order from online stores.

Hope this helps -- happy cooking!
 

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Nopalitos........


We had them in Arizona, and man were they good! I'm glad to hear of a canned version that works as well. Most canned's turn the paddles into mush which is gross but I didn't know about the Dona Maria or La Costeña brands. May have to try them some time.

BTW, Yerbatera. You say you're from a small state down south. Which one would that be?
 
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