While not strictly vegetarians (not even loosely vegetarians, in fact), we’re always looking for ways to extend Meatless Mondays well into the week. Vegetarian tacos are usually a pretty easy way to do that, though for us, that generally means tofu or fish. In fact, cactus might not have occurred to if not for Jason Wyrick‘s entirely enticing dish in Vegan Tacos. We’re always looking for a reason to go to our favorite Mexican market, and the hunt for nopales is just the one we’ve been waiting for.
“Nopales are prickly pear cactus pads,” says Wyrick, a chef who used a vegan lifestyle to reverse his diabetes and change the way he ate and lived. “They take some care to work with properly, but when you do, they are amazing. They have just a little tang and a nice bright flavor. I usually find the fresh ones at a Mexican market. You can make these either in a pan or on the grill.”
Between this dish and the Wyrick’s many other variations on the vegan-taco theme, our Meatless Mondays (and Tuesdays, and Wednesdays…) are looking a lot more interesting.
Vegan Tacos Authentic and Inspired Recipes for Mexico’s Favorite Street Food by Jason Wyrick
The rain did the nopal cactus and the grasses real good!
The grass is rich and deep green, full of nutrients and holding the soil together. Many of the grasses are a meter tall and more.
Right now the grasses are shading the cactus and delaying awakening from the winter dormancy. In the coming weeks the seeds on the grasses will ripen and we'll cut the grass and use the stems as mulch to shade the soil. Once the nopal plants are opened to the warm sun they will take off well and continue growing through the summer.
We expect to be on a roll by Cinco de Mayo.
La lluvia hizo el nopal cactus y las gramíneas bien real! La hierba es rica y el verde oscuro, lleno de nutrientes y manteniendo el suelo juntos. Muchas de las gramíneas son de un metro de altura y más.
Ahora el sombreado de las gramíneas son cactus y retrasar el despertar de la dormancia invernal. En las próximas semanas las semillas de las gramíneas madure y vamos a cortar el pasto y el uso de los tallos como mantillo a la sombra de la tierra. Una vez que las plantas de nopal se abrió al calor del sol que saldrá bien y seguir creciendo durante el verano.
Esperamos estar en un rodillo por el Cinco de Mayo.
While in Austin, Texas, Daniel Delaney came across many nopal cactus leaves. In this episode of What's This Food?!, he takes a look at the delicacy and use it make a perfect fluffy omelet, Tex-Mex-style! Note, he's got a spiny cactus, ours is very much easier to prepare needing only rubbing down with a cloth.
Nopal is the Spanish word for 'cactus'. Nopales refers to the pads (cladodes) of the cactus of the genus Opuntia (Prickly Pear, Cactus Apple) for eating. These pads are actually branches of the plant, and the spines in most Opuntia would be a leaf on that branch. The spine is the hard petiole of the leaf, turned into a defensive mechanism. 'Nopalitos' is the word for the nopal prepared and diced or cut into strips.
Nopal has been cultivated by natives of the Americas for thousands of years. Since the genus Opuntia crossbreeds quite readily, there are a great many varieties and hybrids of the nopal plant.
The nopal cactus has been regarded as a good source of health for generations. It is credited with a great deal of life-supporting functions from helping manage diabetes to providing a good foundation for bone growth due to it's 'perfect' calcium/phosphorus levels.
It is also a good vegetable to use to 'spice up' foods. Sure, it's not spicy at all but tends to have a citric-lime taste if anything, and a texture much like green beans. It should be considered as an addition to a recipe, not the main course. But it does 'zap up' any recipe it is added to. Try nopal cactus diced small and added to a salad of lettuce, tomatoes, fresh-cut corn and cilantro with some alt/pepper and a spritz of olive oil. Use nopales diced as small as possible to add to your favorite salsa recipe, leave it in the fridge for a few hours for the nopales-taste to spread through the whole mix.
Nopal es la palabra española para 'cactus'. Nopales se refiere a las pastillas (cladodios) de los cactus del género Opuntia (nopal, cactus de Apple) para comer. Estas pastillas son en realidad ramas de la planta, y las espinas en la mayoría de Opuntia sería una hoja en esa rama. La columna vertebral es el disco en el pecíolo de la hoja, se convirtió en un mecanismo defensivo. "nopalitos" es la palabra para el nopal preparado y picada o cortada en tiras.
Nopal ha sido cultivado por los nativos de las Américas durante miles de años. Desde el género Opuntia cruzados con bastante facilidad, hay una gran cantidad de híbridos y variedades de la planta de nopal. El nopal cactus ha sido considerada como una buena fuente de salud para las generaciones. Es acreditado con una gran cantidad de funciones de apoyo a la vida de ayudar a manejar la diabetes para proporcionar un buen fundamento para el crecimiento óseo debido a su 'perfecto' los niveles de calcio y fósforo. También es una buena verdura a utilizar para 'spice' de los alimentos. Está claro que no es picante, pero tiende a tener un sabor ácido cítrico-cal si nada, y una textura muy similar a las judías verdes. Debe ser considerado como una adición a una receta, no el plato principal. Pero no 'ZAP' cualquier receta es añadir. Intente nopal cactus en trocitos pequeños y se añade a una ensalada de lechuga, tomate, maíz fresco cortado y el cilantro con algunos alt/pimiento y un spritz de aceite de oliva. Utilizar nopales cortados en cubitos lo más pequeño posible para añadir a tus recetas de salsa, dejarlo en la nevera un par de horas para los nopales sabor para difundir a través de toda la mezcla.
The Nopal cactus, also known as “prickly pear,” is an edible cactus plant native to the mountains of Mexico. It has been used since ancient times as both a food and as a medicine for its health benefits.
This vegetable-type edible cactus is popular in Mexico and other Central American countries, parts of Europe, the Middle East, India, North Africa and Australia.
The prickly pear plant has two different edible sections: the pad of the cactus (nopal), which can be treated like a vegetable and the pear (tuna), which can be treated like a fruit.
The nopal cactus grows wild throughout the American southwest down to South America and up to Canada.
With a soft but crunchy texture that also becomes a bit sticky (not unlike okra) when cooked, the nopal cactus tastes similar to a slightly tart green bean, asparagus, or green pepper.
Studies have shown that the pectin contained in the nopal cactus lowers levels of “Bad” cholesterol while leaving “Good” cholesterol levels unchanged.
Other study found that the fibrous pectin in the nopal cactus may lower diabetics need for insulin. Both fruits and pads of the nopal cactus are rich in slowly absorbedsoluble fibers that help keep blood sugar stable.
Fiber means Control. This means that you will have less cravings and feel fuller since Nopal is extremely high in fiber. Nopal also has a high vegetable protein that lessens cellulites and water retention in your body.
Nopales, also known as cactus juice or prickly pears, is of the species Opuntia ficus-indica. It is a popular vegetable in Mexican dishes due to its low calories and succulent, green leaves.
Health Benefit 1: Anti- inflammation
The ability of Nopales to fight inflammation in the muscles, arteries, gastrointestinal tract and cardiovascular system is a well known fact. It has also been shown to lower pain in people with urethra and bladder, bladder infections as well as gallstones.
Health Benefit 2: Boost Immune System
The photochemical in Nopales are useful in making the immune system stronger.
Health Benefit 3: Anti-oxidant Properties
Nopales are rich in antioxidants known as betalins.
Health Benefit 4: Fights Cholesterol
The high amounts of soluble fiber in Nopales have been found through research to combat high levels of cholesterol.
Health Benefit 5: Combats Diabetes
Nopales are particularly useful to people suffering from non-insulin diabetes. It has been found to lower and balance blood pressure.
Health Benefit 6: Digestive Health
The functions of the digestion process such as absorbing excess water as well as speeding up bowel movement are enhanced by the insoluble fiber in them.
Health Benefit 7: Nutrient Rich
Nopales are endowed with a variety of minerals and vitamins such as vitamin A, C, K, B6, riboflavin among a host of other minerals such as calcium.
Health Benefit 8: Low Calorie Food
With high content of amino acid, vitamin and minerals, nopales is considered a low calorie food hence beneficial for weigh loss. They contain 17 amino acids, with 8 of them being essential.
Health Benefit 9:Anti-Cancer Properties
Nopales have been found to be beneficial in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)
Health Benefit 10: Neuroprotective Properties
The stems and fruits of Nopales contain quercetin 3-methyl, flavonoid which is said to a powerful neuroprotector.