Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Put that Prickly Plant to Use!.....Vegan Gluten-Free Cactus Salad

Yeah yeah, I know- I just did a cactus recipe yesterday.   But hey, it turned out so well, why not try more?  With that said, don't be surprised if you see other cactus recipes in the future as well.

Now, about this cactus salad:  It's pretty easy, damn healthy and super tasty.  Once cooked, cactus has very subtle taste, with a touch of sweet and sour.  The consistency is very reminiscent of a cooked green bell pepper, but trust me, it tastes nothing of the sort.

Adding corn and jalapeno really elevate the flavor of this salad.  So lets get into it!

Cactus Salad
 The are a few different kinds of cacti, such as prickly pear, miner's lettuce and nopales.  And, they are becoming a bit more popular and can find them at local farmer's market or some grocery stores.

I used nopales and they sure do have some great health benefits.  Nopales are rich in vitamins a, c, k, riboflavin, and b6.  They are also filled with minerals such as magnesium, potassium, iron, and calcium.

Ingredients (yields 4 servings)
3 nopales chopped into pieces
1 jalapeno  chopped into pieces
1/2 green bell pepper
1/2 red bell pepper
1/4 cup corn
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1 tbsp evoo
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 lime
3 tsp hot sauce (I used trader joe's jalapeno hot sauce)

Preheat oven 350.In a large saute pan, fill with water and bring to boil.  Add in chopped cactus and jalapeno, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. 
In meantime, in your heated oven, place bell peppers, cut side down and bake for 15 mintues (don't oil).
When the cactus and jalapeno are done, drain with colander and rinse.  Place in bowl and set aside.
Once the bell peppers are nice and soft, take out and chop into pieces and add to bowl with cactus/jalapeno.  Now add remaining ingredients and season to taste.  Place in refrigerator and let cool.
Enjoy as a side, a salad, or even a nice addition to a vegan taco salad!!

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