Growing up in the Southwest I ate a lot of Mexican food, especially my mom’s cooking.
She never used nopales to cook, which are prickly pear cactus. I have had it a few times.
On Monday when Curt and I had lunch at a cafe both of our meals came with nopales.
Curt had a Mexican fusion dish with fish, nopales, cheese and salsa verde. I had chicken tacos with chilis and nopales.
So, of course, this prompted me to do some research on the nutritional value of the cactus.
According to Livestrong, a serving is one cup of raw, has 14 calories; 1.1 gram of protein; 0.1 g fat; 2.9 grams of carbohydrates; 1.9 grams of fiber. The cactus also provides vitamins and minerals.
According to Gourmet Sleuth, nopales is a vegetable that can be grilled or boiled. If boiling be careful to not overcook or the cactus can get slimy. (I have definitely eaten it that way and it is kinda gross.)
The Gourmet Sleuth also says, the best preparation we have tried is to prepare the nopal leaves (remove spines) then grill over hot coals till tender and slightly browned. Then slice into nopalitos strips and toss with a squeeze of lime and a little bit of olive oil.
Hmmm, that sounds good to me. Except removing the spines. That sounds like a lot of work. Oh, but there are tools you can buy that help you remove the spines without hurting yourself. (I saw nopales for sale at a Farmer’s Market on Tuesday with the spines already removed.)
Nopales also came with my omelet this morning. The nopales were kinda slimy and just not that good this time around.
I have eaten a lot of good and interesting food here. I have tried new things and had things I have had before or have had before but different.
I have been careful with what I am eating and drinking. The bummer about being careful is I have had hardly any fruit or vegetables. And if I do they are usually cooked. Oh, well, I can get plenty of that stuff when I get home.
When I wrote about the altitude the other day I hadn’t really noticed it affecting me. Well, I now take that back. It has been more noticeable the past couple of days. I get winded easily and tired as well. Good thing I am on vacation and can just hang out at a cafe for a break or take nap on Iris and David’s couch.