My granny kept cactus all over her front porch, I remember being scared and yet intrigued by them at the same time. Her neighbor, who I called Mrs. Piggy because I couldn’t say Peggy kept them wild in her back yard it was quite the exotic looking plot!
This recipe is easy to make at home and many of the ingredients can come from your Yarden like Nopal, Red Peppers, Cilantro, and even garlic if you are bold!
Nopal or Nopales is a species of cacti that can be eaten raw or cooked and the benefits of the plant are many. People who might struggle with high blood sugar can make cactus juice smoothies in the mornings to help lower sugar naturally cause we all know food is medicine. Nopal can also help support weight loss and lower cholesterol levels.
-Rich in Antioxidants
Nopales, Pork & Rice w/Plantains and Mango Salsa
6- 7 Nopal Pads
1 Bushel Cilantro
1 Bushel Green Onion
1 Large White Onion
6 Cloves Garlic
2 Ripe Yellow Mangoes
2 Red Hot Peppers
3 - 4 Ripe Plantains
2 or 3 Small to Medium Tomatoes
Lean Ground Pork
Sea Salt & Black Pepper
Preheat Oven to 400
1.) Dice All the Veggies
2.) Slice all the fruits, cut the mango into small pieces for salsa.
3.) Prepare The Nopal: (For this you will need to remove the stickers using a veggie peeler, don’t forget the edges, then rinse off the pads and dry them with a paper towel) 4.)Prepare Rice: Cook your rice as you normally would, add a few sprigs of cilantro to rice while cooking.
5.)Prepare Mango Salsa: add peppers, only add half of the onion you chopped (reserve the rest for pork topping), add tomato, 1/3 of cilantro you chopped, 1/2 of green onion you chopped. Add the juice of one lime, more if you want, salt & pepper to taste, then refrigerate until ready to use. 6.) Pork Topping: Add a few tbsps of olive oil to a skillet, add the rest of your onion, green onion, and garlic to the oil, sautéed until fragrant, then add ground pork, add some sprigs of cilantro cook until brown. 7.) Grill Nopal: Brush Nopal with olive oil lightly, place on griddle until grill marks appear and nopal has wilted down. Remove, sprinkle with salt & pepper to taste place on baking sheet. 8.) Build Nopales: Spoon heaping piles of rice onto center of cactus, then add pork topping, bake for 5 - 7 min.
9.) Deep Fry Plantains: Deep fry sliced plantains in large skillet till golden brown approximately 1-2 minutes. 10.) Plate Nopales: Top nopales with mango salsa, garnish with slices of avocado and enjoy!
**Warning this meal might cause feelings of happiness and completes satisfaction. *Pairs wonderfully with Iced Hibiscus Tea. (Spiked or Not)