Anyone who has ever eaten in my kitchen knows that I have pretty high standards for the food I make: it must be delicious, it must be colorful and it must have some kick… Bursting with nutrients, plant-based and made without commercial packaging is a given 🙂
Today, I decided that I wanted to share one of my favorite dinner meals: Napales (cactus) with seasoned rice and spicy refried beans topped with fresh pico de gallo.
- 6 cactus leaves
- 1 large red onion
- 1 bunch of cilantro
- 3 limes
- 1 jalapeno
- 4 delicious tomatoes from the vine
- 2 cups of brown rice
- 1 cup of pinto beans
Making the Napales
Napales are prickly so you’re going to want to make sure that they are shaved properly. There is a great youtube video on how to cut and shave the napales. I use a carrot peeler and then I thinly slice the circumference of the cactus. It should be smooth all the way around. It has a slightly slimy texture like okra or aloe – don’t worry, that does away.
Once they’re prepared, throw them into a boiling water with a quarter of the red onion, half of the jalapeno and a handful of cilantro. Boil for 10-15 minutes. You’ll know when they’re ready they turn into a sage-like color. Once done, drain and rise in strainer with cold water. Then, stir fry quickly. You add whatever spices you like – I usually do garlic salt, crushed red pepper and lime. I also throw it squash and carrots into the stir fry for more nutrients and flavor but that is also optional!
Preparing the Refried Beans and Rice
These are the tastiest refried beans I’ve ever had! Probably because I make them with a ton of garlic and a fair amount of heat. Up to you how much spice you want to add. I cook my pinto beans fresh in the pressure cooker (25 minutes on high).
Then, I chop up about 3 table spoons of fresh garlic and the rest of the jalapeno and brown in olive oil. Once they have infused the oil nicely, I simply add the (drained) pinto beans and mash them up into the oil until they are full of flavor. So simple and so delicious. Once they’re done, I just add a touch of lime of top for a twist.
As for the rice, I keep it pretty simple. I add cumin, tumeric, crushed red pepper and sea salt. Pico de gallo is my fave also super easy – 4 chopped tomatoes from the vine, 2/3 red onion, 2 limes with sea salt and cilantro to taste.
Here is the finished product! Enjoy 🙂