Easy Vegan Cactus Street Tacos
Living in Texas is pretty awesome. And I honestly I think that Texas food is some of the best food on the planet! If you’ve ever had Tex Mex then you know what I mean!
Today I am sharing one of my favorite meals, easy vegan cactus street tacos. So what is a street taco?
A “street taco” is typically more traditional, with soft corn tortillas and grilled or pan-fried chicken or beef. Now of course this recipe is vegan so we will be replacing the meat choices with something clean and healthy- cactus!
Many different types of cactus are edible but this recipe focuses on Nopales or the Prickly Pear cactus. Nopales are a staple in Mexican cuisine and very popular in dishes in Texas in the Southwest. Cactus is high in fiber and full of antioxidants, vitamins and electrolytes. It’s also touted for it’s antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties.
Nopales can be eaten raw or cooked. For this recipe we will be lightly pan frying or “sweating” the cactus.
Where to find cactus. In Texas you can find cactus (nopales) at most supermarkets in the produce section. If you do not live in Texas or the southwest you may need to visit the local Mexican Grocery store to find it.
You can purchase the Nopales paddles fresh, complete with the spines (which must be removed before eating!) or you can find various brands of pre-cleaned and washed nopales. Lately I am really liking the Nopalitos 100% natural pre washed bags.
So let’s get down to it and get these tacos cooking!
Street taco corn tortillas
Fresh Nopales or pre cleaned nopalitos
Salsa or desired sauce
If you bought pre cleaned nopales, skip ahead to step 3.
- If you bought fresh nopales paddles clean thoroughly and remove spines by slicing against the grain with a knife, similar to peeling a potato. Be sure to wear gloves as the spines will prick you if you’re not careful!
- After cleaning and removing the spines, Slice the paddles into thin strips.
- Heat skillet with a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet. Heat on low.
- Add sliced cactus to skillet. Cover and simmer for approximately 10 minutes. You will notice the cactus “sweating” and releasing a slimy liquid. Once all of the goo has disappeared the cactus is done.
- Meanwhile top tortillas with vegan cheese and heat in a toaster oven or regular oven until cheese is lightly melted. Remove from oven and place on a plate.
- Remove cactus from heat and fill tortillas.
- Top with fresh cilantro, lime zest and salsa.
That’s it! Simple easy, nutritious and oh so yummy! Enjoy!
Let me know below what you think about eating cactus!