Nopal Cactus Shrimp Salad

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For many years, I’ve been promoting healthy lifestyles on my three TV Shows: Better Health Greater Wealth, Better Health Destination Florida, and my most recent show Great Neighborhood Cooks. And during that time, I struggled to be as healthy as possible. I lowered my salt content dramatically, cut way back on my sugar, added more seafood and vegetables to my diet, ate smaller helpings, and increased my exercise frequency. It was working! My blood work analytics improved with each doctor visit and my energy level improved tremendously.

That’s the good news. However, I still have nagging health issues that are driving me nuts; namely, inflammation in my right leg impacted by a relatively recent hip replacement, and neuropathy in both legs. I wear compression stockings to control the inflammation and walk more to help with the inflammation, but it’s just a band-aid. I want to eliminate these issues.

Now, here’s the ray of sunlight! I love gardening and planted three coconut trees for their yummy coconut water, and two Meyers Lemon trees (best lemon juice EVER), plus an array of herbs for daily cooking purposes. Along with these wonderful things, I also planted a Nopalea cochinellifera(Noh-PAL–ee-uh koh-ken-ill-EE-fer-uh) sometimes called the cochineal cactus. I knew the pads had a bunch of health benefits, but I didn’t delve into the subject until a few weeks ago. Well, unbeknown to me the possible solution to my two health issues may be growing just yards from my house! Here’s the published health benefits of the Nopal cactus. Source: Medical News Today
– Antiviral
– Protects nerve cells
– Contains antioxidants
– Regulates blood sugar levels
– Treats enlarged prostate
– Reduces cholesterol
– and, Eliminates hangovers

I just started harvesting the new growth pads yesterday. I gleefully gathered five plastic pails brimming with these beauties. Then, carefully scrapped the spines from each pad. I took half and cut them into cubes, boiled, thoroughly rinsed, and placed them quart-size freezer bags and put them in the freezer. Today, I’m going to grill the other half, cut them into strips and freeze them as well. I’ve already compiled dozens of amazing recipes, such as smoothies, appetizers, soups, and main courses. Only time will tell if I’ve actually found my long-awaited Super Veggie, but I can’t wait to start cooking! I’ll keep you posted

Nopal Prickly Pears Cactus


  • Place your list items here

Five large Nopal Cactus pads (cleaned and washed)
One and one-half pounds large shrimp (cleaned)
Two tomatoes
One-half onion
1-2 Jalapeno peppers
Two limes
Chili Powder
Crumbled Blue Cheese
Extra virgin olive oil
Baby greens


  1. Clean five large Nopal Cactus pads. Add olive oil, salt, pepper and toss well.
  2. Grill Nopal Cactus pads for 10-minutes (five-minutes each side). Color will lighten.
  3. Slice grilled Nopal Cactus into strips
  4. Mix paprika, cumin, chili powder, and oregano as a rub
  5. Toss shrimp with herbal mix and grill (approximately 5-minutes each side)
  6. Chop one jalapeno pepper with seeds
  7. Chop cilantro tops
  8. Quarter two tomatoes
  9. Slice one-half onion
  10. In a large bowl, mix cilantro, onion, tomatoes, nopal cactus. Add crumbled blue cheese, nopal cactus strips and grilled shrimp
  11. Serve and Start your healthy lifestyle!


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