During the winter months, we tend to stray and consume comfort foods more than ever. Warm, thick and creamy chowders, sweet, decadent starches and hearty meats make their way to our dinner table and lunch boxes. The closer we get to the holidays, the more gatherings and celebrations we attend. Happiness fills the air and where there is happiness, there is a table spread with delicious foods just waiting to be devoured.
To keep us from over indulging during the holidays, cooking a lighter fare at home during weeknight meals does the trick. Focusing on fruits and vegetables, drinking lots of water and aguas frescas and natural juices during the week, allows us to enjoy on our winter favorites during the weekends and holidays.
One of our favorite vegetarian weeknight meals is nopales vestidos or breaded cactus paddles on a tomato sauce. Lightly breaded and fried in soy oil, these vitamin packed paddles are tasty and satisfying. Soy oil is a perfect frying oil for because its taste is neutral and doesn’t compromise the flavor of the cactus paddles or savory tomato sauce.
Soy bean oil is versatile and can be used in all types of cooking. It’s light and replaces oils high in saturated fat. Perfect for this vegetarian dish. The possibilities are endless. Give it a try! For more information and recipe ideas visit SoyConnection.com or follow them on Facebook.
Nopales Vestidos | Breaded Cactus Paddles
8 cactus paddles, thorns removed, boiled and drained
1/4 cup flour
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup soy oil
cilantro sprigs for garnish
Ingredients for sauce
3 Roma tomatoes
1 tablespoon soy oil
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/4 cup yellow onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
Sprinkle flour on cactus paddles, covering both sides. Dip in beaten egg then dredge in breadcrumbs; coating evenly.
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Using tongs, place cactus paddle in hot oil, one at a time. Fry until both sides are golden.
Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to absorb excess oil.
In a 3-quart stock pot, place tomatoes with enough water to cover, heat over medium heat until the skin from the tomatoes begins to peel. Remove from heat and set aside.
In asmall skillet, heat oil over medium low heat. Add garlic and onion. Cook until translucent; approximately 5 minutes.
Place tomatoes in a blender container. Add cooked garlic, onion, oregano and salt. Blend until smooth.
Ladle sauce in serving plates and top with cactus paddles. Garnish with a cilantro sprig.