Ditch the carbs and use these grilled Cactus Burger Buns to give your dish a south of the border upgrade!
This veggie-based bun is a great switch-up from traditional Paleo lettuce wraps! For this recipe, grilled cactus pads are topped with seasoned beef patties, dairy-free cheese, and a handful of fresh veggies. Since these “buns” won’t break or crumble, you can pile them high with whatever you like. Serve them anytime of the year and top with your favorite Paleo condiments!
Cactus pads, also known as nopales, are a traditional Mexican staple often grown in dry desert areas. This mild plant has a subtle flavor similar to green beans and includes a chewy, dense texture. Along with being a great source of vitamins, they also contain manganese and magnesium for added nutrition. When sliced into bite-sized pieces, they can be added to salads, salsa, and even omelets. Find them at your local Mexican marketplace or select produce departments in the U.S.
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To complement the nopales, ground beef is seasoned with cumin, smoked paprika, and dried oregano to add a southwestern flavoring throughout. Slices of cauliflower cheese are added as a lactose-free option and includes plenty of amino acids, nutritional yeast, and gut-healing turmeric. The best part is, it can be made in less than 20 minutes using ingredients you probably already have in your Paleo pantry.
To get started, remove the prickly spikes from each cactus pad. Start by holding the base with a pair of tongs or gloves and carefully slide a sharp paring knife back and forth along the front and back ends. Tip: We recommend you do this over the sink or garbage can for easy cleanup.
Once smooth, cut the pads into circular “buns,” measuring about five inches in diameter. Rinse the pads clean and pat dry with a paper towel. Heat a grill pan over medium heat and grease with avocado oil. Add the cactus pads and cook for four minutes on each side. Set aside and begin cooking the burger patties.
Prepare the burger patties by combining ground beef and seasonings in a medium mixing bowl. Form the mixture into two patties and grill for five minutes on each side. When finished, serve burgers on cactus pads and fill with additional toppings.
No-Bun Cactus Burgers
No-Bun Cactus Burgers
- Grill pan
- Paring knife
- Kitchen scissors
- Medium mixing bowl
- 4 medium cactus pads
- 1 t avocado oil
- 8 oz grass-fed ground beef
- 1 t cumin
- 1/2 t smoked paprika
- 1/4 t oregano
- 2 slices cauliflower cheese
- 2 slices tomato
- 1/2 cup microgreens
- 1/3 cup pickled red onion
- To prepare cactus pads, hold them with tongs or gloves on a cutting board. Carefully glide a sharp knife back and forth along the thorns to remove them from the front and back.
- Using kitchen scissors, cut the cactus pads into circular shapes, about five inches in diameter. Rinse pads and pat dry with paper towel.
- Heat a grill pan over medium heat and lightly grease with one teaspoon of avocado oil. Place the cactus pads onto the pan and cook for four minutes on each side. Remove pads from pan and set aside.
- Combine the ground beef, cumin, paprika, and oregano in a mixing bowl. Form the mixture into two patties.
- Heat the grill pan over medium heat and add the burger patties. Cook for five minutes on each side.
- Assemble the burgers onto cactus pads and fill with additional toppings.
- Serve warm and enjoy!
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