If you're not familiar with this spin-off of The Walking Dead. It's a prequel that takes us back to the beginning of the zombie outbreak, with different characters, set in a different part of the US. Our crew started out in Los Angeles, but have made their way into Mexico and were split up in several different directions at the mid-season finale.
I thought the series started out a bit slow, which is understandable since we needed a base to stand on. Things have really picked up during the second season, and I'm starting to connect with the characters and enjoy it more and more each week.
I think that last week's episode may have been my favorite so far. It was centered around Nick, who is sitting at the top of my (invisible) favorite characters board right now, with a few other characters thrown in to support the story. I loved that we got a deeper glimpse into an important part of his history.
So, Nick has separated himself from everybody else, choosing to go off by himself (well, just him and the infected that he likes to walk among). We see him part company with a lady and a child, making his way on foot towards Tijuana. He runs into a couple of "situations" and winds up losing the meager supplies that he had. As he struggles to stay alive in the desert, there's a moment when he find himself in the middle of a bunch of cactuses (cacti?) and it dawns on him that he can drink/eat the paddles.
|Nick trying to quench his thirst with a cactus paddle in the desert.|
So he figures out a way to shield his hands from the thorns and breaks open a paddle, trying unsuccessfully to let the liquid (slime) drip into his mouth. When that doesn't work, he uses a rock to remove the thorns and then breaks it open and uses his fingers to dig and scoop the flesh into his mouth. And then he promptly throws up...I'm guessing too much too fast since cactus is edible raw, even if it's not the tastiest in that form.
Obviously there's a lot more to the episode, but this was the scene that I drew inspiration from this month. I wanted make Nick something that would have helped quench his thirst and replenish some of the good stuff he sweated out under the hot desert sun. Cactus paddles contain calcium, vitamins A, B6, C, and K, iron, beta carotene, riboflavin, copper, fiber, potassium, magnesium, and manganese.
This bright, refreshing smoothie is an unexpected way to add calcium, vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber to your day. One note, be sure to choose young, tender cactus paddles in this smoothie. Older ones are tougher and have developed more "strings", which will wind up in you mouth...and I don't find them very pleasant.
I'll be sharing at least one new recipe from this series every month. To check out all of the past recipes and some upcoming featured titles, check out my "in the kitchen with Zombie Fiction" page!