Chef Marcela Valladolid recipes
HOLA! USA Interview

Celebrity Chef Marcela Valladolid shares superfood salad recipe and more essential health tips

Plus, the former Food Network star’s life-changing partnership with Verizon

Celebrity Chef Marcela Valladolid is on a mission to create a healthier (and more delicious) world. As the reopening phase begins, the former Food Network star serves up tips for everyone to stay as healthy and happy as possible. For one thing, the California native has teamed up with Verizon to celebrate their incredible new bilingual digital health platform Hoy Health, which aims to bring exclusive discounts to qualified customers. “To now be able to provide something super nice and easy to the people I love the most in my life... is exciting and rewarding,” she tells us.

The mom-of-three thrives at the crossroads of health and culture, striving to bring traditional and nutritious Mexican recipes into mainstream America. Above all, she believes cooking from the heart can produce peace. “When we connect to food that brings us comfort, there’s something that happens emotionally, mentally, and brings joy,” she says.

Read our full chat with Chef Valladolid and then try out her new recipe below:

Chef Marcela Valladolid©@ChefMarcela
Chef Marcela Valladolid is looking toward a brighter future with Verizon’s Hoy Health

HOLA! USA: I’m guessing you’ve been cooking a lot while staying safe at home. What’s been your favorite recipe to come out of quarantine?
Sounds delicious. Congratulations on your incredible new partnership with Verizon’s Hoy Health by the way!
How did you decide to get involved?


How does it feel for you knowing that this will benefit so many families?
Speaking of family, as the weather and the world gets better lots of family and friends will gather outdoors. What are your best tips for hosting an outdoor meal in these times?

What do you see as the food of summer 2021?
We love that! Cooking certainly brings a lot of comfort in these times, but it can also add to people’s stress as you mentioned. Do you have any tips for making time in the kitchen extra fun and stress free?


Try out Chef Marcela Valladolid’s wonderful advice below with her new recipe:

cactus paddle salad recipe©Chef Marcela Valladolid
Chef Marcela Valladolid’s Cactus Paddle Salad

Cactus Paddle Salad (4 servings)

Cactus paddles are PACKED with fiber and nutrients and are now very easy to find at the supermarket! If you don’t have access to them, you can simply substitute with ¾ of a head of shredded cabbage for an equally delicious and healthy slaw.

Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ pounds cactus paddles with spikes removed (they can be purchased this way), thinly sliced into ¼-inch thick strips
  • ½ white onion
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Pinch of Mexican Oregano
  • 2 roma tomatoes, seeded, chopped
  • ½ cauliflower, thinly sliced into large, paper thin slices
  • ½ white onion, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup toasted, salted pepitas
  • 4 radishes, quartered
  • Everything bagel seasoning with chipotle flakes (optional)
  • Avocado dressing (recipe follows)

Avocado Dressing Ingredients:

  • Makes 1 ¼ cups dressing
  • ½ cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
  • 1 serrano chile, stemmed, seeded (use half if you don’t want any heat!)
  • ½ avocado
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of water

Recipe Directions:

  1. Place sliced cactus paddles in large pot along with halved onion, bay leaves, pinch of oregano and large pinch of salt. Turn heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until cactus turns olive-green color and liquid has evaporated.
  2. Strain cactus and rinse with cold water. Discard onion and bay leaf. Pat dry cactus very well and transfer to bowl.
  3. Mix in thinly sliced tomatoes, thinly sliced onion and cauliflower, being careful not to break the cauliflower pieces too much.
  4. Carefully fold in avocado dressing (make sure it’s not too stiff) and pepitas.
  5. Transfer to platter. Top with quartered radishes and bagel seasoning, if desired. Serve.

If you try out the recipe, be sure to share with us @holausa!