My own recipe for VEGETARIAN CHILI CON NOPALITOS

ingredients:
1.5 lbs. of store-bought prepared nopalitos (prickly pear cactus, with the thorns removed, of course), cut into chunks of desired size
2 40-oz. cans of kidney beans, entire contents including liquid
2 medium or large onions, any kind, cut up into pieces of desired size (I've tried red onions with good results.)
1 lb. Anaheim chiles (peppers), cut up and stems removed
1 lb. yellow wax chiles (peppers), cut up and stems removed
3 1.25oz. packets of  chili mix, your choice of brand
1 28oz. can of diced tomatoes
NOTE: The porportions of these ingredients are critical. Alteration of any of the quantities will radically alter the flavor of the resulting  chili. These relative amounts are the product of trial and error, and have been proven by taste test experience. Some possible substitutions are further down.

I admit, this recipe is considerable work to prepare. I break this into numbered sections.

section one:
Start by putting the entire 1.5 lbs of nopalitos into a large pot, and cover with ample water. Bring to a hard boil, and continue boiling for 10 minutes. Then strain, and put the nopalitos back into the empty pot. Cover again with ample water, and repeat the above 10-minute boiling. Strain again, and repeat for a third 10-minute boiling. Finally, strain again. This boiling should be done (use a cooking timer) while doing other steps, below. Note: The reason for the pre-boiling three times is to rid the nopalitos of its slime, and to possibly tone down the flavor a bit. It has its own distinctive flavor, as you should notice.

section two:
Dump the 2 40-oz. cans of kidney beans, liquid included, into a pot large enough for all the ingredients. Put a fraction of an ounce of water in the can and swirl in the can to pick of the gravy, and dump into the pot. Do this once each with both cans.
NOTE: 3 29-oz. cans of kidney beans can be used instead, but it tends to tone down the hotness and flavor a bit. I prefer to use 2 40-oz. cans.
Also, dump the 28-oz. can of diced tomatoes into this large pot with the beans. Do the same: Add a fraction of an ounce of water, and swirl to pick up the residue, and dump into this pot, only once.

section three:
Peel the onions, one at a time, and cut them into the desired size pieces. Then dump them into the large pot with the beans and tomatoes.

section four:
Wash the pound of Anaheim peppers. Remove the stems, and cut into pieces. Dump the pieces into the large pot with the beans and tomatoes and onions.
NOTE: You may substitute pasilla peppers if you want. Sweet red peppers may also be substituted.

section five:
Wash the pound of yellow wax peppers, and prepare as above. Dump them into the pot with the beans, etc.

section six:
Dump the thrice-boiled nopalitos into the large pot with the beans, etc.

section seven:
Dump all three packets of chili mix into the large pot with the beans, etc.
NOTE: I've used Great Value (mild) chili mix with good results. It is available at Walmart. I've more recently used Watkins Gourmet chili mix. Use whatever brand you prefer.
ADDITIONAL NOTE: The yellow peppers tend to add hotness, so if you choose to use a chili mix marked HOT, you can expect the result to be a SIGNIFICANT increase in hotness. Some people may not like it that hot.

section eight:
Now, all the ingredients should be already in the large pot. Place it on a burner on a stove. I recommend a moderate size fire, to avoid scorching the  bottom. It is even better to take one's time and use a low fire, and cover it. Check and stir at least every 15 minutes. It can take close to an hour to reach a full boil. Let it continue boiling at least an addition 10 minutes once it reaches a hard boil. Remember, stir often, to avoid scorching at the bottom of the pot.

NOTE:
You can eat it immediately, after it has finished cooking, but I think the flavor improves if it sets overnight in the refrigerator. I let it cool to the touch (hours), before putting it in the refrigerator. The next day, the flavor will be at its best. Then, reheat a predetermined fraction and serve. The pot is enough for quite a few one-person servings. Of course, you can experiment with this recipe, to suit your preferences. Also, if you find you dislike the flavor the nopalitos (cactus) gives it, you can try to work out a substitute. A possibility I haven't tried could be 1.5 pounds of VERY MILD peppers as the substitute for the nopalitos. I find the flavor of the nopalitos agreeable enough to continue using them.

FINAL NOTE:
I have made many batches using this approximate recipe, over some months. I always have found the resulting consistency (amount of liquid) to be what I'd consider perfect, if this is prepared exactly as I've presented it, above. Don't be discouraged by the fact that, initially, it may appear to have too little water. From experience, I know that as the ingredients cook, it releases water, and the whole ends up being a liquid (not stiff). Of course, you don't want to overheat the pot or ingredients, or you could evaporate too much water, adversely altering the consistency.

Legal Note:
This recipe may be used, in cooking, and passed on in written form with this notice, but I shall retain all intellectual property rights in this recipe. I may one day have it published in a cook book. Yes, the Jenny Live show and Miami TV may use this recipe on TV, and for rebroadcast and online, etc., hopefully in their Naked Kitchen show, but I request that they mention me by name, Steve Malinowski, and mention also my website, stevenbray.com. (Steven Bray Dot Com) Thank you. Also, if restaurants want to use this recipe, I request that they name it as above, VEGETARIAN CHILI CON NOPALITOS, to allow it to become known by that name, and also to NOT claim the recipe to be their own, but to credit me with the recipe exclusively, if they care to say where the recipe came from (IT'S ALL MINE).