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Chicasquil (Tree Spinach) Casserole With Noodles (Or Chaya)

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“This is from a garden forum about the Chicasquil (Cnidoscolus acontifolius) which is a form of tree spinach. It is an evergreen vegetable that grows like a bush. I learned of this plant recently from Guachipelin, Chef #2245414. I went to one of my favorite nurseries for something else and while the fellow was driving me around, he pointed this out as Tree Spinach. It wasn't until I got home that I realized it was on my want list for the yard. I am very lucky as this one does NOT have the stinging hairs that some have.”

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 30 large leaves greens, chopped and boiled (Chicasquil, Chaya or other green leaf)
  • 1 12 cups egg noodles boiled in the leaf water
  • 1 lb ground meat, browned but not drained
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 12 ounces tomatoes, diced (canned tomato and chilies ok)
  • 2 ounces green chilies, diced
  • 4 ounces tomato sauce
  • garlic, minced to taste
  • salt


  1. Sautee onions and garlic, then add and brown meat. Set on warmer. Cut Chicasquil leaves into about 1" pieces or chop, discarding the stems and heavy veins, then boil *15* minutes, stirring frequently. Drain and reserve water.
  2. Cook noodles in Chaya water and drain. Add tomato, chilies and Chaya leaves to onion/meat mixture - heat and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in egg noodles and simmer 3 minutes more. Serves 4.
  3. NOTE: Please observe 15 minute boiling time. This allows all the Hydrocyanic Acid to be driven off as steam. A 1 minute cooking time, seen elsewhere in this blog, is insufficient to accomplish this - undercooked Chicasquil or Chaya may cause nausea and vomiting.

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