Today I’m sharing one last super simple, 3 ingredient, plant-based side dish. My goal with these last three posts is to give you some fun inspiration to switch things up in the kitchen, while still keeping it easy-peasy. I’m hoping to share not so much “recipes,” where you have to keep looking and checking back to make sure you’re following it to the letter, but instead ideas you can take and run with.
These spicy heart of palm rounds will take you but 10 minutes to throw together, and a store-bought seasoning mix make prep time a cinch. In fact, I made these rounds, prepared a yummy wrap, took multiple photos of everything, AND ate most of it, all in about 30 minutes. Now if that isn’t fast and easy, I don’t know what is.
Heart of palm is a vegetable that is harvested from the growing bud or sometimes the inner core of certain palm trees. Now, when I hear the word “palm,” red flags for sustainability and environmental responsibility immediately go up in my head. I looked into the matter and was relieved to discover that most canned varieties of heart of palm are harvested from a domesticated variety called peach palms, which are self-suckering and can produce up to 40 stems on one plant. This means that harvesting several stems will not kill the plant, which makes it more sustainable than harvesting from wild single stemmed palms (which results in palm tree death). Most canned heart of palm comes from Ecuador, the main producer of hearts of palm.
Heart of palm is a very mild tasting, moist, and soft textured vegetable that reminds me of artichokes. They do not have a lot of flavor on their own, which isn’t a bad thing, because they will easily take on the seasonings and spices you pair with them. I was surprised that despite their tender texture and neutral taste, they are jam-packed with nutrition. I was prepared to tell you that they are a really great source of fiber and they would be a great low calorie addition to other dishes, and I figured that would be that. Little did I know, their nutrient content is actually pretty impressive.
A 1 cup serving of canned heart of palm has:
- 4 grams fiber
- 4 grams protein
- 25% DV iron
- 19% DV vitamin C
- 14% DV folate
- 14% DV magnesium
- 8% DV calcium
I used my seared and seasoned rounds to make a super tasty wrap (above), with romaine, cooked frozen sweet corn, radishes, avocado, and cilantro. I stirred up a simple creamy lemon dill dressing with tahini, water, lemon juice, dill, and salt. It was a winner! Here are some other simple ways to turn this side dish into a meal:
- Serve with the Garlic Rainbow Chard over quinoa with a roasted sweet potato
- Top creamy pasta – I think these would be yummy with a simple zoodles (zucchini noodles) and creamy avocado sauce combo, or a gluten free pasta with creamy cashew based sauce
- Serve with rice and steamed or sautèed veggies
Switch up the spices depending on the dish, try Italian seasoning blend, Thai seasoning, Cajun or Creole seasoning, or a Jamiacan jerk seasoning. Or make up your own. Whichever way you choose to serve these kicky bites, I hope you give them a try.
Spicy Seared Heart of Palm Rounds
- 1 can of heart of palm, drained, and sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
- a couple tablespoons of seasoning blend of choice (I used a Cajun blend)
- 1 tsp of coconut or olive oil
- Add seasoning blend to a small bowl. Dip rounds into the spices, flipping so both sides are coated. Lay on a tray or plate.
- Coat a frying pan with oil, just a thin layer will work. Heat the pan over medium heat.
- Carefully arrange the rounds on the hot pan. Cook on each side 1-2 minutes until lightly browned. Transfer to serving platter or use as desired.