Updated: May 28, 2022
Leaning into some yummy comfort here. This one ticks all the boxes for nutritious, mouth-watering deliciousness. We think you'll love this alternative to a traditional lobster roll. So simple and easy to make with pantry friendly ingredients, we recommend you make the filling ahead of time for extra flavor and for an indulgent sandwich that comes together in just minutes.
According to a study by the World Wildlife Fund, the average person consumes possibly an entire credit card worth of plastic each week (!). Yes, I was shocked (and disgusted) to learn this and wondered what the primary sources were. It turns out that the main culprit is drinking water (both bottled and tap), and that shellfish is also to blame. This is largely because there is a large amount of plastic in our ocean combined with the fact that shellfish is largely eaten whole, digestive tract and all. You can read more about the study here and read this Reuters article for a visualization of our plastic consumption.
Hearts of Palm is a great swap for shellfish, and for many other fish (including scallops) because it's similar in texture and readily takes on flavorings of choice. Harvested from palm trees mostly in Costa Rica, they taste similar to artichokes and boast numerous health benefits. Rich in immune-boosting vitamin-C, and potassium, which is helpful in regulating blood pressure. They also contain gut healthy fiber, plant protein and no saturated fat.
This entire recipe comes together in under 30 minutes, so don't be intimidated if you think the ingredients list is long. There are also a lot of substitute options to make it go even quicker.
You'll need the following ingredients for this recipe:
hearts of palm (available at most grocery stores)
Old Bay Seasoning (or sub homemade below)
aquafaba aioli (or vegan mayo or mayo of choice)
kelp granules (optional)
chives, preferably fresh
dill, preferably fresh
pretzel rolls (or hot dog buns)
celery leaves, escarole, pickles optional for serving
Prep time: 30 minutes
1 jar (preferred) or can sustainably-sourced hearts of palm
2 TB fresh lemon juice
1 TB olive oil
1 TB Old Bay seasoning, alternative or homemade (see below)*
1 TB minced shallot
½ cup diced celery
½ cup cooked garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
2 TB aquafaba aioli (or vegan mayonnaise)
1 TB pickle brine
1 tsp kelp granules, optional for extra "sea" flavor
2 TB fresh chives, chopped, some reserved for garnish
1 TB fresh dill, minced
4 pretzel rolls (or sub hot dog buns), sliced in half
2 TB vegan butter (Monty’s or Miyoko’s)
sweet paprika for garnish
Celery leaves, chopped for garnish
Escarole, or green lettuce, for serving
Pickles, for serving
Drain and rinse you hearts of palm. Pat dry with a towel and roughly slice into 1-inch rounds. You can break some pieces apart if you desire. Add to a bowl and toss with lemon juice, olive oil, spices, shallot and celery. Set aside and allow to marinate.
Add garbanzo beans to a bowl and smash with a fork or a potato masher, until roughly mashed. Set aside.
Heat a medium size saute pan and add hearts of palm, celery, and spice mixture. Saute until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. You can chill in the fridge overnight and allow the flavors to develop further or proceed and add remaining ingredients.
Return hearts of palm mixture to the bowl with the chickpeas and add aioli, pickle brine, kelp granules (optional), chives, and dill. Toss gently until well blended. Set aside while you prepare your buns.
Heat a griddle or skillet and add vegan butter (or butter of choice). Using a spoon, scoop some bread out of the inside (see video). This will allow more space for filling.
Place the buns, open face down on the griddle and toast until lightly browned. Flip over and toast for another 30 seconds. Remove from heat, add extra aioli if desired, and add your filling.
Garnish with extra paprika, celery leaves and serve with a pickle.
*Alternate spice blends that would work well here include Bragg’s Organic Sprinkle.
DIY Old Bay Seasoning
Makes enough for one recipe
¼ tsp celery seed
1 bay leaf
5 white and/or black peppercorns
¼ tsp sweet paprika
1/8 tsp dry mustard
Pinch red pepper flake
Pinch Himalayan pink salt
Directions: Put all ingredients in a spice grinder (I use an old coffee grinder that’s been cleaned by grinding white rice and then wiped clean). Grind until finely ground.
Makes ~ 1 cup
6 TB aquafaba (brine from a chickpea can)
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
1 tsp sea salt or Himalayan pink salt
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Directions: Add all ingredients except oil to a small food processor (preferred) or a blender. Stream oil in slowly until desired consistency is reached. Add fresh basil or other fresh herbs for varied flavoring. Use on grain bowls, roasted veggies, pastas, salads, etc.
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