Palmini – The Best Pasta Alternative you never knew about!
Palmini – What is it, and some recipes that may rock your world!
With the snow melting and the first day of Spring right around the corner, we know some of you are starting to think about warmer weather and perhaps some lighter meals. Look no further than these Palmini recipes brought to you by Registered Dietitian, Personal Trainer, and Westport Mom, Robin Barrie Kaiden! Robin first found out about this amazing product from a friend in a Los Angeles. Upon suggesting to a client, who fell in love and then shared a can with Robin, Robin has been loving and recommending them ever since. We at Westport Moms have tried them too and it’s official……we are hooked! With such a neutral flavor and great texture, we promise we don’t even miss our “real” pasta! Plus, as Robin reminds us, not only are they low in calorie, they are made out of hearts of palm, a vegetable that comes from the inside of palm trees, thus offering us plant-based diet benefits. This veggie is high in fiber, low in carbs, contains protein, manganese (good for bone health and immunity), and iron, zinc, and Vitamin C.
Whether you like red sauce or green sauce, Robin’s got you covered. Try these two different recipes (feel free to switch up the protein for turkey, chicken etc), and let us know what you think. Happy cooking and (almost) Spring!
P.S. You can find Palmini on Amazon.
Pesto Shrimp Palmini
For this I like to use the wild frozen from Trader Joe’s. I prefer to eat wild as opposed to farmed fish. You can use fresh as well, but I love keeping these in the freezer and having on hand when I need a quick dinner. Not to mention, they are a great source of Omega 3s, selenium, vitamin B12 and copper, having anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Plus they are high in protein, and low in calories.
- 1 large sweet onion chopped
- 2 medium zucchini chopped
- Wild frozen shrimp
- 1 can or package Palmini
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp Pesto sauce (I like Gotham Greens from Whole Foods.)
- Add 1 Tbsp olive oil to pan then add chopped onion. Cook on medium heat until they start to brown/caramelize.
- Add zucchini next and cook until this begins to brown. Add 1/3 Tbsp pesto, mix then set aside.
- Strain and rinse Palmini. Warm in pan covered with olive oil spray. Add 1/3 Tbsp pesto. Set aside.
- Add 1 Tbsp olive oil to pan on medium heat then add shrimp. Season with salt and pepper to taste and cook about 3-4 minutes on each side or until shrimp are opaque and start to brown.
- Add in last 1/3 Tbsp pesto.
- Assemble: layer Palmini, 1/2 cup sautéed veggies, then the shrimp (I have 5 but my husband had a lot more!)
I make some version of this sauce at least once a week-it’s really pretty easy and quick. Sometimes I use ground turkey, sometimes chicken and different veggies end up in the pot. Traditional Bolognese often has carrots, mushrooms, red wine, tomato paste, but I often use what I have on hand and what is quickest. This meal is FULL of veggies (think tons of antioxidants and fiber.) The lycopene – great for skin, bone, and heart health – in the tomatoes is made more bioavailable (meaning it works better in the body) by being cooked with olive oil, since it’s fat-soluble.
Don’t forget to make extra for leftovers. The sauce is even better the next day!
- 1 medium sweet onion chopped
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 pound ground chicken breast
- 1 bottle Rao’s Tomato Basil sauce (24-ounce size)
- 3 cups baby spinach leaves
- 1Tbsp oregano
- 1 tsp chili flakes (or to taste)
- 1 can/package Palmini
- Pour olive oil into large pot/saucepan on medium heat. Sauté onions until they are browned. (I love the caramelized onion flavor so I cook them awhile!)
- Add ground chicken and break apart/cook until all pink is gone and it is just about cooked through (about 4-5 mins if fresh, longer if you start with frozen, which I often do.)
- Add in the sauce.
- Add in spinach and stir until it wilts into the sauce.
- Add oregano and chili flakes to taste.
- Simmer on low for at least 20 minutes (I sometimes do 30-40 minutes or make earlier in the day then reheat for dinner. This blends all the flavors together and helps develop a richer taste as some of the water evaporates.)
- Strain and rinse Palmini, and warm in a separate pot or pan. I use olive oil spray so it doesn’t stick, and move around pan for about 3 minutes, or so.
- Layer sauce over Palmini and enjoy! Top with grated Parmesan as desired.
For more info and recipes, visit here or follow Robin on Instagram @robinbarrie.