Chef Linda
Linda Soper-Kolton, Chef, came to the Sanctuary as a guest chef to share her love of compassionate cooking in our then-fledgling culinary program. Lured by the magic of the Sanctuary, her love of animals and the urgency of our mission, Linda stayed on to lead and grow the culinary program, inspiring and educating with love, patience, and delicious food.
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Chef Sara
Sara Boan, Chef, joined the Sanctuary staff in 2016 and has been developing recipes and sharing her passion for vegan cooking ever since. She teaches award-winning year-round vegan cooking classes at The Homestead and leads food demos for weekend tour visitors in the spring, summer and fall. When she’s not teaching, Sara is most likely spending time with her partner, snuggling with her rescued kitties or enjoying a cup of freshly brewed oolong tea.
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Coconut Lime Hearts of Palm Fillets

By Chef Linda

The notion of "veganizing" a recipe is a challenge I feel compelled to accept, especially when I'm inspired by a dish that I know can be created with compassion. A clipping from a magazine that I had tucked away finally tugged hard at my appetite and I went about reimagining it. The recipe called for cod in a spicy coconut sauce. To me, all living creatures have lives they hold dear, and fish are no exception. I needed a tender, flaky ingredient that would invoke my salivary glands and delight my senses: enter hearts of palm.

Often relegated to salad, hearts of palm (the tender inside shoots of palm trees grown for this purpose) are also versatile when chopped up in vegan crab cakes, sautéed in vegan butter to make compassionate lobster rolls, or puréed with white beans to make a tangy white sauce for pasta. I hadn't ever used them whole, like filets, as the centerpiece of the dish. I was glad I did. Simmered in luscious coconut milk and lively ginger, this tropical ingredient was perfect for a simple but elegant main course. The addition of tender sweet potatoes, peppers, and spinach brought this dish to life with a rainbow of colors and even more flavor. Creamy, plump arborio rice is a sublime choice, but use regular white if you choose. And if you have leftover rice, you can stir it into the pan at the end. I urge you to make this delightful dinner: You won't be disappointed!

Ingredients

Coconut Rice
 2 cups arborio rice, or substitute white or brown
 2 1/2 cups water
 1 (13.5-ounce) can coconut milk
 1/2 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
 1/2 teaspoon salt
Hearts of Palm
 2 teaspoons coconut oil
 1 medium onion, chopped
 1 teaspoon salt
 3 large garlic cloves, minced
 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
 1 (13.5-ounce) can coconut milk
 1/2 cup water
 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
 1 red, orange, or jalapeño pepper, seeded, chopped or cut into rings
 1 jar or can hearts of palm, drained and rinsed
 2 cups packed baby spinach leaves
 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Directions

To make the rice, in a medium, heavy-bottomed pot, bring the water, coconut milk, and salt to boil over medium-high heat. Add the rice and coconut. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until liquid is fully absorbed, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat, keep covered for 5 minutes, then remove the lid and fluff with a fork. Replace cover until ready to serve.

To make the hearts of palm, in a large pan, heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the onion and salt. Cook 6 to 8 minutes until soft and translucent. Stir in the garlic and ginger. Cook for 2 minutes more, stirring frequently so the garlic doesn't brown.

Add the coconut milk, water, sweet potatoes, peppers, and hearts of palm to the pan. Cover and let simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are fork-tender. Add the spinach and cover again. Cook for about 3 minutes, or until the spinach just begins to wilt. Sprinkle with lime juice. To serve, spoon rice onto plates and top with hearts of palm and vegetables in broth. Serve immediately.

Coconut Lime Hearts of Palm Fillets

Coconut Lime Hearts of Palm Fillets

DifficultyEasyCook Time30 mins
YIELDS
Serves 4

coconut lime hearts of palm fillets
INGREDIENTS

Coconut Rice
 2 cups arborio rice, or substitute white or brown
 2 1/2 cups water
 1 (13.5-ounce) can coconut milk
 1/2 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
 1/2 teaspoon salt
Hearts of Palm
 2 teaspoons coconut oil
 1 medium onion, chopped
 1 teaspoon salt
 3 large garlic cloves, minced
 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
 1 (13.5-ounce) can coconut milk
 1/2 cup water
 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
 1 red, orange, or jalapeño pepper, seeded, chopped or cut into rings
 1 jar or can hearts of palm, drained and rinsed
 2 cups packed baby spinach leaves
 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

DIRECTIONS

To make the rice, in a medium, heavy-bottomed pot, bring the water, coconut milk, and salt to boil over medium-high heat. Add the rice and coconut. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until liquid is fully absorbed, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat, keep covered for 5 minutes, then remove the lid and fluff with a fork. Replace cover until ready to serve.

To make the hearts of palm, in a large pan, heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the onion and salt. Cook 6 to 8 minutes until soft and translucent. Stir in the garlic and ginger. Cook for 2 minutes more, stirring frequently so the garlic doesn't brown.

Add the coconut milk, water, sweet potatoes, peppers, and hearts of palm to the pan. Cover and let simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are fork-tender. Add the spinach and cover again. Cook for about 3 minutes, or until the spinach just begins to wilt. Sprinkle with lime juice. To serve, spoon rice onto plates and top with hearts of palm and vegetables in broth. Serve immediately.

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