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Cooking with Chef Stacey for our Eat to Live Series

When we think about environmental justice work we often think about clean air and water but another key component is access to fresh quality food. According to "People of color are the most severely impacted by hunger, poor food access, diet-related illness and other problems with the food system." So we decided to address this with our series of conversations and demonstrations called "Eat to Live." For the month of May we are talking about the benefits of plant based eating with Chef Stacey Dougan.

Chef Stacey has been featured internationally as an expert gourmet vegan and raw foods chef and nutritionist. Her passion for teaching stems from her own life-changing experience overcoming numerous health issues Since then, her goal has been to inspire others to embrace more plant-based foods in their diet without feeling deprived. Chef Stacey will be leading a cooking demonstration to teach our audience how to prepare her own unique recipe for crispy hearts of palm "fish" street tacos with chipotle Baja sauce.

Try it yourself using the recipe below.

Ingredients for Crispy Hearts of Palm :

  • 1 – 14 oz can whole hearts of palm – drained

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic

  • 1 tablespoon granulated onion

  • 2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 tablespoon dulse seaweed flakes (optional)

  • 1 ½ tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)

  • 1 cup all purpose flour

  • ¾ cup seltzer water

  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce – from canned chipotles

  • 1 tablespoon mustard

  • 1 ½ cups panko bread crumbs

  • Oil for frying (or baking)

Ingredients for Chipotle Baja Sauce:

  • 3/4 cup sour cream or vegan sour cream

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

  • 2 chipotles in adobo – minced

  • 2 teaspoons cilantro – finely chopped

  • salt to taste


1. Add all of the Chipotle Baja Sauce Ingredients in a bowl and whisk until combined. Set aside.

2. Drain the heart of palm and cut each piece in half crosswise. Press each piece with your hand to slightly flatten. Try to keep the pieces intact, but it's ok if a few pieces fall apart.

3. In a small bowl add all of the spices and mix. In a medium size bowl add the flour and half of the spice mixture. Whisk in the seltzer water, mustard and adobo sauce to make the wet batter.

4. In a separate bowl, mix together the panko and the remainder of the spice mixture to make the dry mix.

5. Using one hand or tongs, dip one heart of palm at a time into the wet batter coating completely. Using a different hand or another set of tongs, dip the heart of palm into the dry batter covering completely. Transfer the breaded hearts of palm to a plate.

6. Pour a ¼ – ½ inch of oil into a medium sized skillet over medium high heat. Once the oil is heated, fry the hearts of palm until crisp, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer heart of palm to a paper towel lined plate to absorb excess oil.

7. If you prefer baking, line a baking sheet with foil and spray with oil. Preheat oven to 425 and bake for approx. 20 minutes – be sure to turn halfway thru baking time so heart of palm is crispy on both sides.

8. Serve on toasted corn tortillas with shredded cabbage, pico de gallo, chipotle Baja sauce and any toppings of your choice. Serve warm.

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