Seared Scallops over Garlic Palmini
One of the most simple pasta dishes is noodles in olive oil. But “pasta” and “weight loss” aren’t a match made in heaven. Today, though, it’s as simple as a trip to your grocery store to grab a lower-carb noodle alternative that is kinder to the waistline. Ourselves, our latest obsession is Palmini noodles. Made from hearts of palm, this pasta alternative is about as close as you can get to the texture of traditional cooked pasta without all of the carbs. And it takes well to the flavors of your dish. In this case, we’ve got a quick fragrant garlic oil and crushed red pepper flakes that are going to make this dish sing and soar! Add some tomato quarters and spinach, then top with perfectly seared scallops - and you’ve got a dish that’s as pretty and colorful as it is delicious!
This is one of those dishes that we like to describe as “fancy without the fuss”. Seriously! You won’t believe how something that looks so elegant can be so simple. Truly, as far as kitchen equipment goes, all you need is 1 skillet, 1 ramekin or small bowl, and 1 plate (and did we mention it’s also all done on 1 burner on your stove).
We’ve topped our garlic noodles with seared scallops, but if scallops aren’t your preference, you could certainly swap them out for other proteins such as shrimp or chicken breast and have just as delicious of a dish, too! Not a fan of spice? No problem! Kick the crushed red pepper flakes to the curb and garnish your dish with some fresh or dried parsley instead! For MRC Clients following MRC Menus, this recipe has all the makings of an entire meal minus the carbohydrate serving. So for those of you whe enjoy break with a bowl of pasta, there’s room for it! We think adding a sprinkle of garlic powder to a toasted slice of 50-calorie bread is a perfect match here - and you can use the bread to soak up any leftover garlic oil on your plate!
- 2 TBSP olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can Palmini linguini
- 5 oz. Campari/cocktail tomatoes, quartered
- 3 oz. spinach leaves
- 8-12 oz. scallops*
- To taste: sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes
*MRC Clients: refer to your MRC Menu for exact protein portion size. This recipe calls for two (2) servings of scallops.
- Drain palmini and rinse. Some also prefer to soak their noodles in almond milk to help cut the hearts of palm flavor. This is optional.
- Rinse scallops and pat dry with a paper towel. Season with salt and pepper and let rest.
- In a skillet over low heat, simmer minced garlic in olive oil until fragrant and just slightly browned, about 4-5 minutes. Carefully transfer to a heat resistant ramekin or bowl. Note: low heat is key here because you don’t want it to burn or become too crispy.
- Increase the heat in the skillet to medium and saute the spinach until wilted, about 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
- Add back just enough of the garlic oil to make a think layer on the bottom of the pan and increase the heat to medium-high. Add scallops to the pan in a clockwise pattern, and cook for about 2 minutes on each side; turning the scallops in the order that they were added (this is why a clockwise pattern is helpful). Remove from the heat and add to the same plate as the spinach.
- Decrease the heat in the skillet back to medium-low and add the tomato quarters. Let cook for about 1 minute, then add Palmini noodles, garlic oil, and spinach to the pan. Season with a sprinkle of salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.
- Stir, cover, and let heat until warmed through, about 3-4 minutes.
- Serve warm on a plate and top with seared scallops. Sprinkle with additional red pepper flakes for an extra kick of spice!
Makes 2 Servings | Serving Size: 1/2 Dish | One Serving Replaces: 1 protein, 1 vegetable, 1 healthy fat