Mind-blowing Artichokes

There are other recipes that could be posted, but I have been preoccupied with graduate school. I rarely post a recipe right after I make it unless I have an abundance of time.  Tonight is different! Yesterday, I made grilled artichokes that were absolutely amazing. I had grilled artichokes for the first time at The Cheesecake Factory.  Last night I tried replicating this recipe.  Having never cooked artichokes before (or even attempted to cut one open) I was fairly nervous.  However, this blog has pushed me to try new things.  I looked up several grilled artichoke recipes online to get an idea of how I wanted to make mine. I was extremely happy with the results of my creation and no dipping sauces were needed!  They were delicious on their own.

Grilled Artichokes

Ingredients:

  • 2 artichokes
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 5 garlic cloves, 2 smashed,3 minced
  • 1/4 C olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Procedure:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil with 1/4 of the lemon squeezed into it (and rind) plus two cloves of smashed garlic.  Right before you add the artichokes to the boiling water trim the tops from the artichokes, then cut them in half lengthwise. Add artichokes to boiling water right away, to prevent them turning brown, and cook for 15 minutes. (You can put them in cold water that has lemon juice in it to help this.  Make sure to keep them submerged under the boiling water. Meanwhile, preheat the grill.
  2. Drain artichokes and squeeze the rest of the lemon wedges into a medium bowl. Stir in the olive oil and garlic, and season with salt and pepper. You can adjust the taste by adding a little more olive oil or lemon juice.
  3. Brush the artichokes with a coating of the garlic dip, and place them on the preheated grill. Grill the artichokes for 5-10 minutes, basting with the dip and turning frequently until the tips are a little charred. Serve immediately with the remaining dip.

Printable Recipe!

Observations: I actually cut my artichokes well before my water was ready boiling.  You live and learn, and I learned artichokes brown faster than apples.  I quickly squeezed lemon on them and put them in cold water.  It prevented them from browning any more.  I also did not boil mine long enough and they were not completely submerged.  I’ve read putting parchment paper on the surface of the water helps keep them under so I plan on trying that next time (I still have 2 more in my fridge!)

Analysis:  The grilled flavor is so wonderful that I will never miss the stuffed version dipped in butter.  This is a very healthy way to eat artichokes and I see myself enjoying this all summer! I hope to try varying the flavor profiles, but still include that grilled flavor.  Balsamic vinegar would be delicious without adding unnecessary calories.

Holy Comfort Food!

Here is another recipe you don’t have to feel guilty about! I included the nutritional information below. I try to cook meals at least 2-3 times a week. Then, I post my recipes when I have time. This recipe was SO delicious, I had to post as soon as possible. I made this dish last night, and enjoyed the leftovers for lunch today. My husband said it was one of the best pasta dishes I’ve made, and I didn’t even prompt him to say this (surprising). Coming from him, this was a huge compliment.

Skillet Chicken with Artichokes and Roasted Red Peppers

Serves: 6 (1.5 cups per serving)

Nutritional Info: 385 calories, 7g total fat, 567 mg sodium, 53g carbs, 5g sugar, 6g fiber, 23g protein

Materials:

  • 12 oz. whole wheat penne
  • 3/4 pound skinless boneless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (14 oz.) can artichoke hearts, drained, patted dry, and quartered
  • 1 (12 oz.) jar roasted red peppers, drained and sliced (not oil packed)
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese (freshly grated!)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water – added to thicken
  • 1-2 tablespoons tomato paste – added to thicken/flavor

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