Yes, we know you love yourself some quality artichoke dip; however, that’s not the only way to incorporate this superfood into your diet. Plus all of the other ingredients that go into the dip can potentially ruin your diet. Easily slip artichokes onto your plate in multiple ways to help maintain muscle integrity and control contractions as well.
Add 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, 2 cups fresh basil leaves, ½ cup jarred marinated artichoke hearts, 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese, 2 tbsp pine nuts, 1 to 2 garlic cloves, and 1 tsp lemon juice to a blender. Blend until smooth (add a little water to thin if necessary) and top your favorite proteins and pastas.
Rinse artichoke and remove all tough outer leaves. Trim off thorns and cut down stem to 1 inch. Cut off top third of artichoke. Add lemon slices and garlic to a pot of water and bring to a boil. Place artichoke, stem-side up, in a steamer basket and lower inside pot. Steam for 25 to 40 minutes, until heart is tender when pierced with a knife and leaves peel off easily. To eat, peel off petals and dunk white end into sauce (garlic aioli; oil and vinegar; or lemon, thyme, and olive oil).
Note: When you reach the purple center, or the choke, remove and then scrape away all fuzzy parts covering the artichoke heart with a spoon and eat the heart.
Sauté a handful of spinach and 2 to 3 chopped artichoke hearts in a pan with garlic and oil. In a bowl, beat together 2 to 3 eggs. Add eggs to pan and scramble. As eggs begin to set, add 2 tbsp goat cheese.
Preheat oven to 425°F. Rinse artichoke. Cut off top third and stem. Carefully spread petals open and squeeze in fresh lemon juice; add drizzle of olive oil, minced garlic, sea salt, and Parmesan cheese. Tightly wrap artichoke in aluminum foil and place, stem-side down, in a baking dish. Bake 60 to 90 minutes, depending on size (60 for medium-size). Let cool, remove foil, and enjoy with dipping sauces or plain.
Drain and rinse artichoke hearts from jar or can. Add to a salad or sauté hearts and mix into bean-based pasta dishes or chop and put on top of pizza to add flavor and texture.
BY JENNA WERNER, R.D.