I’m half Italian (the other is Swedish).  My Italian grandparents had a full kitchen and walk-in cold cellar in their basement.  We would make Christmas cookies and stuffed sausage and other goodies.  My grandmother was the one that introduced me to stuffed artichokes.  We would make steamed, stuffed, artichokes together when they were in season (Google it for your area).  Making food together as a family is a great way to build memories – case in point.. that was 40 years ago!!

Preparing the artichokes: we’d cut off the stem to create a flat bottom, use scissors to trim the spiky leaves, then stuff a mixture of butter, bread crumbs and parmesan cheese in-between the leaves.  She would put an inch of water into a corning ware dish (remember those? white with the blue flower), put the artichokes in, leaves facing up, and cover and simmer for some amount of time.  Even the dog knew how to scrape off the meat and cheese from each leaf without biting into it.  Eating the heart, the bottom part, is an acquired taste. I acquired it early on; such ‘meaty’ goodness!!!

In this new age, and through diabetes management, I’ve learned to not cook with butter or cheese anymore.  I roast and season now.  I’ve learned more about the plethora of spices one can use to enhance – not cover up – the flavor of vegetables.

Now I buy frozen artichokes and roast them in my toaster oven with coconut oil and seasonings (depending on the mood).  Fresh ones take slightly more time, and DO have more flavor, so sometimes I do fresh, sometimes frozen.

TIP: Get to know your toaster oven as more than a toaster.  I store my extra pots/pans in my full-size gas oven, so I’m using my toaster as a roaster.

If you follow Healthy Diabetes Management on Facebook, you will see more recipes and images of roasted artichokes.

Here are my tips:

  • buy frozen
  • if fresh, cut in half, place face down
  • use coconut oil for “sprinkling”
  • experiment with spices
  • use Google for recipes

I’m not competing with other wonderful recipes out there; my job is to expand your mind to try different grocery items.

Homework: Try canned or frozen artichokes this week (don’t forget the seasoning) #healthyhomework

Be careful to read the ingredients; make sure there is no hidden oils or salt.