Tag Archives: artichokes

All choked up

23 Jul

I’ve mentioned before my love for canned artichoke hearts. If you haven’t tried them yet, you really should. If you’ve bought them, and find yourself with not knowing what to do with them, and have a can or artichoke hearts collecting dust on your counter – you’re in luck! Today I’m sharing one of my favourite Hungry Girl recipes with you: Artichoke Hummus!

IMG_2247

Yesterday, the women of my Mom’s family got together for a pool party at my Aunt’s. We were all to bring an appetizer, and, as it had been a while since I had made this hummus, it was my first choice. I don’t know why I waited so long – this stuff is so good! Nice and light, with traditional hummus flavour that you’d expect, but the artichokes give it a little “je ne sais quoi” (FYI, that’s French for “I don’t know what”).

Keep this one on file for summer entertaining…but it’s also good to have around for everyday snacking or packing in lunches any time of the year! I make a few modifications to the original recipe, so I will note those below.

Hungry, Hungry Artichoke Hummus (from Hungry Girl)
PER SERVING (1/8th of recipe, about 1/4 cup): 56 calories, 0.5g fat, 400mg sodium, 9g carbs, 3g fiber, 1g sugars, 3g protein

  • 1 cup canned artichoke hearts, drained
    1/4 cup fat-free vegetable broth (I usually just put in 1/4 cup water then add extra garlic salt)
    1/4 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt (often, I don’t have on hand, so I use regular plain yogurt – it works just fine!)
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
    1 1/2 tsp. crushed garlic
    1/2 tsp. dried parsley flakes (if at all possible, use a handful fresh parsley instead…I find parsley flakes kinda tasteless, and the fresh flavour is just so good)
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1/4 tsp. black pepper
    1/4 tsp. ground cumin
    1/4 tsp. paprika
    One 15-oz. can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
    Optional garnish: additional parsley flakes and paprika

Place parsley and garlic cloves (whole) into food processor and pulse a few times until finely chopped (see photo below). This step is my own addition that saves time in chopping herbs/crushing garlic.

Place all ingredients except chickpeas and optional garnishes in a blender or food processor (mini food processors rock for this recipe!). Set aside.

Place chickpeas in a bowl and thoroughly mash with a potato masher or fork. (The recipe says you can skip this step if you have a strong blender/food processor. I ALWAYS skip this step and it works out fine.)

Transfer to the blender. Puree until smooth, stopping and stirring if blending slows.

For best flavour, refrigerate hummus for several hours. Before serving, garnish with a sprinkle each of additional parsley flakes and paprika, if you like. Dip away!

IMG_2248

This is what your garlic/parsley should look like when you are done chopping. Don’t worry about scraping it off the sides of the food processor. The hummus-ification (VERY scientific term) of the other ingredients will incorporate the parsley and garlic into your mixture.

 

IMG_2249

 

 

 

Everything is all measured, in the food processor, and ready to go. All we need to do is put on the lid and press the button!

 

 

 

 

IMG_2250

 

After lots of blending, pulsing, and some scraping/stirring with a spatula, the hummus is finito! Now, if only I had a container….

 

 

 

IMG_2251

 

….ah, that’s it! Now get the lid on and cool it. Since I was having a 10:30 PM hummus making party (What…you don’t have those?) this guy got refrigerated overnight, so the flavours blended up nicely.

 

 

Don’t forget lots of fresh veggies, crackers and chips (BAKED, of course!) to serve. Your family and friends will thank you, but don’t get all “choke”-d up at all the compliments (sorry, I had to).

Pool party number 2 for today got postponed due to a scheduling miscommunication, so I’m not quite sure what’s on the agenda, other than a new ice cream maker project (details to follow, if it’s good). What about you? What are you doing on this summer Saturday?

Favourite Things: Funky Foods in a Can

10 Feb

Time for more of my favourite things! Today I am spreading the word about some more unusual foods. These are foods that you may not have heard of or ever used, and ones that I have only started using in the last year or two…and although I didn’t intend for this theme when I started the post, they are all from a can or a jar. And…bonus…you don’t have to cook any of them! I hope this post will broaden your culinary horizons and encourage you to try things you haven’t before, so here goes.

1. Capers

These little guys are a great flavour booster. I think what initially inspired me to try them is that they are a 0 point Weight Watchers Food (always a good thing). If you want to find out what capers actually are, click here. Capers have a really salty, briny flavour that taste great in all sorts of dishes. I like them in tomato-based veggie and pasta dishes, you can also throw them into a salad. I don’t enjoy olives, but I love the salty flavour that capers add to a dish (heads up – you may want to cut back on salt if you’re adding capers, as they do pack a punch). Capers are sold in small jars usually around where the pickles/pickled vegetables are in the grocery store.

2. Hearts of Palm

I’m trying to remember why I first tried these…I think maybe I saw them featured in a recipe in Rachael Ray magazine? Hearts of palm are unique in flavour and texture….I think I’ve heard them described as a cross between asparagus and artichokes? That’s as close as I can come up with. Again, here’s a link if you want to read more. Like the capers, they are 0 points. I mostly use them in salads….it adds something different, and switches it up from your usual veggies. But according to the article I linked to above, you can blend them up in spreads….interesting! Again…sold in the pickles area, right by capers.

3. Artichoke Hearts

I am not just doing a heart theme since it’s close to Valentine’s Day…I “heart” these as well (I crack myself up). Artichoke hearts are becoming a bit more common I think, probably because of all the yummy artichoke dips out there (try this one from Hungry Girl….seriously YUM). I think I first bought them because a Pampered Chef recipe I was making called for them (I used to be a consultant). The recipe was called “elegant artichoke cups” and it was always a hit when I made them. But in terms of more day to day things, artichokes taste great when added to pasta dishes, or in salads. They also make a great pizza topper. Another HG favourite artichoke recipe of mine? Her artichoke hummus is just out of this world…I love to have it on hand during the summer…yum! Artichokes are found in the same part of the grocery store as the capers and hearts of palm.

Do you have any favourite ways of using these foods? Or any other funky canned foods we need to know about? Please share!