Svelte Stuffed Artichokes

To the best of my knowledge I have never had a stuffed artichoke but from what my trusty Shape Magazine tells me they are an example of diet derailment. This recipe is a result of their makeover of the “classic” recipe and it is decidedly good for you. Luckily it also looked amazing and tasted delicious which is why I was glad* that I drove all over town in search of bulgur wheat; a key ingredient.

*I just moved to L.A. the largest City by square mileage in the world and had to go to three different stores to find a bag of wheat! Not only that my local Albertson’s doesn’t even carry fish sauce and the nearest Asian market is 45 minuets away! Don’t get me wrong Santa Monica is otherwise fabulous but can a we get a little culinary variety PLEASE?!

This recipe was labor intensive, but I blame it on the fact that I was an artichoke virgin and a little timid to work with the spiky leaf tips and hairy choke; I think in the future things will go much more smoothly. The stuffing is a delicious mix of bulgur wheat, garlic, pine nuts, parsley, and feta cheese among other things. It was so good in fact that I will no doubt be making it alone in the near future. Also, if you have never worked with bulgur wheat before don’t sweat it; finding it is the hardest part and preparing it is a snap.

I’ll definitely be adding this to my culinary collection since its a triple threat; tasty, healthy, and impressive looking. You can prepare the recipe all the way through stuffing and then just cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. When you’re ready to serve, pop them into the oven for the final step and you’ll have people oohing and aahing in under half and hour.

One final note. There is a helpful video of this dish being prepped on Shape.com just search for skinny stuffed artichoke and it should pop up. They de-spike the artichokes before cooking, but I found this really hard to do so unless your artichokes are especially pliable I would boil before shearing.

Svelte Stuffed Artichokes

Serves 4

4 Globe Artichokes

1 lemon

2/3 cup Bulgur

1.5 cups low sodium chicken broth

2 carrots, grated

2 cups spinach

1/2 cup feta

1/4 cup pignolias (pine nuts) walnuts ok too

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

1/2 tsp. black pepper or to taste

2 Tbl. Olive oil

Boil water in a pot large enough to submerge your artichokes and cut off the stems so they can sit on their own. Rub the artichokes with half a lemon and carefully plop the green guys into the water squeezing the juice from the remaining lemon half in as well; cook for 25 min. Meanwhile Boil one cup of broth in the microwave and pour over the bulgur allow to sit undisturbed for 25 min.

Mix together the bulgur with all the ingredients from carrot through the black pepper. Remove the artichokes from the water after 25 min and allow to cool. Push back the leaves and cut off the barbed tips (this step is important if you want to avoid getting maimed by your food). Next scoop out the hairy choke at the center of the artichoke.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Scoop bulgur into the center of all the artichokes, then fill in between the leaves as well. Try to put a little in all the leaves it will look incredibly appetizing. Place artichokes into an 8x 10 baking dish or whatever vessel will hold the veggies snugly in a single layer, drizzle with the olive oil, and pour the remaining broth into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 25 min until heated through.  Eat.

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