Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fire Roasted Artichoke Hearts & Thai Dipping Sauce

It's been a few days since my last post because I had a wonderful visit with my birth mother catching up on our lives and cooking together all week. Now since I have been on this vegan quest I was worried that my new way of life and cooking might be faltered with company however I found that it was kind of fun trying to find ways to introduce this lifestyle to someone who loves food but is also a meat-eater. I did cheat one night with salmon and only ate about a 4 oz size. My stomach did a few turns since I wasn't used to it but all in all it was an easy week of cooking and even ejoying some fantastic organic red wine. Sipping a glass or two throughout the evening without over endulging.

The first evening we sat outside in the beautiful October sky and enjoyed a spread of Fire Roasted Artichoke Hearts with a Thai Dipping Sauce, Slow Roasted Tomato Jam with Grilled Flatbread and a fabulous Organic Zinfandel!

It was a perfect light dinner and conversation. The tomato jam was a huge hit - once again! Which I have been told needs to be jarred and sold. So don't be surprised if you receive some from me for the holidays this year. I just might take her up on the advice.

Here is the recipe for the artichoke hearts and sauce. I hope you enjoy!
Fire Roasted Artichoke Hearts
2 Artichoke Hearts
1 Lemon
Sea Salt
Cracked Black Pepper

To prepare the artichokes for the grill. Wash them throughly and open the leaves to let the water run through. Then turn the artichokes upside down and give them a good shake to release the trapped water. Dry them by putting on a paper towel and then pat dry.

Using a sharp knife, trim off the top about 1 1/2 to 2" from the top where the leaves are tightly bunched.

Take some kitchen shears and trim the sharp points off each leaf continuing all around the artichoke.
Slice the artichoke in half bearing the head of the violet-colored thistle-like flower in the center. Now use a spoon and scoop out the center getting all the prickly pieces out.

In a large stock pot add about 2 quarts of water, season with sea salt, squeeze fresh lemon juice and add the lemons to the water. Bring the water to a boil and add the artichoke heart halves.

Boil in the seasoned water for approximately 15 minutes. Drain and let dry completely by placing face down on a pallet of papertowels.

Brush the artichoke heart halves with melted coconut oil and season with sea salt and cracked fresh black pepper. Place on a hot grill and roast until they become charred. Approximately 5-8 minutes.

Thai Scallion Dipping Sauce

1/4 Cup Soy Sauce (Low Sodium)
2 Tablespoons Rice Wine Vinegar (Unsweetened)
1 Teaspoon Lime Juice
1 Teaspoon Sesame Oil
Dash of Agave Nectar to sweeten a bit
1 Scallion, Thinly Sliced

Mix all ingredients together with a wisk. Pour in a dipping dish and dip your artichoke leaves in and enjoy this sensational sweet and salty sauce!

Artichokes Healing Properties
Who knew that artichokes are actually considered a herb? Even though this herb is most commonly used as a vegetable it has diuratic properties, increases blood circulation, regenerates liver tissue while stimulating the gall bladder. Artichokes reduce blood lipid, serum cholesterol and blood sugar.

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