Tasty and Slender; A Stuffed Artichoke Makeover

Where you live and your families food preferences influence our eating well into adulthood. Artichokes were not a staple vegetable for my northern Michigan family.  Maintaining a 100-pound weight loss for 13 plus years and living in Lake Tahoe has significantly changed my eating and cooking habits. This proximity to the California Central Valley opened my eyes to a plethora of new food choices and artichokes are one of them.

I ordered a stuffed artichoke thinking it was a healthy choice. It took one of my more experienced friends to educate me that this was a potential calorie bomb. Unfortunately, I was addicted to the taste and became obsessed with making it a healthy satisfying meal.

This takes a little longer to than most of the 30-minute start to finish recipes I prefer but the taste is worth it. My husband loves this dish so much I make a double batch of stuffing just for him!

Tasty and Slender Stuffed Artichoke

4 Large Artichokes
Lemon juice
2/3 C bulgur
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 C vegetable broth
2 large carrots chopped
2 C. spinach finely chopped
1/2 C crumbled vegan feta
1/2 C toasted pine nuts
1/4 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp Italian spice blend
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Slender Stuffed Artichoke Dipping Sauce

3 Tbsp plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
1/8 tsp garlic powder

Preheat oven to 350

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Remove the artichoke stems and cut about an inch off the top. Using a scissor cut the sharp tips of the leaves. Gently separate the leaves and pull out as much of the fuzzy center as possible. Use a small teaspoon to get the rest. Rinse the artichoke thoroughly. Add a little of the lemon juice to the inside (heart) and leaves to prevent discoloration. Finishing cleaning all of the artichokes and then add to the boiling water. Cook until tender approx 25 minutes. Drain and set aside

Place the Bulgur and garlic in a glass bowl. Add 1 cup hot vegetable broth and cover. Let stand for about 30 minutes until all liquid is absorbed.

Once the water is absorbed add carrots, spinach, feta, pine nuts, and all spices and stir.

Place the artichokes in a baking dish. Pulling the leaves apart place the bulgur mixture between the leaves. Put the remaining bulgar in the bottom of the pan and pour the additional veggie broth on top. Bake for approx 20 minutes until the artichokes are heated.

Combine all ingredients for dipping sauce. Serve on the side.

Many specialty grocers carry a version of Vegan Feta but I prefer to make mine from scratch. This Vegan Tofu Feta is easy to make but tastes best if you allow it to marinate overnight, so a little pre-planning is necessary.  If Tofu is not one of your favorites, this Almond Feta alternative is very tasty but more burdensome to create.

Most artichoke dipping sauces contain mayonnaise or other high-calorie ingredients. Plain nonfat Greek yogurt is a healthy substitute for mayo in most recipes. Beware; calories from dipping sauces add up quickly

Know someone who is short on time or talent for cooking but loves tasty meals. They will thank you for sharing this with them.

Aging well isn’t just about healthy eating. If you want to make a change in your life and start living your best year ever this might help!

cj "cathy jo" johnson





CJ Johnson’s Fitness Transformation Blog
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Want more healthy recipes like the Tasty and Slender Stuffed Artichoke? Check back next Saturday