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HAVE A HEART: Artichoke 101

3 Nov

How to pick and prepare an artichoke perfectly EVERY time.

But first, did you know…

…that artichokes are extremely high in nutrients and very low in calories?  (A medium choke has roughly 60 calories and is jam-packed with magnesium, potassium, vitamin C,  iron, and fiber)  Did you know that artichokes are also good for liver health and can help to soothe digestion??? Artichokes are normally in their peak from March-June, but sometimes you can find decent ones when it’s not prime time. Eat up!

How to pick em:

Even Green.

Tight Leaves.

Firm and Heavy.

If you squeeze the choke and it squeaks, that’s a good sign as well.

I also think that one of the most important thing when buying artichokes is finding ones with thick stems. Sometimes the stems even taste really good, so throw them in the pot with your chokes and give them a shot. 

Remember this little mantra next time you are on a choke hunt:

The bigger the stem, the bigger the heart

The bigger the heart, the meatier each part

Preparation:

Chop of the stems as close to the bottom of the choke as you can, then cut about 1.5-2″ off the top of the choke. Trim the leaves and top of choke.

Rinse the artichoke well

Place your steaming basket inside a large pot with about ½ inch of HOT water covering the bottom. Place artichokes leaves down(stem-side up) into the basket and cook covered on medium high heat for 45 minutes.

Turn off the heat, take the lid off the pot, and let the chokes sit for 5-10 minutes (still upside-down) in the steamer basket…this allows all excess water o drain

Stab them with a fork, put them on a plate, and enjoy with butter!!

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30-DAY VEGAN CHALLENGE: Week One

21 Sep

I decided to embark on a vegan adventure this month because I wanted to know how I would feel with all animal protein eliminated from my diet. Seeing the movie Forks over Knives originally ignited my interest in a plant-based diet, and I was intrigued by the theory that food and diet can help reverse disease.  So cheers to a month of healthier eating, Ill keep you posted each week! 

Typical Breakfast:

Oatmeal, Stevia, Almonds and Raisins OR

Ezekiel Sprouted Grain English Muffin with Tofutti, Basil, and Tomato

Lunch:

My mid-day meal has been primarily leftovers from dinner the night before. I have also been snacking on apples, berries, nuts, hummus, carrots, and arugula with balsamic mmm

I also made a quick chickpea, tomato, basil, red onion and balsamic salad for a hearty snack

Highlighted Dinners:

Night One: Soy and Balsamic Marinated Portabellos with spicy stewed tomatoes tossed with brown rice pasta

Night Two: Hearty Vegetable Soup with Garlic Flatbreads and Lemony Arugula

Night Three: Spaghetti Squash, Vegan Sausage, chickpeas, stewed tomatoes

To keep me  feeling refreshed and pampered: Chilled Lemon Mint Water

How do I feel? Very positive  about this experience, and I  haven’t craved cheese yet.  I also seem to have a bit more energy 🙂

Bar Snacks

7 Feb

Tapa del dia: Kale Chips

Preheat oven to 350

1 bunch of Kale, de-stemmed

Olive Oil (spray works best)

Sea Salt

Garlic Powder (optional)

Tear up kale into bite-size pieces and lay on some tinfoil, spray with oil and sprinkle with salt and any other seasonings you like.

Bake for 10-15min or until outside edges start to brown. This may take a few times to perfect!

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Living in Spain spoiled me with free tapas (light snacks or appetizers served with drinks), and I am always pleasantly surprised when I find a bar in the US that offers a little something to eat for their slightly overserved customers
Herb’s in downtown Denver, Colorado, is a great place to stop by on the weekends. With a great live music scene, relaxing booths to hang out in, and PBR tallboys on the cheap, there isn’t much more you could ask for. The other night the bartender offered my friends and I a shallow bowl of CheezBalls to have with our beers! What seemed like an already perfect equation had just gotten better. Way to get innovative with the snacks, guys! Three bowls later, we licked our fingers clean, and left happy and full.

What you crave, ways to save, and other fanciful abstractions

5 Feb

I was sitting in work today, deprived of all creative energy, and decided I needed to create an outlet for sharing my daily observations and ideas. This blog is dedicated to thoughtful and useful randomness. Travel, food, design, the earth, and delicious wine.

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