How To Cook Artichokes in 3 Easy Ways – Organic Authority

How To Cook Artichokes in 3 Easy Ways

The artichoke is a delicious, nutritious vegetable that works well both as an entree or a side dish. There are many ways to prepare and enjoy artichokes so we’re sharing how to cook artichokes three different ways. If you’ve never cooked artichokes before, don’t fret. It’s much easier than it looks and the results are tastier than you can imagine!

Artichokes are thistles which are flowering plants that fall into the vegetable category. This edible plant is full of vitamins C and K, antioxidants, fiber, and minerals. Artichokes have detoxifying properties and may aid the liver in ridding the body of toxins. They may also help to prevent disease with their high antioxidant content. Another amazing benefit of eating artichokes is, on average, an artichoke contains around 10 grams of fiber, which is crucial for healthy digestion. Artichokes may also help to regulate blood pressure and cholesterol, making these a heart-healthy choice!

If you’re lucky enough to live in sunshine-filled California, you can enjoy artichokes year-around. Their peak season is March through May so spring is an optimal time to head to the farmers market and pick up some farm-fresh artichokes. When selecting artichokes, first check the weight and texture. You’ll want a heavy, firm artichoke that’s free of bruising and heavy discoloration. Some purple streaks are normal and are present in most artichokes. A ripe and ready artichoke has tightly packed leaves, if they are separating and opening up, the artichoke will be dried out and will lack flavor.

For optimum health benefits, buy organic artichokes. Conventional artichokes can be heavily sprayed with pesticides. Plus organic artichokes will be even tastier! Once you’ve picked your perfect artichokes, you’re ready to move on to the preparation phase. Follow our simple steps and you’ll be ready to cook ‘em up!

How To Cook Artichokes

How To Cook Artichokes in 3 Easy Ways
Step One
Rinse your artichokes, allowing water to stream into the inner and outer leaves. Shake out the artichoke in the sink and then pat dry.

How To Cook Artichokes in 3 Easy Ways
Step Two
Pull off the base leaves closest to the stem and discard. Trim the remaining leaves by cutting off the sharp, pointy edges.

How To Cook Artichokes in 3 Easy Ways
Step Three

Using a sharp chef’s knife, chop off about ¾ inch off the crown of the artichoke.

How To Cook Artichokes in 3 Easy Ways
Step Four

Cut off ¼ inch from the bottom of the stem and discard. Using a vegetable peeler, peel around the stem. Next, chop ¾ of the stem off the artichoke but don’t discard! Cut the remaining stem into medallions as pictured. Reserve for later use.

How To Cook Artichokes in 3 Easy Ways
Step Five

Rub half of a lemon around the outside of the artichoke. This will help prevent browning. Set aside. Slice the other half of the lemon into thin rings.

To Boil:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add in lemon slices and ½ teaspoon sea salt. Add artichokes, making sure they remain standing up. If you are using the stems, add the medallions to the pot as well. Cover loosely and boil for 30-90 minutes, depending on the size. Small artichokes will only take 30-40 minutes to cook while large artichokes will take 60-90 minutes. To tell if they are done, check to see if the leaf is fork tender. The inner leaves should be removed easily while the fleshy, edible portion of the leaf will be soft enough to bite easily. The stems should also be fork tender, they may finish faster than the artichoke and if so, remove from pot using a slotted spoon and set aside. Once artichokes are done drain in a colander and then serve alongside cooked stems.

To Steam:

Add enough water to a pot so that water reaches the bottom of the steamer basket. Add lemon slices and ½ teaspoon sea salt in the water. Place artichokes and stems in the basket and steam for 30 minutes or until leaves are fork tender. Serve immediately.

To Grill:

Follow steps one through five for preparation. Then, slice the artichokes in half, lengthwise. Remove the fuzzy choke using a spoon and discard. Place the artichokes in a pot of boiling water with lemon slices and ½ teaspoon sea salt. Boil for 20-30 minutes until tender but not falling apart.

Meanwhile, heat up a grill. If using a stove-top grill, heat over medium-high heat and lightly grease the pan with oil. Place the artichokes face down and grill for 3-5 minutes, until grill marks form. If using stems, place them in a grill basket or wrap them in foil and place on the grill until fork tender. If using a grill pan, place the stems directly on the pan. Grill until lightly charred.

How To Eat Artichokes

To eat your cooked artichokes, simply pull off a leaf and dig your teeth into the lower, soft edible flesh. Discard the rest of the leaf. Dip it into a sauce such as olive oil, melted butter, or mayonnaise if desired.

Once you get to the small inner leaves that are completely soft, pull them off and discard. Next, using a spoon scoop out the fuzzy choke. Chop up the artichoke heart and dunk in desired dipping sauce.

To eat the stem medallions, simply dip in dipping sauce and eat! Enjoy!

How To Cook Artichokes in 3 Easy Ways

Artichoke Recipes

Here are a few more artichoke recipes to test out your new skills!

Grilled Artichokes with Gremolata 

Grilled Artichoke Recipe

Image by Asa Dahlgren. Reprinted with permission from “The Summer Table” published in 2015 by Sterling Epicure. 

Potato Salad with Artichokes, Feta Cheese & Olive Relish

Potato Salad Recipe with Artichokes, Feta Cheese & Olive Oil
Image courtesy of author Georgeanne Brennan and Weldon Owen Publishing from the book, Salad of the Day (Williams-Sonoma): 365 Recipes for Every Day of the Year.

How To Cook Artichokes

Related on Organic Authority
Grilled Artichokes Recipe with Gremolata
How To Cook Butternut Squash: 5 Delicious Ways To Enjoy This Vibrant Veggie
Potato Salad Recipe With Artichokes, Feta Cheese & Olive Relish

All images via Karissa Bowers unless otherwise stated.

Karissa Bowers

Karissa Bowers

Karissa Bowers is a fashion and food blogger living a compassionate lifestyle. Karissa is the blogger of Vegan À La Mode where she shares her favorite vegan and gluten-free recipes and also her eco-friendly cruelty-free style. Her love for photographing food and her outfits, drove her to develop a passion for photography. After a few years of honing in on her photography skills, Karissa launched her business, Karissa Bowers Photography, where she shoots weddings and portraits. When she’s not taking photos or in the kitchen, you can find Karissa traveling and trying new vegan restaurants.



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Grilled Asparagus Recipe with Lemon White Wine Fettuccine – Organic Authority

Grilled Asparagus Recipe with Lemon White Wine Fettuccine

Lighten up your pasta cravings with this healthy grilled asparagus recipe with white wine fettuccine.

With warmer weather upon us, it’s time to incorporate more fresh, vibrant veggies and fruits into our diets. Asparagus has many health benefits and is full of necessary nutrients such as fiber, folate, Vitamins K and B1, and copper, among others. Asparagus is also a clean veggie which means it’s not heavily sprayed with pesticides so you don’t have to buy it organic.

The lemons in this dish add a citrusy touch which helps to neutralize the bitterness of asparagus and add more flavor. With a sauce composed of white wine, garlic, and sauteed shallots, this healthy dish will leave you feeling energized and ready to tackle anything. Plus this dish is vegan and gluten-free friendly!

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Grilled Asparagus with Lemon White Wine Fettuccine Recipe

Grilled Asparagus with Lemon White Wine Fettuccine Recipe



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Grilled Asparagus with Lemon White Wine Fettuccine Recipe

Ingredients

4 servings
598
  • 1 lb fettuccine noodles (gluten-free if desired)
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 lemons, 1 halved and 1 sliced into thin rounds
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • ½ cup white wine
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • Olive oil

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add noodles and cook according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a grill or grill pan lightly brushed with olive oil over medium-high heat. Chop the bottom ¼ inch off the ends of the asparagus and compost. Drizzle the spears with olive oil. Squeeze half a lemon over them and then add to the grill. Grill for 4-6 minutes until fork tender. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Heat a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and minced shallots. Saute for 2 minutes. Add garlic and sautee for 2 more minutes. Add white wine, sea salt, and pepper and raise heat to medium until bubbles appear. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add juice from half a lemon. Remove from heat.
  4. Add the noodles to the sauce and toss. Add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil if the pasta seems too dry.  Top each plate of pasta with grilled asparagus, and lemon slices. Garnish with nutritional yeast if desired. Enjoy!

Nutrition information

Calories per serving: 598
Fat per serving: 16.2g
Saturated fat per serving: 2g
Carbs per serving: 90.6g
Protein per serving: 16.4g
Fiber per serving: 6.6g
Sugar per serving: 6.6g
Sodium per serving: 238mg
Cholesterol per serving: 0mg

4.32


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 Fresh and Healthy Lemon White Wine Fettuccine with Asparagus Recipe

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4 Tasty Asparagus Recipes for a Springtime Meatless Monday Meal

All Images via Karissa Bowers

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Cooking Eggplant 4 Ways: Do it Right, and Do it Deliciously!

Cooking Eggplant

Cooking eggplant is easy and results in a flavorful, fork-tender bite when done correctly. This nightshade can be cooked in a variety of methods making it a perfect vegetable to use year around.

One of the key components in cooking eggplant is removing the bitterness to bring out eggplant’s flavor potential. It is a key step when learning how to cook eggplant but luckily it is easy to do.

Glossy, jewel-toned eggplants make an excellent addition to any savory dish. Its chewy texture makes it a great choice for substituting meat in a vegan dish. Eggplant also lends itself well to sauces and stews with its delightful flavor and creamy texture.

How To Select and Store

Eggplant’s peak season is August through October but fortunately, it can be found year round so you aren’t limited to only cooking it during summer. During the late summer, you should be able to find eggplant at your local farmers market where the eggplant is sure to be freshly picked.

When selecting eggplant; look for a firm, glossy skin with no wrinkling. Lightly press on it with your thumb to ensure it hasn’t gone soft. Eggplants perish quickly so plan to buy it only a couple of days in advance of cooking it. You can store unwashed and uncut eggplant in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

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Health Benefits

Eggplant is rich in vitamins, minerals, and also phytonutrients which help to keep the brain healthy. One-cup of cooked eggplant contains 2 grams of fiber, 7 percent DV copper, and 6 percent DV manganese. Eggplant’s phytonutrients include nasunin, which is an antioxidant which may help to protect cells from free radical damage. Nausunin is found in the skin of eggplant which is all the more reason not to peel it.

Tips and Tricks

Cooking Eggplant: Tips To Remove Eggplant BitternessImage of salted eggplant via Shutterstock

Often when being prepared, eggplant begins to brown, but But with a few tips you can prevent it.

Opt for a stainless steel knife instead of a carbon steel knife which reacts with the phytonutrients in eggplant. Once cut, brush the eggplant with fresh lemon juice, which will minimize browning.

If you desire tender, creamy texture then salting before cooking eggplant is recommended. Salting will draw out excess moisture and also help to reduce any bitterness that might be present. Some varieties of eggplant like Southeast Asian or overripe eggplants are more prone to bitterness.

To salt the eggplant, place cut eggplant into a colander. Sprinkle both sides with a generous amount of sea salt. Let it sit for 60 to 90 minutes. Rinse with cold water and gently pat dry between two tea towels or paper towels.

Cooking Eggplant

Cooking Eggplant: How To Grill EggplantImage of grilled eggplant via Shutterstock

There are many ways to go about cooking eggplant ranging from baking to grilling. Each method provides a tasty result. Remember, you can always opt to salt the eggplant after cutting into instructed shape if you are concerned about a bitter flavor. Simply follow the instructions above and then continue on with the recipe.

How To Bake Eggplant

For baked eggplant that’s creamy in texture and lightly browned, you’ll opt to cook it a lower temperature. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat.

Cut the eggplant into 1/2 inch rounds. Brush eggplant slices lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and ground pepper. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, turning halfway through cooking. Eggplant should be lightly browned and fork tender.

How To Roast Eggplant

For roasted eggplant with a caramelized flavor, you’ll cook eggplant in the oven at a higher temperature. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or baking mat.

Slice the eggplant vertically in half. Cut off the stem. Score the eggplant by cutting it in a crosshatch fashion.

Brush each half lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt. Roast for 15 to 25 minutes, depending on the size of the eggplant. When roasted eggplant is done, it should be wilting around the edges and have a browned interior. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

How To Saute Eggplant

Sauteing eggplant is a quick and easy way to enjoy the vegetable. Heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Chop eggplant into bite sized pieces. Add eggplant and any desired seasonings or spices. Saute for 10 minutes, or until fork tender stirring continuously throughout the cooking time.

How To Grill Eggplant

Grilled eggplant makes a delicious addition to any summertime barbecue. It also works wonderfully on grilled veggie kabobs.

Heat a charcoal or gas grill over medium-high heat. Slice eggplant into rounds and lightly brush with olive oil. Grill covered if using gas, uncovered if using charcoal for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Season as desired.

Eggplant Recipes

Vegan Eggplant Gyros RecipeImage via Delish Knowledge

Vegan Eggplant Gyros
These light and healthy vegan eggplant gyros make the perfect summer sandwich. Eggplant’s chewy texture perfectly replaces the meat that is usually in gyros and its flavor pairs perfectly with the creamy hummus.

Vegan Eggplant Parmesan SubsImage via Hot for Food

Vegan Eggplant Parmesan Subs
Breaded eggplant topped with marinara and cashew cheese makes the perfect filling for these vegan eggplant parmesan subs. This is an ideal dish for anyone who is hesitant about eating eggplant since all the flavorful fillings with complement eggplant’s flavor.

Vegan Ratatouille RecipeImage via Ally-Jane

Vegan Ratatouille
This picnic-friendly vegan ratatouille is the perfect dish to liven up your summer with more vegetables. Tarragon adds a herby flavor that pairs perfectly with the eggplant, zucchini, and squash.

Vegan Nut-Free Queso with Eggplant RecipeImage via Minimalist Baker

Vegan Cashew-less Queso
Most vegan cheese recipes call for cashews much to the dismay of those with nut allergies. But once blended, eggplant makes the perfect creamy substitute in this vegan queso recipe.

Eggplant Cannelloni RecipeImage via Every Last Bite

Eggplant Cannelloni
Rolled up grilled eggplant bakes the perfect outer shell for pesto and marinara in this eggplant cannelloni recipe. This grain-free dish is delicious and comforting without the guilt.

Related on Organic Authority
How to Master Vegan Grilling (Tricks, Techniques, and 5 Gourmet Recipes!)
4 Vegetarian Eggplant Recipes for a Tasty Meatless Monday
Slumcrop Millionaires: Monsanto Faces Biopiracy Lawsuit for Stealing India’s Eggplant

Image of eggplant in metal bowl via Shutterstock

The post Cooking Eggplant 4 Ways: Do it Right, and Do it Deliciously! appeared first on Organic Authority.

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How To Cook Asparagus 5 Ways

How To Cook Asparagus

Asparagus’ adaptable, light flavor makes it a versatile vegetable apt for a variety of cooking methods. This vibrant veggie adds a fresh crunch to salads when served raw, takes on a tender bite when roasted, or develops a crispy, charred flavor when grilled. However you choose to cook it, asparagus remains a standout vegetable of spring.

While asparagus’ peak season is April, it is readily available February through June. It’s likely even available year-round in states such as California. We love cooking with it this time of year since it can be found in abundance both at grocery stores and farmers markets. Asparagus is a member of the  Environmental Working Group’s “Clean Fifteen”, meaning it has a low pesticide load when grown conventionally.

It’s not just asparagus’ versatility that makes it a spring favorite, it also has an abundance of nutrients to boot. Asparagus has high levels of vitamins B1, B2, and K, folate, copper, and selenium. It also has anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties thanks to its antioxidant nutrients. Not to mention asparagus also helps with digestion and blood sugar regulation.

When choosing asparagus, look for dark green and purple tips with freshly cut ends. The stems should be firm and rounded. Avoid spears’ whose ends have dried out as they will lack flavor.

Gather up your asparagus spears and learn how to cook this all-star veggie with us!

Asparagus Purple, Green White shutterstock_367820072
Image of green, white, purple asparagus on slate via Shutterstock

There are three types of asparagus; white, purple, and green. The varying hues indicate a slight difference in flavors. While all are edible and enjoyable, it’s important to note the differences.

White asparagus takes on its colorless hue because it’s grown in the dark which prevents them from producing chlorophyll. White asparagus is considered a delicacy in many cultures and is harder to find due to its more complex method of growth. It also is tougher in texture and more bitter than green asparagus which means it must be peeled and cooked longer. Purple asparagus gets its color from antioxidants known as anthocyanins which are common in purple foods. It also has a sweeter, more fruity flavor than traditional asparagus. It only requires light looking or is even best enjoyed raw.

How To Cook Asparagus 5 Easy Ways

How To Cook Asparagus

1. Raw

If you choosing to eat asparagus raw, we encourage purple asparagus since it lacks bitterness and is instead sweet and fruity. Trim ½ inch of the ends and chop into ¼ inch pieces. Toss with sea salt and pepper and serve as desired.

2. Blanch

To retain asparagus’s vibrant color and enhance the flavor, you can blanch it for a quick cooking method. Simply bring a pot of water to boil and have a nearby bowl of ice water ready. Add trimmed asparagus to the boiling water and boil for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove and quickly plunge into the bowl of ice water for one minute. Drain and season with sea salt, lemon juice, or other desired topping.

3. Steam

Steaming asparagus eases the texture and gets rid of any bitterness while still preserving the nutrients. To do so, fill a pot with enough water to reach the bottom of a steaming basket. Trim the ends of the asparagus and cut until it fits easily in the basket. Steam for 3-5 minutes, until fork-tender.

4. Roast

Tried and true, roasted asparagus is swoon-worthy with its tender texture and buttery taste. A little drizzle of olive oil goes a long way as it naturally wilts and becomes moister as it roasts. To achieve perfectly roasted asparagus, preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Trim the ends of the asparagus to your preference, making sure to get rid of any woody ends. Drizzle the asparagus with 2 tablespoons oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Roast for 10-15 minutes until fork tender. Squeeze half of a fresh lemon over the asparagus and serve.

5. Grill

Preheat a grill or stovetop grill pan. Trim the ends of the asparagus and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil and a touch of lemon zest. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Place asparagus on the grill diagonally. Grill for about 5 minutes, tossing halfway through so all sides are evenly cooked. Remove from grill and top with fresh squeezed lemon juice.

Asparagus Recipes

Grilled Asparagus Recipe with Lemon White Wine Fettuccine
Image via Karissa Bowers

Grilled Asparagus Recipe with Lemon White Wine Fettuccine
Pair chargrilled asparagus with fettuccine noodles and a white wine sauce for a refreshing spring dinner.

Pan-Grilled Asparagus and Endive with Fava Beans, Orange and Basil Recipe
Image via Erin Kunkel

Pan-Grilled Asparagus and Endive with Fava Beans, Orange and Basil
This endive salad features pan-grilled asparagus making it the perfect, refreshing way to use asparagus during late spring and early summer.

Whole-Wheat Asparagus Tart Recipe with Ricotta-Egg Filling
Image of asparagus quiche via Shutterstock

Whole-Wheat Asparagus Tart Recipe with Ricotta-Egg Filling
For chilly days, warm up with this comforting and aromatic baked whole wheat tart topped with asparagus.

Related on Organic Authority
4 Tasty Asparagus Recipes for a Springtime Meatless Monday Meal
7 Spring Vegetables: From Peas to Purple Asparagus
Meatless Monday Recipe Roundup: The Asparagus Cleanse

Images of asparagus on wood board via Karissa Bowers


Karissa Bowers

Karissa Bowers

Karissa Bowers is a fashion and food blogger living a compassionate lifestyle. Karissa is the blogger of Vegan À La Mode where she shares her favorite vegan and gluten-free recipes and also her eco-friendly cruelty-free style. Her love for photographing food and her outfits, drove her to develop a passion for photography. After a few years of honing in on her photography skills, Karissa launched her business, Karissa Bowers Photography, where she shoots weddings and portraits. When she’s not taking photos or in the kitchen, you can find Karissa traveling and trying new vegan restaurants.



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This Italian Crockpot Chicken with Garlic and Basil is Pasta Night Comfort Food

crockpot chicken

Enjoying a delicious and protein-filled pasta night has never been easier thanks to this easy Italian crockpot chicken recipe with tomato sauce, garlic, and fresh basil. Simply put all the ingredients in a crockpot, leave it for the day, and return home to quick (and healthy!) comfort food.

This crockpot chicken recipe couldn’t be easier. All you’ll need are two frozen chicken breasts and a handful of other pantry ingredients. If your chicken is already thawed, have no fear! Simply cook the chicken in the crockpot for less time.

Choose certified organic chicken, if possible, or purchase chicken locally from a farmers market. Many labels on packaged chicken, such as sustainably farmed and humanely raised, are unverifiable and actually give no indication for how the chicken was raised. Choosing organic chicken means that the chicken was raised without antibiotics or hormones and complies with the USDA’s definition of organic practices.

Organic frozen chicken is combined with tomato sauce and hearty, Italian flavors in a crockpot. Choose plain organic tomato sauce, or one that hasn’t been sweetened or filled with preservatives and additives. Find glass jars or cardboard boxes of plain tomato sauce for this recipe at local health food stores or Whole Foods Market.

Balsamic vinegar is a delicious addition to this crockpot chicken recipe and adds a hint of acid and balance to the sauce. When slow cooked, balsamic vinegar sweetens and has a remarkable taste.

Whole cloves of garlic and onion infuse into the sauce to create a heavenly tasting (and smelling) sauce. When cooked low and slow, both garlic and onion sweeten and take on a caramelized, rich flavor.

After cooking for hours, this crockpot chicken is ready to go. Simply shred the chicken with a fork and serve with your favorite pasta noodles, baked spaghetti squash, or zucchini zoodles. Top with fresh basil and enjoy a hearty comfort classic!

crockpot chicken

Italian Crockpot Chicken with Tomatoes and Garlic

Ingredients

  • 2 frozen chicken breasts
  • 4 cups tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • ½ white onion, chopped
  • 6-8 cloves whole garlic, peeled
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon tea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Fresh basil, chopped, to garnish

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients, except for fresh basil, in a crockpot.
  2. Cover and cook on low for 7 hours.
  3. After cooking, use a fork to shred chicken in the crockpot.
  4. Serve chicken with fresh basil and sauce over pasta, spaghetti squash, or alongside vegetables. Enjoy!

Notes

If your chicken is already thawed, cook for 4 hours instead.

4.14

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Photos by Kate Gavlick


Kate Gavlick

Kate Gavlick

Kate is a Nutritionist with a Master’s of Nutrition from the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon and the blogger and photographer of Vegukate. Kate believes in nourishing the whole body with real, vibrant foods that feed the mind, body, soul, gut, and every single little cell. Her philosophy is simple when it comes to food and nourishment: cut the processed junk, listen to your body, eat by the seasons, eat plates and bowls filled with color, stress less, and enjoy every single bite. When she’s not cooking in her too tiny Portland kitchen, Kate can be found perusing farmer’s markets, doing barre classes, hiking, reading, and exploring.


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