Meatless Monday – Roasted Artichokes Stuffed with Garlic, Parmesan & Quinoa

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My Mom used to steam whole artichokes and serve them with bowls of melted butter or mayo as a special treat. I have fond memories of sitting around the table with my brothers and sisters, peeling off leaf after leaf and watching the piles of toothmarked leaves growing ever larger.  That is certainly the easiest way to prepare artichokes and sometimes simple is best, however, I was looking for a recipe that would feature an artichoke as a main course, rather than an appetizer or side dish.  Most of the stuffed artichoke recipes I found call for some variation of garlic, olive oil, parmesan and breadcrumbs, which I’m sure is delicious, but I wanted something healthier and heartier.  So I swapped out the breadcrumbs for red quinoa which is more nutrient dense, added fresh herbs and several cheeses. I used an Italian blend of parmesan, romano, mozzarella and provolone. The cheesy crust and savory quinoa are delicious and satisfying but the true gem is the artichoke heart.  I was tempted to revert back to my childhood and ate the larger leaves and heart with a homemade aioli; Just Mayo with a little lemon juice, minced garlic and a dash of salt.  Yum!

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Artichokes are a delicious way to get nutrients that research shows we typically lack in our diets — fiber, vitamin C, magnesium and potassium.  They are a little bit of work to prepare for stuffing, as the fuzzy choke needs to be removed, but it is totally worth the effort.  I like to soak the cut artichokes in lemon water while I work to prevent them from turning brown.  The extra water keeps them from drying out in the oven too.  Cutting the sharp tips off of the leaves is an optional step.  It only takes a minute with kitchen shears but if you are in a rush, don’t bother.  Chefs do it because it looks pretty and prevents people from piercing their fingers on the spiny tips but is not really necessary.

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I like to use red quinoa because I love the gorgeous color and it ‘feel’s meatier than the white, although that may be an optical illusion (or maybe I’m just easily fooled).  In fact, I use it instead of meat in my Black Bean Chili con Quinoa and Quinoa Black Bean Tacos with really great results.  If you don’t have red quinoa, you can use regular white quinoa.  Their nutritional value is the same and their flavor is very similar.  Regardless of the color, quinoa is a great source of protein and fiber but low in calories and fat.  It also fills you up so you’re not rushing back to the refrigerator right after dinner. Just sayin’.

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TIPS:  I cut the artichokes in half to stuff them but you could also stuff them whole.  Just remove the stem so they will sit flat.  Remove the center leaves and choke.  I find that a melon baller or ice cream scoop works better than a regular spoon and/or knife.  Then pack the center full of stuffing as well as between the leaves.  Bake as directed.  Larger artichokes will take longer.  You know it’s done when a knife can easily pierce the stem end and the outer leaves are easily removed.

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ROASTED ARTICHOKES STUFFED WITH GARLIC, PARMESAN AND QUINOA

This recipe calls for 2 large artichokes which serves 2-4 people as a main course depending on appetities.  You can easily double the recipe for a larger crowd.

2 large artichokes
2 Tbsn lemon juice (juice of one lemon)
3/4 cup red quinoa
3 large cloves garlic
1 shallot, minced
3/4 cup parmesan (or mixed cheeses, romano, mozzarella, fontina, provolone)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1 Tbsn fresh herbs or 1 tsp dried (parsley, oregano, thyme)

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  • Using a fine mesh colander, rinse quinoa under cold running water and drain. Combine quinoa and 1 1/2 cups water in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook until quinoa is tender and all the water is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork and stir in shallots and garlic while it’s hot so they start to soften.  Set aside.

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  • Fill a large bowl with water and lemon juice. Stir well. If you are stuffing whole artichokes, cut stems from artichokes so they can sit flat.  If you are stuffing half artichokes, slice in half vertically, including the stem.

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  • Place artichokes in bowl with lemon water. Working with one artichoke at a time, scoop out the center leaves and the fuzzy choke (an carefully use a serrated knife to cut off the top third, then use scissors to clip off and discard sharp leaf points, returning each artichoke to the lemon water as you finish.

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  • When quinoa is cool, stir in cheeses, red pepper flakes and herbs.

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  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Place artichokes  leaf side side down in a baking pan and brush or spray with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, if desired, and  stuff with qunoa mixture.  Don’t hesitate to pack each in a large mound.

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  • Pour about 3/4 cup of water in the bottom of the pan to create steam and prevent sticking, cover with aluminum foil and bake for about 45 minutes.

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  • Remove foil, add remaining cheese and bake another 15 minutes uncovered.  For a golden brown top, broil the last five minutes.

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  • Serve with melted butter or aoli if desired.

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Roasted Artichoke Stuffed with Garlic, Parmesan and Quinoa

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Time: 90 minutes
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

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2 large artichokes
2 Tbsn lemon juice (juice of one lemon)
3/4 cup red quinoa
3 large cloves garlic
1 shallot, minced
3/4 cup parmesan (or mixed cheeses)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1 Tbsn fresh herbs or 1 tsp dried (parsley, oregano, thyme)bsp;

  • Using a fine mesh colander, rinse quinoa under cold running water and drain. Combine quinoa and 1 1/2 cups water in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook until quinoa is tender and all the water is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork and stir in shallots and garlic while it’s hot so they start to soften.  Set aside.
  • Fill a large bowl with water and lemon juice. Stir well. If you are stuffing whole artichokes, cut stems from artichokes so they can sit flat.  If you are stuffing half artichokes, slice in half vertically, including the stem.
  • Place artichokes in bowl with lemon water. Working with one artichoke at a time, scoop out the center leaves and the fuzzy choke (an carefully use a serrated knife to cut off the top third, then use scissors to clip off and discard sharp leaf points, returning each artichoke to the lemon water as you finish.
  • When quinoa is cool, stir in cheeses, red pepper flakes and herbs.
  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Place artichokes  leaf side side down in a baking pan and brush or spray with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, if desired.  stuff with qunoa mixture.  Don’t hesitate to pack each in a large mound.
  • Pour about 3/4 cup of water in the bottom of the pan to create steam and pre ent sticking, cover with aluminum foil and bake for about 45 minutes.
  • Remove foil, add remaining cheese and bake another 15 minutes uncovered.  For a golden brown top, broil the last five minutes.
  • Serve with melted butter or aoli.

One thought on “Meatless Monday – Roasted Artichokes Stuffed with Garlic, Parmesan & Quinoa

  1. Reblogged this on goodmotherdiet and commented:

    It’s artichoke time again (at least here in California)! Take advantage of the season’s gorgeous bounty when they are freshest and abundant. How about stuffing them with a yummy cheesy quinoa filling and roasting them to perfection? Yum! I may have to make these again…

    Like

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