Saturday, July 14, 2012

Trader Joes Recipe Series 1 – Stuffed Artichokes

I have waited a long time for Trader Joes to come to Houston.  It is basically a whole foods type market at Wal-Mart prices.  Well Houston is getting three, and the first one opened up over in the Woodlands and I have been twice.

I came home with TONS of veggies and no meal plan. I pretty much bought stuff that looked great and then came home and was like, uhhh. what now?

So what follows are a series of new recipes using my lovely Trader Joes stash. (Are groceries really a “stash”, maybe not, anyways..)

Stuffed Artichokes:


Prep the artichokes, cut off the tops, the bottoms and the pointy things. Don’t be put out, it took me like 5 minutes to do four. It’s no biggie.


Heat 2 inches of water in a pan and insert a steam tray. Place the artichokes in, stem side up and add lemon slices. In my picture they are stem side down, it was prettier! But in real life it’s easier to check doneness if the stem side is up. So I flipped them.


Put the lid on the pan and steam 20 minutes. Meanwhile stir together 1 C Panko bread crumbs, 1/3 C parmesan and some salt, pepper and Italian seasoning, and parsley - mix them up.  And preheat the oven to 375.

Once they are cool enough to handle, open up the leaves and pull out the chokes (the hairy ball part) and then stuff the crumbs down between the leaves. Drizzle mightily with olive oil.

Bake until toasty about 15 minutes. 


OK, this isn’t the best picture, but these were heavenly.


I served these as dinner along with the bagged spinach salad kit from Trader Joes that has spinach (duh), cranberries, blue cheese, candied pecans and raspberry vinaigrette.  I added some crumbled bacon to the salads and served warmed naan bread on the side. 

Caveats: My kids did not eat this and even with the simple bagged salad, these were beyond what would be reasonable for me to do on a weeknight, but for a weekend summer supper it was perfect.

Upside: The meal was cheap..we ate 1/4 of the salad in the bag, so about $1.50 and then $3 for artichokes, so… yeah. super cheap and healthy and fancy – my kind of meal.

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