Friday, April 30, 2010

Artichokes: Canned and Reloaded...

I know I stress the importance of fresh vegetables but we don't always have the time to prepare them. Nothing beats a fresh steamed, stuffed, or baked artichoke (see previous blogs for two great recipes) but if you want something quick, here's a great idea.

I picked up a few cans of artichokes hearts at the grocery store the other day. I am not talking about the ones in the cute little jars! Those are packed in oil and although they are so delicious, they are loaded with fat and calories. Reserve those for special occassions when you are serving an antipasto salad or cheese and crackers and other hors d'oeuvres for guests. I am talking about plain artichoke hearts, packed in water!

So what can you do with a can of artichokes hearts? The easiest thing in the world is to get out the can opener, drain the artichokes and toss them into a fresh garden salad with balsamic vinegar and oil. You can also add them to pasta with garlic, olive oil and a little parmesan cheese. Add some sun-dried tomatoes, too, for a little color. Don't buy the sundried tomatoes packed in oil ( the cute little jars!) You can find
sun-dried tomatoes in the produce section of your local market. They are simply dried and packed in plastic containers. Do you want to make a really impressive meal? Add cooked shrimp with the pasta, artichokes and sun-dried tomatoes. If you don't like sun-dried tomatoes, you can always use tiny cherry tomatoes!

I just love plain artichoke hearts as they are, right out of the can! They are luscious, healthy, and only about 60 calories a serving! Be sure to keep several cans in your pantry all the time......

And this is my Daily Cyn........

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