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Red Lentil Artichoke Stew - Meatless Monday

By Healthy Planet Blog Nutrition and Natural Health
on October 08, 2012
1 comment

Meatless Monday - October 8, 2012

Red Lentil Artichoke Stew


 

RED LENTIL ARTICHOKE STEW:

1-1/2 cups water
2 medium sized yellow onions, diced
2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp ground cumin (we always use more cumin than called for in everything – so use more if you want!)
1 tsp ground coriander (take the whole ones and grind them up with a mortal and pestle – no comparison to ground spices in the bottle at the grocery store)
1 cup red lentils, rinsed
1 bay leaf
2 Tbsp fresh organic lemon juice (I use organic cold-pressed essential oil if I don’t have the organic lemons, just a couple drops)
1 can (24 oz) chopped tomatoes undrained
1 can (15 oz) drained artichoke hearts
½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Salt & pepper to taste

Sauté onions until transparent. I like a little brown on them as it sweetens and mellows out the flavors but I also sometimes get distracted and they brown to the point of bitter, so just keep an eye on them. Add the garlic until just warm and you can smell it, then add the spices. Blend this just until the fragrance rises from the pan. Add the water, lentils, bay leaf, lemon juice, tomatoes with liquid, artichoke hearts and red pepper flakes (we don’t always do this, but we’re wimps when it comes to “heat”.) Bring this to a boil. Lower the heat to just a simmer and let it simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.

Now I have to admit that I’ve been writing down recipes since I was 16 yrs old (or younger), so I wasn’t sure where this one came from, but I googled it and apparently I wrote this one down during one of our afternoons at Barnes & Noble since I don’t have the book or at least can’t find it right now, but I have way too many cook books – or so my family would tell me. I’m not sure you can EVER have too many. It apparently was “adapted” from The Vegan Table by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. I’m much more careful now when I write down a recipe to make sure I also make note of the original author.

Let me know if you try it, how you liked it, or how you would improve it. I have never ever followed a recipe that I didn’t change it somewhat and then change it again the next time I cook it. Which is why I make a photocopy of each recipe and then note the date I first try it, who was there, what was the occasion, and how did we like it. It gives me great joy to go back through some of my recipes and remember some of the family occasions where we first tried them. 

I've posted another artichoke recipe that is one of our favorites - here - and also why we think artichokes are one of nutrition's super hero's here.   AND - three more nutritional reasons to try this recipe - here.

Thanks for listening!

 

 

Black Bean and Artichoke Medley II

By Recipes for a Healthier You Vegan Main Meals
on November 13, 2011

Black beans and artichokes in a simple vegan stew:

 

Sometime last year I wrote a blog about "The Mighty Artichoke" - see here - and why it is so incredibly healthy and often overlooked as a superfood. And I also posted a recipe that we had adapted from AICR's website with permission - see here. At this time in our household we are dealing with what we believe to be yeast overgrowth which is presenting itself as a large area of Warren's body being covered with rashes. This has been going on for awhile. The dermatologist thought it was psoriasis, so he put him on prednisone, which is a steroid medicine often given for inflammatory conditions. However, it also feeds yeast and makes it worse. Which is what has happened. The reason I'm even telling you this is that we are now VERY interested in changing our diet to eliminate all sources of sugars that would feed anymore yeast growth. We are also treating the rash, but I can tell you it has been a painful miserable process for my husband. In this long process I have been doing a lot more research about yeast and what can be done about it.  Which means I've been searching through a lot of our recipes to see if they could be used now. The black beans and artichoke recipe originally was a simple quick recipe and I made it today. It was a hit and what we call a "keeper". I wanted to share with you this simple but tasty black bean and artichoke simmer II.

Olive oil (just lightly cover the bottom of the pan)
1 cup onion, chopped
2 fresh garlic cloves (one of the best things to fight yeast)
1 quart of Warren's canned tomatoes (I know you can't have these - substitute 2 cans of tomatoes with no sugar or salt added)
1 can (15 oz) organic black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14 oz) artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
1 Tbsp Old Westporte Special seasoning (you'll see me use this spice a lot - here is where you can find it). It's not a "spice" per se but a proprietary blend of dehydrated vegetables.

In medium saucepan, saute the onions until transparent. Add the minced garlic - don't let burn or turn brown. Add the Westporte seasoning and stir in the tomatoes and simmer for about 3 minutes. Add the black beans, stirring to mix well, and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Add the artichoke hearts and simmer uncovered for about 5 minutes or until heated throughout. 

I wasn't sure if it would turn out to be a soup, stew or casserole type dish. It was somewhere between a soup and stew and we served it in bowls. It was really very good. We happened to have cooked spinach as a side dish at the time and tried adding that to the stew, but it pretty much overwhelmed the clean, fresh taste of the artichokes and tomatoes. 

According to AICR's (American Institute for Cancer Research) website this recipe contains 9 servings, with 90 calories each, 1.5 grams total fat (0 grams saturated fat), 15 grams carbohydrate, 4 grams protein, 4 grams dietary fiber and 420 mg sodium. I think using our own canned tomatoes probably reduced the sodium content. I also did not add any salt while cooking. 

Easy, quick and incredibly healthy! Let me know if you have any recipes you'd like to share or advice about yeast overgrowth. After searching through quite a bit of information, it became clear that there is a lot of disagreement about what can or cannot, should or should not be eaten to control yeast. I've had to weigh my education as a nurse with my education as a holistic nutritionist to filter out those things that just don't make sense. I've also watched closely to see clinical improvements or something that might make it worse. I am certainly open to listening to anyone's knowledge in this area.

Thanks for listening!











The Mighty Artichoke

By Healthy Planet Blog Vegetarian and Vegan
on March 22, 2011
1 comment

Artichoke - the Super Food

Almost any holiday or social gathering in our family is accompanied with Spinach Artichoke Dip. Okay - I know this isn't the healthy version of a recipe I'm about to give you, but it does show that we love artichokes. Another day, we'll talk about a healthier version of the Spinach Artichoke Dip. I do have to admit though - I have never, ever cooked a raw artichoke and as many times as I've seen it demonstrated, I just haven't felt motivated to do it. So, this would be one of the only vegetables I can think of that I prefer canned - unless or until I try cooking the raw one. Usually, and maybe always, the canned artichokes are artichoke hearts, which is what we are discussing here.


How healthy is the artichoke?

Not only does it contain an amazing array of "good for you" benefits detailed below, but some new studies have shown that artichokes also have an unusual amount of antioxidants in the form of phytonutrients. Apparently, one study done by the United States Department of Agriculture gave artichokes top rating for being the highest rated vegetable in anti-oxidant count. I have to admit - I didn't know that. Two of the powerful phytonutrients include Cynarin and Silymarin. You have probably read about Silymarin and its liver strengthening benefits. Silymarin is why Milk Thistle is considered to be a liver tonic, sold as supplements and included in herbal teas. Historically, it has been said that artichokes can cure liver diseases and liver cancer. Read more to find out why.

What is Cynarin?

Studies show and nutrition classes teach that Cynarin can reduce cholesterol production in the liver and "expel sluggish cholesterol" out of the liver and gallbladder. This, therefore, stimulates bile production and flow - a good thing. It is said to lower serum cholesterol and triglycerides while at the same time raising the HDL cholesterol - the good guy.  It protects the liver and enhances liver function.  And I even read in one or two places that Cynarin is said to be a "powerful aphrodisiac" - just repeating what I read and making no promises!

What is Silymarin?

Most of us have heard about Silymarin by reading about Milk Thistle and the liver benefits derived from this herb. Many supplements are now available with Silymarin. To simply quote Wikipedia concerning Silibinin, a major active constituent of Silymarin: "Both in vitro and animal research suggest that silibinin has hepatoprotective (antihepatotoxic) properties that protect liver cells against toxins. Silibinin has also demonstrated anti-cancer effects against human prostate adenocarcinoma cells, estrogen-dependent and -independent human breast carcinoma cells, human ectocervical carcinoma cells, human colon cancer cells, and both small and nonsmall human lung carcinoma cells." 

Pretty impressive I'm thinking.

What else is so healthy about the artichoke?

Depending on which source you choose, below are some really amazing benefits for just one artichoke:

  • High in dietary fiber, which we all need (6.9 to 10 grams!)
  • High in iron
  • High in manganese
  • Very high in magnesium
  • High in niacin
  • High in folate
  • High in phosphorus
  • Very high in potassium!
  • High in Vitamin B6 (a very important one)
  • Very high in Vitamin C
  • Contains 4.2 grams of protein! 

Seriously! This is a powerhouse of nutrition with only around 60 calories (or less) for one medium artichoke. The amount of fiber and protein will vary also with the fiber obviously being higher in a raw artichoke. We used a great website called caloriecount.about.com for some of this information. Of course the problem can be how do we use this incredibly healthy vegetable without adding dressings full of fat or resorting to the marinated ones. I think you'll like this recipe that we've adapted from one on the AICR website and can be found in our blog - Artichoke and Bean Medly.

I'd love to hear your recipes for artichokes and if you use raw ones rather than cooked ones. And for the raw fooders out there, I don't see raw artichokes mentioned too much. Do any of you eat them uncooked and if so, how do you do that?

Thanks for listening!

Ann

 

 

A few other good sources for additional information about artichokes:

http://www.oceanmist.com/health/vitamin.aspx

http://nutrition.about.com/od/fruitsandvegetables/p/artichokes.htm 


Artichoke and Bean Medly

By Recipes for a Healthier You Vegan Main Meals
on March 22, 2011

Artichoke and Bean Medley - Vegan

Below is a recipe that we've adapted from one we received from AICR (American Institute for Cancer Research). You can actually make this as a cold salad or a warm main dish. For more information on how VERY HEALTHY artichokes are, see our blog on The Mighty Artichoke, including cancer prevention benefits. 


RECIPE:

  • 1 cup of sweet onions (use green onions if making into a salad)
  • 1/2 cup of red bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup sliced celery
  • 2 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
  • Large can of Italian tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup of black beans (soaked overnight and cooked prior to using)
  • 1/2 cup of red kidney beans (soaked overnight and cooked prior to using)
  • 1 cup of canned green beans
  • 1 cup of red lentils (cooked - cooled if using as a salad)
  • 2 cans of artichoke hearts, drained and chopped into quarters
  • 1 tbsp olive oil 

Saute onions, celery and bell pepper until transparent in the olive oil.

Add minced garlic and continue to saute for a few minutes - don't burn the garlic (you'll be sorry.)

Combine the canned tomatoes (actually fresh would be really good here if they are available, just add fennel, oregano and thyme or your favorite Italian seasoning), the beans, and lentils with the onions, garlic and pepper.

Simmer on medium heat for about 5 to 10 minutes. Add the artichoke hearts, drained, and simmer for an additional 3 to 4 minutes. You can season with salt according to taste.

Serve in attractive casserole dish - I know you have one.

Artichokes already have a good deal of fiber and protein, by adding the beans and lentils we have greatly increased both the fiber and protein content.

Enjoy! Let us know if you try this, if you tweak it or what you think about it.

 

Ann


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