What the hell do you do with an artichoke?!

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Whoa!  Look at this cool flower thing I found!  What a great prop!!!

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Hmmm… looks tasty, should I eat it?

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NO NO! Whatever you do, do NOT eat it RAW… so what exactly are you supposed to do with this weird flower-looking vegetable?!?

Dear Diary,

I did it people!  I finished my first year of grad school– and now without books and class to distract, my focus is back on ME!  It feels pretty awesome to be able to sit back, relax and reconnect.

My first day of break started off with a bang– I decided to go out all day and night with my bf & friends to celebrate, and I was excited to get dressed up for the first time in what feels like months of solitary confinement in the library. I was feeling fun, flirty, and hot– until I looked in the mirror.  Holy crap!  It had been a while since I had taken a good long look at myself, and while my boyfriend would still say I was looking great (I’ve taught him well)… I realized those months of eating junk food and “working out” once a week, had taken its toll… it was time to regain control… with the help of vegetables!

Trader Joe’s is the best and most fun place to go grocery shopping– just by walking in, you immediately feel like you saved a fortune!  And that you’re healthier and cooler than anyone at a “normal” supermarket. I’m well aware this is all a sick illusion, but I was happy to be a dreamer that next morning as I roamed down the aisles placing whole wheat pizza dough, and Trader Joe signature hummus dip in my cart.  Of course, I didn’t forget about adding some great vegetables too. You know, for my new-found healthier lifestyle… (I carefully chose vegetables, that if I caved under health food pressure, could easily be piled on top of a pizza) and this is when I found it… an artichoke!

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Artichokes are low in calories and fat, and high in fiber; they also contain several nutrients crucial to a healthy body!

I’ve had artichoke dip and some other concoctions at restaurants… but I’ve never attempted to make a healthy artichoke dish at home.  It’s such an intimidating vegetable– it’s like this massive pine cone; it’s rough, pointy and kinda weird looking… what would I do with it!?

I decided that I had to conquer the artichoke if I had any hope of being a healthier me this summer… so this is what I did:

First, I cut the tips of each artichoke’s prickly leaf (sounds time consuming, but I promise it will take you less than 2 minutes…)

Next I placed a slice of lemon, a bay leaf, and a garlic clove in a pot of water and added in the artichoke.

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I let it come to a boil and then simmer for a little less than an hour (you’ll know it’s ready by poking a leaf with your fork… if it comes right off, you’re good to go!)

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And that’s it– you’re completely done with this filling and delicious artichoke dish!  Now to eat, you just remove the petal and scrape its goodness into your mouth– sounds weird, but it’s oh so classy and decadent!  To make this dish a little tastier– many people add dips.  I created my own HEALTHY dip recipe to compliment the artichoke!

Combine: Greek yogurt, lemon juice, chives, kale and salt and pepper!  I just kept adding each ingredient until it tasted just right and it was the perfect addition to this healthy treat!

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Try it out for yourself… and don’t be intimidated by the artichoke any more!

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