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Artichokes – the hangover cure?

April 26, 2010

You know you’re getting old when you countdown the days to spending a weekend with your parents.  I love going back “home” to see my mom and dad – partly for the nostalgia, partly for the bonding, but mostly for my mom’s home cooking.   She’s one hell of a cook.  On the other hand, my dad, like most Italian men, can make pasta (which is pronounced Paw-sta, not Paaa-sta) and can use a BBQ.  

So the first thing I do when I walk into my parent’s house is bolt for the fridge.  This comes before saying “hello” in most cases.  I swear there’s a magnetic force that pulls me to the back of the house, swings open the fridge door and throws a fork in my hand.  

It never fails.  There’s always something in that fridge for me to sink my teeth into.   On this particular day I came across Tupperware filled with an old-time favourite.  Stuffed artichoke. 

Artichokes have always intimidated me.  Eating them is not the problem.  It’s cooking them.   However, after devouring one of my mom’s artichokes and learning about their nutritious qualities, I was inspired to take on this odd-looking vegetable.   

A little cooking 101 with my mom and that Sunday I came back from the market with 3 artichokes.  I’m not sure what my rationale was for buying an odd number, but I don’t recommend it.  I lost the battle and Keith got to enjoy the last one. 


Cooking Directions

  • Wash and prep the artichoke.  Check out this site for visual step-by-step instructions
  • Add enough water to cover the vegetables in a pot with a touch of salt and bring to boil.  You can also steam by reducing the water and increasing the cooking time.  
  • Turn the artichokes upside down on a cutting board and push down to spread the leaves.
  • Turn them right side up and drizzle some oil with a touch of pepper around the leaves.
  • Place the artichokes in the pot once water is boiling and turn down heat to simmer.
  • TIP: You can place a potato or onion in the centre to keep the artichokes up right.
  • Boil for ~30 minutes – Until you can poke a fork down the centre and pull out one of the leaves with no force.

Artichokes in pot ready to be cooked

Eating Directions:
  • You can squeeze a little lemon or add butter on top first if you like (I’m fine without either).
  • Pluck the leaves off with your fingers one at a time.
  • Use your teeth to scrape off the rich-tasting skin on the inside.
  • As you get closer to the centre (known as the “heart” and the BEST part) the leaves get softer and are edible.

Ready to eat!

Why you should eat artichokes:

  • They contain Silymarin, an antioxidant that helps prevent skin cancer.
  • Lots of goodness for as little as 25 calories each.
  • They have 7 grams of fiber to help control cholesterol – one of the highest among vegetables.
  • You get 400 mg of potassium which is incredible! 
  • They have been reputed to help in the cure of liver diseases and liver cancer.
  • For all you drinkers out there – they also cure hangovers!  Once I’m off this alcohol free diet I’ll have to test this hypothesis.
3 Comments leave one →
  1. Julie permalink
    April 27, 2010 10:49 pm

    I’m with you Danielle – love the artichokes. I could polish off my mom’s stuffed artichokes in minutes.

  2. April 27, 2010 6:45 pm

    have you tried Jerusalem Artichokes?

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