I can just imagine if you didn’t grow up eating artichokes and you’re encountering them for the first time they might appear a little intimidating. But they shouldn’t. They are the best-tasting bud in the thistle family and are very versatile. Each artichoke, including the dip has 119 calories, 3 grams of fat and 3 Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS. One bite dipped in a fabulous Skinny Garlicky Dip and you’ll know why artichokes have been called “The fruit with a heart of gold!”
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40-50 minutes
4 large artichokes
Fresh ground pepper
Skinny Garlicky Dip, recipe follows
1. Wash artichokes just before using. Make sure to flush out any dirt found between the leaves. Slice off the stem to form a flat base and snap off the tough outer leaves closest to the stem. Trim off about ½ inch of the pointed top. Using scissors, snip off the prickly tips of the outer leaves. Rub all edges with lemon to prevent discoloration.
2. In a large pot or roaster, fill about 3 inches of water. Place the artichokes in one layer on the bottom. Sprinkle each with garlic powder and pepper.
3. Bring to a boil, cover and cook over moderate heat for about 40-50 minutes until a leaf comes off easily. Drain and cool enough to handle.
4. To remove the center choke, gently spread open the top leaves of each artichoke and using a spoon, remove and discard the fuzzy choke.
5. Serve warm or cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Serve with my Skinny Garlicky Dip, on the side.
Makes 4 servings
Skinny Garlicky Dip
If you love garlic, this is a must try! This dip is really delicious and can be used in plenty of ways besides a dip. It works great as a salad dressing or drizzled over steamed broccoli and asparagus. This skinny dip has only 51 calories and 3 grams of fat for two tablespoons. A full fact recipe, using mayonnaise instead of Nancy’s Skinny Ranch, has about 4 times the calories, 209, and 8 times the fat, 22 grams. This skinny dip is sooo addicting!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Refrigerator Time: about 1½ hours
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons onions, minced
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced (not from a jar)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup Nancy’s Skinny Ranch Dressing or a store bought bottle of reduced-fat ranch dressing
1. In a small saucepan, add the vinegar, water, onions, garlic and sugar. Simmer for 6 minutes.
2. Pour mixture into a small bowl and place in the freezer for 15-20 minutes until cool. Set the timer so you don’t forget about it!
3. Stir in the Nancy’s Skinny Ranch Dressing or store bought ranch.
4. Refrigerate for at least one hour to blend flavors (If you need to use it right away, it’s still delicious).
5. Skinny Garlicky Dip will keep in fridge for 7 days.
Makes 1¼ cups
The artichoke is the edible flower bud of a thistle-like plant and part of the sunflower family. They’ve been adored for some 2000 years and are a stable in Italian, Spanish, French, and California cooking. The artichoke made it’s way to America by French and Italian explorers. Now California produces 100% of the U.S. commercial artichoke crop. Most are grown in Castroville, known as ‘The Artichoke Capital of the world’
Artichokes are low in calories, with only 68 calories for one medium cooked globe. They are naturally fat-free. They’re also a good source of fiber, potassium and magnesium.
Garlic promotes circulation and lowers cholesterol. It also contains sulfur compounds that may prevent cancer growth.
Look for artichokes that are deep green and heavy for their size. Store them unwashed in a plastic bag in the fridge for up to four days.
Many local Farmer’s Markets sell artichokes. I’ve even found wonderful ones at Costco in a 4-pack.
Skinny Dipping Tip
If my skinny garlic dip is not for you, try dipping the artichokes in a light salad dressing such as Cardini’s light Caesar Vinaigrette or your favorite light dressing. Another idea is the traditional way, served with reduced-fat melted butter.
To eat an artichoke, simply pull off each leaf and draw the base of the leaf through your teeth to scrape off the soft portion. Discard the rest of the leaf. As you work your way toward the center, the leaves become more tender, with larger edible portions, until you reach the choke. If the center choke has not been removed yet, use a spoon to remove and discard the “hairy” choke, then dive into the best part known as the heart!
Weight Watchers (old points) 2
Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS 3
|SKINNY FACTS: for 1 artichoke including 2 tablespoons of Skinny Garlicky Dip
119 calories, 3g fat, 12g protein, 20g carbs, 7g fiber, 245mg sodium, 7g sugar
|FAT FACTS: for 1 artichoke including 2 tablespoons of regular Garlicky Dip
277 calories, 22g fat, 5g protein, 19g carbs, 7g fiber, 395mg sodium, 6g sugar