It's grilling season! Sometimes burgers, steaks, shrimp... why not veggies?! The beauty of a grilled artichoke is that you need no heavy dipping sauce on the side. The flavor result is smoky with a charred, crispy texture.
3 whole artichokes
Salt and pepper to taste
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
Working with one at a time, cut off the top third of each artichoke. Clip off and discard the sharp points of the outer leaves. Here is a video I found that may help you out with the preparation...
Pour enough water into a large pot to reach a depth of 1 to 2 inches. Cover and bring to a boil. Uncover the pot and arrange trimmed artichokes, bottoms up, in the bottom in a single layer. Cover the pot, reduce heat to medium and steam until tender, 20 to 40 minutes. Cooking time will depend on size of artichokes. When the leaves pull out easily and the base can be pierced with a knife, they're ready.
Heat grill to high. Remove the artichokes from pot with tongs and drain on a towel. Cut artichokes in 1/2, remove and discard the fuzzy choke, brush the cut side with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place them cut-side down on the grill and cook about 3 minutes, until grill marks form. Remove from grill and squeeze fresh lemon juice over artichokes before serving.
Tip: For easy entertaining, steam artichokes before guests arrive and grill right before serving.
The salad bar is a must at every Whole Foods trip. Why? Because they usually have these little green falafel patties on the menu that are ridiculously delicious. I'll build the salad with some spring greens, falafel patties, and then top with some feta cheese, hummus, roasted red pepper, and olives for a Mediterranean approach. This is such a great lunch option, and I didn't want to rely on a salad bar anymore, so I found a recipe below (adapted from The Minimalist Baker).
4 cups baby spinach
1 15.5 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
3 medium to large cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp tahini (sesame seed paste)
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 tsp cumin
Sea salt and black pepper
3-4 Tbsp whole wheat flour
2-3 Tbsp olive oil for cooking
Add baby spinach, chickpeas, garlic, tahini, lemon juice, cumin, whole wheat flour and a pinch each salt and pepper to a food processor and pulse to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Heat a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat and add 1 Tbsp oil at a time to coat pan. Make your falafel patties as you pan fry them- about 4 at at time at 3-4 minutes on each side. Place on paper towels to absorb excess oil. Store in the fridge, layered with parchment paper in an airtight container, for several days or even freeze to keep longer.
TIP: This makes an easy pre-packed lunch option. Prep on Sunday for a M-F work week!
Try this recipe for a satisfying high-protein plant-based snack! The spice blends you can choose from are endless- Cajun, Indian, chili powder, cumin...
One 15-ounce can garbanzo beans
1 tablespoon olive oil
Spice blend of your choice (I used Garam Masala)
Preheat oven to 400F. Drain the can of garbanzo beans in a strainer and rinse with water. Place garbanzo beans on cookie sheet and dry off with a paper towel. Drizzle olive oil and toss beans to coat. Roast for 30-40 minutes until the beans are a deep golden brown and crunchy. Season with sea salt and spice blend.
Tip: Make this ahead of time for your work week! Pre-portion into snack bags for a portable snack.