Low Carb Stuffed Artichoke Recipe (& how to make a norm-carb one, too)

Low Carb Stuffed Artichokes

Ahhh, stuffed artichokes! The Italian word for artichokes (plural) is carciofi… we always called them something like “Kachoffs.”   I cut my baby teeth on those suckers.  They always found a place on the table for special occasions, especially holidays.  Paper grocery bags were placed strategically around the table to hold the discarded

Artichokes

Artichokes

leaves after the magnificence had been scraped off between our front teeth.  And then… and THEN!!!!  Nirvana… you would reach the bottom (which my Dad always called the heart, which is technically inaccurate… I think he just liked to “give me his heart” & in turn, I’d give him mine).

You don’t see them in Italian restaurants very often, because although they’re not particularly difficult to make, they are kind of labor-intensive.  But… if you want to bring an appetizer to a party that is GUARANTEED to earn you a round of applause, this is it.  And I can pretty much guarantee your contribution will be the ONLY stuffed artichokes at the party!

First… choosing a good artichoke.  You want one that feels firm, not spongy.  It should have a nice, green color, but don’t worry about a little dark discoloration on the outer leaves.  The important thing is that it’s nice & firm.

Stuffed artichokes are SOOOOOO good, but they’re kind of high-carb because the stuffing is mostly bread crumbs.   I wondered if I could cut the carbs & still have a delicious artichoke if I ditched the bread crumbs in favor of….. crushed pork rinds!!!??!!!

And so I boldly went where no other woman… well, none that I know of…. has ever gone.  And I am SOOOO glad I did, because it was nothing short of  life-changing.  Below is my recipe for 1-2 medium artichokes, low carb style.

2 Medium Artichokes (1 artichoke serves at least 2 people as an appetizer)
3/4 cup pork rinds, crushed (in a blender, food processor, etc.)
1+ Cups Parmesan Cheese (In this case, you WANT the dry kind, not the fresh kind grated kind)
1 tsp (ish!) garlic powder… more is better
1 tsp (at least) dried oregano
1/2 tsp pepper or to taste
2 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Cut stem, if any, from bottom of artichoke so that it will stand up fairly straight.  Cut about 3/4″ off the top so it’s flat. Using kitchen shears, cut the pointy ends off each leaf (what?  I TOLD you it was labor-intensive).

Snip Leaves

Snip Leaves

Turn upside down & press gently to help open leaves.  Under running water, hold in both hands while gently opening leaves with thumbs.  Shake upside down to remove most of the water.

Crush pork rinds & combine with seasonings & Parmesan.   Don’t take any chances.  Like a good woman, artichokes are neither cheap nor easy, so check the flavor of your stuffing right NOW!  Make sure no one is looking, then stick your finger into some olive oil, then stick it into the stuffing mix.  Adjust accordingly.  (And if you double dip, again, make sure no one is looking.  Alternatively, you could mix a bit of oil with the seasoning in a little dish… )

Stuffing the Artichoke

Stuffing the Artichoke

When that stuffing is magical, drizzle enough olive oil over each artichoke to moisten the insides of nearly every leave, poking them open with a finger as you go.  Now take a spoon & add the filling, starting in the middle & working your way around while gently opening almost every single solitary leaf & cramming as much stuffing in there as you can.

Place artichokes in a pan & add 3/4″ or so of water.   Cover with a lid & simmer (steam) over low heat for 45 minutes or so.  You will need to watch this very, very carefully and add water periodically!  You don’t want to wind up with a burnt artichoke bottom!  When leaves can easily be pulled off with tongs, your artichoke is ready.  (I only made the one, as you can see, but of course you make several in a pot–just give them a bit of breathing space so all the leave will cook–you don’t want them squished in)

Artichoke steaming in pot

Artichoke steaming in pot

Place that sucka on a plate.  Grab a leaf & holding it upside down (with the inner part towards your tongue), use your front teeth to scrape off not only the stuffing, but the soft part of the leaf.  When you get down to the bottom…. OH MY!  SO awesome!  Scrape off the hairy-looking part known as the “choke,” sprinkle it with a little salt and go to town.

Stuffed Artichoke, aka Heaven!

Stuffed Artichoke, aka Heaven!

Die & go to Heaven.  It’s that good.  (If you want to make them with normal bread crumbs, I recommend using Italian seasoned bread crumbs with the same seasonings/parmesan, but taste test for correct amounts).

Nutrition Facts
Servings 4.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 212
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 14 g 21 %
Saturated Fat 6 g 29 %
Monounsaturated Fat 6 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 30 mg 10 %
Sodium 541 mg 23 %
Potassium 259 mg 7 %
Total Carbohydrate 9 g 3 %
Dietary Fiber 3 g 14 %
Sugars 1 g
Protein 15 g 31 %
Vitamin A 5 %
Vitamin C 11 %
Calcium 31 %
Iron 7 %

 

 

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