Have a Heart: Artichoke Hearts & Veg-Parm Recipes

Roasted artichoke hearts

Roasted artichoke hearts

I love fresh artichokes, but they’re kind of labor-intensive and hit-or-miss off the produce shelf. I hate canned and jarred artichokes. I hate the citric acid additive that gives them a sort chemical-lemony flavor. The compromise: Frozen artichoke hearts. I discovered these a few years ago and swear by them. They are convenient and easy to prepare; so much so that I eat them once or twice a week.

Chokes

Chokes

A few years ago, I also discovered a dairy-free Parmesan cheese that didn’t taste like chalk powder. I found it online at a place I sometimes get hard-to-find veggie stuff, but they no longer carry it. I liked it so much that I decided to replicate it by following the ingredient list on the package. It didn’t take long to get the ratios right and I’ve been making it for the last few years. Even though it means lugging out the food processor, it worked out well because it costs a whole lot less to make it myself than to buy the 4 oz. containers. Since I mentioned this veg parm in some other recipes I posted (like Spinach Fettuccine Pasta and Baked Ziti), I didn’t think it would be fair, yet again, to list it but not include the recipe.

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Roasted Artichoke Hearts

  • 3 oz. (85 grams) Frozen artichoke hearts
  • 2 t. Olive oil
  • 2 t. Veg parm (see recipe below)
  • 2 t. Crushed garlic (I used good quality jarred for convenience)
  • ¼ t. Crushed red pepper, optional
  • Sprinkle of salt and ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray small baking dish with Pam, add all ingredients and mix well. Cover with foil, bake for 20-25 minutes, occasionally stirring, until golden brown.

Serves: 1
Total time: 30 minutes
Accommodates: Omnivores, Vegetarians, Vegans, low-carbohydrate, keto, gluten-free, and paleo regimens

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Veg Parm

  • 4 oz. Cashews, Roasted and/or raw
  • 4 oz. Almonds,
  • 2 oz. Nutritional Yeast
  • ½ T. Garlic powder
  • 1 T. Tamari or soy sauce

Food process the nuts until mostly fine. Add nutritional yeast and garlic powder and pulse a few times until mixed. Using a regular “on” setting (verses pulse option), stream in 1 t. tamari at a time. It’s important to stream and mix on the regular setting because pulse will result in clumped tamari that won’t be consistently mixed.

It takes as long to make this (i.e., 10 minutes) as it does to clean the food processor afterwards. I make this in bigger batches that keep several months in the fridge. It can also go into the freezer for longer storage.

My "bigger" batch.

My “bigger” batch.

It isn’t an exact substitute for Parmesan cheese, but it does brown, has a bite to it, and every legitimate research article I’ve ever read has concluded a plant-based diet is better than any other option, so you can’t go wrong with this “cheese”.
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