Baked Artichokes with Brown Rice & Spinach

Ricetta in italiano in fondo.

Baked Stuffed Artichokes with Brown Rice & Spinach

In anticipation of the upcoming holidays I wanted to share a wonderful seasonal plant-based main course idea that would look lovely at the center of the table. I hope it serves as an inspiration for your next feast, whether you're celebrating a holiday or not.

While I realize that some people do it out of nostalgia and tradition, it's not necessary to have a turkey or roast shaped dish at the center of your table and it's ok to create new traditions of your own.

These nut stuffed baked artichokes over a mixed brown, red and wild rice pilaf with baby spinach in individual size casserole dishes make a beautiful addition to the holiday table. This could also be made in a larger casserole dish for the center of the table and the recipe is easily doubled to feed more people.  It's also versatile in that you can add chickpeas or lentils to the pilaf, you can replace the nuts with sunflower and pumpkin seeds or use all bread crumbs if you have a nut allergy or are feeding someone with one, and you can change the herbs and seasoning to your liking.

Baked Stuffed Artichokes with Brown Rice & Spinach
Baked Stuffed Artichokes with Brown Rice & Spinach

Nutrition 101

Artichokes can be a bit intimidating to work with, the fresh kind I mean, but once you done it a few times, you’ll realize that it’s quite simple.

From a nutrition standpoint, artichokes have diuretic properties and aid in reducing water retention, stabilizing the metabolism and lowering blood cholesterol. They are rich in fiber, vitamin C, magnesium, calcium, iron, folate and many more vitamins and minerals.

Two facts you might find surprising is that one medium artichoke contains 4 grams of protein and 400 mg of potassium, the same amount of potassium as a small banana. The only issue is that much of this water soluble mineral is lost in cooking, so using the cooking water is important.

The season runs November through April in Italy, but if you want to enjoy them year round, try preserving them or look for a good quality brand with few ingredients and no funky words you can't pronounce, and preferably chose the ones in glass jars instead of cans.

Baked Stuffed Artichokes with Brown Rice & Spinach

Brown rice is an excellent source of dietary fiber, vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium and iron, and selenium among other vitamins and minerals. It is also an important source of Vitamin E (tocopherol), which is an important antioxidant that helps prevent the oxidation of fats in the body, stabilize blood fats and protects against free radical damage.

Unlike polished white rice which has been stripped of virtually all of its vitamins and minerals (70%), brown rice is made by removing only the outer inedible hull, which is what keeps it nutrient rich. This makes brown rice a complex carbohydrate while white rice acts like a simple carbohydrate or sugar in the body. What this means is that brown rice takes longer to digest, keeps you satiated longer and is much lower on the glycemic index than white rice.

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Baked stuffed artichokes with Brown rice & spinach

Servings:3-4 Time: 1 Hour Difficulty: Moderate

Ingredients

Brown Rice & Spinach Pilaf

1 C Brown Rice (I used a mix of short grain, long grain, red and wild)

1 Large Handful of Baby Spinach, about one heaping cup tightly packed

1/2 Tsp Herbamare seasoning (or salt/pepper/dried herbs of choices)

1/4 C Cooked Chickpeas (optional)

Nut Stuffed Artichokes

(nut stuffing adapted from this)

6 Artichokes, outer leaves and chokes removed

1 1/2 Lemons

2 Tbsp Bread Crumbs (use gluten free if necessary)

1/8 C Whole Blanched Almonds, coarsely chopped

2 Small Cloves of Garlic, crushed with a garlic press or finely chopped

1 Small Handful of Fresh Parsley Leaves, roughly chopped (about 1/8 cup once chopped)

1 Tbsp Pine Nuts

1 Tbsp Vegan Walnut Parm

Extra Virgin olive oil (as needed, optional)

Fine Sea Salt & Fresh Ground Black Pepper to Taste

Walnut Parm

1/3 C Walnuts, Almonds & Pine nuts

2 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast

Herbamare, to taste

Method for rice:

Add rice and 2 cups of water to a pot and bring to a boil. Stir in seasoning, reduce heat and simmer uncovered until rice is parboiled/half cooked, and most but not all of the water has been absorbed. Remove from heat, but do not drain.

Coarsely chop the spinach and stir it into the parboiled rice. There should still be a bit of liquid at the bottom of the pot, but it shouldn't be soupy.

Fold in chickpeas, if using.

Set aside until ready to assemble.

Method for stuffed artichokes:

Preheat oven to 180 C.

Prepare a lemon water bath for the artichokes. Fill a large bowl with filtered water and add the juice of half a lemon.

Prep the artichokes by slicing them 1/3 of the way down, horizontally, to remove the prickly tops.

Remove tough outer leaves until you reach the tender yellow/purple parts.

Cut and peel the stems with a paring knife.

Using a small pointed spoon, gently separate the leaves and remove the fuzzy prickly choke from the center. This will leave a nice cavity in the center of the artichoke that you can stuff.

Place each artichoke in the lemon water bath immediately after you've cleaned it so they don't oxidize and brown.

Set them aside, in soaking water, until ready to stuff.

Prepare the vegan walnut parm by processing the nuts in a food processor or spice grinder with nutritional yeast and herbamare. You’ll have more than you need for the recipe, so store leftovers in an airtight container or jar.

Prepare the stuffing by mixing together bread crumbs, chopped almonds, crushed garlic, walnut parm, pine nuts and chopped parsley. Season with fine sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste. Add a very light drizzle of olive oil or a squeeze of lemon juice to dampen the mixture slightly and toss it all together.

How to assemble:

Line baking dish (es) with parchment paper, making sure the sides are long enough to fold over the mixture. Spoon the rice and spinach mixture into the dish (es), liquid included. If the mixture is too dry, add a bit of water (2-4 tbsp per dish or 1/4 - 1/2 if you are using only one large dish) as it will serve to produce steam and cook the rice and artichokes in the oven. Be careful not to add too much water though, you don't want rice soup.

Drain the artichokes and fill their cavities to the brim with the stuffing mixture. Place on top of the rice, sprinkle any remaining stuffing mix on top and add a squeeze of lemon juice.

Fold the parchment paper over, to cover the rice and artichokes completely. Cut out squares of parchment paper the same size as the baking dishes, wet them and scrunch them to squeeze out the access water and place them on top of each dish, to trap the moisture and steam inside during baking.

Place on the center rack and bake until the rice and artichokes are fully cooked, about 40 minutes.

Remove from oven, and keep covered in parchment paper until ready to serve.

You could spoon out the mixture into a serving dish or simply peel away the parchment paper and place it on the table as it is, like I did in the photos.

Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice and some walnut parm and a drizzle of olive oil if desired.

Ricetta in italiano in fondo.

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Carciofi Ripieni di frutta secca Su Letto di riso integrale e spinacino

Porzioni:3-4 Tempo: 1 ora Difficoltà: Media

Ingredienti

Pilaf di riso integrale e spinaci

1 tazza (circa 200g) di riso integrale (ho usato un mix con anche riso rosso e selvatico)

1 manciata di spinacino

1/2 cucchiaino Herbamare (o sale / pepe / erbe aromatiche a scelta)

1/4 cup di ceci cotti,

Carciofi ripieni di frutta secca

(ripieno di noci adattato da questo)

6 Carciofi, foglie esterne e barba rimosse

1.5 limoni

2 cucchiai di pangrattato (senza glutine, se necessario)

2 Cucchiai di mandorle pelate, tritate grossolanamente

2 piccoli spicchi d'aglio, schiacciati o tritati finemente

1 manciata di foglie di prezzemolo fresco tritate grossolanamente (circa 2 Cucchiai una volta tritate)

1 cucchiaio di pinoli

1 cucchiaio di condimenti alla frutta secca

Olio extravergine di oliva (quanto basta, facoltativo)

Sale marino fine e pepe nero macinato fresco, quanto basta

Condimento alla frutta secca

1/3 tazza di noci, mandorle pelate e pinoli

2 cucchiai di lievito alimentare

Herbamare, a piacere

Metodo per il riso:

Aggiungere il riso e circa 500ml d’acqua in una pentola e portare a ebollizione. Mescolate il condimento, riducete il fuoco e lasciate sobbollire fino a quando il riso viene scottato / mezzo cotto, e la maggior parte ma non tutta l'acqua è stata assorbita. Togliere dal fuoco, ma non scolare.

Tritare grossolanamente gli spinaci e mescolarli col riso. Ci dovrebbe essere ancora un po 'di liquido sul fondo del piatto, ma non troppo.

Aggiungere i ceci e mescolare bene.

Mettere da parte fino al momento di assemblare.

Metodo per i carciofi ripieni:

Preriscaldare il forno a 180 ° C.

Preparare un bagno di acqua e limone per i carciofi. Riempi una grande ciotola con acqua filtrata e aggiungi il succo di mezzo limone.

Preparare i carciofi affettandoli a circa 1/3 dalla cima, in orizzontale e rimuovere le cime.

Rimuovere le foglie esterne più dure fino a raggiungere quelli più teneri

Tagliare e sbucciare i gambi con un coltello da cucina

Usando un piccolo cucchiaino, separare delicatamente le foglie e togliere la parte centrale del carciofo (la barba). Questo lascerà una bella cavità nel centro del carciofo che puoi farcire.

Mettere i carciofo nel bagno di acqua e limone subito dopo averlo pulito in modo che non si ossidi e non si scurisce.

Mettere i carciofi da parte finchè non sei pronta a farcirle

Preparare il condimenti alla frutta secca passandoli in un robot da cucina o macina spezie con lievito alimentare ed erbe aromatiche. Otterai più di quello che serve per la ricetta, ma puoi conservar gli avanzi in un contenitore ermetico o in un barattolo.

Preparare il ripieno mescolando insieme il pan grattato, le mandorle tritate, l'aglio schiacciato, il condimento alla frutta secca, i pinoli e il prezzemolo tritato. Condire con sale marino e pepe nero macinato fresco a piacere. Aggiungere un filo d'olio molto leggero o una spremuta di succo di limone per smorzare leggermente il composto e mescolare il tutto.

Come assemblare:

Foderare una casseruola con carta forno, assicurandosi che i lati siano abbastanza lunghi da poter richiudere dentro i carciofi

Versare il riso con il suo liquido nella casseruola. Se risulta troppo secco, aggiungere qualche cucchiaio di acqua o brodo poiché servirà a produrre vapore per cuocere il riso e i carciofi nel forno. Fai attenzione a non aggiungere troppa acqua però, non vuoi la zuppa di riso.

Scolare i carciofi e riempire le loro cavità con il ripieno di pangrattato e frutta secca. Disporre sulla superficie del riso, cospargere quello che è rimasto del ripieno sopra e aggiungere qualche goccia di di succo di limone.

Piega la carta forno per coprire completamente il riso e i carciofi. Tagliare i quadratini di carta da forno delle stesse dimensioni dei piatti da forno, bagnarli e strofinarli per spremere l'acqua di accesso e posizionarli sopra la casseruola, per intrappolare l'umidità e il vapore all'interno durante la cottura.

Infornare fino a quando il riso e i carciofi sono completamente cotti, circa 40 minuti.

Togliere dal forno e lasciare coperte fino al momento di servire

Servire con succo di limone, un filo di olio d'oliva e cospargere con il condimento alla frutta secca.

What are you serving this holiday season?

If you make this, snap a photo, share it on Instagram and hashtag it #holisticniss #nourishlivepamper so I can find you.

xo Nissrine


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