I gotta confess, a lot of things have felt a little strange this weekend. Waking up in my own bed. Going to the gym, a place where everyone recognizes me. Hitting up the grocery stores. Eating dinner from my own couch and now blogging from home. Yup, that’s because I’m finally home after almost two weeks away!
I know I still owe you all the food from the last few days of our trip, our time in Mykonos. And I’ll get to it. But first, I have to share a couple things I decided to make in honor of the TrueBlood Season 3 Premier. You might have heard me mention it the big recipe roundup and giveaway – really, could you miss it?
And just one last reminder: You can STILL enter! And you don’t even have to have seen the show, or read any of the books, ever. More details here, but the absolute simplest way is just to leave a comment letting me know you’d like to become a fan (trust me, you do) and you’ll have a chance to win a copy of Season 1 on DVD. How cool is that?
Just before I left for Greece, I decided I needed an ice cream maker and found a fab deal for the KA attachment. It was waiting for me when I got home! Without ever having made ice cream in my life, I decided to break it in with a Red Velvet Cake frozen yogurt. And since no red velvet cake is complete without cream cheese frosting, I added a cream cheese swirl. Why Red Velvet Fro-Yo? The cake is a southern tradition, and our characters reside the nice little southern town of Bon Temps, Louisiana. I could imagine they (the humans!) eat plenty of red velvet cake! And of course the bright red hue is reminiscent of you know what! But I didn’t want to bake a cake. And since a slight buttermilk tang is characteristic of a true red velvet cake, I figured tangy yogurt would make the perfect base for a frozen, red velvet cake-inspired treat.
A little overambitious for my first attempt? Perhaps. Which is why I am not quite ready to share a recipe yet. I mean, it was good, don’t get me wrong. I just need to work on my fro-yo’s a little more. Practice makes perfect! I will tell you that this version was low-carb and protein-packed, using fat free plain Greek yogurt, cake batter protein powder, cocoa, stevia, and erythritol. There will be plenty of fro-yo on this blog in the future, I promise! For now, it’s the thought that counts, right?
Don’t worry, there was dinner before dessert! We noshed on Deviled Hearts, aka, my rendition of something Maryann might do with a heart, but in a much less offensive way. I prepared fresh artichoke hearts stuffed with a spicy roasted red pepper and sun dried tomato filling. Just like the frozen yogurt, this was another first for me. Perhaps a little too much experimenting for one day, but this one turned out really, really well. I loved the burst of bright pepper and fresh basil on each tender leaf, and of course the gooey warm cheese. I think this might be my new favorite way to eat artichokes!
Deviled Artichoke Hearts
2 medium artichoke hearts
1 red bell pepper
20 gm sundried tomatoes (not packed in oil), about 5 pieces
1 tsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 large scallion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (5-6 large leaves)
1 oz grated pecorino romano cheese
1/3 cup (30gm) panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup dry vermouth
2 tsp olive oil
Roast the red pepper by spraying with olive oil and charring on all sides either under a broiler or over a gas grill. Place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside for about 20 minutes, until cool enough to handle.
Meanwhile, place the sundried tomatoes in a small bowl and cover with hot water.
Preheat oven to 375F.
Slice the stems from the base of the artichokes, and rub the cut side of the artichokes with lemon juice. Set aside.
Heat olive oil over medium-low heat in a small casserole dish or saucepan that will fit the artichokes snuggly.
Using a vegetable peeler or paring knife, remove the tough outer parts of the stems and discard. Chop the remainder of the stems, and saute with the garlic and scallion for about 1 minute. Remove to a small bowl.
Slip the skin off the roasted pepper under running water, and chop half of the pepper. (Save remaining half for another use.) Add the chopped pepper to the bowl with the sauteed vegetables. Drain the sundried tomatoes, chop them finely, and add to the bowl, along with the basil, salt, cheese, and breadcrumbs. Mix well.
Slice about a half inch off the top of each artichoke, and using kitchen shears, snip the sharp pointy ends of each leaf. Starting with the outermost leaves, pull leaves back until you reach the center. Use a spoon to scrape out the most inner, purple leaves and the fuzzy choke. Discard. Rub each artichoke with lemon juice.
Fill the cavity of each artichoke heart with some of the stuffing mixture, then working from the inside out, hold the leaves out and spoon a bit of stuffing into each one. Work until all leaves have been stuffed and the mixture is used up.
Pour the vermouth into the casserole dish or saucepan. Place the stuffed artichokes into the pan and scatter the lemon slices around them. Add a little bit of water so that the liquid comes up about a half inch high in the pan. Drizzle the artichokes with remaining olive oil and sprinkle each one with a little extra crushed red pepper. Cover and bake for 60-70 minutes, or until tender.
Servings Per Recipe: 2
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat: 11.8 g
Cholesterol: 12.5 mg
Sodium: 576.5 mg
Total Carbs: 34.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 10.7 g
Protein: 11.9 g