Appetizers, Vegetarian Meals

Oven Roasted Artichokes

bowl full of roasted artichokes on white wooden table

 

Not going to lie, I dabbled with my first ever roasted artichoke just the other week and I LOVED IT.  Why has it taken me so long to try these darn things?!  Oh I know…because I had no idea how to eat them!

Up until now the only artichoke I would consume was marinated in a jar.  And albeit, super yummy, I think everyone needs to try a fresh roasted artichoke in their life time!  Similar to mushrooms, the artichoke flesh soaks up the flavor of whatever its baked with, so in this case…garlic and herbs!

 

fresh artichokes, whole on white table

 

In this post you will find instruction on how to roast these beautiful, jurassic-looking veggies, as well as a guide through the prep work, and how to eat these suckers too!

Step 1:  Prep Artichoke for baking

This part can be completed in a couple of minutes and will require a sharp serrated knife and spoon.  Start by rinsing, then cutting stem off with sharp knife.  Lay artichoke on its side, and cut the top 1 inch off.  Then lay artichoke flush to the surface (stem side down), and cut through the middle from top to bottom. 

Next, you will need to scoop out a little area in the middle, where the “hair” is located.  Once you have scooped out the center, brush with a lemon to prevent browning and set aside.

 

artichoke halves in grey baking dish

 

Step 2: Bake

After your artichokes have been stuffed with garlic, herbs, and butter, you’ll want to bake them at 400 degrees F.  First for 20 minutes without foil, and then 30-40 minutes with foil.

(Something else I learned about artichokes…they make a great vehicle for butter!)

 

close up of browned, roasted artichoke halves

 

Step 3: Devour

The best way to eat an artichoke is one petal at a time.  Rip off a petal by grabbing the pointy end, and lay the inside of the petal on top of your tongue while still holding on.  Bite down and slowly pull the “flesh” off by pulling it over your bottom teeth.  Discard petal remains.  

The petals on the outermost surface will have the least amount of flesh, but the closer you get to the “heart” is where you’ll find the most substance to eat.

Continue this process until you reach the heart, which will be soft and VERY flavorful.  Eat the heart as you’d like…in a couple pieces, or whole!  It may look a little funny, but don’t be afraid, because its delicious!

If you really want to get fancy with it, you can add a dipping sauce for the petals, which adds more flavor!  I used pesto in this recipe, but some other recommendations would be, Caesar or Ranch dressing, any aioli, or any yogurt based dip.

I ended up eating most of mine without dip, because it was that flavorful on its own!  Hope you guys give this a try and enjoy 🙂 

 

roasted artichokes in bowl with pesto dipping sauce

 

Oven Roasted Artichokes

These oven roasted artichokes are very simple to make, require only a couple ingredients, and allow you to enjoy the true flavor of an artichoke! Roasted in garlic, grass-fed butter, and a few spices...YUM!  
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: artichokes, easy, fresh herbs, garlic, gluten free, healthy, oven, roasted
Servings: 6 people
Author: Lulu's Table

Ingredients

  • 4 artichokes whole
  • 1 lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp herb butter or regular butter melted
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Rinse artichokes and cut stem off with a sharp serrated knife.  Next, cut top 1 inch off, then cut artichoke in half from top to bottom.
  • Using a spoon, scoop out a small portion of the middle.  Try to spoon out the "hair".
  • Before placing artichokes in baking dish, coat front and back with a layer of lemon juice to prevent browning. 
  • Set artichokes in a greased baking dish with insides facing up.  Place one whole garlic clove in the center of each artichoke half.  
  • Brush with half of your melted butter, and sprinkle with half of salt and pepper.  Turn artichoke halves over and repeat butter, salt, and pepper.
  • Bake for 20 min without foil.  Wrap foil lightly overtop baking dish and cook for another 40 min.
  • Remove from oven and let cool before serving.  Serve with a side of pesto, any yogurt dip, or add some extra lemon juice and eat by itself!
Meat

Mexi Steak Salad

mexican salad in large wooden bowl with avocado cilantro dressing

 

Truth be told, if I wasn’t so blatantly Irish, I would probably assume I’m of Mexican descent. ‘Cause daaaaaaamnnnn do I love to make some Mexican food.  What I love about Mexican cuisine is that the ingredients are always so fresh, colorful, flavorful…and oh my lord CILANTRO.

Let’s just get this out of the way now…I.LOVE.CILANTRO.  I know there’s some weird genetic thing that you either have the cilantro-loving gene, or you think it tastes like soap.  Well…my deepest condolences for all those aboard the cilantro soap train, because this herb tastes like magic!

 

mexican steak salad in wooden bowl with belle peppers on white table

 

Now with that being said, I’m sure it comes to no surprise that this delicious Mexican Salad is topped with a cilantro-avocado dressing!  I’m a huge fan of making my own dressings so I know exactly what’s in it.  That way, nothing unwanted sneaks into my meal (like added sugars, inflammatory oils, or unnatural chemicals).  Make in small batches, so not to waste any, because natural ingredients tend to be more perishable.

What’s great about this salad is that it uses simple ingredients and requires little hands on time from you!  There are three main areas of focus, veggies, steak, and dressing.  Everything else just needs to be dumped on at the end!

 

mexican salad in wooden bowl with mini bell peppers and lime on white table

 

VEGGIES:

  • I use different colored mini bell peppers and a red onion, cut thinly with a mandoline
  • Coat in oil and spices…I’m a huge fan of using paprika and garlic on my mexi veggies

STEAK:

  • Marinate your top sirloin in oil and garlic cloves for as long as you can.  I’ve done up to 24 hrs before.
  • Grill until cooked to your desired temperature, or cook on stove top over medium heat (high heat will burn the outside while leaving the inside uncooked).

DRESSING:

  • Take all fresh ingredients and add to a blender.  Blend until well combined!
  • Avocado, cilantro, garlic, lime, oil, and spices.

Chop your romaine lettuce, rinse a can of black beans, and as always…add a little somethin’ somethin’ for the CRUNCH!  Feel free to have fun with this and mix up the ingredients as you please!  Adding some cheese, quinoa, or different veggies can definitely add a fun twist to this Mexi Steak Salad 🙂

 

mexican steak salad with avocado cilantro dressing in large wooden bowl on white table

 

Mexi Steak Salad

Mexican sirloin steak salad filled with seasoned veggies, black beans, crunchy tortillas, and topped with a homemade avocado cilantro dressing.  A healthy, easy, and gluten free dinner recipe!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: avocado, cilantro, dinner, dressing, fajita, gluten free, healthy, mexican, salad, steak
Servings: 4 people
Author: Lulu's Table

Ingredients

  • 1-1.5 lbs top sirloin steak free range or organic
  • 4 tbsp EVOO or avocado oil
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 cup mini bell pepper thinly sliced
  • 1 cup red onion thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt and pepper each
  • 1 large head romaine lettuce chopped
  • 1 15 oz can black beans rinsed

Dressing

  • 1 avocado
  • 3/4 cup EVOO or avocado oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt and pepper each
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 lime juice
  • 1 whole bunch of cilantro remove leaves from stems
  • 1 cup crushed gluten free chips I use Food Should Taste Good Gluten Free Multigrain Tortilla Chip

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, mix together 2 tbsp oil and chopped garlic.  Using a brush or spoon, rub garlic oil on front and back of steak.  Wrap in tinfoil and refrigerate until ready to cook.
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. 
  • Using a mandoline, thinly slice mini bell peppers (hold from top at the stem and start slicing from bottom), and red onion.
  • Take sliced veggies and dump into a broil safe baking dish.  Mix in 2 tbsp oil, paprika, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Broil for 20 min, mixing midway through.
  • While veggies are baking, grill steak to your desired temp, or cook on stovetop.  For a medium steak, cook on medium heat for approximately 5-6 min each side.
  • For dressing, add all ingredients to a blender and blend until all ingredients are combined well.
  • Rinse and chop romaine lettuce and place in large serving bowl.  Take a can of black beans and rinse.  You can leave as is, or heat up on a skillet with oil.
  • Once steak is finished cooking, cut into thin slices and lay on top of romaine. Top romaine with remaining ingredients...veggies, beans, and crushed chips.  
  • Drizzle dressing on top and serve!
Vegetarian Meals

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

pasta salad in stone colored bowl, on white table with basil and sun-dried tomatoes

 

 

Need a quick side dish for your next dinner party?!  Look no further my friends!  The longest part of making this pasta salad is just waiting for the pasta to cook ( and if you like your pasta al dente, then you don’t even have to wait the full time on that)!

I love this pasta salad, because the dressing and mediterranean veggies give this it a fresh and light flavor.  Although this recipe doesn’t call for cheese, don’t be afraid to add some goat or feta cheese if you really want to take it to the next level!

In order to make the best use of your time, chop veggies and prepare the dressing while pasta is cooking.  Dump all ingredients into a large mixing bowl, and then stir in dressing right before serving (to avoid getting everything too soggy).

 

Mediterranean pasta salad in stone colored bowl, topped with grilled artichoke hearts

 

For me…nothing beats fresh chopped basil (cue romantic background music).  Sun-dried tomatoes add a deep savory flavor, while grilled artichoke hearts give it an awesome salty and smoky flavor.  Add any sort of nut for crunch (a good crunch in any dish is a totally underrated quality) and call it a day!

The dressing is super easy, just a combination of 2 parts extra virgin olive oil, mixed with 1 part balsamic vinegar, along with dried Italian spices.  If you’re feeling really fancy and have lemons on deck…don’t be afraid to throw some of that in too!

I think the best thing about this dish is that it looks super fancy, but really only requires you to have the right ingredients on hand, that can then be dumped in a bowl and mixed together.  Give it a try, you guys will love it!

 

close up picture of large bowl filled with mediterranean pasta salad

 

 

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Gluten free pasta filled with basil, sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes, and onion!  Mixed with a homemade balsamic vinaigrette and packed with vitamins, flavor, and healthy oils!
Prep Time13 mins
Cook Time7 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: appetizer, artichoke, basil, mediterranean, pasta salad, sundried tomato
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients

  • 1 bag or individual box, Banza GF Pasta
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil chopped
  • 2 tbsp red onion chopped
  • 3 halves marinated artichokes pulled from stem and chopped
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds

Dressing

  • 1/4 cup EVOO
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp garlic
  • 1/4 tsp salt and pepper each

Instructions

  • Cook pasta on stove top until soft, then rinse under cool water.
  • Transfer pasta to large bowl.
  • Add remaining ingredients and mix well.  Add goat cheese or feta for added flavor!