April Fool’s Day and the ARTICHOKE

 

Artichoke PictureIt’s April Fool’s Day!  If you don’t eat artichokes, then as the poem says, the Arti Joke’s on you!

My favorite way to eat them is my Nonny’s stuffed artichoke recipe.

Stuffed & Steamed Artichokes

1. Prepare the artichoke…cut the stem off the bottom of the artichoke to make a flat surface. Trim off the top of the artichoke too.2. Prepare stuffing…. mix 2 tablespoons chopped garlic, 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese (add more or less of any of these ingredients to your taste. Trust me, you can’t go wrong.)

3. Stuff the inner leaves of four artichokes with the bread crumb mixture.

4. Place artis in pot with 1/2 inch of boiling water. Cover, lower heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Check doneness by pulling a leaf out of the center. If it pulls out easily, artis are done. If not, simmer longer until done.

5. To eat, pull off one leaf at a time. With stuffing side in, run your teeth along leaf and eat. Discard leaves.
ENJOY!!

Do you have a favorite artichoke recipe? Share it now.

ENJOY!

Artichokes

by Judith Natelli McLaughlin

Artie chokes on chocolate chowder

Artichokes on rice

Artie chokes on pumpkin pie

Laced with pepper spice

Artichokes on fettuccine

Barley, beans and peas

Lasagna, parmesan

And on pecorino cheese

Artie chokes on chile

Made with ice cream and beef chuck

Artichokes on Caesar salad,

Sushi, roasted duck

Artie chokes or artichokes

Confusing, it is true

But if you do not try this food?

The arti JOKES on you!

 

Eggplant

eggplantLet’s talk about eggplant for the rest of the week. We will discuss recipes, poems and art…let’s begin!

We are starting with a poem and illustration from my book Poems on Fruits & Odes to Veggies – Where Healthy Eating Starts With a Poem.

I love this silly poem…and when I first recited it to my children, some five years ago, they were worried that the last line in the poem would fool children into thinking eggplant really comes from eggs. So far, all the kids I read to get the joke.  Phew!

Eggplant

Crack an egg

Mix it up

Shells and yolk and all

Dig a hole

In the ground

Just as wide as tall

Pour the egg

In the hole

Using love and care

Cover it

Up with dirt

Water, sit and stare

See a leaf

Sprout right up

Don’t say that you can’t

Now you ask

What it is?

Naturally, eggplant

If you don’t believe me

Then go ask your mother

If you do believe me

I’ll tell you another

Acorn Squash Poem

squashSince we were talking about making acorn squash the other day…and since healthy eating starts with a poem…naturally it is time for me to post my Acorn Squash poem.  Drop this rhyme on your family the next time you make them acorn squash!  It is from my book Poems on Fruits & Odes to Veggies – Where Healthy Eating Starts With a Poem.

 

Acorn Squash 

The squirrel’s a brave and brazen sort

Who flies from tree to tree for sport

He hunts for acorns high and low

And saves them up for winter’s snow

When trees are bare, acorns no more

The squirrel comes up to my front door

As if to ask for food from me

“I took no acorns from your tree!”

For acorn’s not my favorite knosh

Unless it’s buttered acorn squash

Acorn Squash Recipe

squashOn Thursday evening, April 18, I was one of the guest speakers at a Barnes & Noble book event best described as teaching the teachers how to use Poems on Fruits & Odes to Veggies in their classrooms. I shared a few recipes and one teacher was so intrigued with my Acorn Squash recipe that I promised to share it on my blog. Teacher, teacher, wherever you are, can you let me know if you found the recipe here?  I would love to hear from you.

Acorn Squash

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Cut Acorn Squash in half, lengthwise, stem to base.  It has seeds (just like a pumpkin).
  3. Scoop out the seeds until you are left with a cavity only.
  4. Fill the cavity with 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of brown sugar.
  5. Place halves on baking sheet and pop into oven for 1 hour.
  6. Remove squash from oven and test for doneness.  Fleshy part should be really soft (like the consistency of mashed potatoes) and tops should be a bit browned. If done let them cool a bit before using a fork to stir and mash the squash.  You can eat it right out of the shell, or plate it up.
  7. ENJOY!