Spring Pea Farro Salad

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Spring Pea Farro Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette - Colleen's Kitchen

This past week my pear trees finished blooming, all that remains of them is a snowstorm of white petals blanketing the front yard. My local farmer’s market also re-opened for the season, bringing with it a bounty of fresh, local vegetables. As much as I love asparagus this time of year, I also look forward to the first snap peas of spring.

My mother is an avid gardener, I always say I inherited my green thumb from her, and I can remember as a child being sent to pick peas from the garden for dinner. I’d head out with my little silver bucket and disappear between the tall rows of peas, it was like my own little green world in there. I’d pick the peas, nestle them in my pail, and then sit down between the rows, hidden from the world. One by one I would open up the pods, scoop out the bright little peas, and stuff them in my mouth, crunching happily on those sweet morsels of spring.

Spring Pea Farro Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

Once my child’s tummy was content, I’d hide the shells someplace and then casually saunter back into the house, proclaiming to my mother that none of the peas were ripe. To this day, I’m not sure if she knows of my deception or if she truly thought that her peas never produced much.

I still love fresh snap peas, although the wisdom of age has taught me that the crunchy shell is just as good as the sweet peas inside. I love to eat a handful as a pick-me-up snack in the afternoon or throw some on top of a salad. But for this recipe, spring peas are the star of the show.

What I love about this recipe is that it’s not only easy to throw together, it also makes for a very large salad with little calorie impact. Filling and magically delicious? That’s right up my alley.

Spring Pea Farro Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

I start by combining chopped fresh sugar snap peas with nutty farro, crunchy fennel, a bit of chopped preserved lemon, and some reduced fat feta. I like using reduced fat feta because it still has a lot of flavor like it’s bigger, fattier sister, but it’s made from skim milk so isn’t full of chemicals like it’s non-fat bastard brother.

I finish the salad off with a vinaigrette made from the juice of a meyer lemon, which are also in season right now. A true vinaigrette calls for more oil, however I prefer to keep the dressing lean and let the flavor of the meyer lemon stand out.

What’s your favorite spring vegetable?

Spring Pea Farro Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette
 
Author: 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 2 servings
  • Calories: 468.4
  • Fat: 10.6
  • Saturated fat: 2.2
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1.2
  • Monounsaturated fat: 5.1
  • Carbohydrates: 69.9
  • Sugar: 14.9
  • Sodium: 712.2
  • Fiber: 20.0
  • Protein: 23.5
  • Cholesterol: 5.0
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Hearty and filling, yet lean and packing a nutritional punch, this Spring Pea Farro Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette is a welcome harbinger of the season.
Ingredients
  • 16 oz. fresh peas, chopped
  • ⅓ cup dry farro, cooked according to package directions, drained and rinsed in cold water
  • 1 bulb fennel, thinly sliced and chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped preserved lemon
  • 2 oz. reduced fat feta cheese, crumbled
  • juice of 1 meyer lemon
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp fresh chopped thyme
  • pinch of sea salt
Instructions
  1. Combine the peas, farro, fennel, preserved lemon, and feta in a medium salad bowl.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, thyme and salt.
  3. Toss the pea and farro mixture with the dressing. Serve and enjoy!

 

Lunatic 2012 Red Wine

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Lunatic 2012 Red Wine - Colleen's Kitchen

Okay, I have to admit it, I first picked up this bottle of Lunatic 2012 Red Wine because of the label. I mean, how intriguing is a wine called Lunatic with a picture of hands cuffed together?

And then, the wine steward poured a bit in my glass and I sniffed, swirled, sniffed again, and took a sip. Wow! Supple, dark, and juicy it boasts hints of spicy cedar and a smooth blackberry finish. It’s a standout wine for it’s price category of under $15.

Lunatic 2012 Red Wine - Colleen's Kitchen

I knew right away that this wine was destined for barbecue. Nevermind that it’s not exactly barbecue season in the Pacific Northwest. Yet.

I also happen to have this new bottle of Organic Sriracha and Roasted Garlic Barbecue Sauce that I picked up. Kismet? Definitely.

And so the marriage of this beautiful blend of Sangiovese, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon and my scrumptious Sriracha BBQ Chicken Sandwiches was born. The combination of dark fruit and spicy, tender chicken is a marriage made in wino heaven. So much so, that I already have plans to reunite the two.

Get the recipe for my Sriracha BBQ Chicken Sandwiches here.

But a bottle of the Lunatic 2012 Red Wine here.

As with any part of a healthy lifestyle, always enjoy alcohol responsibly and in moderation.

Sriracha BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

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Sriracha BBQ Chicken Sandwiches - Colleen's Kitchen

This may be the easiest recipe I’ve ever published on my blog. I mean, a total of 6 ingredients with minimal fuss in the prep? It truly doesn’t get much easier.

It all started with my typical weekly browse of the “What’s New” shelf at my local Trader Joe’s. My eyes lit upon a bottle of Organic Sriracha and Roasted Garlic Barbecue Sauce and I knew that baby was going home with me for dinner. The entire ride home my mind was swimming with ideas of how to use it.

In the end, though, the simplest idea is generally best. And so these Sriracha BBQ Chicken Sandwiches were born.

Sriracha BBQ Chicken Sandwiches - Colleen's Kitchen

In the morning before I leave for work I simply toss some lean chicken breast, this sriracha barbecue sauce, and some slices of red onion into the slow cooker. Heck, I’ve even taken the chicken straight out of the freezer and thrown it into the slow cooker. That’s right, no dethawing.

At the end of the day, when I come home from work the house smells like someone’s been barbecuing all day in my kitchen. I then whip up a simple slaw of a store-bought coleslaw mix, lowfat blue cheese dressing, and a bit of crumbled blue cheese. Now all that’s left to do is shred up the chicken breast and slap my sandwich together.

Seriously, does it get any easier than that?

Sriracha BBQ Chicken Sandwiches
 
Author: 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 4 servings
  • Calories: 267.7
  • Fat: 8.6
  • Saturated fat: 3.8
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.6
  • Monounsaturated fat: 2.6
  • Carbohydrates: 16.9
  • Sugar: 13.0
  • Sodium: 464.3
  • Fiber: 0.7
  • Protein: 29.2
  • Cholesterol: 75.3
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Poultry
At just six ingredients and minimal prep, these scrumptious Sriracha BBQ Chicken Sandwiches are the dinner savior of busy working families!
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. raw boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup Trader Joe's Organic Sriracha and Roasted Garlic BBQ Sauce
  • 8 oz. (about 3 cups) store-bought coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots)
  • ½ cup Bolthouse Farms Blue Cheese dressing (yogurt based)
  • 1 oz. crumbled blue cheese
Instructions
  1. Place the chicken, onion, and BBQ sauce in a slow cooker, cover and cook for 10 hours on low.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the coleslaw mix, blue cheese dressing, and blue cheese crumbles. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  3. Remove the chicken pieces from the slow cooker and use 2 forks to shred the chicken.
  4. Stir the shredded chicken back into the barbecue sauce in the slow cooker.
  5. Serve the chicken on a bun, topped with the coleslaw, and bite into a little piece of heaven!
Notes
Because the brands and types of buns vary widely, the nutritional value of the bun is not included in this recipe. Make sure to read the label and factor that into your nutritional count.

 

 

Terra Vina Simpatico

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Terra Vina Simpatico - Colleen's Kitchen

Now you might think that for a pairing with something like Bourbon Molasses Glazed Pork Chops, I would forego the wine and feature a bourbon cocktail instead. Well, you’d be wrong.

A hearty meat dish like this needs a good wine, something big and fruit-forward that will complement the bite of the bourbon, syrupy molasses, dense chops, and sweet carrots and apples that it’s served on. Enter Terra Vina.

Terra Vina Wines is a small, family-owned affair in Oregon that produces grapes grown from their estate in Oregon’s Chehalem Mountains AVA under their La Famiglia label and also sources grapes from eastern Oregon and Washington state for big reds produced under their Terra Vina label. Winemaker Karl Dinger started his life as an architectural engineer and spent many years in the high-tech hustle and bustle of the Silicon Valley and, later, the Silicon Forest, until he followed his passion and turned professional winemaker in 2004. Influenced by the family’s Italian connections, Karl and his wife Carole have sought to make wines here in the Pacific Northwest that evoke the old-world style of Italian reds.
Terra Vina Simpatico - Colleen's Kitchen

The Terra Vina Simpatico is an excellent example of the Italian-style quality that can be found in new world wines. A blend of cabernet franc, dolcetto, merlot, and petit verdot make for a smooth red blend with tart, juicy flavors of raspberry, cherry and dark cola. It’s the perfect wine for a rich meal like my Bourbon Molasses Glazed Pork Chops. I can’t wait to try it with some barbecue this summer.

Get the recipe for my Bourbon Molasses Glazed Pork Chops here.

Buy a bottle (or two) of the Terra Vina Simpatico here.

As with any part of a healthy lifestyle, always enjoy alcohol responsibly and in moderation.

Bourbon Molasses Glazed Pork Chops

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Bourbon Molasses Glazed Pork Chops - Colleen's Kitchen

I often hear from people that they just don’t have the time to cook. I tell them about some of the meals I make and they look at me quizzically and say “You cook like that all the time?”

Like you, I have my leftover or takeout nights. Heck, this past week I had a chips and salsa night. But good, gourmet quality meals don’t need to take forever to cook. They can be simple and effortless, yet still restaurant quality that will leave your friends wondering how in the world you do it all.

Bourbon Molasses Glazed Pork Chops - Colleen's Kitchen

Like this recipe. It starts by marinating boneless pork chops in a mixture of bourbon, molasses and brown sugar overnight. An absolute must is to use a quality bourbon with a recipe like this. The marinating process allows the bourbon to impart a ton of flavor to the pork, so use a bourbon that you would also drink straight with no mixers. I’m partial to the Burnside Bourbon from Eastside Distilling, a local to me distillery. It’s smooth with notes of cinnamon and oak that infuse the pork chops in this dish with a wonderful flavor.

Once marinated, when I come home from work the next day, it only takes me about 20 minutes to turn those pork chops into an unforgettable meal. That’s right 20 minutes.

Bourbon Molasses Glazed Pork Chops - Colleen's Kitchen

One of the key ingredients to this recipe is coconut oil. Cooking the pork chops in coconut oil adds a depth of flavor to the bourbon and molasses that simply makes the dish. Using a thick cut pork chop results in a nice amount of renderings left in the pan that makes for a nice base to then saute up a mixture of cut fresh carrots, apples, and rosemary. Of course the bonus is that I only use one pan which also makes for easy cleanup.

Bourbon Molasses Glazed Pork Chops - Colleen's Kitchen

The rosemary is also an essential ingredient to this dish. First, just the smell of it cooking in the remnants of bourbon, molasses, coconut oil, and pork renderings leaves my mouth watering at the prospect of the food to come. But mostly the aromatic flavor adds yet another layer flavor of complexity to the bourbon, molasses, and coconut oil that completes the meal.

So you tell me. Why avoid cooking when it’s this easy?

Bourbon Molasses Glazed Pork Chops
 
Author: 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 2
  • Calories: 320.5
  • Fat: 13.3
  • Saturated fat: 8.6
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0/4
  • Monounsaturated fat: 0.6
  • Carbohydrates: 21.5
  • Sugar: 14.6
  • Sodium: 517.3
  • Fiber: 5.0
  • Protein: 21.9
  • Cholesterol: 45.0
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Pork
Thick cut pork chops are marinated in bourbon and molasses then cooked to perfection and served on a bed of carrots and apples in this 20 minute wonder.
Ingredients
  • 2 4-oz. boneless pork chops, thick cut
  • ½ cup bourbon
  • 2 tbsp black strap, unsulphured molasses
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp organic, virgin coconut oil
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 1 granny smith apple, diced
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh rosemary
  • ¼ tsp coarse sea salt
Instructions
  1. Whisk together the bourbon, molasses, and brown sugar. Cover the pork chops with the bourbon mixture in a shallow dish or resealable plastic bag. Refrigerate overnight, turning in the morning to ensure the chops are evenly marinated on both sides.
  2. Heat the coconut oil in a skillet on medium high.
  3. Remove the pork chops from the marinade, shaking off the excess and discarding the marinade. Add the pork chops to the skillet, reduce heat to medium.
  4. Cook the pork chops for about 4 minutes on each side or until the pork is just cooked through. Be careful not to overcook or the pork will be too tough.
  5. Remove the pork chops from the pan and place on a plate to let the juices set.
  6. Add the carrots, apple, rosemary, and salt to the same pan. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  7. Serve each pork chop on a bed of the carrot and apple mixture. Cut into that beautiful piece of meat and savor every bite!
Notes
The nutritional value of the marinade has been reduced by ¾ since the bulk of it is discarded.

 

Andrew Rich 2013 Sauvignon Blanc “Croft Vineyard”

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Andrew Rich 2013 Sauvignon Blanc 2013 "Croft Vineyard" - Colleen's Kitchen

There are few things in life more satisfying than when a meal and a wine come together in perfect harmony. Of course in my kitchen that means there are many satisfying dinners, but nonetheless I still get excited when I find the perfect wine for a recipe I’m crafting.

This week I bring you the Andrew Rich 2013 Sauvignon Blanc “Croft Vineyard” from Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Best served chilled, it’s crisp  with flavors of passionfruit and citrus that make me long for the warm spring sunshine. The long, bright finish lingers on the palate, delighting the tastebuds.

The grapes for this Sauvignon Blanc are 100% sourced from Croft Vineyards, an organic certified vineyard. Situated in a microclimate protected from harsh winds by the Pacific Coast range, Croft Vineyard nestles on a gentle slope in a deep, well-drained soil derived from sedimentary rocks. Grapes produced here are known for their outstanding flavor, color and balance.

Andrew Rich 2013 Sauvignon Blanc 2013 "Croft Vineyard" - Colleen's Kitchen

I served this Sauvignon Blanc with my Tuna and Asparagus ala Niçoise. The crisp, brightness of the wine is perfect with a light meal such as this, bringing out the tart lemon and tangy dijon mustard flavors in the dressing. Together the two make for a perfectly delicious spring dinner.

Get the recipe for Tuna and Asparagus ala Niçoise here.

Buy a bottle of Andrew Rich 2013 Sauvignon Blanc “Croft Vineyard” here.

As with any part of a healthy lifestyle, always enjoy alcohol responsibly and in moderation.

Tuna and Asparagus ala Niçoise

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Tuna and Asparagus ala Niçoise - Colleen's Kitchen

One of my favorite things about spring? My neighborhood farmer’s market opens back up for the season and it’s bursting with fresh, local produce like asparagus. I adore these tender spears – lightly steamed and served with an aioli, roasted with lemon and parmesan cheese, or sauteed al dente with herbs and spices.

Tuna and Asparagus ala Niçoise - Colleen's Kitchen

For this recipe, I used the latter technique. My inspiration was the Salade Niçoise, a traditional dish from the southeast of France. I love the tangy dressing and so I decided to recreate the flavors of the dressing as a marinade and dressing for the tuna and asparagus in this dish.

Tuna and Asparagus ala Niçoise - Colleen's Kitchen

The dressing for the Salade Niçoise is flavored heavily by dijon mustard and lemon juice with a hint of worcestershire sauce that makes all the difference. I use half of the dressing as a marinade for a couple of albacore tuna steaks and the other half I toss with the asparagus and a sliced up shallot.

Tuna and Asparagus ala Niçoise - Colleen's Kitchen

Now I hate doing dishes, so in the interest of containing the kitchen action to a single pan, I cook up the tuna first then, while it is resting, I saute the asparagus and shallots in the same pan. The secret to good asparagus is to not overcook it, I’m not sure there’s anything worse than stringy, mushy, overcooked asparagus. A mere 5 minutes or so in the pan is enough to cook the asparagus so that it still retains a bit of it’s crunch but is also cooked through.

Perhaps the best part of this recipe is that it cooks up in about 15 minutes, making it perfect for a busy weeknight. But then did I mention that the whole dish has less than 300 calories? That’s right, it’s not only delicious but it’s also good for the waistline. That’s just how I roll here in my kitchen!

 

Tuna and Asparagus ala Niçoise
 
Author: 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 2
  • Calories: 262.9
  • Fat: 9.2
  • Saturated fat: 1.1
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1.0
  • Monounsaturated fat: 5.0
  • Carbohydrates: 17.3
  • Sugar: 1.5
  • Sodium: 480.8
  • Fiber: 4.9
  • Protein: 31.8
  • Cholesterol: 50.0
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Seafood
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Albacore tuna steaks and fresh asparagus are cooked in a Salade Niçoise inspired dressing for an easy spring dish that is delicious and good for you.
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp whole grain dijon mustard
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ tsp fine sea salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh rosemary
  • 2 - 4 oz. raw albacore tuna steaks
  • 1 lb. asparagus, trimmed and cut into thirds
  • 1 shallot, finely sliced
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh Italian parsley
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh tarragon
Instructions
  1. Whisk together the olive oil, mustard, lemon juice, worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and rosemary.
  2. Pour half of the mixture over the tuna steaks in a shallow dish. Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Reserve the remaining dressing for later.
  3. Heat a 10" skillet on medium heat.
  4. Add the tuna steaks and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side until cooked through. The tuna should be light, moist, and flaky, not dense and dry.
  5. Remove the tuna from the pan and set aside. Turn the heat up to medium-high on the pan.
  6. Toss the asparagus and shallots with the remaining dressing.
  7. Cook the asparagus and shallots in the pan for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the shallots are transparent and the asparagus is al dente.
  8. Remove from heat and toss the asparagus with the parsley and tarragon.
  9. Serve each tuna steak on a bed of the cooked asparagus. Drizzle with a little lemon juice (optional) and serve immediately.
Notes
On the advice of my nutritionist, the nutritional value of the dressing has been halved since most of it is discarded.

 

Slow Cooker Tangerine Stout Beef Stew

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Slow Cooker Tangerine Stout Beef Stew - Colleen's Kitchen

After Juneuary and Febuly here in the Pacific Northwest, March has  returned us to the normalcy of rain. I love waking up in the middle of the night to the sound of raindrops plopping on the roof, splattering against my window. I snuggle down into my blankets and the noise lulls me back to sleep.

There’s something about a rich, thick stew on a cool, rainy day that makes me feel warm and happy from the inside out. I love to dunk hot crusty bread in the broth, soaking the bread through with the flavor of the broth, and slowly savor it in my mouth.

Slow Cooker Tangerine Stout Beef Stew - Colleen's Kitchen

I’m particularly fond of this recipe that combines the dark, chocolate flavor of a rich stout beer with sweet winter tangerines. I slow cook some chopped up beef bottom round roast with tender sweet potatoes, carrots, and chewy dried tomatoes for a bowl of deliciousness that is out of this world. It makes my mouth happy just thinking about the goodness to come from each bite.

Slow Cooker Tangerine Stout Beef Stew - Colleen's Kitchen

The best part? This is truely a fix-it-and-forget-it meal. I simply marinate the beef overnight in the stout then throw everything in the slow cooker in the morning before I leave from work. When I come home from the office, all I have to do is mix in the tangerine juice and dig into a bowl. Home-cooking does not get any easier than this.

 

Slow Cooker Tangerine Stout Beef Stew
 
Author: 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 6 servings
  • Serving size: 1½ cups
  • Calories: 304.8
  • Fat: 7.7
  • Saturated fat: 3.1
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.2
  • Monounsaturated fat: 0.0
  • Carbohydrates: 34.6
  • Sugar: 6.7
  • Sodium: 488.4
  • Fiber: 5.1
  • Protein: 19.5
  • Cholesterol: 36.7
Recipe type: Soup or Stew
Cuisine: Beef
Tender beef, sweet potatoes, and carrots are slow cooked in a broth of chocolatey stout beer and sweet tangerines for a hearty bowl of winter deliciousness.
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. beef bottom round roast, cut into 1" pieces
  • 1 cup stout beer
  • 2 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1" pieces
  • 4 medium carrots, diced
  • ½ cup chopped dried tomatoes
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • zest and juice of 2 tangerines (divided)
Instructions
  1. Place the beef and stout beer in a shallow dish or resealable gallon-size plastic bag and let marinate in the refrigerator over night.
  2. Combine the beef, beer, sweet potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, broth, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, and tangerine zest in a slow cooker.
  3. Cook on low for 10 hours.
  4. Remove the bay leaf and sprig of thyme.
  5. Stir in the tangerine juice.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste and enjoy a bowl of your slow-cooked deliciousness!

 

Matello Pinot Gris 2013

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Matello Pinot Gris 2013 - Colleen's Kitchen

Last year I introduced you to a delicious Rose of Pinot Noir from Matello, and this week I’m happy to feature the recently released Matello Pinot Gris 2013.

The grapes for this Pinot Gris are sourced from small family owned vineyards in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, my home territory. The warm dry summers and cool falls here make it an excellent area for growing Pinot Gris, a white varietal that can be found throughout the valley.

Matello Pinot Gris 2013 - Colleen's Kitchen

Winemaker, and new dad, Marcus Goodfellow, crafts a consistently superb Pinot Gris that is bright and zesty with floral notes as well as pear, lime and a hint of minerality. This is a wine that is perfect with seafood, such as my Shrimp Stuffed Artichokes. The light citrus notes in the wine really pull out the flavors of sweet shrimp, lemon zest, and creamy ricotta cheese in the recipe.

The best part? The wine is a true bargain for its quality, retailing for between $14 and $17.

Get a bottle of Matello Pinot Gris 2013 here.

Get the recipe for Shrimp Stuffed Artichokes here.

As with any part of a healthy lifestyle, always enjoy alcohol responsibly and in moderation.

Shrimp Stuffed Artichokes

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Shrimp Stuffed Artichokes - Colleen's Kitchen

Spring has sprung with a vengeance in the Pacific Northwest. Here it is early March in Portland and temperatures are in the mid-to-high 60’s. Crazy!

And of course there’s me, with my leg still healing, unable to get out and hike my favorite trails in this beautiful weather. I am slowly getting mobile again, though, venturing out on my own for short strolls of the market. I always love to see the seasonal produce rolling in, and this time of year that means artichokes.

Shrimp Stuffed Artichokes - Colleen's Kitchen

I love artichokes. My mom tells me they were my first food, so maybe that’s where my love affair with these meaty, leafy thistles began. I love them grilled, steamed, and stuffed, like I have here.

For this recipe, I made a stuffing of  tender Oregon bay shrimp meat  with some nutty whole wheat orzo, spinach, creamy ricotta and parmesan cheeses, and a touch of lemon zest to bring out some tang in the dish. I then stuffed the mixture into small globe artichokes, topped them with a little more parmesan cheese, and then baked them.

Shrimp Stuffed Artichokes - Colleen's Kitchen

My favorite way to eat them? I like to use the leaves to scoop out bits of the stuffing into my waiting mouth. With a glass of chilled Pinot Gris on the side, of course. It’s absolute heaven on a warm, sunny spring day.

 

Shrimp Stuffed Artichokes
 
Author: 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 4
  • Serving size: 2 artichoke halves
  • Calories: 259.9
  • Fat: 9.1
  • Saturated fat: 4.5
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.9
  • Monounsaturated fat: 3.0
  • Carbohydrates: 26.2
  • Sugar: 2.5
  • Sodium: 895.3
  • Fiber: 7.5
  • Protein: 20.0
  • Cholesterol: 48.8
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Seafood
Fresh spring artichokes are stuffed with a mixture of tender baby shrimp, spinach, orzo and cheese for a delicious, seasonal meal.
Ingredients
  • 4 small globe artichokes
  • ¼ lb. baby shrimp meat
  • ¼ dry whole wheat orzo, cooked according to package directions, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • ½ cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • ¼ cup plain, nonfat yogurt
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 oz. shredded parmesan cheese, divided
Instructions
  1. Trim the top and stems from the artichokes. Place top down in a steamer basket and place the steamer basket in a pot of boiling water so that it sits about 1” above the water. Cover and steam for 20 minutes or until a fork easily pierces the artichokes. Remove the steamer basket with the artichokes and set aside to cool.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together the baby shrimp, orzo, spinach, lemon zest, ricotta cheese, yogurt, thyme, basil, salt, pepper, and 1 oz. of the parmesan cheese.
  4. Halve each of the artichokes lengthwise and use a spoon to gently scoop out the fuzzy interior of the artichoke and the very inner leaves, creating a hollow space in the artichoke half. Place the artichoke halves in a shallow baking dish, cut side up.
  5. Scoop the shrimp mixture into the hollow of the artichoke half, evenly distributing the stuffing in each of the artichoke halves.
  6. Sprinkle the remaining 1 oz. shredded parmesan cheese evenly over the stuffed artichoke halves.
  7. Bake 20-25 minutes or until the cheese is golden. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.