I Heart Artichoke Hearts

Good morning – Happy Friday!! We made it through the first whole week of 2010. Yippee! Are you all completely ready for the weekend? I am.

I’ve got to eat well today and remember to drink a good amount of water for my race tomorrow morning. It’s a 5-mile race, which is a distance I’ve never raced before, so I’m interested to see how I handle that. It might be tough to find the right speed.

Let me do a quick recap of yesterday. Breakfast was oatmeal with raisins and pumpkin butter and a side of light cranberry juice.

I had an early morning snack of an apple (unpictured) and then for lunch I had the last of the quiche I made earlier this week. That certainly lasted a while.

Afternoon snacks were peach Chobani yogurt (pineapple remains my favorite) with granola and some carrots.

I may have also had some unphotographed rice chips :-) If you eat Chobani, what is your favorite flavor?

Toward the end of the day, I prepared to leave work and head to the gym and realized as I was going through my bag that I didn’t bring any workout socks or a sports bra. Where was my head? I considered going home and getting that stuff and then heading to the gym, but knew in my heart it wouldn’t happen. I’ve been a big 2010 slacker so far when it comes to hitting the gym and treadmill. I’m hoping my first race of 2010 will get me back into the swing.

So instead, I came home and experimented with this recipe. Here’s how I changed things a bit:

Ham and Brussels Sprout Bake

Ingredients

  • 20 Brussels sprouts, halved
  • 1 cup cubed ham
  • 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped green white onion (white portion only)
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon grated Asiago cheese
  • 1/2 cup sauerkraut, drained
  • 1/2 cup of halved artichoke hearts (drained)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Italian-style bread crumbs

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Toss together the Brussels sprouts, ham, mushrooms, green onion, Parmesan cheese, Asiago Cheese, and artichoke in a large bowl until combined. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, basil, and pepper; toss until coated. Pour this mixture into a 2 quart baking dish and sprinkle with Asiago cheese.
  3. Bake in preheated oven until the Brussels sprouts are tender, about 45 minutes.

I purposely picked a recipe with meat in it for the Hubby, but then he tells me that he’s not the biggest fan of ham. He did eat all of it though. Here is the result:

While this was the first time I ever cooked brussels sprouts (YAY!), apparently artichoke has been the real star of my week. I had the artichoke and spinach dip at dinner with Katie on Wednesday night, this last night and I plan on making a pasta salad and adding the remaining artichokes tonight.

But why shouldn’t it be my star this week? Artichoke has many health benefits. This site discusses some of its benefits at length, including:

“Globe artichokes are an excellent source of dietary fiber, magnesium, and the trace mineral chromium. They are a very good source of vitamin C, folic acid, biotin, and the trace mineral manganese. They are a good source of niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, vitamin A, and potassium. The artichoke has strong choleretic activity (promotes bile secretion in the liver), and choleretics increase the excretion of cholesterol and decrease the manufacture of cholesterol in the liver.”

Not only that, but I love the unique kind of bitter taste of artichoke. It definitely adds a punch of flavor to any recipe.

I will say that although I’m not a huge fan of ham, I did really enjoy this recipe. I might try it again with vegetarian sausage as a replacement for the ham.

Lastly, before it hit my bedtime I had a little dessert:

I spent most of my evening at home trying to organize my email after switching my personal email address from my maiden name to my husband’s name. There is still quite a bit that needs to be done, but gmail is a system that definitely helps make things easier and I thank them for that. Gmail is one of the best “technological” decisions I made in the last decade, along with buying a Mac.

What about you – are you a Gmailer? What tech-savvy things did you try in 2009?

In August of this year it will be time to upgrade my phone and it seems I’ll need to choose from either the Droid or a Blackberry (Verizon). Both really scare me – I am so behind the times when it comes to phones. I hate the touch screen stuff, but everyone else seems to love it! I might be forced to get with the times. :-/

That’s all for now folks! I may have a book review of Ahab’s Wife coming later this evening though. And tomorrow I’ll let you know what I’m reading now…so far it’s pretty darn good! Have a great Friday!

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13 responses to “I Heart Artichoke Hearts

  1. Love artichokes!! So good.

    I’m a gmail lover too. So many great features.

    I’m an apple girl though…. got a macbook, an iphone, ipod, shuffle, etc. Lots of apple products in our house. I heart them all. I could not live without my iphone now. So easy to go online, check email, read blogs (google reader), tweet, facebook, plus all the great apps, music, podcasts, etc.

    You are going to rock tomorrow! Have FUN!

    • Thank you – I hope I rock tomorrow and am not just frozen rock solid. Come to think of it, I have a lot of apple stuff already – computer and ipod, maybe an iphone is the way to go. I just wish Verizon offered one!

  2. I love both artichokes and gmail! Correspondence definitely got a heck of a lot easier for me thanks to the fine folks that operate Google Mail.

    That bake looks interesting and delicious. I love any recipe with ham, and brussel sprouts are great…so when the two are combined- it’s a winner!

  3. Aslo, good luck on your race tomorrow!

  4. Good luck on the race tomorrow!! I’ll think warm, motivating thoughts for you :)

    My favorite Chobani flavor is definitely pineapple, but I agree that peach is good too.

    Happy Friday!

  5. Good luck in your race tomorrow! Your dinner photos look great- the brussel sprouts actually look appetizing (‘m trying to convince myself that I’m a fan)! My fave chobani flavors are pomegranate and pineapple. Actually, I love all of them except for strawberry.

    Welcome to gmail! I looove gmail. Have a great weekend!

    • Thank you! I actually have had gmail for a while, just under my maiden name, so it’s just a switch to my new “married name” email address. The guys have it too easy!

  6. I wish I liked greek yogurt!! I just can’t make myself, sadly. I’m working on it! Your blog is super cute :)

  7. I am a big fan of plain greek yogurt, but pineapple is my favorite sweet flavor!

    And gmail = love! I wouldn’t survive the work week without g-chat.

    Your brussels sprouts and ham bake looks delicious – I’ve been lovin’ casseroles lately. The cold weather just calls for something hearty and hot!

    Good luck on the race tomorrow :-)

  8. My favorite Chobani is peach, but I still switch it up a bit, except for pomegranate. I figured, I like pomegranate juice ( in martinis, at least), but I didn’t like how seedy it was.

    G-mail definitely makes the switch easy, it’s remembering everything else to change!!!

    Good luck in your race tomorrow, I’ll think of you when I’m on the mountain!

  9. Pingback: Monday Already? « Eat, Read, Run

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