Vegan stuffed artichokes are our summer pick

Artichokes make a satisfying and nutritious appetizer or side dish. We’ve amped up the flavor by making these stuffed artichokes with olives, herbs, garlic, and lemon. Stuffed, then roasted, the result is a rich, melt-in-your-mouth dish that’s a real crowd-pleaser.

Artichokes have got it going on

Artichokes are native to the Mediterranean and are a staple of the Mediterranean diet. In a study performed by the USDA, more than one thousand plants were tested for antioxidant levels, and artichokes came in seventh place. Since free radicals can significantly impact our immunity, the antioxidant levels in artichokes (which help fight free radicals) are beneficial for boosting our immune system.

Free radicals naturally occur in the body. While there’s no way to completely stop free radicals from forming, consuming a diet rich in diverse plant foods like artichokes is one of the best tools for combating their negative impact on the body. Artichokes are particularly rich in polyphenols which have been shown to help prevent and fight cancer cells. 

Artichokes are also high in potassium which helps regulate bodily fluids. This electrolyte also helps balance the sodium levels in the body, which helps maintain healthy blood pressure. Blood pressure is directly correlated with heart health, and consistently staying within a healthy range is crucial to preventing chronic heart disease.

The Mediterranean Diet strikes again

We’ve stayed in theme with the Mediterranean by including garlic, olives, olive oil, and lemon juice in these artichokes. Each ingredient has unique benefits to the body. Olives and olive oil, in particular, are often touted as a staple in the Mediterranean and one of the reasons why a Mediterranean Diet is recommended for heart health and longevity. Olives are high in vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant. It has been shown to help prevent coronary heart disease, decrease inflammation, and boost immunity. 

Lemons help the body detoxify by stimulating the digestive system. This is why having lemon water first thing in the morning is often recommended to boost digestive activity before introducing food for the day. Citrate, found in lemons, helps lower the acidity of urine, which can help prevent or break down kidney stones.

Ingredients:

3-4 artichokes

1/4 cup almond meal

4 cloves garlic

1/4 cup pitted olives

1/4 cup fresh parsley

3 tablespoon olive oil (or ghee, if not cleansing), plus more for drizzling

2 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Clean and trim artichokes. Cut off the stem of the artichoke without breaking off any of the leaves. Next, cut off the tip of the artichoke so the inner purple coloring is exposed (cut off about 1-2 inches of the top). Then, trim the pointy ends off of the leaves.

Mince the garlic and olives. In a small bowl, combine them with all ingredients besides the artichokes to form stuffing. 

Gently loosen the artichoke leaves and stuff a small amount of stuffing between the leaves. Be careful to evenly distribute the mixture throughout the leaves of each artichoke, pushing the mixture down to the base gently.

Once you have the mixture evenly distributed, drizzle each artichoke with a generous pour of olive oil. Wrap the artichokes tightly in foil and place stem side down onto a baking dish.

Bake the stuffed artichokes for 75 minutes. When done baking, let cool slightly before removing foil and serving.

Recipe and photography by Kaitlyn Noble

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