Don't Fear the Artichoke

March is National Artichoke Month,
which means it is a great time
to get know this odd little vegetable.

read more

Snack Healthy This Month

March is National Nutrition Month,
a great opportunity to improve your
diet and that of your children.

read more

St. Patrick's Day Dinner:
Beef and Stout Stew

To celebrate St. Patrick's Day
this year, why not dish up
this hearty, tasty Irish stew?

read more

Don't fear the Artichoke

March is National Artichoke Month, which means it is a great time to get know this odd little vegetable that is plentiful here in California. Many home cooks fear the artichoke and are unsure how to cook it, serve it or even eat. But never fear - you need look no further than your grill! Here is a simple recipe that lends a great flavor to this already tasty morsel.

Grilled Artichoke

Ingredients:

  • 4 large artichokes
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4cup water
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Directions:

Slice artichoke tops off, crosswise. Trim Stems.

Boil or steam artichokes until bottoms pierce easily, or a petal pulls off easily.

Drain artichokes. Cool.

Cut each artichoke in half lengthwise and scrape out fuzzy center and any purple tipped petals.

Mix remaining ingredients in a large plastic bag. Place artichokes in the bag and coat all sides of the artichokes. For best flavor marinate in the mixture overnight in the refrigerator but should marinate at least one hour. Drain artichokes.

Place cut side down on a grill over a solid bed of medium coals or gas grill on medium. Grill until lightly browned on the cut side, 5 to 7 minutes. Turn artichokes over and drizzle some of the remaining marinade over the artichokes.

Grill until petal tips are lightly charred, 3 to 4 minutes more. Serve hot or room temperature.

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Snack Healthy This Month

March is National Nutrition Month, a great opportunity to improve your diet and that of your children. A great place to start is with snack time. Here is a snack that is sweet, frosty and simple enough for the kids to help create. Enjoy this treat and feel good about improving your kid's nutrition - one snack at a time! Recipe courtesy of HealthyKidsChallenge.com

Frozen Yogurt Fruit Cup

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana
  • 8 ounces plain low-fat yogurt
  • 4 ounces frozen berries, thawed with juice
  • 4 ounces crushed pineapple canned in natural juice, with juice

Directions:

Line 6 muffin-tin cups with paper baking cups.

Dice or mash banana and place in a mixing bowl.

Stir in remaining ingredients.

Spoon into muffin cups and freeze at least 3 hours or until firm.

Before serving, remove paper cups and let stand 10 minutes.

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St. Patrick's Day Dinner: Beef and Stout Stew

If you're looking for a fun, but healthy, way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day this year, why not dish up this hearty, tasty Irish stew? While Irish stew recipes often use lamb, this one uses beef stew meat ? an economical and more easily-accessible alternative. Let it cook all afternoon - your house will smell like a wee bit of Ireland! Serve with Irish soda bread. Recipe courtesy of AllRecipes.com.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds lean beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 pinch salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups Irish stout beer (such as Guinness)
  • 2 cups chopped carrot
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Directions:

Toss the beef cubes with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil.

In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. Dredge the beef in this to coat. Heat the remaining oil in a deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the beef, and brown on all sides. Add the onions, and garlic.

Stir the tomato paste into a small amount of water to dilute; pour into the pan and stir to blend. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and cook for 5 minutes.

Pour 1/2 cup of the beer into the pan and as it begins to boil, scrape any bits of food from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Pour in the rest of the beer and add carrots and thyme.

Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasoning before serving. Garnish with chopped parsley.

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