One of the Best Appetizer Recipes
Although its cheese isn't really a weight-loss aid, the recipe just below is (IMHO) one the best appetizer recipes for vegetarians AND "flexitarians." With artichokes as its principal ingredient, this particular dish is quick and easy and also provides abundant fiber. So it can be a useful choice for busy people trying to eat as healthfully as possible without spending all of their spare time in the kitchen. [If weight is an issue, substitute low-fat cheese.]
Adapted from a recipe in Anna Thomas’s awesome *Vegetarian Epicure series, this dish tastes wonderful hot or cold and also works equally well as appetizer or entrée. In fact, with the addition of a hearty salad, you’ll have a lovely light supper.
*The Vegetarian Epicure: 262 Recipes
Either way, this one takes home the Gold (IMHO). But a word to the wise: if you're stingy with the seasoning, you may find the dish rather bland...tasty, but missing a little something that you can't quite put your finger on. If so, more herbs (but probably not more onions) might just be the ticket.
Artichoke and Cheese Puff
(one of THE best appetizer recipes)
Serves 8 to 10 as an appetizer, 4 to 6 as a main dish
- 12 ounces artichoke hearts, marinated or frozen (which I prefer myself), coarsely chopped; I usually toss in about 2 tablespoons of chopped green chilies for extra punch.
- A few shallots, finely chopped
- Chopped garlic to taste (or not)
- 5 eggs
- salt and pepper
- ½ teaspoon (or more) oregano
- ½ teaspoon (or more) thyme
- 2 tablespoons flour
- ½ cup cheddar or Swiss cheese, grated
- 3 generous tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Drain and chop the artichokes, using ¼ cup of the marinating oil to sauté the onions and garlic until soft; if using frozen hearts, thaw and chop, using olive oil for the onion/garlic step.
- Scrape the onions and garlic into a large ovenproof skillet or shallow casserole.
- Add the artichoke hearts, mixing lightly and then spreading the mixture evenly over the skillet or casserole.
- Beat the eggs with a little salt, the herbs, and some fresh-ground black pepper, and the flour. When the mixture is smooth, stir in the grated cheeses.
- Spoon the egg-cheese mixture gently over the veggies, carefully spreading it evenly to the edges of your pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 20 or 25 minutes. The "puff" should be completely set, with a golden-brown and slightly crusted top.
- Remove from the oven to cheers and glad cries.
Then take a bow. You've just created a culinary masterpiece.
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The material at this site is NOT medical advice, as I am neither doctor nor nutritionist. What I am is merely someone who's lived successfully on a vegetarian diet for many decades...and I transitioned from omnivore to vegetarian gradually. Please check with your doctor if you're considering big changes to your own diet. Also, be sure to find a dependable source of Vitamin B12.
Vegetarian Diet Tips for a Slimmer, Healthier Body
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