Friday, March 18, 2011

Lily's Growing Up and Mommy's Steaming Artichokes

So I think it’s official- Lily only wants to feed herself now. Not with a spoon yet, mind you, but she is only down with the finger food. I still have some frozen baby food I have been trying to get her to eat, but it’s usually a losing battle, so I’ll probably just use it for something else. It’s all natural organic applesauce and pureed string beans, so it’s not like it’s something gross I won’t eat myself. I just won’t eat it as baby food, of course.

So, tonight Lily had steamed broccoli and corn sprinkled with grated Parmesan cheese. For lunch she had cooked black beans and shredded cheddar cheese topped off with raisins (her favorite!). Although she’s off the baby food, I will continue to include baby food recipes on this blog anyway since that is what my original intention was with this blog. I just didn’t expect her to dis the mushy stuff so soon.

Tonight I attempted to make steamed artichokes for the first time. It sounded simple enough- cut off the stem, trim the leaves, stick them in a steamer basket for 20 or so minutes and voila! Well, the cutting and trimming was simple enough, but after letting them steam for about 20 minutes they were no where near done, so I put them back in for 10 more minutes, and then they were pretty good after that.

I did this with 2 artichokes, each the size of a baseball. I made a lemon mustard sauce to top them with, but after tasting it I decided not to use it. So I just dipped the petals into lemon juice and they tasted just fine that way. I made a huge mess taking these things apart; I hope I ate them right. Like I said, I never did this before. Eating an artichoke is such a process

The artichoke mess

The first time I tried an artichoke that wasn’t all mixed up in a dip was at a dinner at my sister-in-law’s house years ago, before she was even my sister-in-law. Her mother- now my mother-in-law –baked the artichokes in tin foil and when I first sunk my teeth into that first tender petal it was so good. I don’t know how you bake them, but I may see my MIL this weekend, so hopefully I will remember to ask her how she made that magic I so fondly reminisce about happen.

Anyway, I ate various parts of the artichokes and tried to find what is referred to as “the heart” (which I have had before in salads and in oil), but I don’t think I found it. I ate some yellowy-colored part in the middle near the base of where the stem had been, but I don’t know if this was what I was looking for. It didn’t taste too bad, but not how I remembered from those Greek salads.

I had the artichokes with baked herb-encrusted cod and steamed asparagus. I normally would’ve had a grain along with the vegetable and fish rather than 2 veggies, but I needed to use both the artichokes and the asparagus before they went bad. So I got a good dose of folate, and vitamins A and C, along with fiber, potassium and magnesium from the artichokes. It was the kind of meal you feel good about eating. Here are the directions:

Herb-Encrusted Baked Cod with Steamed Asparagus and Artichoke


2 cod fillets
2 medium sized artichokes, trimmed
10 spears asparagus, trimmed
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp parsley
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper

For the cod:

Preheat oven to 400°C. Coat glass baking dish with butter and place cod fillets inside. Top fillets with lemon, olive oil, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper. Put in oven for about 15 minutes.

For the asparagus:

Trim off stalks then steam for about 7 minutes until tender and still bright green.

For the artichokes:

Cut off stem and trim the tips of leaves about ½”. Place in steamer basket and steam for 20-30 minutes. To check, pull a leaf off each artichoke. If the leaves come off easily without having to tug, they’re ready. 

I said I didn’t like how the sauce turned out, but if you want to try it anyway, here are the directions:


¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup lemon juice
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp fresh thyme
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper

Mix all ingredients together and drizzle over artichokes and asparagus if desired. Can also be used for dipping.

Lily had:

3 broccoli florets, steamed
2 tbsp corn kernels, steamed
1 tsp grated Parmesan cheese for topping

Bonus baby food recipe:

3-Grain Creamy Fruit

3 tbsp pureed fruit such as apples, peaches or banana
1 tbsp oatmeal cereal
½ tsp ground flax seed
½ tsp wheat germ
1 tsp plain yogurt

Mix altogether and serve. Very healthy and sure to wake your little one up (as if they need it!).

1 comment:

  1. Cooking and eating artichokes are challenging processes. I know the leaves are wonderful if you dip them in melted butter and scrape the soft part from the tough leaves with your teeth. But I once dined at the home of an experienced Italian cook, and she couldn't get the artichokes done in the oven.

    Your finished plate looks lovely!


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