Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Artichoke = Good; Kale = Bad

Ontario Globe Artichokes
Originally uploaded by Scorchez
Yesterday, I decided to try two new foods which were part of the "must eat" list in my healthy detox program. The first was an artichoke. I've had artichokes plenty of times, but not in their pure form. I've eaten them smothered with all kinds of cheese in some sort of dip; I've also had the oil & salt laden marinated artichoke hearts, which are quite yummy. But this was my first venture into cooking and consuming a plain old artichoke.

Artichokes are really neat looking, but they're also intimidating. When I bought one, I felt instantly cool, but then I swore the cashier was looking me over, like "Does she have any idea what to do with this?"

To overcome the intimidation factor, I turned to my friend Google and found this informative article about how to cook an artichoke. I followed it exactly, including the part about making a dip out of some mayonnaise & balsamic vinegar. (The one thing I would add to this otherwise outstanding "how-to" is to make sure you have a lot of water underneath your steamer basket. I did not, and now I've spent the better part of today trying to clean the charred mess off the bottom of my pot. Oops.)

Anyway, I discovered that an artichoke is actually pretty delicious. I thought the dip would be key, but I almost liked it better without the dip. It felt so good to be truly enjoying something that was good for me in it's plain, unadulterated form.

When dinner rolled around, I was on a health food high--and thinking that my idea of stirring some kale into my pre-packed smoked salmon & white bean soup would be a good one. It wasn't. The soup was delicious...the kale tasted like, well, kale. It's kind of a dense, bitter green which needs to be cooked so that it'll soften and the bitterness will fade. I've never been one for cooked greens, so maybe I'm destined to hate it no matter what, but it definitely wasn't tasty.

I guess one out of two isn't too bad.


  1. Okay... kale is delicious and Andy and I have just gotten into it. Not sure if you did this, but you must separate the leafy part from the stems. The stems are what makes it so bitter. I even remove the stems all the way up the leaf. I prepare it by steaming it just until it is bright green, then I saute it in soy sauce, squeeze fresh lemon, and sprinkle fresh pepper and sea salt to taste. Delicious! :)

  2. Oooh...didn't think of soy sauce. I will have to give it another try that way.

  3. I know I shouldn't mention this on such a health conscious blog but I have the recipe for Suppe Tuscana from Olive Garden, the potato soup with kale and it's delicious in there. That is a chicken broth based soup with some cream and it does simmer with the kale for a bit. But I agree, take out the stems.