Everyone who goes to the produce section at their local grocery store will notice that weird looking vegetable that somewhat resembles a giant green pinecone. At first glance it doesn’t look very appetizing. After all, they resemble pine cones and only squirrels are interested in those. However, artichokes have been a part of the Mediterranean diet for a long time and may be a reason why the people in that region tend to live longer than the global average.
Slowly, more and more people have begun to appreciate the unique taste that artichokes have and it has begun to appear in fusion dishes in restaurants around the world. As more people are becoming health conscious, the allure of artichokes has further increased as they have been found to be quite nutritious. According to a study done by the United States Department of Agriculture, artichokes are the healthiest vegetable when judged by how many antioxidants they contain. Among the many antioxidants are Cynarin and Silymarin which have been shown to be extremely effective against liver disorders and have even been shown to help cure liver cancer and hangovers for those who like to go out late on the weekends. Other vital antioxidants present in artichokes are rutin which helps promote vascular health; anthocyanins, a promoter of urinary tract health; and quercetin, an anti-carcinogen that fights against cancer and heart disease.
Just one medium sized artichoke supplies 24% of an adult male’s daily dietary fiber needs. It also contains 25% of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C while also supplying the body with a high amount of Vitamin B6, C, niacin, iron, and manganese. The artichoke also contains potassium and other important minerals that are important for the body. People in developed countries have pretty rounded diets but many people still don’t ingest as much dietary fiber as they should. Those looking to increase their fiber intake will definitely want to eat dishes with artichokes as they contain more dietary fiber than any other vegetable! One great fusion recipe that makes use of artichokes is Thai Style Shrimp and Artichoke Noodles.
Thai Style Shrimp and Artichoke Noodles
3/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tbsp. chili sesame oil
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsp. chopped peeled fresh ginger
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper
1 12 oz. package fresh Chinese or Japanese water noodles or linguine pasta, freshly cooked
3/4 lb. peeled cooked shrimp
2 6 oz. jars marinated artichoke hearts, drained
1 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1. Combine first 5 ingredients in blender and puree then Season dressing with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
2. Combine remaining ingredients in bowl, toss with enough dressing to coat, then pass extra dressing separately.www.ifood.tv