I really love this time of year. Yesterday was November 6th, and the weather was perfect. This weather is really refreshing and it made my thoughts turn to crock pots, fresh baked breads, hot soups, and Thanksgiving.

I hope this list seasonal foods will give you fresh ideas for your eating plan and the holidays.

artichokeArtichokes: The globe artichoke is a variety of a species of thistle cultivated as a food. The edible portion of the plant consists of the flower buds before the flowers come into bloom. 1 medium artichoke = 60 calories.

 

Steamed Whole Artichokes

Ingredients

4 sprigs parsley
4 garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
2 lemons, cut in half
1/4 cup white wine
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 quart chicken broth or water
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 whole artichokes

Directions

Put the parsley, garlic, bay leaves, lemons, wine, oil and broth in a large pot and bring to a simmer. Season the liquid with salt and pepper. In the meantime prepare the artichokes.

Wash artichokes under cold water. Using a heavy stainless steel knife, cut off the stems close to the base. Pull off the lower petals that are small and tough. Cut off the top inch of the artichoke and rub with half a lemon to preserve the green color. Alternatively, you may put the artichokes in acidulated water. If you wish, trim the thorny tips of the petals with kitchen shears.

Place the artichokes in the steaming liquid, bottom up. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes. The artichokes are done when a knife is inserted into the base and there is no resistance.

To eat, pull off a leaf and scrape the meat off the tender end with your front teeth. Dip the ends of the leaves in lemon juice and melted butter if desired. When you reach the center cone of purple prickly leaves, remove it. This is the choke that protects the heart. Now, scrape away the thistle fuzz covering the artichoke heart. The heart is the meatiest part of the artichoke. Steamed artichokes may be served hot or cold.

Recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence
arugula

Arugula: Eruca sativa is an edible annual plant, commonly known as salad rocket, rucola, rucoli, rugula, colewort, roquette and, in the United States, arugula. 1 cup = 6 calories.

 

 

Benefits of Arugula

  • With very few calories and tons of flavor it is a great green to help maintain a healthy weight without sacrificing great tasting foods!
  • Arugula is a rich source of certain phytochemicals that have been shown to combat cancer-causing elements in the body. Arugula is also a great source of folic acid and Vitamins A, C and K. As one of the best vegetable sources of Vitamin K, arugula provides a boost for bone and brain health.
  • Arugula has an array of minerals and high levels of Iron and Copper, making it a good substitute for spinach if you’re paying attention to getting more vegetable based iron in your diet.
  • Its peppery flavor provides a natural cooling effect on the body – a good food for hot weather picnics!
  • Like other leafy greens, arugula is also a hydrating food, helping keep your body hydrated in the heat of summer.

Beet and Goat Cheese Arugula Salad

beet_arugula_saladIngredients

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons shallots, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon honey
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 medium beets, cooked and quartered
6 cups fresh arugula
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries or dried cherries
1/2 avocado, peeled, pitted, and cubed
3 ounces soft fresh goat cheese, coarsely crumbled

Directions

Line a baking sheet with foil. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Whisk the vinegar, shallots, and honey in a medium bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in the oil. Season the vinaigrette, to taste, with salt and pepper. Toss the beets in a small bowl with enough dressing to coat. Place the beets on the prepared baking sheet and roast until the beets are slightly caramelized, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes. Set aside and cool.

Toss the arugula, walnuts, and cranberries in a large bowl with enough vinaigrette to coat. Season the salad, to taste, with salt and pepper. Mound the salad atop 4 plates. Arrange the beets around the salad. Sprinkle with the avocado and goat cheese, and serve.

Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis

 Arugula and Pear Salad

Arugula-Pear-SaladIngredients

1/2 cup walnut halves
5 to 6 cups arugula, cleaned and dried
1 Bosc or Anjou pear, thinly sliced
1 lemon
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, eyeball it
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces Gorgonzola (get a piece that will crumble easily for you) or blue cheese crumbles

Directions

Toast nuts in small pan over medium heat until fragrant. Cool.

Combine arugula and pear in a salad bowl, add nuts then dress the salad with lemon juice and olive oil, salt and pepper. Top salad with lots of blue cheese crumbles.

Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray

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