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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Paleo Stuffed Artichoke Hearts or Zucchini Recipe- Egg Free, Frugal


I adore artichoke; it is one of my absolute favorite vegetables. The best part of the artichoke, of course, is the heart. When I brought home a large amount of artichokes super cheaply, I knew that I wanted to make stuffed artichoke hearts with at least some of them. I prepared the artichoke to access the heart and hope to make a post in the near future on how to do that yourself. If you don't want to do that, or only have access to frozen artichoke hearts, feel free to use them in this recipe.
Stuffed artichoke is generally made predominantly with ground beef which gets expensive, with dairy that I don't eat, or with rice or breadcrumbs mixed with the meat to stretch it further, also things I don't eat. 
I took the idea for stuffed artichoke hearts that I've eaten elsewhere--beef seasoned with lemon and mint-- and made it more frugally and without ingredients I don't eat. Here you have allergy friendly, frugal, paleo stuffed artichoke. 
If you don't eat artichoke, or they aren't frugal or in season where you live, I made half of my batch with artichoke and the other half as stuffed zucchini, and they are equally delicious.

I find that when vegetables are stuffed with meat that is not stretched with rice or another vegetable, the meat ends up getting dry and not so pleasant to eat. Because the meat in this recipe is steamed in the oven and mixed with zucchini, it stays very moist and delicious.

I highly, highly recommend this recipe.

Paleo Stuffed Artichoke Hearts or Zucchini Recipe- Egg Free, Frugal

Ingredients:
18 artichoke hearts (approximately) or 6-7 large zucchinis, or a combination of artichoke and zucchini
Filling:
2 1/2 cups grated zucchini (2 medium zucchini)
3 1/2 cup ground beef (a little under 1 kilogram or 2 lbs)
1 medium onion
1/4 cup lemon juice
2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint or 1 tablespoon dried mint
1-2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper (optional)
Sauce:
2 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions:
1. Cut your zucchinis in half and hollow them out. (Save what you scoop out for other recipes. For example, it is terrific in a blended zucchini based soup.) Cut up your artichokes to access their hearts.

2. Dice your onion very finely.

3. Grate your zucchini, chop your mint, and mix them together with your diced onion, ground beef, lemon juice, salt, garlic powder, and black pepper.

4. Lay your artichoke hearts and/or zucchini in baking dishes in a flat layer, and fill with your filling, making a mound of filling in each heart or zucchini.

5. Mix the ingredients for the sauce, and pour them into the bottom of the baking dish. If your artichoke or zucchini is in more than one baking dish, divide the sauce between the different dishes.

6. Cover your baking dishes tightly (with their covers or aluminum foil) and bake for an hour to an hour and a half (after an hour, test the artichoke hearts with a fork to make sure they are fully cooked, and if they are not, return them to the oven).

7. Serve hot with sauce.

Enjoy!

Are you a fan of artichokes? Ever had stuffed artichoke hearts? How do you make them?
If you can't get artichoke cheaply, or enjoy zucchini and can get them frugally, do you ever stuff them? What is your favorite way to stuff them?
Does this look like a recipe you'd try?

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