Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Artichoke Day!

Blogger of the Day: Rhea at The "V" Word
Pubs: Rhea's eBooks include:
The “V” Word Cookbook: Vegan Desserts
The “V” Word Cookbook: Party Foods
The “V” Word Cookbook: Holiday Edition
The “V” Word Cookbook Preview

The famous quote "Be the change you wish to see in the world" embodies Rhea's vegan philosophy, though she cheerfully changes it up...The “V” Word: Say it. Eat it. Live it. A teacher by nature and profession, she generously educates, encourages and inspires people to explore vegan life in all its compassionate goodness. She won me over long ago with her gentle dedication and peaceful passionate approach and of course, through her cooking. Traditional American fare, spicy exotic delicacies and favorite holiday delights get The “V” Treatment, and deliciously so! Vegan Challah and Struffoli? ohgoodgollyYES thank you!  :)

Rhea's vegan, mostly gluten-free recipes are indeed a slice of heaven and her website and eBooks are some of the funds from her sales help support important animal advocacy causes. Rhea is a big supporter of Leave No Paws Behind, which provides foster homes for animal companions at the end of their lives, and the worldfamous Woodstock Animal Sanctuary. She truly walks her talk. All that plus she's so clever with veggies...check out her chokes and don't miss her frittata too!

The secret to making the perfect artichoke is that there is no secret. It can be as minimally simple as cutting and steaming, or as artfully abundant as a fullycrumbed choke. Get creative...use whatever herbs and spices you like, cheeze it lightly or supergoopy, add seeds or finely chopped nuts, tomato sauce, minced chilis...anything that spins you happy! If you've never prepped artichokes before, scroll down to the YouTube links to learn what parts to eat/not eat, how to cut them up, etc. Then treat yourself to a deluxe stuff with Rhea's delicious masterpieces!  :)

YouTube features dozens of videos by artichoke makers that are easy to veganize, and cover a surprisingly wide range of techniques and tips. Everyone does it differently so there's no "right" or "wrong" way to make them. Try different versions as a starting point, experiment and create your own artichoke style!  :)
Artichoke 101 from Dani Spies...basic facts, choosing, cleaning, cutting, steaming, eating
How to Eat and Prepare Artichokes (for Beginners :) from shadowofjuniperhill...steaming or roasting, dipping and eating
Italian Stuffed Artichokes -- Sicilian Style from bowhunter2439...full on stuffapalooza! (this guy's super enthused about his chokes!)
How to Make Stuffed Artichokes from Chef Gino Barbaro...stuffed restaurant style (the video is a bit hard to hear but he's got valuable info and tips!)
Pepin Artichoke from famous French Chef Jacques Pépin...for those dream about going pro, interesting info and advanced techniques
How Not to Roast Stuffed Artichokes from Food Wishes...sometimes you just gotta learn from your mistakes.  ;)
Artichokes Jewish-style (carciofi alla giudia) from Rome from yellowsaffron...double deep-fried indulgence!
• And Grilled Artichokes from Chef Tips and How to Make a Killer Grilled Artichoke from John Keltner for those who like charmarked chokes!

Share the artichoke love...visit the Castroville Artichoke Festival May 31 & June 1, 2014 at the Monterey County Fair and Event Center in Castroville, CA!

What's your favorite way to make artichokes? Have you tried a stuffed choke? Are there any veggies you're shy to try? Which animal advocacy groups are important to you?  :)

Find more feasts in our 2014 Daily Food Holiday and Featured Blogger Series!