Counting Our Veggies

Please join us as we focus on learning about and trying one vegetable each week.


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Week Five: Chicken, Bacon and Artichoke Pasta with Creamy Garlic Sauce

We have had a busy week. The weather was warmer than it has been in a while. On Thursday we even went to the zoo. It was in the low 40s, after all. Time to get some fresh air! Yesterday, we got some beautiful snow.

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We baked heart shaped cookies and made Valentine’s too.

In the middle of our crazy evening we tried another artichoke recipe for our Valentine’s Day dinner. We already had the kitchen a mess from the cookie baking, so there was no way we were cutting up more fresh artichokes. Lucky for us, this recipe called for canned artichoke hearts. Chicken, Bacon and Artichoke Pasta with Creamy Garlic Sauce from Iowa Girl Eats looked delicious, but a little bit complicated. By complicated, I mean that I had to use three of my stove burners at one time. This kind of complexity in a recipe makes me very nervous. With help from Dave, I managed to pull it all together.

Theo is allergic to dairy, so we fed him some of the chicken and pasta before we added the sauce. He was not willing to eat any of the artichoke, but he did like the plain chicken and pasta. Setting aside part of a recipe before the dairy ingredients are added is something that works well for us, since the rest of us love dairy. We don’t have to make two meals and everyone feels included in what we have cooked

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Josie decided to try the artichoke. Just as she suspected, she thought it was horrible. She did like the chicken and bacon part of this dish and managed to eat a few noodles.

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Lucie loved it!

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Dave and I thought this recipe was wonderful. It was a great Valentine’s Day dinner. Yum!

We have two more fresh artichokes left to try. We did not get to them today, but we did ice our heart cookies. The girls did most of the decorating themselves and they are very proud!

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Even though Josie and Theo did not enjoy eating artichoke, they did eat other things that were cooked with artichoke. I think this is a good strategy for helping children grow accustomed to the taste of different vegetables. Even with two thumbs down from two kids, I consider this a positive vegetable experience.

Thanks for visiting,

Jen

P.S.

I will have to ask Lucie for her thoughts tomorrow. She is already sound asleep.

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Week Five: Artichoke, Sun-Dried Tomato and Blue Cheese Pizza


Lucie chose artichokes as our vegetable for this week. We started by doing some reading about the artichoke and learned that this funny looking vegetable is part of an immature flower from a plant in the thistle family. The type of vegetable we are working with this week is called a globe artichoke. Other vegetables called Jerusalem artichoke and Chinese artichoke come from the underground part of different types of plants and are not related to the globe artichoke.

We started artichoke week with a recipe that I love: artichoke, sun-dried tomato and blue cheese pizza. We included the kids in pizza making by giving them each their own pizza to top. This worked very well for us because Theo is allergic to dairy. Instead of feeling left out, he was able to make his own cheese-less pizza to be proud of.

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This made me think of the “make your own pizza-pie” episode of Seinfeld. I found watching parts of this episode on YouTube to be a great way to procrastinate from veggie blog writing. I can assure you that the characters at my house are just as entertaining as the ones on Seinfeld. We used our favorite pizza crust recipe, Jay’s Signature Pizza Crust from allrecipes.com. I doubled the pizza crust recipe, so we would have enough crust for three kids pizzas and two regular pizzas.

The toppings we offered the kids included the following:

  • homemade pizza sauce
  • sun-dried tomatoes (I cut these into small pieces and soaked them in olive oil and fresh minced garlic for about thirty minutes before using them.)
  • canned artichoke hearts (I sliced these lengthwise to make them more bite-sized.)
  • mini-pepperoni
  • mushrooms
  • shredded mozzarella cheese
  • blue cheese crumbles

Theo was very careful adding the pizza sauce.

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The girls selected and arranged their toppings.

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I thought surely they would pile on the artichoke hearts.

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Lucie did decide to sample one.

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“Mama, I would give this two thumbs down, but I’m not sure where to put the rest of this yucky artichoke.”

Theo’s pizza ended up with pizza sauce and pepperoni. The girls’ added pizza sauce, sun-dried tomato, pepperoni and mozzarella. Lucie added a few mushrooms. Not too heavy on the veggies, but oh well.

Now for the extra yummy pizzas:

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I added pizza sauce, sun-dried tomato and artichoke hearts.

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Then, lots of crumbled blue cheese and mozzarella. I baked it at 425 degrees on a pizza stone for about 20 minutes. (Really, until it looked done, but around 20 minutes.)

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This is so delicious! It is my favorite kind of pizza. The girls have eaten it before and loved it. There must have been some kind of anti-artichoke attitude going around today.

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Theo could hardly wait to eat his pizza.

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Josie was very proud of her pizza.

I feel like today’s post was a bit light on the artichoke. But, we have plans to tackle a real artichoke soon. We have never purchased a fresh artichoke before, so this is a bit intimidating. Lucie has chosen a recipe that she would like to try. I hope she likes it better than she liked plain canned artichoke heart.

Thanks for visiting,

Jen

P.S.

A few words from Lucie:

I did not like the canned artichoke heart that Mama had for the pizza, but I liked the pizza that I made. I like making my own pizza. Sometime I will try making a pizza with different vegetables on it. I hope we try more artichoke recipes soon.

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