See the list of all Jason Murphy’s recipes at www.mysaline.com/jason-murphy.
I’ve covered many a fruit and veggie in this series, but I’ve neglected the humble artichoke heart. Wait…where’s everyone going? Come back! What did I say?
Well, for those of you still here who have evolved past your five year old’s taste buds, I have great news. Artichoke hearts can be delicious and they are easy to use. No chopping or peeling needed for these bad boys. Just crack open a jar or can, drain and squeeze, and you have an instant healthy body filler for a casserole or dip.
The trick? Fat. It tastes good. Real good. So we use the right kind of fat, ones loaded with omega-3 fatty acids. Say from avocado oil and grass-fed dairy, and even the five year old living inside you will be happy come dinner time. But, thou dost protest, I thought this was an article about eating for a leaner and fitter lifestyle?
Well, put down the tub of fake margarine and listen up. Fats rich in omega-3 and vitamins will help you get lean. They are vital for organs to function properly. Your brain needs those fats to try to keep you happy, and right now it needs all the help it can get.
Do I mean go keto and just eat butter and bacon all day every day? No. That is insanity. But, making a giant casserole that will last you a week and is loaded with veggies, protein, and healthy fats fits perfectly with a leaner and meaner you.
This pic shows me at around 38 years of age when I was eating the “fat-free” high sugar diet we were all sold on back in the day, compared to now at 50 years old when I eat healthy fats combined with lean protein and loads of veggies:
As you can see, the “fat-free” diet version of me was decidedly not. At 50, I feel younger and better than ever. You might look at those before pics at age 38 and think I started exercising like crazy at 50.
In reality, I’ve always lifted weights and actually did more cardio back then. I would put in four days of boxing that consisted of serious aerobic work that I rarely do now. The only thing that changed was the fat free high processed sugar diet.
I thought that was just the way my body was built and there was nothing I could do about it. It took about 9 months to drop 80 pounds and then it’s stayed off for close to 10 years now. I was overfed and undernourished. I felt like I’d been hit by a truck all the time.
So, if you turned your nose up at the idea of artichoke hearts based on your mom forcing you to eat some bland pile of yuck 30 years ago, it might be time to revisit it. As proof of how good this tastes, I did make a giant dish of this recipe last Sunday, thinking I had lunch sorted for at least a week. The next day, I took the cover off and 2/3’s of it was gone.
My nineteen year old son had not one but two giant helpings of it overnight, and I had to hide the rest just to have something to eat for one more day. That’s right. Some of you have a secret stash of the good chocolate or some other sweet hidden from the buttheads living your house, but around here, I have to hide the @#!*’ing artichoke heart casserole.
He asked me that day “What was that you made last night? It was crazy good.” I told him I was well aware of how he felt about it, thank you very much.
Here’s where I could tell you all the nutrition value of artichoke hearts, but let’s face it, you’re worried about the taste. Lets just all agree it’s good for you. If you’ve ever had a spinach artichoke dip around the holidays, it’s like that, only more so. That was my inspiration, and as my son said, it is crazy good, and you might just have to hide it if you want seconds.
Spinach Artichoke Chicken casserole:
4 pasture raised chicken breasts
2 cans artichoke hearts, drained and squeezed (400 gram cans, 800 total)
170 grams avocado oil mayo
70 grams grated Parmesan cheese
114 grams grass fed mozzarella cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 yellow onion, diced
1 package mushrooms, sliced
Fresh baby spinach leaves (as much as you can get in the pan)
3 slices cooked bacon (nitrate free, no sugar added)
1/2 tsp sea salt, pepper, onion and garlic powder
Drain and squeeze as much moisture as possible from the artichoke hearts. Leave them in the strainer to continue draining until time to use. Dice your onion, slice your mushrooms, and mince your garlic:
Season the chicken with all the spices and cook over medium heat:
Once the chicken is no longer pink, add the onion and mushrooms to the pan and cook until the mushrooms are soft and the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and as much baby spinach as you can wilt into the pan. Work in batches: