Inflammation is the body’s response to an injury or illness by signaling
the immune system to heal and repair, as well as fight foreign invaders.
Inflammation is vital for acute scenarios; however, it becomes a problem
when it extends into long-term inflammation lasting anywhere from several
months to even years. This is known as chronic inflammation and can lead
to many diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, arthritis and
more. One way to help combat chronic inflammation in the body is through
a well-balanced diet, including nutritious foods that contain antioxidants
and anti-inflammatory nutrients. One food that can provide these health
benefits is artichokes.
Artichokes date back to ancient Greece and continue to be a delicacy within
the Mediterranean, including countries such as Italy and Spain. The Mediterranean
region is known for a high quality of life and longevity. It is no surprise,
then, that artichokes are present in many of their dishes. Artichokes
contain flavonoids, terpenoids, alkaloids, fiber, potassium and calcium,
just to name a few nutrients that can contribute to an increased health
span. Although they may appear difficult to cook, they are not! Give this
simple, tasty and nutritious recipe a try. It will help you start falling
in love with artichokes, if you have not already.
- 3 artichokes
- 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ teaspoon flaky sea salt
- Pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 425ºF.
Wash the artichokes and trim the stem to 2 inches in length. With scissors,
snip off any sharp spines remaining on the tips of the leaves.
Using a sharp serrated knife, cut 2 inches off the top of the artichoke,
making a flat top.
Place the artichoke flat-side down and cut it in half vertically, from
the stem to the leaves. Using a sturdy metal spoon, scoop out the fuzzy
“choke” in the center and discard. Repeat with the remaining
Place the artichoke halves on a baking sheet, cut side up.
Press the pieces of one clove of minced garlic between the leaves, evenly
Drizzle 1 teaspoon olive oil over the top of each artichoke; sprinkle with
a generous pinch of salt.
Bake for 40 minutes.
Remove from oven and add grated Parmesan evenly over artichokes. Place
back into oven for about 5 minutes or until the heart is completely tender
when pierced with a knife.
Transfer artichokes to a serving plate and drizzle each with 1 teaspoon
lemon juice. Serve immediately.
Optional: Add melted butter or aioli dressing on the side for dipping.
Chronic inflammation may negatively affect some of your body’s systems
and organs, including your heart. Interestingly, the foods you eat can
have a major effect on inflammation in your body. Studies suggest a diet
rich in whole grains, healthy fats and nutrient dense foods rich in antioxidants
can reduce inflammation while processed and packaged products (meats,
sugars, vegetable oils, alcohol) can increase inflammation within the body.
Cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower are rich in antioxidants such
as vitamin C, sulforaphanes and indoles, which can have an anti-inflammatory
effect. This effect can lead to decreased risk of heart disease and cancer.
Whether you are trying to think of a healthy side dish to take to a party
or sneaking in vegetables for your kids without them knowing, this recipe
is a must-try! It pairs well with fish, poultry or roasted vegetables.
Serving Size: 4
Total Time: 11 minutes
- 1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1-2 teaspoons minced fresh herbs: sage, rosemary and thyme
- 2 tablespoons grass-fed, organic butter
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- Optional topping: chives, olive oil drizzle, shredded cheese
Steam cauliflower florets 6-8 minutes or until soft. Meanwhile sauté
garlic and herbs with olive oil in a pan for 3-4 minutes. When the cauliflower
is done, strain water and pour into a blender (or use a handheld immersion
blender). Add sautéed garlic and herbs to the blender along with
butter. Blend cauliflower to desired consistency (should be similar to
mashed potatoes). Note: Do not over-mix or it will become cauliflower
puree. Place mashed cauliflower into a bowl and season with salt and pepper
to taste. Serve warm. Optional to add toppings like chives, olive oil
drizzle or shredded cheese.
These recipes were contributed by Corinne Glazer, a registered dietitian
at Torrance Memorial. If you are interested in learning more techniques
to help build a healthy and nutritious lifestyle, contact the Torrance
Memorial Specialty Center about meeting with a registered dietitian through
our NEW (Nutrition Education and Wellness) program or one of our many
community classes, 310-891-6707.