Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Artichoke dip makes a heart-healthy contribution while it serves up as a great, warm snack

The odd-looking artichoke, with its prickly leaves that must be negotiated before one can appreciate its beauty and commendable flavor, got some good press recently when Prevention magazine named it as Superfood for the month of April.

Artichokes obtained recognition because they are about to be at their peak season during May (though available year-around). The magazine touted them because they supply heart-healthy fiber, folate, and antioxidants. It noted that in a medium cooked artichoke a person can obtain 41 percent of the daily goal for fiber that someone needs.

Great news, because I had an artichoke recipe I had been dying to try since I first saw it amidst a bunch of Superbowl-suggested recipes in February. It combined artichoke hearts, cooked shrimp, and garlic, along with mayo and shredded Parmesan cheese, for a warm dip that could be serve with veggies, pita bread, breadsticks, or chips. (We also learned that Warm Artichoke Shrimp Dip, from Southern Living, served up just as good cold—straight from the fridge. But on the early spring weekend day in which we sat on our deck near the lake and rested from our spring RV cleaning that I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, that warm dip with chips was mighty motivating.)

I certainly can understand how this recipe would be the star of the appetizer table if served at a gathering of friends. But it was a cozy conversation piece for just the two of us as well. Who would have ever thought that the humble artichoke was the source of all this healthy, delicious goodness?

Warm Artichoke Shrimp Dip

2 (14-ounce) cans artichoke hearts, rinsed thoroughly, drained, and chopped
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup lite mayonnaise
1/2 cup fine, dry whole-wheat breadcrumbs
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 pound peeled, cooked shrimp, chopped
garnishes: lemon zest, peeled, cooked shrimp

In large saucepan combine artichoke hearts and next 5 ingredients. Cook over medium heat; stir often, 4 to 5 minutes or until mixture is thoroughly heated. Stir in shrimp. Transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish, if desired. Serve with pita crackers, breadsticks, chips, or veggies. Makes about 4 cups of dip. You can serve half the dip first and keep the remaining half warm in saucepan.

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