HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >

Artichokes!!! Any low fat alternatives to butter with garlic & lemon????

topeater May 11, 2012 01:45 PM

The market is flooded with beautiful artichokes. Since I'll be eating a lot of them, I'm looking for alternatives to the old standby, butter.

Any suggestions?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. w
    wanker RE: topeater May 11, 2012 02:16 PM

    Dijon vinaigarette; aoli; or italian salsa verde.

    1. t
      tzurriz RE: topeater May 11, 2012 02:19 PM

      The salad dressing of your choice works just fine. We love a remoulade sauce also.

      1. monavano RE: topeater May 11, 2012 02:58 PM

        low fat mayo, fresh lemon juice, dash of paprika and maybe a fresh herb of your choice (basil, tarragon, chives...)

        7 Replies
        1. re: monavano
          Will Owen RE: monavano May 11, 2012 03:09 PM

          Our Weight Watchers coach in Nashville would holler at us if we said we used low-fat mayonnaise, because all the extra carbs are worse (and more fattening) than the oil and egg yolk. So if I'm going to sub in mayo for the butter - which is a very good idea - I'll probably make a small batch of garlicky mayonnaise with olive oil.

          1. re: Will Owen
            monavano RE: Will Owen May 11, 2012 05:47 PM

            I"m not afraid of carbs, thank you ;-) Besides, Hellman's Low Fat has 0 sugar/serving (although there is sugar down in the ingredient list) and 1 g carb/serving, so your coach should read some labels and encourage pupils to do the same.
            Kraft with Olive Oil Reduced Fat has no sugar, for that matter.

            1. re: monavano
              Will Owen RE: monavano May 12, 2012 12:37 PM

              They've changed the formula, then; all the low-fat mayos in the '90s were thickened with starchy fillers. You don't have to be afraid of carbs, simply aware that simple carbs spike your blood sugar and promote excessive insulin production. An overworked pancreas tends to stop working so well. This elderly, diagnosed pre-diabetic intends to continue cutting back on the white bread and potatoes, but good fats in moderation can slow down the digestibility of those carbs. Patty (who was a serious and credentialed dietician) pointed out the seeming paradox that since French fries are less easily digested than a baked potato, she would advise ordering those if you just HAD to have some potato.

              1. re: Will Owen
                monavano RE: Will Owen May 12, 2012 04:07 PM

                Interstingly... last week at a local farmers market, I picked up Vivaldi potatoes. They were Yukon Gold-like and really a bargain. Fresh, too, which is hard to find at a supermarket. Anyway, I'd never heard of this potato and I looked it up and they are referred to as the "Weight Watcher's Potato" because they have around 30% fewer calories and carbs than other popular varieties.
                Perhaps you already know this, but I thought it pretty cool.
                And funny, the baked potato used to be on of the biggest staples for the dieter. I remember many a skinny-already "dieting" women pulling out their baked potato for lunch and topping with fat free dressing and broccoli. Funny how point of view changes.

                1. re: Will Owen
                  LaLa RE: Will Owen May 12, 2012 04:27 PM

                  Will is correct .... my dietician told me last month to stay away from the lowfat / non fat versions!

                  1. re: LaLa
                    monavano RE: LaLa May 12, 2012 04:33 PM


            2. re: monavano
              EWSflash RE: monavano May 12, 2012 03:46 PM

              My mom used to put some sour cream in with monavano's recipe, you could use yogurt instead.

            3. ipsedixit RE: topeater May 11, 2012 03:01 PM

              2 parts nonfat, plain yogurt (Greek , if you prefer); 1 part Dijon mustard; mix with minced garlic, chives and capers.

              1. e
                escondido123 RE: topeater May 11, 2012 05:43 PM

                I never dip mine at all but rather cut off the tops, loosen the leaves and shove in a mixture of parsley and garlic, then salt and pepper well and drizzle with olive oil. Cook in shallow water covered until tender. Eat with a squeeze of lemon juice on top if you so desire.

                1. goodhealthgourmet RE: topeater May 11, 2012 06:24 PM

                  - saffron & garlic aioli
                  - red pepper aioli
                  - chipotle mayo
                  - wasabi mayo
                  - curried yogurt, sour cream or mayo
                  - tzatziki
                  - greek yogurt with grated Pecorino, olive oil, lemon, S&P (with due credit and thanks to our dear departed friend Sam Fujisaka)
                  - tahini & yogurt with lemon, garlic & parsley
                  - Greek yogurt & Dijon mustard with balsamic, garlic & capers
                  - toum (Lebanese garlic spread) - lighten with yogurt if you must
                  - remoulade

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                    monavano RE: goodhealthgourmet May 11, 2012 06:32 PM

                    damn I'm going to have to buy some artichokes now! Great list.

                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                      Emme RE: goodhealthgourmet May 12, 2012 07:27 PM

                      ha! i was scrolling down to see if anyone suggested Toum! i just made some... kind of takes the middle man of Zankou out of the equation :) and i agree you can lighten with 0% greek yogurt to create a dip that's a hair less viscous.

                    2. e
                      escondido123 RE: topeater May 11, 2012 08:39 PM

                      Wow, I'm amazed at what people suggest as a "low fat alternative."

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: escondido123
                        goodhealthgourmet RE: escondido123 May 12, 2012 07:08 AM

                        if your amazement was inclusive of my responses, i assumed i didn't need to clarify that one would use low- or reduced-fat yogurt, mayo and/or sour cream...

                      2. a
                        adventuresinbaking RE: topeater May 12, 2012 04:52 AM

                        Earth balance is a tasty butter substitute

                        1. s
                          Sharuf RE: topeater May 12, 2012 05:14 AM

                          Seasoned rice vinegar is as austere as you can get.

                          1. h
                            HillJ RE: topeater May 12, 2012 05:36 AM

                            Just lemon...and orange juice is even better with 'chokes.

                            If you want something saucy, thin 0% Greek yogurt with lemon juice and a few grinds of black pepper and add some finely chopped roasted red peppers to the sauce just before serving.

                            Don't over cook those chokes!

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: HillJ
                              magiesmom RE: HillJ May 12, 2012 07:31 AM

                              I like artichokes completely plain, just salt and pepper, imo they are perfect as they are.
                              That said, how much butter would it actually take????

                              1. re: magiesmom
                                HillJ RE: magiesmom May 12, 2012 08:14 AM

                                Not much as long as you are limiting how many chokes you're enjoying. But, that said, if you are avoiding butter there are alternatives.

                                1. re: HillJ
                                  magiesmom RE: HillJ May 12, 2012 04:11 PM

                                  I guess. to my way of thinking moderation is the key instead of avoidance.

                                  1. re: magiesmom
                                    monavano RE: magiesmom May 12, 2012 04:34 PM


                                    1. re: magiesmom
                                      HillJ RE: magiesmom May 13, 2012 05:14 AM

                                      The OP was asking for ways to moderate enjoyment.

                                      1. re: HillJ
                                        magiesmom RE: HillJ May 13, 2012 09:54 AM

                                        I am not sure if you want to argue about this , hill?
                                        I was suggesting using no butter or tiny amounts.

                                        1. re: magiesmom
                                          HillJ RE: magiesmom May 13, 2012 10:13 AM

                                          lol, you gotta know me by now, magiesmom, I'm a lover not a fighter :)

                              2. chicgail RE: topeater May 12, 2012 06:52 AM

                                I adapted this recipe for stuffed artichokes from Sheila Lukens' the New Basics Cookbook. It's all of 4 pts for both halves of the artichoke.

                                2 large artichokes
                                Lemon cut in half
                                1 C good chicken or vegetable broth or stock (homemade, canned or in the box)
                                1 small zucchini, grated (about ½ C)
                                ¼ C dried bread crumbs (I used whole wheat panko)
                                ¼ C Parmesan cheese
                                ¼ C shredded part-skimmed mozzarella cheese
                                1 minced garlic clove
                                1 t dried oregano
                                ½ t salt
                                Freshly ground black pepper (no, don’t use the pre-ground stuff that comes in a jar or can)

                                Cut off the stems of the artichokes. Remove all the small leaves toward the stem. They’re unsightly and don’t have much meat anyway. Use a very sharp knife and cut off the top third of the leaves of the artichokes, leaving it with an open top. You will notice that some artichokes are reddish in the center and some are yellowish. Not a problem.

                                With a kitchen shears, rotate the artichoke as you cut the pointy tops off the remaining leaves. It just looks better this way. Rub the cut ends with lemon so they don’t oxidize and turn brown.

                                Arrange the artichokes upright on a microwave-safe bowl or plate. Pour in ½-cup of the stock and cover the plate tightly with a microwave-safe plastic. Cook for 12 minutes in the microwave (full power) until the stem end “gives” to a fork’s tines. Reserve the liquid in the dish.

                                In a small bowl, combine the grated zucchini, bread crumbs, Parmesan, mozzarella, oregano, minced garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Mix in the remaining broth from the microwave, plus another half-cup of stock or broth. [If you’re not trying to keep points/calories/fat grams down, use less broth and more butter.]

                                Now take that really sharp knife and, starting carefully at the stem end, cut the artichokes in half lengthwise. It means that you will have to cut through some of those very fibrous leaves in half and that can get messy. Remove the small, yellowish leaves in the center and scrape out the fuzzy part covering the heart of each artichoke (it’s called the beard).

                                Arrange the two halves on a plate, stem ends facing out. Fill each artichoke half with half the zucchini mixture. Cover loosely with the plastic wrap.

                                Pop it back in the microwave for three minutes. Let it sit quietly for another three minutes. Serve and enjoy either hot or at room temperature.

                                Photos and more here: http://foodbeest.com/2011/03/21/stuff...

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: chicgail
                                  topeater RE: chicgail May 12, 2012 08:27 AM

                                  Will definitely try this dish as my garden zucchini have just started ripening & I'm going to have a lot. Thanks for the dish...sounds yummy!

                                2. h
                                  hazelhurst RE: topeater May 12, 2012 07:38 AM

                                  My grandmother's summer artichokes were cooked in the evening (un airconditioned house in the South), sliced in half, pull the choke out and fill the cavities with viniagrette, sit overnight in the icebox. MAy have to refill some when you have them for lunch. She often added capers and chopped anchoy.

                                  1. l
                                    LePaysan RE: topeater May 12, 2012 07:48 AM

                                    I agree with using anchovy.. I use some good olive oil, lemon juice, anchovy paste or fillets and a little salt/pepper. Not fat free but better fat than butter. When in doubt use more anchovy ;)

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: LePaysan
                                      hazelhurst RE: LePaysan May 12, 2012 07:59 AM


                                    2. t
                                      topeater RE: topeater May 12, 2012 08:28 AM

                                      Thanks for so many suggestions. I'll be trying most of these.

                                      1. Emme RE: topeater May 12, 2012 07:39 PM

                                        reduced balsamic vinegar (syrup) and a pinch of sea salt
                                        and/or reduced balsamic mixed with a little soy or Bragg's amino acids

                                        or steamed (very well) cauliflower pureed with a hefty dose of roasted garlic, salt, black pepper, and herbs of choice if desired... if you want a thinner sauce, stir in a little unsweetened almond milk

                                        1. tim irvine RE: topeater May 12, 2012 07:41 PM

                                          Unless you need to avoid fat entirely, a scientific test tonight confirmed one can enjoy a very large artichoke with one tablespoon of mayonnaise. When you think about it that is less than a tbsp. of oil for what was probably enough artichoke for three to share.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: tim irvine
                                            escondido123 RE: tim irvine May 12, 2012 08:57 PM

                                            One can also enjoy a very large artichoke with a squeeze of lemon juice, some salt and pepper without any oil at all. I love butter and oil but find artichoke to be very rich on its own.

                                          2. mattstolz RE: topeater May 12, 2012 07:59 PM

                                            i definitely agree on tzatziki sauce.

                                            also, i like to drizzle mine with a thick balsamic reduction and lemon zest. also, baking them with some seasoned breadcrumbs, herbs, and parm on top is great as well

                                            1. coll RE: topeater May 13, 2012 06:45 AM

                                              I usually make mine Italian style, stuffed with ricotta and romano, egg and seasoning held together with a little bread crumb.

                                              1. l
                                                lidia RE: topeater May 13, 2012 07:32 AM

                                                IF you have good, fresh artichokes, you can try slicing them raw (very thinly) once they are trimmed and have the choke removed, then drizzle with lemon juice and cover with flakes of parmigiano-reggiano cheese. Somehow the cheese and lemon cuts the "tannic" sort of mouth-drying effect of the raw artichoke.

                                                1. i
                                                  Isolda RE: topeater May 13, 2012 10:08 AM

                                                  Try them plain. Really. They are absolutely delicious without anything at all. You can taste the delicate flavor better and will experience the sweet aftertaste more intensely.

                                                  Although I do love them with mayo (or aioli), I most often eat them entirely plain.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: Isolda
                                                    HillJ RE: Isolda May 13, 2012 10:16 AM

                                                    I love artichokes with a red curry sauce. Once steamed and hearts are removed, I quick saute in red curry paste that has been mixed with just enough coconut milk to create a smooth paste. I save the leaves for my hubby who likes them cold, ripped through his teeth like eating a veggie chip.

                                                  2. d
                                                    docfood RE: topeater May 13, 2012 06:57 PM

                                                    I love them with cup of non fat fage yogurt, a T of mayo and a squirt of saracha.

                                                    1. mamachef RE: topeater May 14, 2012 04:29 AM

                                                      Plain Greek yogurt mixed with best-quality curry powder or Garam is a delicious alternative.
                                                      They are marvelous with just a drizzle of good olive oil and a splash of sherry vinegar.
                                                      My favorite alternative (because my go-to is melted butter etc. : ) is to steam them until halfway done, finish on the grill, and serve up with a chipotle/smoked tomato mayonnaise, but the only way to use this would be to use low-fat mayo, which shouldn't be a problem.
                                                      You can make a stuffing of shrimp, shrooms, and breadcrumbs with any herbs you like; stuff the chokes (again, half-steamed) and finish in the oven, again with that drizzle of oil.

                                                      1. goodhealthgourmet RE: topeater May 14, 2012 11:03 AM

                                                        i knew i was forgetting one:

                                                        i prefer to use homemade full-fat mayo, but jarred reduced-fat would be fine here because the seasoning add such pronounced flavors.

                                                        Show Hidden Posts