Healing Foods: Artichoke and banana flowers Round-Up & giveaway winners

Artichokes and banana flowers? I know that one of the two might still have a mysterious aura for some of you, but after seeing the 17 recipes for this month’s Healing Food series, I am sure that you won’t resist the temptation of discovering them…

You might however wonder what the connection between artichokes and banana flowers is.

The explanation is simple: initially I had chosen artichokes as theme for this month’s Healing Foods, but shortly after the announcement, I was informed that artichokes can’t be found in India…  So, I first came with cardoon, which is from the same species than artichokes, but it turned out that it was not available in India either… Mocha or banana flowers then came to my mind. Not only do they look and taste a bit similar but they required quite some time to trim and prepare, exactly like fresh artichokes…

I am very impressed by the quality and originality of  recipes sent by 11 talented ladies for this event and I would like to thank all of them for their creativity! You are awesome, ladies – vous êtes géniales, Mesdames! Merci beaucoup!

A big thank you to  Siri to have given me the opportunity to host this event during the month of March and to Pritya books who is generously giving away these two great books:

Cooking At Home With Pedatha: Awarded Best Vegetarian Cookbook in the World 2006, this book documents the culinary legacy of an illustrious Indian grandmother for posterity.


Sukham Ayu: Winner of Best Health & Nutrition Book in the World 2009 – Second Place, this beautiful book has been researched at KARE, an idyllic Ayurvedic research & rejeuvenation establishment near Pune.

There are still many artichoke recipes that I want to share with you but I ran short of time during March, so I could only post two recipes and repost 2 old ones. My future personal challenge will be to come up with a recipe for actually sweet artichokes… so stay tuned!

Before discovering who are the lucky winners of the books, let’s discover the round-up for the month of March:

The recipes are shown in the order I received them click on the pic or hyperlink to go to the recipe:

Johanna from “Green Gourmet Giraffe”  prepared artichoke muffins that she took  for a picnic at the zoo:

The preparation of  these Banana flowers chops brought back lovely childhood memories to Sukanya from “Saffron streaks” ,:

Janet from “The Taste Space” has been experimenting with variations of her recipes. I really enjoyed reading the creative process behind these beautiful Artichoke and Spinach Rice Paper Rolls with Lemon Rosemary Baked Tofu

Priya from “Priya’s easy and tasty recipes” – first experimented with artichoke calzone :


… and she liked this veggie so much, that she got inspired for two more recipes:

a very innovative artichoke and curry leaves chutney and…

and an equally innovative artichoke, potato and mushroom curry:

Nivedita from “Panfusine – Iyer’n Chef” was happily singing ABBA’s songs  and nearly choked of delight when she first tasted her artichoke masala vadai,

Did you know that artichoke existed in the Greek Mythology? Discover what happened to the beautiful Cynara  and enjoy these  delicious artichoke lasagna sent by  Ivy from “Kopiaste … to Greek Hospitality”  :

What about an Indo-Iranian fusion dish?

Malli from “Malli’s Mint and Mimosa” loves Iranian chelow kebabs and got inspired to prepare a vegetarian version using banana blossoms : check out her Iranian black bean Kebab with mocha :

Simona from  “Briciole”  is fan of  Italian artichokes, she prepared a hummus with artichoke, check her post to see  how many strands has the beautiful home-made challah bread she served with it…

Don’t be scared of fresh baby artichokes! Amy from “Savory moments” was nicely surprised on how easy it is to clean and trim them and she prepared these  delicious lemon and thyme braised baby artichokes:

Are you tempted to cook banana flowers but you are no sure on what is the edible part and how to extract it? Fear no more, Vijitha from “A Foodie in her cooking hat” has not only sent us this Banana Flower stir fry, she is also providing a thorough explanation on how to prepare the flowers.

Nawel from “Jeux d’épices et Saveurs” is proud to share the recipe of  “Artichoke, fava beans and dry tomatoes stir fry” , which will be featured next month in a French magazine. As her recipe was in French, the translation has been provided below the picture :

Ingredients for  4 servings
1 shallot
2 cloves garlic
280 g peeled frozen fava beans
4-5 frozen artichoke hearts
130 g chickpeas
5 sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil
1 tsp cumin powder
½ tsp strong or mild paprika
½ bunch chopped fresh cilantro
2 tbsp chopped parsley
2 ½  tbsp olive oil
100 ml water
Salt and pepper
Cut artichoke hearts into quarters. Cut the sun-dried tomatoes in three.
Peel the shallot and chop it finely. Peel the garlic cloves and crush them.
Heat the olive oil in a pan, on low heat and add the shallot.
Fry for 1 minute. Add the artichokes, beans, chickpeas, sun-dried tomatoes, herbs, salt and pepper.
Stir and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
Add the cold water, stir and add the spices.
Cover and simmer over low heat for 10 more minutes.

And finally, voilà your Sweet Artichoke’s artichoke recipes….

An artichoke and chickpeas curry, that can be eaten cold as salad, which is really great when you have left overs… (here)

… a rather unusual way of eating artichokes, as filling for these savoury hazelnut sandwich cookies (here)

and,  from Sweet Artichoke’s archives:

I had celebrated my 100th post with an artichoke tapenade, which was also my first posted recipe with artichokes!

I did not come back from our trip to Roma with designer shoes or clothes, but with fresh Roman artichokes, bought at one of the local market… delicious in these pasta ai carciofi (here)

By now, I do hope that you are feeling hungry…. and tempted by these goodies….

It is my pleasure to announce the lucky winners of the two books:

*drums rolling….*

I first prepared an alphabetical list of all participants:

Then I went on http://www.randomizer.org:

which drew number 11 and number 8.

Congratulations to Vijitha and Priya!

Please send me your contact details at:  sweetartichoke@gmail.com

Pralines & Raspberry muffins – Muffins aux pralines et framboises

(en français, plus bas)

Every spring I try to finish all the items in my pantry before replenishing my stock. Like many other foodies, I sometimes buy unusual ingredients for one specific recipe, or fall in love with the package of an ingredient and some rarely used ingredient start to fill in my pantry… As I hate throwing food I always try to use or recycle all the food and leftovers, which sometimes reveals to be an interesting cooking challenge…

This process has led me to the discovery of some forgotten treasures that I am planning to use in the upcoming weeks, such as amaranth flour, smoked salt, smoked paprika, edible dry lavender, and these very girly pink pralines…

Pink Pralines are almonds coated in a thick layer of sugar, coloured with a bright funky pink!

As such, they are pretty hard and do not taste much.  They are often prepared in tarte aux pralines (a very, very sweet dessert, because, it is basically only melted pralines on a short pastry crust) or in brioches aux pralines.

I thought of using them as streusel topping to decorate raspberry muffins; the outcome was really delicious: the crushed pralines streusel brought crispiness and sweetness to the slightly tangy taste of the raspberries, which made each bite very pleasant!

.Ingredients for about 10 muffins (medium size)

80g sugar

60g butter

2 eggs

100g yogurt

130g flour

1 pinch salt

7 g baking powder

50g white choco chips

100g raspberries

For the topping:

20g butter

20g flour

50g pralines, crushed

10g sugar

20g almonds, slivered


Start by preparing the crumble topping, by mixing all the crumble ingredients with your fingers. Keep aside.

Preheat the oven at 180°C.

Mix sugar and butter until the mixture becomes fluffy.

Add the eggs, one by one and mix well.

Add the yogurt and chocolate chips.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Sift into the mixture.

Add the raspberries and stir briefly.

Pour into the muffins baking tins, until a little less than 3/4 are filled.

Sprinkle with the crumble mixture and bake for 20-25 minutes.

I am sending these muffins to:

Meeta’s Monthly Mingle, hosted this month by Sarah of Maison Cupcake, who chose  “Think Pink” as the theme for March.


to Ivy from Kopiaste … to Greek Hospitality who has launched a new event: Creative Concoctions , celebrating our own culinary creations or concoctions 🙂


Muffins aux pralines et framboises

Chaque année, à l’arrivée du printemps, j’essaie de finir le contenu de mon garde-manger avant d’acheter de nouveaux produits. Comme beaucoup de passionnés de cuisine,  il m’arrive d’acheter certains ingrédients inhabituels pour une recette spécifique, ou d’avoir le coup de foudre pour une jolie boîte et donc de me retrouver avec  des placards de cuisine remplis d’ingrédients

rarement utilisés…
Comme je déteste jeter la nourriture, j’essaie toujours d’utiliser ou de recycler tous les produits alimentaires et les restes, ce qui se transforme parfois en de véritable défi culinaires…

Ce processus m’a amené à découvrir quelques trésors oubliés  que je vais utiliser dans les semaines à venir, par exemple :  de la farine d’amarante, du sel fumé, du paprika fumé, de la lavande séchée comestible, et des pralines roses …

Les pralines roses sont en fait des amandes enrobées d’une épaisse couche de sucre, de couleur  rose vif! On les utilise généralement dans les tartes aux pralines (qui sont hyper sucrées…) ou dans les brioches aux pralines.

J’ai décidé de les utiliser comme crumble pour des muffins aux framboises, ce qui s’est avéré une bonne idée, car le croustillant et le goût sucré des pralines s’est très bien marié avec le goût acidulé des framboises.

Muffins aux pralines et framboises
Ingrédients pour environ 10 muffins (taille moyenne)
80g de sucre
60 g de beurre
2 oeufs
100g de yogourt
130g de farine
1 pincée de sel
7 g de poudre à pâte
50g copeaux chocolat blanc
100g de framboises
Pour le crumble:
20g de beurre
20g de farine

pralines 50g
10g de sucre
20g d’amandes en poudre


Commencer par préparer le crumble, en mélangeant tous les ingrédients avec les doigts. Mettre de côté.

Préchauffer le four à 180 ° C.

Mélanger le sucre et le beurre jusqu’à ce que le mélange devienne mousseux.

Ajouter les œufs, un par un et bien mélanger.

Ajouter le yaourt et le chocolat blanc et bien mélanger.

Dans un autre bol, mélanger la farine, la poudre à lever et le sel. Tamiser dans le mélange.

Ajouter les framboises et remuer brièvement.

Verser dans les moules à muffins, en ne remplissant que un peu moins des  3 / 4 .
Saupoudrer avec le mélange à crumble  et cuire au four pendant 20-25 minutes.

Ginger & White chocolate Cupcakes

(recette en français, plus bas)

Winter has  undoubtedly started  here and soon  a white coat of snow will cover the mountains around my place. …

It is a perfect time to stay in a warm cozy home, with a hot tea, a good book and some sweets…

These white cupcakes are perfect for the season. The ginger is a reminder of the Christmas season’s flavours and it blends well with the sweetness of the white chocolate…

Ingredients for about 15 muffins:
100g butter, soft, at room temperature
80g sugar (100 g if you like sweeter)
15 g vanilla sugar or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs
100g yogurt
100g white chocolate, cut into small bits
75g candied ginger, cut into small bits
180g flour
8g baking powder
1 pinch salt

Preheat the oven at 170°C.
Combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Keep aside.
Whisk the butter with sugars, until fluffy.
Add eggs, one at a time and mix well.
Add the yogurt, chocolate  and ginger bits.
Sift in the flour mixture. Mix well.
Pour the batter into muffins cups or tray.
Bake for 25 minutes.

I am sending these cupcakes to:  My Easy-to-Cook recipes‘s chocolate event

Cupcakes aux Gingembre & Chocolat Blanc

L’hiver est bel et bien en train d’arriver et bientôt un manteau blanc de neige couvrira les montagnes autour de chez moi. C’est un temps idéal pour rester dans son home sweet home , avec un thé chaud, un bon livre et des gâteaux à grignoter …

Ces cupcakes blancs sont parfaits pour la saison. Le gingembre est une sorte d’avant-goût pour les saveurs épicées de Noël et il se marie bien à la douceur  du  chocolat blanc…

Ingrédients pour environ 15 muffins:
100g de beurre mou, à température ambiante
80g de sucre (100g si vous aimez le goût plus sucré)
15 g de sucre vanillé ou 1 c. à thé extrait de vanille
3 oeufs
100g de yogourt
100g de chocolat blanc, coupé en petits morceaux
75g de gingembre confit coupé en petits morceaux
180g de farine
8g de poudre à lever
1 pincée de sel

Préchauffer le four à 170 ° C.
Mélanger la farine, la poudre à lever et le sel. Mettre de côté.
Fouetter le beurre avec les sucres, jusqu’à consistance mousseuse.
Ajouter les œufs, un à un et bien mélanger.
Ajouter le yaourt, le chocolat et les morceaux de gingembre.
Tamiser la farine dans le mélange. Bien mélanger.
Verser la pâte dans les moules à muffins .
Cuire au four pendant 25 minutes.