My friend Paula Jager CSCS, hosted a holiday party this past weekend at her Crossfit gym. It was a cozy affair attended by about 65 friends and family. The buffet of food was entirely primal, which means that no grains were incorporated into any of the dishes. I brought a pan of artichoke dip to share.
Many crossfitters follow a primal or even a paleo (no grains, starches, or dairy) approach to eating. It has achieved quite a degree of popularity in recent years as evidenced by the strong primal contingent represented at the recent Wise Traditions 2010 Conference last month in Philadelphia.
I myself do eat traditionally prepared grains, but frequently eat meals with no grains whatsoever. In fact, most of my meals are entirely grain free come to think about it! As a result, I was very comfortable at this party and found the food to be – in a word – terrific! Paula supplied the meats and beverages and everyone else who attended brought a covered dish to share.
Below is the recipe for the artichoke dip I took to the party. It proved to be popular and I came home with little left over (much to my husband’s disappointment!).
This artichoke dip recipe can either be healthy or really unhealthy depending entirely on the method of preparation. If you use canned artichokes (loaded with BPA) and store mayo (even from the healthfood store), this dish would be turn out rather toxic as cooking any omega-6 vegetable oil is a big no-no as it turns them rancid. Rancid vegetable oils are very hard to digest and will give some folks a headache. Eat too many of these baddies and brown spots and uneven patches of skin pigmentation may even begin to appear. Note that the dish would still be very tasty, just really hard on the digestion.
If you take the time to make your own mayo with avocado oil and source artichokes in glass jars, however, this dish is healthy as well as incredibly tasty. You can also now buy healthy avocado oil mayo, which I recommend over any other oil for making this particular condiment. Avocado oil is not only mild tasting, but is heat stable, and as such, can be used for cooked dishes like this artichoke dip without turning rancid.
Here is the method I used to transform this unhealthy dish into one that you can proudly take to any party. It will please both foodies and fast food junkies alike.
If artichokes aren’t your thing, check out this recipe for cheesy sweet onion dip instead!
Artichoke Dip Recipe
Makes one 9×13 pan
60 oz quartered artichokes, drained (sources)
1 1/2 cup healthy mayo*
1 cup grated parmesan cheese (sources)
2-4 garlic cloves, minced (you may substitute 1-2 teaspoons garlic powder)
* If you choose to make the mayo yourself instead of buy it (this article plus video how-to shows you how), make sure it is made with mild tasting avocado oil. Avocado oil is primarily an omega-9 fat like olive oil. Omega-9 (monounsaturated) fats can be heated without becoming rancid. This dish will be cooked and heating mayo made with sunflower oil or another omega-6 vegetable oil will create free radicals which are health damaging although the dish would still deceptively taste great.
Mix ingredients together well in a glass baking dish. Bake at 350 °F/ 177 °C until bubbly and browned on top, about 20-30 minutes.
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
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