Jalapeño Cheddar Bacon Burgers.
Loaded Bacon Tater Skins.
Honey BBQ Baby Back Ribs.
Deep Fried Dill Pickles.
Why is it that Father’s Day foods always seem to be those of the beer-battered, cheese-smothered, and artery-clogging variety?
This is a day to honor our dads, not send them into a deep-fried death.
Being the first Father’s Day at the Healthy Happy Texan household, we, okay I, want to start the tradition of this being a holiday filled with delicious, daddy-approved foods that have some nutritionally redeeming qualities.
As an alternative appetizer to goopy dips and fried anything that often make their way onto the Father’s Day spread, I’m sharing one of Mister HHT’s favorite summer appetizers: Steamed Artichokes with Orange Butter and Creamy Herb Dip.
Yes, Mister Meat and Potatoes himself loves steamed artichokes.
Texas men aren’t all beer and cowboy boots, y’all. They can be classy, too. At least sometimes…
Growing up, one of my favorite summer dinner traditions with my family involved sitting on the back patio, dunking artichoke leaves into Italian dressing, and sipping on non-alcoholic (at least for me and my brothers) lime daiquiris. We did this a few times a month all summer, and I always felt so sophisticated when we had these ‘cocktail hour’ nights.
Remember, y’all, I grew up in East Tennessee, where you could actually sit on your back patio without sweating your face off and becoming a mosquito buffet.
Not so much here in Texas…
Anyways, ever since then, I’ve always loved artichokes anyway I could get them. Grilled or steamed, in cheesy dips or atop pizzas, they’re just so buttery, not to mention healthy.
Which is why I find it so ironic that my husband, lover of hot Krispy Kreme donuts and frequenter of Waffle House, can and will gleefully eat two entire artichokes- leaves, heart, and all.
While I had never made steamed artichokes for him before, I have witnessed this artichoke-devouring astonishment time and time again at our uncle’s house.
So naturally, when I saw beautiful globe artichokes at Trader Joe’s last week, I knew exactly what to do with them.
Steam em’ up. Chill em. And serve them with something buttery and something creamy for my husband.
And HE LOVED IT!
So before you buy that box of mini corn dogs or bust out the deep fryer for Father’s Day weekend, consider stepping over to sophistication station with this easy, crowd-pleasing appetizer.
Here’s how simple it is.
1. Chop off the stems from the base of each artichoke.
2. Trim about half an inch from the top of the artichoke. I used kitchen scissors since those raw leaves are tough...I'm pretty sure the Rock would struggle chopping them...cutting off the tops ensures the middle leaves open up more easily and get nice and tender.
3. Arrange everybody all snuggly in a steamer basket. Four medium-sized or three larger artichokes fit nicely in mine.
4. Let your artichokes steam for 20-30 minutes. Test them by pulling out a leaf and checking to see if the meat is tender, aka you get to snack on them before everyone else does!
5. Serve warm or chill until ready to eat with one of my dipping sauces or whatever kinda sauce you desire. My family in Tennessee likes Italian dressing. My family here in Texas like mayo with chives...you do you.
Now, if you’re sneaky, you can totally ‘forget’ to tell your family about the nugget of goodness that is the artichoke heart hidden underneath those fuzzy prickles at the base of the artichoke. Being Father’s Day and all, I took the honorable road and taught my husband about the gloriousness that is the artichoke heart, showing him how easily those fuzzies pull off to reveal the prized jewel underneath.
Whether you want to share that secret is your choice entirely. No judgment. I won’t tell them if you don’t want to.
Okey dokey artichokies (couldn't help myself, sorry but not sorry), this year for Father’s Day, let’s show those special men in our lives some real love (food is a love language after all) but providing them with a meal that WON’T immediately send them into cardiac arrest.
I kinda like my dad and husband, so I’d like them to stick around as long as possible.
Here’s to a Healthy, Happy Father’s Day, from our little family to yours!
Healthy Happy Texan
I'm a Foodie, Fitness Instructor, and Follower of Christ. Add a passion for teaching others, dark chocolate, bacon, and dogs -- and that's me in a box.
Come on, let's live a little!