Growing up as a kid of the 80's in an itty bitty tiny town the heartland of America, hours from the nearest 'big city' I think I was in 7th grade before I tasted my first yogurt. My Dad was grossed out when he saw it (strawberry) because he had always believed it was made out of raw eggs. So it's probably no surprise to find out I didn't have star fruit until the early 1990's. Feta cheese? Mid-1990's. I didn't have an artichoke until oh, 2000. Yes, it's almost embarrassing now, but I think I bought my first fresh artichoke about 9 years ago and? I was hooked. So were my kids. Now I could start a poem that would go "Artichokes; How I love thee! Let me count the ways!!!"
I've started to collect quite a number of artichoke recipes simply because I cannot get enough of them in any form (although steamed dipped in butter is my ultimate favorite). With the economy as it is and money tight I've found myself starting to buy something else from my childhood; Rice a Roni. For a buck a box you can't beat it as a quick, simple and delicious side dish. This recipe uses two of them and turns it into a cold salad.
Rice and Artichoke Salad
1 box mix chicken-flavored vermicelli-rice mix - prepared
1 box mix fried rice mix with almonds - prepared
2 jars (6 oz. size) marinated artichoke hearts
3/4 c green pepper, chopped
1/2 c olives, sliced
8 green onions, chopped
4 cups cooked diced chicken
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
Drain and chop artichoke hearts, reserve the marinade. Mix the 2 kinds of rice, artichokes, pepper, olives, onion and chicken. Stir or whisk together the artichoke marinade, mayonnaise and curry powder. Add to rice salad and blend. Chill.