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Monday Night Mash-Up: Steamed Artichokes, Baked Potatoes, and a Killer Dipping Sauce

It’s Monday, so it’s time to share with you my Monday Night Mash-Up (MNMU) from last week. MNMU is when I use only items I have on hand from my refrigerator and pantry to make something for dinner. Initially I named this category “shit storm from the pantry,” and while a better description, I thought “Monday Night Mash-Up” sounded more enticing.

Three great things about a MNMU: 1) it costs nothing; 2) I am working with limited ingredients, and 3) cook time is usually pretty quick. Sometimes the result of MNMU is a new recipe that we love that we never would have thought to make. And sometimes, well, we’re lucky if it’s edible. This week’s, I am happy to say, was pretty kick-ass.

On the Menu for this week’s MNMU: Simple Steamed Artichokes with Easy Vinaigrette Dipping Sauce, and Baked Stuffed Potatoes

I had bought some artichokes from the grocery store last week, so it was time for some simple steamed artichokes that we both love. It’s a really easy recipe with lemon, white wine, vegetable stock and garlic, and you can find it here.

What I WILL post here is the incredible vinaigrette dipping sauce that I made for my artichokes, because I didn’t want to use melted butter and wanted something a little different. It is delish!! Here it is:

Vinaigrette for Steamed Artichokes

  • 3 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp shallot, minced
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • salt & pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Whisk together. Done!

Now for the delicious baked potatoes:

We had some potatoes from the farm share, so I used up some of what we had in the fridge to whip up a frankenstuffing – and these turned out surprisingly delicious!!


  • 4 potatoes, regular or sweet
  • 1 pack organic frozen green beans
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream (or almond milk, regular milk, etc. We had the heavy cream leftover from our caramel apple bar recipe. Don’t judge me.)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup monterey Jack cheese, shredded

The How-to:

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Wash, scrub and dry your potatoes, then pierce them with a fork about 4 times on each side. Bake potatoes for about 45 minutes to an hour, until they are tender enough to easily pierce with a fork.

Heat olive oil in a medium skillet on medium heat. Sautee onions until soft and translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Next, add the package of green beans and crushed red pepper. Cook for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once done, remove from heat and set aside.

Once potatoes have been baked, allow them to cool enough to be handled, then slice off the tops (you can discard).

Scoop out the pulp of the potatoes and, in  a large bowl, mash them up. Add salt, pepper, and cream, and stir together until blended.(*Note: leave the oven on, you will use it again for a few minutes at the end.)

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Spoon mixture back into potato shells, top with green bean mixture, and sprinkle some shredded cheese on top. Place on an ungreased  baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, until cheese has melted. Serve warm.



Alessandra Macaluso is the author of What a Good Eater! , Lucy the Bee and the Healing Honey, and The Real-Deal Bridal Bible. She’s also a Qigong and Tai Chi instructor, and overall wellness advocate. Her work has been featured in several anthologies which can all be found on her Amazon author page, and she has contributed to The Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, TODAY Parents, and many other online publications.

Alessandra is a northerner-turned-southerner, enjoying the south with her children, Penelope and Ciro, and her husband, Greg.

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Those sweet potatoes look decadent! I’ll have to try that dip next time we make artichokes. We were using butter but I’d prefer a lighter alternative.

HI Aubrey! Welcome to PW! Yeah I usually do the butter with the artichokes too – but with the baked potato, since it had some heavy cream, I just had to draw the line somewhere so I wouldn’t hate myself. LOL. Also I had a decent amount of that vinaigrette leftover (meant to add a pic in there) so I saved it in a carafe and we’ve been using it for salad dressing. Delish!