Okra: The Gateway

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I don’t know if you know this or not, but my home is very hostile towards vegetables. They are ignored, called names, and cast aside in a pile on the plate. I have hidden them in things, and tried to disguise them as much as possible, but I wish I could just put a vegetable on the table and my family would eat it.
Enter okra: the gateway veggie.

If you did not grow up in the south, okra is probably some weird alien vegetable that has strange balls in it and…that dreaded slime. Yes, slime.
I grew up in
Oklahoma, but because my mom was the one in the family who cooked, and she grew up in Wyoming, okra was nothing I had heard of or seen until she met my step dad. I still wouldn’t touch it.
Did I mention the slime?
Eventually I tried it fried, like everyone does for the first time, and realized it’s delicious!

I still have to disguise it for my family, but I don’t have to get as tricky. I can even hide it in plain sight!
Like on Nachos:

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If you slice them and throw them on nachos they look like jalapeños and nobody blinks an eye. I have also put them on pizza as well.

Next, I made a stir fry:

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Stir Fry – Serves 6

3 cups steamed rice
1 medium onion, diced
2 large carrots, diced
1/2-1 cup sliced okra
2 tsp ground ginger
1 clove garlic, grated
1 tbsp tamari (or soy sauce – for those of you who can eat gluten)
1 tsp

Saute onion in olive oil until translucent
Add carrots, cook until soft
Add garlic, ginger and tamari
Add okra and rice and cook until okra softens

This is also vegan.

It also adds great flavor to a hash:

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Hash – Serves 6

1 medium onion, diced
1 lb ground beef
2 medium squash, diced
1 medium potato, diced
2 tomatoes
5-7 medium okra, chopped
2 tsp salt
1 tsp fennel lseed

Brown meat
Add fennel seed and pinch of salt
Add potato
Add squash and pinch of salt
Add onion
Add okra and pinch of salt
When potatoes, onion, and squash are soft, add tomatoes

This can also be served with a poached or fried egg on top.

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Lastly is my favorite way to eat okra. No hiding, nothing sneaky, just pure goodness.
I like to season a little, and grill it.

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Garlic Grilled Okra

10 large pieces okra (sized in 1/2 lengthwise)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic

Put garlic salt and okra in ziptop bag and shake

Grill 3-4 minutes on each side

Serve with ranch dip, salsa or plain or shamelessly stand over the grill wolfing them down….. I mean, that’s one way to eat them, I’ve heard…..

The best part about okra, however, is not that it’s delicious, or that you can get your family to eat it. It’s not even how versatile this little green pod can be. It’s how crazy good for you it is.
Go check out what Stephanie has to say about it, and go eat some okra!

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3 Responses to Okra: The Gateway

  1. grandma says:

    I love okra fried. I’ve even put some in the freezer for this winter. I chop it up put it in a plastic bag with salt and cornmeal so it’s ready to cook when I get hungry for okra

  2. Winnie says:

    I get so hungry for good old Oklahoma cookin’. Stuff like fried okra, fresh sliced tomatoes from the garden. Cucumbers and onion w/ vinegar, salt and pepper. Fried potatoes, pinto beans. etc. I guess you could call it Soul food. But Im on a diet right now so its “no-no” to lot of food I love. Also I live in Arizona and okra is not a staple here.
    All your recipes sound so good . I envy your family getting such good healthy food.

  3. Shawna says:

    Popped in from WTE board. Great ideas for okra. I’m going to try the fried rice recipe and the grilled recipe.

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