More okra????

1 07 2008

I know there has been a lot of okra in the bags lately, and other than the fried okra info from Joelle in one of the comments, there’s not been any info here on how to prepare it. This website has tons of recipes, but I’ll add a few here:

Okra Casserole

This recipe is provided by Maragret Webb of Crossville, Tennessee, who writes: “I have tried Okra many ways, but find this one to be the best”.

Take a medium size casserole dish, spray with pam spray. Layer a layer of fresh or frozen okra, add in order, layer of chopped onion, chopped bell pepper, can of relleno tomatoes with green chilies, cheddar chesse, layer of okra, layer of onion, layer of green pepper, can of stewed tomatoes, monterey jack grated cheese, stuff 4 slices of bacon around edges of dish to season, salt and pepper.
Preheat oven to 375 degs. (F). Bake for 45 to 60 minutes, or until the pepper and onion are tender.

Only make one layer if you have a small family. The two layers work fine for a larger dish to take to family and church gatherings. You can make this hotter by adding a little tobasco. It is delicious.

Grilled Okra (good for BBQs this summer)

This recipe is provided by Travis Hall from Belton, Texas.

15 to 20 tender okra pods, 3 inches long
Olive Oil
Cajun Seasoning

Place okra on a metal or wooden skewer through the side at the center of the pod. Brush with Olive Oil. Sprinkle on Cajun Seasoning.
Grill on charcoal or gas grill for 2 to 3 minutes then turn over and grill until turning brown.

Serve and eat while still warm.

Note added by Travis: I tried a little bit of a change in grilling my okra today. Using 2 skewers and building like a ladder works a lot better than trying to turn the okra on just 1 skewer. Make an individual ladder for each guest.

Smothered Okra, Eggplant and Tomato

From Paul Prudhomme’s “A Fork in the Road”

SEASONING MIX
1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon salt (omit if using canned tomatoes with salt)
1 teaspoon dried mustard
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper (or use all black)
1/2 teaspoon dill weed
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (red pepper)
****
2 cups chopped onion, in all
1 cup chopped green or red bell pepper
2 cups chopped okra, in all
1 medium eggplant, peeled — 1 cup finely diced,
remaining medium diced.
3 cups fresh tomatoes chopped, or 2 cans diced tomatoes
1/2 cup tomato sauce (omit if using canned tomatoes which
already have lots of juice)
1 cup apple juice
***
1) Mix spices in a small bowl.
2) Combine 1 cup of chopped onion, 1 cup finely chopped eggplant, 1
cup of okra (I put in a food processor and pulse to chop finely)
3) Heat non-stick skillet or pot over high heat about 4 minutes. Add
chopped vegetables, bell pepper and seasoning mix, stir and cook for
about 5 minutes. Vegetables should stick to bottom of pan, then you
unstick and stir them so that they carmelize (brown) a little but
don’t burn.
4) Stir in 1 cup of apple juice, stir to unstick from bottom, add 1
cup of tomatoes. Cook, stirring occasionally until most of liquid
evaporates, about 20 minutes.
5) Add remaining onions, okra, eggplant and tomatoes (tomato
sauce if used). Scrape to clear bottom and cook 10 minutes or more
until eggplant is cooked.





Okra Nutrition

1 07 2008

Some of you have been overwhelmed with the weeks of okra we’ve had lately (it’s obviously very much in season!). But here’s some info on how great it is for you from this website:

Okra Nutrition (half-cup cooked okra)

Calories = 25
Dietary Fiber = 2 grams
Protein = 1.5 grams
Carbohydrates = 5.8 grams
Vitamin A = 460 IU
Vitamin C = 13 mg
Folic acid = 36.5 micrograms
Calcium = 50 mg
Iron = 0.4 mg
Potassium = 256 mg
Magnesium = 46 mg
These numbers should be used as a guideline only.

Sylvia W. Zook, Ph.D. (nutritionist) has very kindly provided the following thought-provoking comments on the many benefits of this versatile vegetable. They are well worth reading.

1. The superior fiber found in okra helps to stabilize blood sugar as it curbs the rate at which sugar is absorbed from the intestinal tract.
2. Okra’s mucilage not only binds cholesterol but bile acid carrying toxins dumped into it by the filtering liver. But it doesn’t stop there…
3. Many alternative health practitioners believe all disease begins in the colon. The okra fiber, absorbing water and ensuring bulk in stools, helps prevent and improve constipation. Fiber in general is helpful for this but okra is one of the best, along with ground flax seed and psyllium. Unlike harsh wheat bran, which can irritate or injure the intestinal tract, okra’s mucilage soothes, and okra facilitates elimination more comfortably by its slippery characteristic many people abhor. In other words, this incredibly valuable vegetable not only binds excess cholesterol and toxins (in bile acids) which cause numerous health problems if not evacuated, but then assures easy passage out of the body of same. Unlike some prescription and over-the-counter drugs for this, the veggie is completely non-toxic, non-habit forming (except for the many who greatly enjoy eating it), has no adverse side effects, is full of nutrients, and is economically within reach of most.
4. Further contributing to the health of the intestinal tract, okra fiber (as well as flax and psyllium) has no equal among fibers for feeding the good bacteria (probiotics).
5. To retain most of okra’s nutrients and self-digesting enzymes, it should be cooked as little as possible, e.g. with low heat or lightly steamed. Some eat it raw. However, if one is going to fry it (and it is undeniably delicious prepared that way when rolled in cornmeal and salt), only extra virgin olive oil, or UNREFINED coconut butter is recommended (this is NOT the unhealthy partially hydrogenated product found in processed foods.)

I’ve also added some more recipes for okra. Click here.