The first (and last) time I made anything with Okra was when I was in culinary school years ago. We had to make a 4-course meal for our final and for one of the dishes we made pickled Okra. I remember it being ok but I never bothered with it since then.
Honestly, I had no idea what else to do with it beside pickle it and since I’m not a pickle fan I never bothered.
Like anyone, I sometimes get stuck in cooking ruts, cooking the same things over and over and not branching out–are you like that?
I decided that needed to change.
So, when I saw a display of Okra at my local Whole Foods, I decided that I was going to experiment.
There is this belief in my mind that since I went to culinary school I should know every food there is and the best ways to prepare it…yup, unrealistic, I know…but that’s how my crazy mind works.
Cutting myself some slack, I started to do some research on Okra and this is what I learned.
What’s Smart & Sexy About This Dish?
Okra is great to eat because it:
- Contains B-complex vitamins and vitamin C
- Stabilizes blood sugar
- Helps control the rate at which sugar is absorbed
- Is full of dietary fiber, which supports colon health
- Helps to boost moods (I can always use help with that!)
The one thing that people are “put off” by with Okra is the “slimy-ness” when you cut it open.
That “slimy-ness” is great for a couple of things:
- Your intestines: It lubricates the intestines, which eases constipation
- Soups/Stews: It works as a thickener (which is why it’s called “gumbo” in Louisiana)
- Brings “bounce” to your hair.
According to naturespride.eu, you can slice Okra horizontally then boil them in water until the brew is slimy. Cool it down, add a few drops of lemon and put it in your hair for a few minutes then wash out. I may have to try this…..
So, whether you are looking to clean out your intestines, put some “bounce” in your hair, boost your mood or try something new Okra is definitely a smart, sexy food to choose.
Just don’t let the “slimy-ness” stop you from eating it!
Here’s the recipe that I created after my research.
I wasn’t quite sure if I should call it a salad or a stew but decided on Salad because it’s great cold.
I have to say, I was impressed with myself. It’s quite good, super easy to make and a wonderful summer dish.
Okra Corn Salad
Makes 6-8 servings
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 lb. Okra, sliced
½ teaspoon cumin
2 cups organic sweet corn
1 can cannellini or black beans
28 oz. Diced tomatoes (drained)
Sea salt (to taste)
In a medium pot, add in extra-virgin olive oil and onions. Sauté onions for 2-3 minutes, or until they are soft.
Add in the garlic, sauté for 1-2 minutes.
Add in chopped Okra and add sea salt and ½ cumin and sauté for 1-2 minutes.
Add in sweet corn and a pinch more of sea salt and sauté for 1-2 minutes.
Add in cannellini or black beans, cook for 2 minutes. Add in diced tomatoes and a pinch more sea salt. Cook until warm, serve and enjoy!
**Feel free to play around with the serving amounts, it is definitely a “forgiving” dish and doesn’t have to be exact. **
I’d love to hear what you think about this dish or feel free to share your favorite Okra recipes in the comments below or on Facebook.