Recipe corner: cooking with okra
Okra is a vegetable that is grown during the warmer seasons. Also known as "ladies’ fingers", okra provides a good source of vitamins, minerals and fiber. When consumed in a healthy diet, okra can promote heart health and strong bones. It may also help reduce your risk of developing cancer.
Okra is commonly served fried or used in soups or sauces. However, there are many other cooking methods and recipes that can be used to prepare okra. Okra isn’t one of the most popular vegetables but if cooked correctly it can add wonderful flavor to your meals. Check out these colorful, healthy and absolutely delicious recipes below!
Baked Okra (oil and gluten free)
This recipe is a great alternative to fried okra. You will find this healthy vegetarian dish to be crispy and very flavorful!
- 1 - 1.5 pounds of Okra
- ¾ cup soy milk or unsweetened non-dairy milk of choice
- ½ cup cornmeal
- ¼ cup brown rice flour
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne (more or less to taste)
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
Trim stems off of okra and wash. Preheat oven to 450F. Place baking sheet in the oven to be heated. In a large bowl combine all remaining ingredients and mix well. Place a few okra into the batter and stir until coated well. Remove hot baking sheet and line with parchment paper. Working quickly place each coated okra pod on the baking sheet. Allow any excess batter to drip back into the bowl. Repeat with as much okra as you can fit on the backing sheet. Place okra in the oven baking for a total of 25 to 30 minutes, gently turning each okra pod at the 15 minute mark. Pods will be golden brown and crisp when finished. Serve warm with your choice of dipping sauce! Baked okra pictured with marinara sauce and inspired from fatfreevegan.com.
Shrimp and Okra Bowl
- 2.5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons coarse yellow cornmeal
- 10 ounces fresh whole okra, halved lengthwise
- 1 large red bell pepper
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 teaspoon salt-free creole seasoning
- 8 ounces large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1.5 cups chopped tomato
- ½ cup sliced red onion
- ¼ cup thinly sliced celery
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 8 thin slices red Fresno Chile
Place oven rack 6 inches from the top of the oven. Preheat broiler to high and line 2 rimmed baking sheets with foil. In a large mixing bowl combine 1 tablespoon oil, cornmeal, okra (halved lengthwise) and bell peppers (halved). Arrange Okra and bell peppers skin side up on one of the prepared baking sheets. Place in the oven for 10 minutes, set okra aside and wrap cooked peppers in foil. Let peppers stand for 10 additional minutes outside of the oven; unwrap and chop. Combine honey, Creole seasoning, and shrimp in a bowl. Place shrimp mixture on the second line baking sheet and broil for 2-3 minutes on each side until done. Finally combine okra, bell pepper, shrimp mixture, tomato and remaining ingredients in a bowl and toss. Serve over rice or noodles of choice. Dish is pictured over orzo. Recipe tailored from Cookinglight.com.
Recipes prepared by Allie Farley, M.S., R.D., L.D., registered dietitian at VCU Health, based on inspiration from fatfreevegan.com and Cookinglight.com. Visit our Diet and Nutrition blog for more recipes and information about the role that diet plays in cancer.