Okra has been off my radar for a long time. Way back before our paleo days, we would sometimes eat lunch on Sundays at one of those cafeteria restaurants that have lots of great vegetable options. You know, the one where macaroni and cheese counts as a vegetable? I would often get a veggie plate and the star of the show was fried okra.
I tried, many, many years ago, to make this delicacy at home and it always ended up slimy and was a real pain to deal with. I vowed to only eat it in restaurants from that day forward.
There are people who like stewed okra, usually combined with tomatoes, but that is just a big gooey mess, in my opinion.
Then Trim Healthy Mama entered the picture and apparently, those mamas love their okra. It’s the secret ingredient in smoothies, brownies and all other sorts of places you would not expect it.
They even have an okra challenge, where you are supposed to eat one cup of okra every day for a week as a method to jump start stalled weight loss.
I tried the okra challenge and started with the okra smoothie. I did not like it at all. I tried it again with different flavorings and still didn’t like it. So I came up with these okra fritters, which I really, really enjoyed.
One cup of okra would make enough of these for a nice big meal. I happily ate these fritters for lunch most of my challenge week. You can flavor them with different spices, they’re hearty and just a great way to integrate this odd vegetable into your diet. Double the batch and use it as a side dish for your family.
But I was looking for something even simpler than the fritters. Something that reminded me more of the fried okra from my cafeteria eating days. On a whim one night, I tried the “fried” okra again, but baked in the oven. And lo and behold, it was delicious – and no slime! I’ve even converted one of my kids to the okra camp with this recipe. The other is still not a fan, but I’m working on her. She’ll give in as she continues to see the rest of us go ga-ga over this dish!
This recipe is really, super simple and very hands off. The trick is that you have to start with frozen okra. We’re growing okra in our garden for the first time this year so I’m not sure if I need to do anything special to it so it freezes without getting all that slime stuck together. I guess that part is to be continued. If you have experience with this, please share in the comments.
For now, pick up those bags of cut okra in the freezer section at the grocery store (it’s only around $1!) and make yourself some oven fried okra. If you’re trying to eat okra because the Trim Health Mamas told you to, you’ll be thrilled you found this recipe. And even if you don’t know what a Trim Healthy Mama is, you will love this recipe. It’s a great way to incorporate a new veggie into your repertoire.