Okra - Not Just for Gumbo

Sometimes what I cook is determined by what I have on hand in my kitchen.  It is always wise to make the best use of what you have on hand. Right now I have a few bags of frozen okra left from winter gumbo making that need to be used in a spring meal.  I hope you like these ideas and it inspires you to see what is in your freezer that can be used to create some delicious dishes while stretching your food dollars.

Creole Okra

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 (16 oz.) pkg. frozen cut okra
  • 1 (16 oz.) can diced tomatoes in juice
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Sauté the onion and garlic until limp.  Add the green pepper; cook and stir until tender.  Drain the tomatoes, reserving juice, and pour them into the skillet.  Season with thyme, parsley, cayenne, salt, and pepper.  Simmer for 5 minutes over medium heat. Add the frozen okra, and pour in enough of the reserved juice from the tomatoes to cover the bottom of the pan.  Cover, and cook for 15 minutes, or until okra is tender.

Okra Salad

  • 3 slices bacon
  • 1 (16 oz.) pkg. frozen cut okra
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1/3 c. white sugar
  • 1/4 c. corn oil
  • 1/4 c. white vinegar

Place bacon in a large skillet over medium heat.  Cook until evenly browned, then remove to paper towels to drain. Pour off most of the bacon grease, leaving a thin coating on the pan.  Add okra to the bacon grease in the skillet, and fry until tender, about 5 minutes.  Transfer the okra to a salad bowl, and toss with the onion, green pepper, and tomato.   Crumble in the bacon. In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, corn oil, and vinegar until the sugar has dissolved.  Pour over the salad, and toss to coat.  Chill for 30 minutes before serving.

Slow Cooker Veggie-Beef Soup with Okra

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1/4 c. onion chopped
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can Italian diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 (16 oz.) pkg. frozen mixed vegetables
  • 2 cups sliced fresh or frozen okra
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. ketchup
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef and onion until beef is evenly brown and onion is tender.  Drain grease. In a slow cooker, mix the beef and onion, diced tomatoes, Italian diced tomatoes, vegetables, okra, potatoes, ketchup, salt, and pepper.  Pour in enough water to cover. Cover slow cooker, and cook 4-5 hours on low.