Pan Fried Indian Spiced Okra

Okra is one of those vegetables that gets a bad reputation. When someone says “okra”, I believe 95% of the population immediately thinks “slimy”. It’s kind of like peanut butter and jelly – people think okra and slimy. Including me, until I actually tasted it for the first time.

bearfamilystrong.com | indian spiced okra

I’m not going to lie; there was much trepidation before I took my first bite. We were having dinner with the couple who leads our Bible Study and the theme for dinner was Indian – which I love. We’ll call the couple John and Mary for simplicity. John and Mary have a garden, and they also made okra with dinner – heavily spiced and cooked in a wok. I watched as John added all the spices, tossed the okra in the pan, and then started cooking…and I couldn’t help but notice that there was a lot of slime. However, once it was all said and done, John blotted most of the excess liquid from the wok and I have to say – from that first bite? I loved it. It was perfectly spiced and not at all slimy and at that moment I knew I wanted to try to make my own okra.

bearfamilystrong.com | indian spiced okra

The funny thing is – John is a lot like my husband, in that when we texted him to get his recipe the response was something like, “Oh, I don’t know – I threw in these different spices and just sort of cooked it.” Yep, just like my husband. He did however give us a list of the primary spices he used, and so I just started with that and came up with my own version of this delicious vegetables.

After a quick google search I learned that the key to making okra not slimy is to make sure your oil is extremely hot, so that when you add the spice coated okra to the pan the oil essentially flash fries the seasoning onto the pieces – somewhat like fried okra, except a lighter and healthier option. Also, you want to make sure you keep moving the pan around – you want to sauté the okra until it’s nice and brown, but if you leave it sitting in the oil too long it will get slimy and stay wet. (If you do end up with slightly slimy okra, don’t fear! Just take a clean paper towel and blot off the excess oil.)

Not surprisingly, okra went from being one of the vegetables I never thought about to one I now cook on a regular basis.

TO MAKE:

*NOTE: all measurements for the spices are suggested; this recipe is largely “to taste” and will vary based on your personal preferences and spice tolerance.

1 lb okra, chopped into half inch coins

1 Tbsp Garam masala

1 Tbsp Moroccan seasoning

1 Tbsp Cumin

1 tsp Salt

1 tsp Black Pepper

1 tsp Chili powder

1-2 tsp Turmeric

Rinse and chop your okra into small, half inch coins. In a small bowl, combine your spices – you’ll want enough of a mix to coat the okra evenly. Heat a thin layer of olive oil in a pan until hot. Toss the okra into the hot oil and sauté, keeping your pan moving, for about five minutes until okra turns brown and crisp. Serve!

bearfamilystrong.com | indian spiced okra

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Turkey Vegetable Meatballs

Every single time I juice I watch my husband scrape out the juicer and toss money straight into the garbage. Seriously, that’s how I view it when all that leftover juice pulp goes into the trash can. Don’t get me wrong, juice is awesome and full of nutrients and yay! But all I can think is “Wow. That was $20 of fresh produce and we just tossed 3/4 of it.”

So I finally got smart. Last time I juiced I added the vegetables first (spinach, kale, parsley, celery and carrot, to be exact) and cleaned out the pulp before adding the fruit, saving it to use in the meatballs I’m sharing with you today. (Although I realized too late that I didn’t take any nice pictures of the finished product – my husband and I ate them too fast!)

turkey vegetable meatballs | eatwriterunrepeat.com

I wasn’t sure if this would even work or not but the end result was even better than I could have hoped for. The extra veggies give the meatballs a pop of flavor, not to mention the pulp kept them from drying out. Delicious! They may in fact be the best meatballs I’ve made, except maybe for these italian parmesan lovelies.

The best part about these meatballs is that once you have your juice pulp, this is essentially a three ingredient recipe. All I did was combine the veggie pulp, the ground turkey, and a healthy dose of Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute and voila. Easy as…well, meatballs.

turkey vegetable meatballs ingredients | eatwriterunrepeat.com

turkey vegetable meatballs uncooked | eatwriterunrepeat.com

I love it when a great plan comes together. Not only do I have a great new meatball recipe to share, I’m also saving money by making the most of the vegetables I’m juicing! Double win over here, y’all!

Turkey Vegetable Meatballs

yields 15-18 meatballs

Ingredients

1 lb ground turkey

1/2 onion, diced

3/4 cup – 1 cup juice vegetable pulp (I used spinach, kale, parsley, carrot and celery)

Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute, approximately 3 tablespoons

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Form into uniformly shaped meatballs and bake for approximately 30 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through. These tasted phenomenal by themselves or drizzled with some ketchup, but they are also delicious served with marinara sauce over some spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles!

Side Note: I made these a second time and used beef instead of turkey – they tasted just as good!

beef vegetable meatballs | eatwriterunrepeat.com

Green Goddess Juice

Let me start by saying that my husband is the usual juicer in our little family of two. I’m not going to lie, our juicer intimidates me just a little bit. This is probably because I happen to be one of the most paranoid people in the world and I also possess a ridiculously overactive imagination, which leads to weird fears like what if my finger accidentally slips into the spinning grinding loud piece of the juicer? What if I drop the apple in wrong and it shoots back out and takes out my eye? Seriously. These are the things I think about. For the record, I blame the Final Destination movies.

green goddess juice  | eatwriterunrepeat.com

But anyway. I needed to make juice the other morning because I wanted to use the leftover vegetable pulp (you know, the stuff you normally throw away after you juice out all the good stuff? I feel like it’s such a waste to just toss it!) to test a batch of turkey veggie meatballs and Kevin was unfortunately already at work, so I was on my own. I’m happy to announce that I survived the ordeal with all digits (and eyeballs) intact, although I did make a pretty spectacular mess out of the kitchen when it was all said and done. And I ended up with a pretty tasty batch of juice to boot!

My body has been in desperate need of some nutrients lately (probably to counteract the beer/pizza/cheese/peanut butter mousse binge I recently indulged in) so I focused on a lot of green in this juice. It’s a super nutritious blend of spinach, kale, parsely, cucumber, celery, carrot, apple, lime, and ginger.

green goddess juice ingredients | eatwriterunrepeat.com

I would write a long paragraph on the many benefits of each of the fruits and vegetables included in this juice but I’m feeling sort of lazy and all you really need to do is google “benefits of green juice” to find a plethora of websites that will go into all the juicy details – pun intended! 😉

Green Goddess Juice

serves one, easily adapted

Ingredients:

(all to taste)

– 3 cups spinach leaves

– 4-5 stalks kale

– 3 stalks celery

– 1/2 cucumber

– 1 bunch parsely

– 4 medium carrots

– 1 lime

– 1 medium apple

– 1 knob ginger

Instructions

Add all ingredients to juicer and enjoy!

green goddess juice | eatwriterunrepeat.com

And all that leftover vegetable pulp you have once you’re finished juicing? Just wait – I’ve got something for you! Stay tuned!