Thursday, September 8, 2011

Okra saute and my journey into raw and veganism

Okra saute plated with veggie burger and savoy cabbage slaw

Savoy and red cabbage slaw

Sometimes I call myself a vegan just to make it easier for others to understand that I cannot eat dairy, eggs and many kinds of meat. It's less complicated than explaining, "You see I have these delayed food allergies to all these things, blah, blah, blah," which usually results in them giving me blank stares.

So, since I've been using the vegan label, I decided I would actually go completely vegan (and dabble into raw cooking sometimes) for two weeks. I also secretly hoped going vegan might help me lose some weight. That was a pipe dream. You see, you actually have to reduce your caloric intake to lose weight.

It's also a perfect time to become vegan as my garden is overflowing with produce. This year, I grew okra, a vegetable I remember fondly from childhood. My father was a good ole Alabama boy who loved his okra. But somehow, eating okra as an adult escaped me. It probably didn't help that everytime I mentioned it to my husband, he would  respond, "Oh, you mean that slimy stuff."

Strangely, I didn't remember it as a slimy vegetable.When I saw okra in this year's seed catalog, I knew I had to give it a try. Okra, fresh from the garden, is amazing! Just make sure you pick it when the pods are four or less inches long. I didn't realize this on my first harvest and let them get really big before picking. It was like eating wood. Pick them small and they are wonderfully tender.

I must admit after many years of not eating okra, I wasn't sure how to prepare it. I searched the internet and found a vegan recipe for okra saute which I adapted to fit my needs.

Okra Veggie Saute on Veggie Burgers with Savoy Cabbage Slaw
(serves one or two)

  1. 5-6 small okra sliced into rounds
  2. pan spray and olive oil
  3. salt and pepper
  4. optional: cumin
  5. half a medium onion sliced into half moons
  6. small or medium zucchini, diced
  7. veggie burger(s)
  8. cole slaw (recipe for my version below)
Directions for Saute:
  1. Heat oil in a medium skillet.
  2. Add onion and cook 2 minutes.
  3. Add okra and zucchini and continue cooking until all  veggies are tender. Salt and pepper and add any other spices, herbs.
  4. While the veggies are cooking, slide them over and add your veggie burgers to cook.
  5. Serve on a bed of slaw with a drizzle of your favorite vegan dressing or more of the slaw dressing described below.
Savoy Cabbage Slaw

  1. 1/4 head savoy cabbage chopped
  2. 1/4 head red cabbage chopped
  3. 1 carrot peeled and chopped or shredded
  4. For dressing: 1/4 cup tahini, juice of one lime, 3-4 T. water, 1 tsp. sesame oil, salt and pepper, stevia to taste, 2 diced green onions, 2 T. raw sunflower seeds (Makes more than you will need for slaw.)

  1. Mix dressing ingredients in a food processor. Add more water to make it pourable.
  2. Put veggies in a large bowl and drizzle on desired amount of dressing.
  3. Toss and mix.
I've shared this recipe on

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