What is Okra?
So a couple of years ago I had a friend going WILD for Okra, they were literally eating it every day. I kid you not. Okra is a vegetable that’s very popular in middle eastern and African countries and I thought if my friend was eating it every day it must be good! I was really keen to try some but living in England, like most foreign fresh produce it was pretty tough to find. Eventually I found it in an international supermarket sliced and frozen.
Fresh or frozen okra?
I did have doubts about the quality of it being frozen but in the couple of years I’ve been using it in recipes and doing a little bit of research I’ve found that people tend to favour frozen over fresh and I’ve seen many people mention that fresh often has a slimy texture, whilst I have my doubts that frozen okra is better than fresh I’m going to take their word for it and suggest you to buy frozen okra like I did but if fresh is available I’d love to hear your thoughts on using fresh okra and whether there’s any truth in this slime business. For anyone that’s never heard of okra, I personally think the texture is very similar to peppers but with a taste closer to courgette.
I spent a while trying to figure out how to incorporate okra into various dishes such as stir frys and salads but whilst it wasn’t bad, it wasn’t that great either, I felt like I’d tried so hard to find this vegetable and now I was wasting it. Then I came across a post that mentioned “Okra Stew” and I breathed a sigh of relief. I tried a few recipes to get the idea and then used the best of all of the recipes to use my own. This recipe produces 2-3 portions of stew, don’t forget to adjust ingredient quantities to suit your needs.
Do you have a diet restriction?
This recipe is a great option if you have one of the following food intolerances:
- Gluten Free
- Dairy Free
- Nut Free
- Low GI
- Paleo Friendly
- Low Fat
- Syn Free
All slimming world related info is gathered from various internet sources. Syn values may be incorrect or outdated. If you see one is wrong, please let me know so I can update the information!
Step 1: Dice and fry the onion
So, lets start making this quick and easy okra stew recipe. Start by dicing an onion and crushing 2 cloves of garlic. Most Okra stew recipes ask for a white onion however i opt for red which has a more subtle flavour and compliments the okra better in my opinion. Cook the onion in a saucepan or wok (I love to use my wok for literally everything on the hob) until soft and slightly transparent, this should take around 5 minutes. Add your garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
Step 2: Add the main ingredients
Add in two tins of chopped tomatoes and the seasonings and stir well. Stir in the frozen okra and the cooked/canned chickpeas. Cook for around 15 minutes until the sauce has thickened slightly. I think the thickness for stews and even soups and casseroles or anything of the like is completely down to preference, if you prefer a thinner stew you could add a splash of water or you could keep the stew cooking until its thick enough to eat with a fork. As long as you and anyone else eating are happy with the outcome that’s all that matters. Personally, just as I like my soups i also like a nice thick chunky stew.
Serving this okra stew
I serve this stew with crusty bread every time but I’d love to have a go at making bread bowls one day, this okra stew would be perfect for bread bowls!
How to freeze this stew
This stew freezes well so its great for batch cooking which is something i’m really getting into at the minute. Im finding it so much easier to make all my dinners up at the start of the month and portion them out for the freezer. It’s like having healthy nutritious ready meals without all the nasty additives.
How to reheat okra stew
If frozen, let the stew defrost completely before reheating in the microwave for 4-5 minutes.
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