Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Tasty Tuesday - Okra Stew

Yay, I'm actually getting back to cooking this week and therefore have a contribution for Tasty Tuesday with Lean Lena!

This is another dish that doesn't really have a recipe and it was inspired by the fresh produce we picked up from the farmers market this weekend.

As you can see, it's a ton of veggies.  And that means a ton of chopping.  So it wasn't quite as quick as I would want for weekday meals most of the time.  The good news is that it came together very quickly once the chopping was done.

If you're not familiar with cooking with okra, it can be a bit weird because once you cut them open, there is a sliminess to them.  This is why I only like them two ways, deep fried or in stews.  The sliminess is actually an asset in a stew because it dissipates into the liquid and thickens it nicely.

2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 small onion
1 small bell pepper
1/2 chili pepper (or to taste)
2 carrots 
2 summer squash
1 pint okra
1 package veggie chorizo (optional)
Three tomatoes
1 can of tomatoes
Salt to taste

I started by heating the oil in a pot while finely dicing the onion, peppers and carrots.  I threw them in the pot to cook while I chopped the squash and okra. I threw those in the pot and let them cook as well.  I chopped the tomatoes while the veggies continued to cook.  Once the onions were translucent and the carrots were softened, I put in the veggie chorizo to brown.

This is a good place to say that the veggie chorizo is optional.  I wanted to do it with just the veggies but Mike wanted something a bit heartier so we picked up the veggie chorizo.  If you just do it with veggies you'll need to add some extra seasoning such as garlic, smoked paprika, coriander, and cumin.

Once the chorizo is browned, throw in the chopped tomatoes and the canned tomatoes. If you have an abundance of fresh tomatoes, you can probably double them and skip the can of tomatoes.  I added some salt and let the whole mixture stew together for 10 minutes.

I had also made some bread in the bread machine over the weekend so we had the stew with some of the homemade bread.  Otherwise, I would have served it over some rice.

The verdict is that this was delicious and you could really taste the freshness of all the veggies.  It was a great way to enjoy the summer produce.