Since the Produce junction opened up near us, I have become a produce addict. Maybe that would be better said: a “Junction junky”? Two weeks ago, I discovered okra. I had heard of okra, especially in a Bill Smithers song: “I’ve got okra, enough to choke ya, but I’ve got no love today!” But had never experienced it up close and personal before. I purchased some and included it in the soup for the homeless men on the street. The next week, I got more and used a bunch in the turkey vegetable gumbo for the street and used some in a hamburger, noodle, veggie soup for us. They were both terrific! Don’t ask for the recipe. I didn’t follow one and I can’t recall what all I put into them.
I got to thinking, with Great Lent coming, about how to make lenten food with fewer carbohydrates for diabetics. I really like falafels, but they are pure carbs. Check out the nutritional benefits of okra. They are a great source of vitamins A, C and K, as well as antioxidants and fiber. Okra is sticky and very nutritious, so I thought I would experiment. What resulted was not exactly falafel-like, but edible and tasty nonetheless. Here’s the recipe (as near as I can remember it from last night):
- about 1 pound of 3 to 4 inch okra
- 1 15 oz. can of garbanzo beans, drained
- about 3 inches of celery root at about 1-1/4″ diameter
- about 1/2 cup flour
- one head of garlic, cloves peeled
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 5 twists of freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon of parsley flakes
- canola oil
Wash the okra. Throw all of the ingredients except the oil into a food processor and run it until they are thoroughly chopped and mixed and you have sticky greenish glop. Heat up 1/4″ to 1/2″ of canola oil in a large skillet. Use a tablespoon or two to scoop and plop the mixture into the hot oil. Fry one side, then turn and flatten them to fry the other. Fry them until you see more brown than green.