Beautiful fresh okra & tomatoes are in abundance in our area right now. They are inexpensive and are growing in just about every backyard this time of year. Yesterday I made a huge batch of Smothered Okra, enough for supper and freeze for later.
I thought I would also include the added health benefits of Okra, it is truly a Super Vegetable !
Okra is low in calories. One cup of raw okra is only 31 calories,. Okra is also high in calcium, fiber, vitamins C & K, protein, foliate, manganese and magnesium. They are rich in B-complex group of vitamins like niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamine and pantothenic acid.
Combine all that with the added benefits of tomatoes which are an excellent source of Vitamins A, B6 and C, potassium & thiamine. Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, powerful antioxidant that decreases the risk of certain cancers and heart disease. This dish is a powerhouse of nutrients!
CAJUN SMOTHERED OKRA WITH TOMATOES
2 lg. tomatoes, chopped keeping all juice
4 cups chopped okra
1 med onion chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 T extra virgin olive oil
1 6oz. can tomato paste
1/2 t. fresh ground black pepper
1/2 t. thyme
1/4t. fresh rosemary
1-3 t cayenne
1 pound peeled shrimp (Optional)
*While This family recipe includes canned tomato paste, I have eliminated canned goods from our home. I now can my own.
Sauté onions & garlic a large cast iron or nonstick skillet with olive oil until onions are soft, stir frequently careful to prevent garlic from burning.
Add okra, tomatoes, tomato paste & all the remaining seasonings.
Cover & cook on low heat, stirring occasionally until the okra is soft slime seems to break down & disappear (about 15-20 minutes).
**If your adding shrimp, stir in shrimp during last 5 minutes of cooking. Cook till shrimp turn a nice pink color, do not overcook shrimp!