Happy New Year to everyone! There are barely three hours left to 2009, and all things considered, it’s been a rollicking year…especially in the kitchen!
During the holidays, I baked a lot of bread and made desserts – like someone who thinks the world’s supply of sugar will disappear in a few days. We also received fat-laden goodies that I had to shove into the freezer. People brought cookies, cakes, and all kinds of food wrapped in puff pastry so by the time I got to the last day of December – this morning – I was craving for a green, on-the-cheap kind of meal.
Glad I went to the Asian store yesterday to stock up on Oriental greens. For lunch on New Year’s Day, it’s going to be strictly vegetarian so I’m making Vietnamese fresh spring rolls, and will also try to make Vietnamese Goi salad. In my most recent post, I had talked about recipe-sharing and a reader kindly offered to point me to his web site where he explains how to make Vietnamese Goi. If I’m successful with it, you’ll be the first to see pictures of it on my next blog.
But going back to okra. Not many people like the gooey fluid that comes out of this vegetable, nor do they like the very rough texture of this vegetable. But I love okra and can eat it every week. I prefer to cook it the simplest way – with onion, fresh garlic, diced Italian tomatoes, shrimp paste, and fish sauce to taste. So this was on the lunch table today:
So that the gooey fluid is minimized, the crowns are not chopped off while they’re cooking. When you serve them, that’s when the eater takes them out with a knife. I don’t think the rough texture of okra should bother you. Once cooked, it doesn’t scratch your tongue. That’s a promise and it’s absolutely digestible!
If you like gumbo, you’ll be won over by okra, a vegetable that was introduced to the United States from Africa. It’s low in fat and cholesterol. Nutritionists say it’s packed with vitamins and minerals – 100 grams equal only 33 calories. The only time to avoid okra is when you’re trying to gain weight. It can be cooked on the stove top, baked or steamed. It becomes tender after about 10 minutes on medium heat.
I eat okra with rice. It sure hit the spot today. It was a refreshing meal compared to the very rich foods I’ve been enjoying because of the holidays. Nothing like a simple and homemade concoction after all the fancy holiday foods!