May 27, 2015

Okra Stew

Now that I'm working part-time along with homeschooling and just getting thru life in general, I find that my time to cook is often compromised.  I'm busy.  Like really busy.  But I don't see that changing any time soon so I need to learn to adapt.
I find one of the things that helps me most is to have a plan.  I work at making out a menu and sticking to it.  If I have a long day at work, the last thing I want to do is to come home and cook.  Take out looks so much easier if I don't already have food prepared and ready to be reheated.

I hesitate to call this recipe gumbo as it is nothing like the delicous roux-based gumbo I normally make with file' powder.  In fact, my normal recipe doesn't even contain okra and takes many hours of love and care to prepare.
This is quick and packs a lot of flavor.  It also transports well for work and warms up quite well for a quick, filling meal that is tasty as well as healthy.
It falls into S/Satisfying on the Trim, Healthy Mama plan.

I also love to use fresh, seasonal veggies, but lets get real.... It's early summer and okra isn't in season and I really don't have time for all the chopping of onions and peppers.  I found a 2 pound bag of frozen (IQF/ individually quick frozen with no additives) okra already cut at the grocery store for less than $3.  I defrosted it slightly before adding to the pot.  Same with peppers and onions.  I use frozen fajita mix and don't usually defrost, but throw it in the pan and let it just deglaze the pan as it defrosts.
I don't find the taste is much different from fresh, and the price along with saving time is great.

Okra Stew-S

1 pound smoked sausage, chopped.  I used a combination of andoulle and lean turkey
half an onion and a bell pepper chopped, or use an equivalent amount of frozen fajita mix
2 cups tomato puree
1 pound okra, chopped
4 large stalks of kale, cut into bite size pieces.  I make sure to cut out the center 'rib' as it is tough
Italian seasoning

Lightly brown the smoked sausage in a large pot over medium high heat.

Add the onions and peppers and cook until soft but don't brown.  Turn down the heat if needed.
Add the okra, Italian seasoning and tomatoes and simmer for about 10 minutes on low heat.

Add the kale and cover the pot to allow it to wilt a bit.  Stir well and allow to simmer on low until all flavors blend.