Saturday, September 7, 2013

Paleo cooking adventures: Okra and more recipes

I was in a kitchen adventure mood yesterday and decided to try okra for the first time. There are about four okra recipes in my Paleo Comfort Foods cookbook and as I happened to see it at the grocery store, I thought it's time to try something new.

So I modified the recipe in the cookbook (because my instincts are usually better) and made delicious okra. Surprisingly, it was a very mellow greeny vegetable seeing as how it looks a little... let's say "rough". I expected it to be tough and tarte but was pleasantly surprised with how those things turned out. Even more surprising, they're filled with these cool little pods which tasted just as delicious! Total score on the dinner front!

I apologize for the bad presentation on the plate, but honestly, it was so good that I started eating and completely forgot to take a picture of it before I starting cutting into my pork rib eye.

Today's paleo dinner in 30 minutes:

Spiced pork rib eye steak and okra with sauteed zucchini, kale chips and a tomato basil salad

Preheat oven to 400 C

Heat a cast iron skillet on medium heat with about a tbsp coconut oil. Add a couple chopped shallots and a chopped zucchini. Cook for a few minutes until shallots begin to soften.

Meanwhile, make your spice blend (and make enough for both the pork and the okra):
In a small bowl toss together some paprika, dry mustard, cumin, a pinch of curry powder, a bit of powdered ginger, salt, pepper and a pinch of cayenne if you like.

Sprinkle over pork steaks and massage it in a little, making sure to get both sides. Once your zucchini and onions are starting to soften, add the pork to the skillet and sear nicely on all sides. Then just pop the cast iron skillet (with the pork and veg) right into the oven for about 10-14 minutes depending on the thickness of the pork and how long you seared it.

Okra: Wash okra, pat dry and place in a mixing bowl pour about 1/2 cup or so of olive oil over the okra and toss to coat. Lay out on a baking sheet with parchment paper in a single layer and sprinkle with the remaining spice blend.
Cook in oven for about 10 minutes - flipping them after 5 minutes.

Tomato basil salad:
Take one package of grape tomatoes and slice each tomato in half. Add to bowl. Take a nice handful of fresh basil, chop and add to bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar (I used a fig balsamic which is so ridiculously delicious). Season with salt and pepper, then gently toss to mix, and serve!

This was an extremely satisfying meal and somehow the meat gods smiled on me and allowed the pork to come out of the oven cooked perfectly! Hence why there's already a bite out of it on the plate in the picture. I will definitely be experimenting more with okra in the future!