My hubby muttered this statement out loud as I placed in front of him a small pile of fresh veggies for him to cut up. I had just returned from my two-mile fitness run for the day and was ready to step into the shower. While I cleaned up, he graciously agreed to get dinner started by chopping the veggies.
I could tell, however, that Hubby was dubious about the recipe for "Okra Stir-Fry Medley" that I had spotted to use some of the other yield of our trip to the Chickasaw farmers markets last week in Oklahoma. (I mentioned this in my blog two days ago.) "It doesn't even call for any seasoning," he grunted as he studied the page in front of him.
Ever the lover of black pepper and more black pepper, I thrust a shaker under his nose and gave him my permission to pour away. He was correct, though. My "Okra Stir-Fry Medley" recipe didn't even as much as hint of adding salt--or salt substitute, as would be applicable in our case. Would this menu item have any taste to it at all?
We reassured ourselves that we hadn't had a flop yet from the recipe book "Celebrating a Healthy Harvest" (source for "Okra Stir-Fry Medley") the Chickasaw Nutrition Services gives people to help them make creative, healthy dishes out of the fresh produce, so I left the recipe in my hubby's capable hands while I undertook my post-run shower.
Fifteen minutes later Mr. Ray of Sunshine, who had been glum about the potential of this side dish, was beginning to sing a different tune. “Look how fresh and colorful,” he commented as he stir-fried the squash, okra, onion, and corn, with tomatoes to be added at the end.
He was right. The bland-looking veggies had seemed to explode with color once they were stirred around in the skillet with a touch of olive oil added. The same thing had happened the previous evening when we stir-fried some anemic-looking green beans to go in our Japanese Green Beans recipe. Beans I wouldn't have given you a plug nickel for amazingly turned bright green as they were zapped around the skillet over moderate heat.
We dished some up on our plates to go along with our casserole left over from last evening's meal. In a few bites Hubby was exultant. "I can't believe it; this seasoned itself,” he assessed.
Many times we think we have to camouflage sides with high-calorie, high-fat-content breading or sauce, when the freshness of the unadorned veggies themselves provides the most delightful taste imaginable.
Meanwhile, the fiber in the corn wiped out my husband's other reason for being skeptical--that he would leave the dinner table hungry after this bantamweight side dish. Fiber fills you up, so you don't have to eat as much to feel full afterward.
The Chickasaw Nutrition Services, which provided the recipe for "Okra Stir-Fry Medley" (below), won our admiration again. And just as he drifted off to sleep last night, my husband was still extolling, "I can't believe what a tasty recipe that was--all by itself". Seasoned greetings!
Okra Stir-Fry Medley
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 ears of corn, cut from the cob
3 yellow squash, sliced
10 okra, sliced
1 diced tomato
Place olive oil in skillet. Add onion, corn, squash and okra. Cook over medium heat for 5-10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add diced tomato; continue cooking for 3 minutes. Serve. Makes six side-dish servings.