Southern-Style Okra Soup
Now that we’re getting ready to move very very soon (end of the month), the OTHER chubby vegan is strongly encouraging me to use up as much in the freezer as possible. Which I am diligently trying to do. Really. I promise. Cross my fingers and hope to eat Crisco. So yesterday I dug in and yanked out a
2 lb bag of sliced frozen okra that I picked up in a fit of culinary adventurousness. Mom never cooked with okra growing up because she said she hated it and being the good and obedient daughter that I was *cough* I went along with that for all these years. But after a trip to Hawaii a few years ago when I decided there was no point to eating the same food I could get at home, I’ve been far more adventurous in trying new foods… soursop, custard apple, durian fruit (and the flavor of THAT is best described as zombie flesh smeared with poo and a sprinkle of garlic powder), mountain apples, both raw salmon and raw tuna poke, dried hibiscus flowers, eel sushi, knotweed, miner’s lettuce, chickweed, wood sorrel, wild dandelion leaves and now, okra. After all, where is the fun in going somewhere exciting and then eating at McDonald’s? I’m using that figuratively of course. I was so gobsmacked standing at the market in Koloa Town amidst piles of seasonal tropical fruit and fresh fish only to see so many go by with carts piled to the top with Corn Pops, powdered donuts and hamburger meat.
I picked an okra soup recipe from the May 2011 issue of Saveur magazine that features soul food from Charleston. The recipe is obviously not vegan, it uses bacon, or low-fat but I tweaked it to suit our dietary choices and prepared it in the crock pot.
This morning I made what I’m calling a Greek Scramble. We’ve missed having scrambled eggs very much, not “tuna melt” much, but darn close. So I’ve been trying different tofu scrambles. First I tried extra firm tofu and that seemed a good texture, then I tried super firm and that didn’t work out well at all, imagine cooking your scrambled eggs until they have the texture of a tenderized rubber erasers and that pretty well covers it. This morning I tried just plain firm tofu and that came out a little soft, so extra firm it is going forward. I will also say that I feel that having plenty of turmeric on hand to give your eggs a good rich yellow color so that it gives more of the illusion of scrambled eggs is necessary for a better scramble experience for us vegan newbies. Maybe when I’m more experienced at this it won’t matter so much but having my scrambles white-colored makes me feel like I’m eating dirty egg whites. And of course, scary food coloring is so not acceptable.
I’m including my recipes of Okra Soup and Greek Tofu Scramble below:
Vegan Southern Okra Soup
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Thyme
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 rib celery, finely chopped
1 Bay leaf
Kosher salt and smoked black pepper to taste
2 tbsp Tomato Paste
1 lb Okra, trimmed and cut into 1″ slices
6 cups “No Chicken: Better Than Bouillon” stock
1 28 oz can whole, peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand
Heat oil in well seasoned cast iron pan over medium high heat and add thyme, garlic, onion, celery and bay leaf, season with salt and pepper, and cook stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste; cook, stirring, , until carmelized, about 2 minutes. Add vegetable tomato paste mixture, okra, chicken stock, and tomatoes to crock pot and cook on high for 3-4 hours until okra is very tender and soup thickens slightly. Serve with warm rice.
1 serving (701.0 g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 32
Total Fat 3.6g, 6%
Saturated Fat 0.5g, 3%
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 0mg, 0%
Sodium 1140mg, 47%
Total Carbohydrates 23.5g, 8%
Dietary Fiber 6.6g, 26%
Greek Tofu Scramble & Sausage
1 pkg extra firm tofu
2 zucchini, diced
4 scallions, chopped
1 tomato, diced
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp Cavenders seasoning
1 pkg. Gimme Lean non-fat vegan sausage
Place oven on broil. Slice vegan sausage and place on a lightly oiled cookie sheet. Place sausage in the broiler. While sausage is browning dice onions, zucchini and tomato. Saute vegetables lightly in well-seasoned cast iron pan. If sausage are well browned on top at this point, flip them over and allow to brown on the other side. While sausage is finishing crumble drained tofu into pan with veggies and spices. Toss mixture until warmed through and seasonings are evenly mixed. Serve scramble with browned vegan sausage.
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