Indian Stuffed Okra

I love the okra. My mom used to cook fried okra and it was so good, but I don’t eat it much any more. I learned from my friend Todd about stuffed okra – an Indian dish that calls for stuffing okra with a mix of intense spices. We cooked it once during one of our Thursday night regular cooking sessions and it was an instant favorite.

Below: Start with fresh organic okra. Preferably from Texas, if you happen to be a Lone Star stater like me. 🙂

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You make a slit down the side of each okra. Your goal for making this cut is to create a pocket inside the okra into which you can stuff a half teaspoon or so of powder. To make my mix, I used 2 tsp mango powder, and one tsp each of chili powder, cumin, and turmeric. Next, you toss the okra in the leftover spices and saute them with some chopped tomato in a hot pan. I sauteed them in some ghee, which is clarified butter. (I can handle ghee since the proteins have been removed.)

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Now, after a super hot meal (I also added some whole dried chiles), I needed something to cool me off. Luckily I had some NadaMoo! in the freezer. Ahh…

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Restaurant: Green in San Antonio

Some people think Texas has no vegetarian scene, what with the BBQ, the prevalence of conservative politics, the oil industry and all that non-Earthy-feel-good type stuff, but Texas has its share of conscious-cooking restaurants. And they’re not all in Austin. Take Green in San Antonio, for example.

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Outside the restaurant, they are growing a wide array of edible plants – kale, cabbage, artichoke, even figs. They serve several types of juices and lots of vegetarian fare. Plus, it’s all Kosher.

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Below: Okay, so hash browns and an omelet aren’t necessarily health food, but even vegetarians want comforting foods when they take a day trip.

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Cooking with Terry Hope Romero and Isa Chandra Moskowitz

Cover of "Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan...

Cover via Amazon

I volunteered to cook for the Texas Veg Fest Friday night and it gave me the opportunity to work with two of the best-known vegan cookbook authors around, Terry Hope Romero and Isa Chandra Moskowitz. I helped make seitan tamales! I made the tomato-chile sauce and I assembled a lot of the tamales. I worked mostly with Terry and she was super cool. Good times. 🙂 I heard about this opportunity from Molly from The Lone Star Plate blog. We met outside Conscious Cravings near UT Austin – how cool is that?

We cooked in an East Austin commercial kitchen along side vegan baker Kristen from Capitol City Bakery (available at the soon-to-open Counter Culture brick-and-mortar location) and Lou (graduate of The Natural Epicurean) and Serafina from gluten-free bakery True Nature’s Child (I wrote about them in one of my first blog posts). Celeste’s Best cookie dough was being made and Sue from Counter Culture was there, too. Everyone was super cool. Apparently there is a tortilla business that operates in the same kitchen, as well. Who knew?

Below: Me with Terry Hope Romero, author of Veganomicon and Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.

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