Thursday, August 4, 2016

A Take on Indian- Stuffed Okra

Things are moving along, I have been interviewing with families in my area, because my other mommy's helper job will begin to tapper off, I'll still help her and my Indian family client from time to time, but I want a few more hours a week to keep me busy. It's important for the weight loss maintenance, for my bariatric surgery. See an interview I just did on a local VA television station,

But moving on. I've begun playing with food again, healthier options. I cooked for some friends who so graciously let me stay when I'm on book tours with my publishing company. And we share a love for Indian cuisine, but she doesn't have access to the seasonings in her area, a rural farm, so I bring them to her.

Stuffed Okra with squash and onions
Haddock and shrimp with mangos
Boiled potatoes (in veggie stock) and heirloom tomatoes

Okra stuffed with a finely minced ingredients of onion, fresh tomatoes (remove skin and seeds), avocado oil, and a box Indian spice called Tava Fry, something I use for making Bhindi, a chopped Indian Okra dish, sometimes pan sauteed dry with added onion and tomato bits. But this time I wanted to go elaborate. I sliced a portion of the okra, cleaned out half of the seed (slimy part), saved the pieces to cook with bigger sections, and stuffed them by hand, messy but worth it! Your level of spice will depend on how much of the Tava Fry you use. Granite you don't need that box stuff you find in Indian grocers, you can simply use mustard seeds, corriander seeds, or powders, with paprika or chili powder. Make a paste and stuff them, I encourage you to play with the flavors!

Saute in a pan with a bit more avocado oil, or oil of choice, remove onto a plate (drain oil if desired with paper towel), and then saute squash in pan; eventually adding okra back in and adding a bit of stock to steam after you place a lid onto the pan. I used a cast iron skillet.

Fresh Wild Caught Haddock and shrimp:

Season one side of fish and shrimp (after cleaning and drying on plate in fridge for a few hours, maybe afternoon, then seasoning; it helps the fish and shrimp, scallops work well, absorb the seasoning). Lightly add avocado oil and pan saute, once you flip them, add mango, turn off heat, because moisture will collect and continue cooking. Don't over cook this fish or shrimp, fish falls apart, shrimp becomes tough, there is a balance, and if you feel more secure cooking them separately do so. Cilantro for garnish.

Seasoning used was called 'Kitchen King,' Same as Tava Fry, a box seasoning I bring Brenda. No brainer way of making curry flavors.

I won't go into the potatoes too much, just boil till soft, add chopped (seeded and no skin) tomatoes, salt, pepper, and garlic. Something my daughter-in-law makes, and I love a bite or two. It calms the heat from the spices.

All I heard through dinner were these noises, "Ummm, ahhh, wow." I guess it equals to a burp in Asia, which in some of the countries is a compliment! Ha!

Till next time, cook up a storm. Go healthy, organic, local, and homegrown if you can. Practice portion control as I do, if you feel your eating has gotten out of control. I no longer have diabetes or high blood pressure. But follow your doctors orders, I do. I also work with a nutritionist and counselor.