If you're apprehensive about trying okra, consider giving this dish a go! Okra, cherry tomatoes, and pecans are stir-fried together with lots of bright spices to create a delicious, vibrant, and healthy dish. No sliminess in the texture here, just amazing flavor!

Southern Okra, Pecan, and Cherry Tomato Stir-Fry [Vegan]

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Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup tamari or low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon mirin
  • Dash red pepper flakes
  • Dash ground black pepper
  • About 15 green or purple okra pods, sliced in half lengthwise
  • Vegetable broth for sautéing
  • 1 small red onion, sliced into thin half moons
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup toasted chopped pecans
  • Generous handful Thai basil, chopped (some leaves left whole for garnish, if desired)
  • Steamed brown rice
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Preparation

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. When it's good and hot, add a light spritz of cooking spray to the entire surface of the pan. Lower the heat a little and add the okra – putting the cut sides down. You want to sear those first and fast.
  2. Let the slices brown (but take care not to burn). This should take 4-5 minutes. Carefully flip the slices and lightly brown the other side. This will happen faster on this side so watch closely.
  3. Remove the okra from the pan and set aside. Carefully wipe out any remaining oil and put the pan back on the heat. Add a generous splash of vegetable broth or water and add the onions. Sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for an additional minute.
  4. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook for a few minutes - you want them heated through and softened, but not bursting. Now, turn off the heat and stir in the tamara-vinegar mixture and the Thai basil. Stir to coat the veggies.
  5. Divide up some brown rice between two deep bowls. Divide the okra mixture between the bowls and top with the toasted pecans and additional Thai basil, if desired. Serve immediately.
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