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Roasted okra ‘fries’

25 Oct

Husband and toddler tested… approved! Okra is very nutritious, and roasting is so much easier and better for you than frying it. Score.

500g okra
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)

Rinse the okra then let dry. Trim away the stem ends and the very tips, then place the okra in a large bowl. Toss with the olive oil until coated.

Place on a baking sheet in one layer. Roast in preheated oven at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, shaking the pan every five minutes.

Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Serve hot.


Easy fried okra

24 Sep

I Googled ‘fried okra recipes’ and got a whole bunch of recipes that called for cornmeal, buttermilk, eggs… more hassle than I wanted to deal with. This simple recipe is the way my parents use to make it.


1 lb okra (called gumbo or kandja)
3/4 cup flour
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp Mrs Dash or other similar all-purpose seasoning
oil for frying

Cut off the tops of the okra. Slice in 1/2-inch rounds.


In a large bowl, mix about 3/4 cup flour with about a 1/2 teaspoon of salt and about 20 twists of freshly ground pepper. Okay, maybe a little more. I like it spicy and not too salty. Add the all-purpose seasoning mix. Mix it all together.

Add in the okra slices and toss until all are coated.

Heat a thin layer of oil in a heavy, preferably cast iron, skillet over med-high heat. Once hot, gently add the okra pieces one layer thick. Let cook about 8 minutes or until underside is golden brown. Flip. Keep cooking. Flip. Keep cooking until the edges are browned and the okra is soft.

Dig in – but be careful not to burn your mouth!

Roasted tomatoes

24 Mar

Buy about a kilo of those amazing roma tomatoes that are in season.

Wash and dry them, then slice them in half. Drizzle olive oil in a baking dish. Line the bottom of the baking dish with the tomatoes, sliced-side up.

Peel and slice 3 or 4 garlic cloves and tuck them between the tomatoes. Sprinkle the tomatoes with a bit of salt, or if you want you can put on a dollop of basil pesto.

Bake the tomatoes in a 350-degree oven until they are soft and cooked throughout, which should take at least 30-45 minutes.

Once they’re soft, remove them from the oven and let cool. Eat them straight, chopped over pasta, on bruschetta, in salad…

Naajo average mac-n-cheese

13 Mar

My husband is a fan too!

1 butternut squash (naajo) peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
2 1/2 cups water
1 chicken bouillon cube
1/2 cup milk powder
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of cayenne pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 pound macaroni pasta
3/4 cup grated mimolette, gouda or edam cheese
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
1/3 cup ricotta cheese
2/3 cup chopped fresh spinach or 1/3 cup frozen (thawed)

Combine squash, water, bouillon and milk powder in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until squash is tender when pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Mash contents of saucepan; stir in nutmeg, cayenne, and salt, and season with black pepper. Stir to combine.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add noodles; cook until al dente according to package instructions, about 8 minutes. Drain, and transfer to a large bowl; stir in squash mixture, cheese, ricotta, Parmesan and spinach.

Optional baked variation:

Lightly coat a 9-inch square baking dish (4 inches deep) with cooking spray. Transfer noodle mixture to dish.

Bake in preheated oven at 375° for 20-30 minutes. Serve immediately.

Lait caillé potato salad

11 Jan

3 large potatoes, scrubbed and cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2-3/4 cup lait caillé (or plain yogurt)
1 Tbsp mayonnaise
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp dried sage
1/2 tsp dried tarragon
pinch of salt

Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Cover, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook 6-10 minutes until just softened, but still firm. Drain water and spread potatoes out on a baking sheet to cool.

In a large bowl, mix together remaining ingredients. Taste and adjust as needed.

Once potatoes have stopped steaming, pour them into the bowla nd stir to coat. Chill well before serving.

Kendra’s hummus with roasted eggplant

2 Jan

Here’s the recipe I make every week…and it disappears every week! It’s super cheap and takes 5 minutes and is soooo good. My good friend Kendra gave me the recipe. It pretty much sealed the friendship 🙂

1 large can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
2-4 cloves garlic, crushed (or 1/2 tsp dried garlic)
1/6 cup water
2-4 Tbsp tahini (opt)
1 Tbsp olive oil
pinch salt
Lemon juice – start with 1/2 lemon and add to taste
1 eggplant, roasted and scooped from peel*

Dump. Purée with stick blender/blender/food processor. Dip.

* The eggplant is optional but SO stinkin’ good. It’s so creamy. Just wrap the eggplant in foil (well!) and toss it in the oven the next time you bake something. When it soft, it’s done. Let cool completely in foil, then unwrap and add to hummus.

Tomato, onion & basil salad – made in a bag!

30 Dec

For packing picnics, this is the way to go! Can be made in advance and fits easily in a cooler or bag.

6-8 ripe tomatoes, sliced
2 large onions, sliced thinly
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
freshly ground pepper
salt to taste
snipped fresh basil
large Ziploc bag

Pour olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper into the bag. Add onions. Seal and squish onions around to coat with oil and vinegar.

Add tomatoes and squish around gently until evenly mixed in. Refrigerate 2-3 hours to marinate and chill.

Before serving, add basil and squish around one more time. You’re ready to go!

Roasted butternut squash

26 Dec

1. Rinse squash.

2. Cut in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds.

3. Rub squash lightly with olive oil.

4. Bake at 425° until browned and soft, about 30 minutes.

5. Sprinkle with coarse salt.

Spicy carrot and potato salad with mint

20 Dec

I based this recipe off one from North Africa for spicy carrots. I added potatoes and swapped cumin and curry for the paprika. The result tasted very Indian, which I love.

3-4 medium potatoes, cut into bite-sized cubes
3-4 carrots, sliced into rounds

Boil until just tender, but not soft.

While the potatoes and carrots are cooking, mix together the dressing. Make it to your tastes – just use the ingredients as a guide. Pick one or two spices as the main ones, then use smaller amounts of the others to highlight them. In this case, I used cinnamon and curry as the main flavors.

Start by mixing:
Juice of one lemon
2-3 tsp olive oil
1 tsp sugar (or more)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp curry
pinch salt

Mix and taste. Depending on how fresh your spices are, you may find one dominates the other. Add more of the weaker taste until the balance seems right.

Now highlight the taste by adding:
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
pinch of cloves
more salt if needed

Once the marinade tastes good, toss with the drained carrots and potatoes right away. Let marinate at room temperature a few hours, or refrigerate overnight and bring to room temperature. Snip mint leaves over top, then serve.

Vegetable tian

14 Dec

3 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, sliced thinly
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
2-3 tomatoes
2-3 carrots
2 zucchini

Brush a large baking dish with olive oil. In a medium pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and cook the onions over medium-low heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Spread the mixture on the bottom of the baking dish.

Slice the carrots, zucchini, and tomatoes in 1/4-inch thick slices. Layer them alternately in the dish on top of the onions, fitting them tightly, making only 1 layer. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, thyme and drizzle with 1 more tablespoon of olive oil. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the carrots are tender. Uncover the dish and bake for another 30 minutes until browned. Sprinkle with parmesan before serving.