"Better-Than-French-Fries" Spicy Roasted Okra

Do you tend to crave savory/salty foods more than sweet foods? 

We could not be more different - I'm a sweet tooth girl all the way - BUT, I think I may have something you can add to your craving-slaying repertoire that won't set you back the way a bag of chips or a basket of french fries will.

The next time you get a craving for something kind of salty and savory - give this Spicy Roasted Okra a go. 

Okra has been a serious addiction in this family since we moved to North Carolina in 2013. My husband - a New Yorker who grew up in the Bronx and on Long Island - had never had okra until he moved to the South. And he's been all "Hey babe - is it okra season yet?" ever since. 

I never ate it much because it seemed like fried okra was the only option where I grew up (South Carolina.) Not my style.

It wasn't until moving back to the South with my husband and discovering it's like his favorite thing in the whole world (besides me!) that I realized how awesome this veggie is. 

Okra is insanely good for you and you can do SO many things with it: pickle it, roast it, grill it, or toss it into soups and stews for a natural thickener. 

I know. I know what you're thinking: "What's with the slime though!?"

Little tip: more cuts in the okra = more slime, so we're leaving the pods almost whole in this recipe. Just chop the tops off and that alone will minimize the slime.

P.S. Maybe learn to embrace the slime a little though, okay? It's excellent for your digestive tract:) 

A whole cup of okra barely cracks 30 calories and has trace amounts of fat, 2 grams of protein, and only 7.5 grams of carbs (3+ of which are from fiber.) Load up on the okra - so long as it's not fried. 

Just call me Kill-Joy here, dumping all over the South and its love of fried vegetables, but I'm sorry. Battering and deep frying veggies CANCELS THEM OUT. Nice try, guys;) 

Try this instead! Toss with a little olive oil and spices and roast the heck out of them on very high heat. Once you try eating okra this way, I dare you to eat just one! 


Serves 2-3 (it really depends on how much you like okra)

INGREDIENTS

1 lb. fresh okra, washed and dried, tops removed - slice lengthwise in half, or cut into 2" pieces 

2 tsp. olive oil

1/2 tsp. smoked paprika

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp. ground coriander

1/4 tsp. ground cumin

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. 

2. Place the prepped okra in a bowl and add olive oil. Toss with your hands to evenly distribute the oil and set aside.

3. In a small bowl, combine spice mixture: smoked paprika, salt, cayenne, coriander and cumin. Stir to combine and then add it to the okra. Toss the okra again with tongs or clean hands.

4. Place the spiced okra on a rimmed baking sheet making sure the okra is in a single layer. The more space between the pieces of okra the better, as it allows for more even roasting and crispier okra! Place in pre-heated oven and set a timer for 6 minutes. 

5. Turn the okra with a spatula and roast for 6 minutes longer.

Serve immediately. 

PIN IT NOW! 

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