Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Simple, Healthy Sides- Okra and Tomatoes and Green Beans with Turkey Bacon

I made these two side dishes this week after a trip to our local Agricenter produce market. They had really fresh okra, heirloom tomatoes and green beans, so I was inspired to make these recipes. The okra and tomatoes I served alongside grilled chicken breast, sauteed corn that I cut off the cob and seasoned with salt, pepper and butter and brown rice pilaf seasoned with sauteed onions, garlic, parsley and chicken broth. I served the green beans with mashed potatoes (I also bought my potatoes at the produce market and they were AWESOME) and steaks that I seasoned with salt pepper and grill seasoning and grilled outside. Yummy dinners!

Southern Okra and Tomatoes
3 cups sliced okra
1 tbsp salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion diced
1 small bell pepper diced
1 large tomato or 2 medium tomatoes diced
1 garlic clove minced
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp flour
1 tbsp butter
salt and pepper

Boil the sliced okra in salted water for 10 minutes. Drain well and set aside.

Sautee the onion and bell pepper in oil until tender. Add the garlic. Sautee for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add the okra and season with salt, pepper, flour, butter and sugar (you could also season with cajun seasoning for a little kick). Simmer for 10 minutes and serve.

My Green Beans with Bacon
3 cups fresh green beans, stems removed
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp butter
1 small onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 slices turkey bacon (or you can use regular bacon if you wish)
1 tbsp water (or more if needed, to deglaze the pan)
salt and pepper to taste

Steam green beans in a steamer basket or in a saucepan with a small amount of water at the bottom (you have to use a lid). Drain and set aside. Sautee the onion in the butter and olive oil until tender and just beginning to brown. Add the bacon. Sautee until it begins to brown. Add the garlic and cook about a minute longer. Stir in the green beans and the water, scrapping off the the browned bits at the bottom of the pan. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

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