Easy Oil-Free Sauteed Okra (Quick, Healthy, Vegan Recipe)

Okra is one of those vegetables that pops up in a CSA or at the farmer’s market and you’re lost on what to do.  The trick is not to overcook it or it can be slimy.  This quick, easy recipe makes a delicious side dish.  Toss with whole wheat pasta for a satisfying dinner or enjoy cold leftovers tossed with cannellini beans for a gluten-free lunch.

EASY             Servings: 4                   Ready In: 20 minutes

 Easy Oil-Free Sauteed Okra - Healthy, Plant-Based, Vegan Side Dish

Easy Oil-Free Sauteed Okra - Healthy, Plant-Based, Vegan Side Dish

 Fresh Okra at the Austin, Texas Farmer's Market

Fresh Okra at the Austin, Texas Farmer's Market

 Chef's Tip for Flavor:  Cut the okra in half length-wise for beautiful, large pieces.  This will give help retain some of the crisp texture of the okra, without letting it get too slimy

Chef's Tip for Flavor:  Cut the okra in half length-wise for beautiful, large pieces.  This will give help retain some of the crisp texture of the okra, without letting it get too slimy

 Chef's Herb Tip:  I used fresh basil for this recipe, but you can use whatever fresh herbs you have on hand.  Parsley, cilantro, thyme, and tarragon all add healthy, bright flavor

Chef's Herb Tip:  I used fresh basil for this recipe, but you can use whatever fresh herbs you have on hand.  Parsley, cilantro, thyme, and tarragon all add healthy, bright flavor

Ingredients

1 sweet onion
2 cloves garlic
4 cups whole okra (about 1 pound)
1 pint cherry tomatoes
2 tbsp. fresh basil (or other herbs like parsley, cilantro, thyme, or tarragon)*


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Procedure

To Oil-Free Saute the Okra:  In a wide pan, heat ½ cup of water over high heat until simmering.  Peel and thinly slice the onion.  Add the sliced onion and saute 7-8 minutes, until soft.  Chop the garlic.  Halve the okra lengthwise.  Add the garlic and okra to the pan with the onion.  Saute over high heat, stirring often, until the okra is tender but still bright green.  It should take about 5-7 minutes for this to happen.

Halve the cherry tomatoes and roughly chop the herbs.  After the okra becomes tender, add the tomatoes and herbs.  Cook another 1-2 minutes, just until the tomato are warm and starting to break down.  Remove from the heat and serve immediately.


* Chef’s Herb Tip:  Use up whatever fresh herbs you have on hand.  Parsley, cilantro, basil, thyme, and tarragon are all delicious.  You can even throw in some diced jalapeno pepper for an extra kick.

** Chef’s Steam Saute Tip:  If the pan becomes too dry and the veggies start to burn, simply add a little bit more water (about 2 tablespoons is just right).  If there’s still a lot of water left in the pan at the end of cooking, crank up the heat and stir continuously.  This will help the excess water steam off while also intensifying the flavor.

This recipe was based off of the Food Network's Okra with Tomatoes.  Their recipe uses oil, but I'm on a mission to get rid of empty calories...oil-free cooking is where it's at!
 


Step-by-Step Photos:

Nutrition Facts

Serving size: 1/4 of a recipe (9.5 ounces).

Calories 78.03
Calories From Fat (5%) 4
% Daily Value
Total Fat 0.49g <1%
Saturated Fat 0.03g <1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 20.86mg <1%
Potassium 575.97mg 16%
Total Carbohydrates 17.76g 6%
Fiber 4.8g 19%
Sugar 8.21g
Protein 3.33g 7%
Calcium 38.28mg 4%
Iron 109.8mg 610%
Vitamin A 860.02IU 17%
Vitamin C 14.81mg 25%