I woke up this morning and began my usual routine, fed the baby, dogs and myself in that order then went for a short walk.  After my walk I sat in my usual spot on the couch and began reading any updates on blogs that I follow when I discovered that I was featured on Ebony Magazine’s online site!  I was of 3 bloggers that were named as the 3 Food Bloggers you must follow.  I’m beyond honored to be featured by a magazine that I’ve read since I was a young girl.   Thanks Ebony!  Between this and the crisp Fall air I was in high spirits for the rest of the day.    

It’s amazing how the weather can affect your mood; once the cool air rolled in I’ve been on a high.  It’s not that I don’t like the warm months, I absolutely love it BUT when Fall rolls around I’m giddy, I get a natural high.   Warm scarves, fluffy sweaters, hot chocolate, crackling fireplaces, all things apples and the approaching holidays makes me one happy gal.   That is until Old Man Winter rolls in and wipes the smile off my face and forces me into hermit mode…but until then I’m about all things Fall. 

Now no one thinks of okra when they think of Fall.   Pumpkin, yes…okra heck no but believe it or not, this is when okra is at its peak.   So why not cook a great gumbo or drop a few in your cook-up?   What’s that you say? You don’t really like okra because it can be slimy?  Here are a few tips to combat the dreaded okra slime.   Try sautéing okra over high heat as I’ve done, or drop it whole in your soup.  Be sure to rinse it whole and pat dry to remove all moisture.    When cooked correctly okra can be quite tasty.   

I made somewhat of a stir-fry with beef and okra.  I say somewhat because I cooked[pressured] the beef until it was tender, then fried then stir-fried the okra and then added the beef in the last 5 minutes of cooking.   I chose to cook it this way as I didn’t want the natural juices from the beef to cause the okra to become slimy.   Hey, it’s not usually how a stir-fry is done but when I cook, I do things that work for me and I believe cooking is about being innovative.   So let’s welcome Fall in an unconventional way…with a plate of okra.

Beef + Okra

 1 ½ lbs sirloin beef, sliced into thinly into 2 inch strips

1 lb okra, cut in half lengthways or crossways into circles (whatever you prefer)

1 whole onion, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, crushed

¼ tsp red pepper flakes

6 sprigs thyme

½ tsp crushed ginger

2 scallions, finely chopped

About 1 tsp salt (adjust according to taste)

2 beef bouillon

4 tbsp canola oil

Mix beef, onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, thyme, ginger, scallion and beef bouillon in a large bowl.   Add 2 tbsp canola oil in a large pot over high heat.  When oil is hot, add beef and allow beef to brown.   Place enough water to cover beef, cover and cook until tender.   Add water as needed to prevent the beef from burning.   To cut down on cooking time, I highly suggest using a pressure cooker at this point.   I used my pressure cooker and it took all of 7 minutes.  When beef is tender, cook until all of the water is gone.    Using a large spoon, remove the beef from the pot and add the remaining 2 tbsp canola oil.  When the oil is hot, add okra and stir-fry for 5 minutes.   Add the beef and salt to the okra and continue to cook for an additional 5-7 minutes.   You can adjust the cooking time based on how you prefer okra, I like mine tender but not mushy.    Serve hot!