Stewed Okra, Corn and Tomatoes

A full-flavored vegetable dish.

Originally brought by African slaves to the American South, okra is now a staple in many Southern dishes. Slow cooking accentuates its viscous texture, which makes it a useful addition to stews such as gumbo, where that texture acts as a thickener.

But okra prepared with a quicker-cook method, such as this healthy recipe, retains much of the vegetable’s fresh, crisp texture. Those who think they don’t like okra because it's too “slimy” need to give this recipe a try.

Make it in summer when all the ingredients are at their peak at the farmers' market. The great flavors in this dish make it a pleasure to eat your vegetables. And the reduced-fat bacon crumbled on top isn’t bad either!

Stewed Okra, Corn and Tomatoes

Makes 4 to 6 servings**
3 PointsPlus® values per serving
Adapted from B. Smith Cooks Southern-Style (Scribner, 2009)

Ingredients

  • 1 lb fresh okra
  • 4 strips reduced-fat bacon, diced**
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 2 cups fresh corn, or frozen corn, thawed and drained
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and sliced
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth or stock, or water
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Rinse okra, trim away stems, and slice each pod crosswise into about 1/2-inch pieces. Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet or large pot over medium-high heat, fry bacon for about 5 to 6 minutes, until crisp and brown. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon from skillet, leaving bacon fat in pan. Drain cooked bacon on paper towels and set aside.
  3. Add garlic, onion and bell pepper to skillet and reduce heat to medium. Sauté, stirring frequently, for about 2 to 3 minutes, until vegetables are soft.
  4. Add okra, corn and bay leaf to skillet. Cover skillet and reduce heat to low. Cook gently, stirring from time to time, for about 3 to 4 minutes.
  5. Add tomatoes and vegetable broth or water to skillet. Cook for about 10 minutes, or longer if you prefer okra to be softer. Remove bay leaf and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately, garnished with reserved crumbled bacon pieces.
Notes from B. Smith
This stew is easy to make and takes very little time to prepare, so I like to put it on the menu when I’m shopping for fresh produce and find fresh okra, corn on the cob and large ripe tomatoes. Garnish with crumbled bacon and serve with warm cornbread fresh from the oven.

**Notes from Weightwatchers.com
When calculating the PointsPlus values for this recipe, we used reduced-fat bacon, and we based it on 6 servings.

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