Roasted Okra

Okra season is in swing! This makes me happy. According to the Monash University Low Fodmap Diet app, 3 pods of okra are acceptable on a low FODMAP diet. I have no idea what that means because okra pods range in size from tiny to gigantic. I assume that a serving is somewhere in the neighborhood of 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped okra.

The traditional American approach to okra is to either stew it, put it in gumbo, or coat it with cornmeal and fry it. Those can all be good but I am a huge fan of roasting it. It is delicious just tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper. But it can also be tossed with any number of other spices. One of my favorites is chaat masala. The brand I have in my cupboard is Shan and it is a blend of different peppers and spices. It does not contain any garlic or onion.

For roasting, I always buy the smallest okra I can find. I don’t use any that are bigger than my pinky finger.

Olive oil
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425F. Toss okra with just enough olive oil to coat it. Spread it out in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet or in a large, flat bottomed roasting pan. Sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Roast in a hot oven for 15 minutes or until browned in spots. You might want to check it about half way through and give the pan a shake. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with any other spice mixture you might like. Or not. Serve hot.


OMG Blueberry Pie


What a great way to indulge in blueberries. The cookie crumb crust is easy and delicious. I use Mi-Del brand arrowroot cookies; I find them in the health food section of my supermarket. If you are very sensitive to lactose, just leave off the whipped cream. Believe me, the pie is still delicious without it. Or you could try and find a non-dairy whipped topping that you like and can tolerate. Some folks swear by whipped coconut milk but I haven’t tried it.

For the crust
2 cups arrowroot cookies
2 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons melted clarified butter or ghee
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the filling
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoon water
4 cups blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
pinch salt

For serving
lightly sweetened whipped cream or low FODMAP alternative

Make the crust:
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9 inch pie plate. Put the cookies and sugar in a food processor and pulse until you have fine crumbs. Add the melted butter and vanilla and pulse a few times until thoroughly combine. Dump the mixture into the pie plate and pat it out with your hands across the bottom and up the sides. Try to get it as evenly distributed as possible. Bake for 8 – 10 minutes, until it starts to look golden. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

Make the filling:
Dissolve the cornstarch in 2 tablespoons water and set aside. Combine 1/2 cup water, 2 cups blueberries, and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil. As soon as it boils, stir in the cornstarch mixture, lemon juice, and salt. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining blueberries. Pour into the prepared pie shell. Let cool and then refrigerate until cold. Serve with or without whipped cream.

Spicy Slaw

I made the Aloha Skewers the other day, substituting shrimp for chicken. They were fantastic. I served this slaw alongside.

4 cups thinly sliced cabbage (Napa or regular)
1 serrano chile, finely minced
1 bunch scallions, green parts only, chopped
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro

1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Toss together the first four ingredients. To make the dressing, whisk together the next four ingredients in a separate bowl. Combine the dressing with the salad, add a little salt to taste, and let sit 10 minutes before serving.

Blueberry Muffins

Blueberries are in high season; I picked quite a few from bushes I helped plant at our local community garden. They are delicious. This recipe for a gluten free muffin came from a cookbook I have, Gluten Free Every Day. If you have an all-purpose, wheat-free flour that you like, you could probably substitute it without any problems. The muffin batter for this recipe was quite stiff; almost like a drop cookie dough but not quite.

1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup white rice flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons King Arthur Flour cake enhancer (optional)

6 tablespoons clarified butter or ghee, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup milk (lactose-free)
1/4 cup Greek style yogurt
1 large egg
2 cups blueberries

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon clarified butter or ghee, melted

Preheat oven to 400F and line a 12 cup muffin pan with cupcake liners.

Whisk dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl, whisk butter, sugars, milk, yogurt, and egg together until thoroughly combined. Gradually whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Fold in the blueberries. Divide the batter among the 12 muffin cups. Combine the topping ingredients and sprinkle it over the tops of the muffins. Use all of it! Bake the muffins for about 25 – 30 minutes. Let cool in the pan for a few minutes before removing them to a cooling rack.

Aloha Chicken Skewers

I might try substituting shrimp for the chicken in this recipe. I bet it would work well. Store bought teriyaki sauce often contains some FODMAP ingredients. You can easily make your own, leaving out the offenders. Here’s one recipe; just leave out the garlic.

7 cups cold water
1 1/2 cups soy sauce
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons kosher salt

2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into large cubes
1/2 lb thin sliced bacon, pieces halved cross-wise
1 pineapple, peeled, cored, and cubed (I buy it already peeled and cored from the supermarket)
1/2 cup teriyaki sauce (preferably homemade to avoid FODMAP ingredients)

Combine brine ingredients until salt and sugar are thoroughly dissolved. Put the chicken pieces in the brine and refrigerate for an hour. When ready to grill, preheat the grill or light the fire. Remove chicken from brine and pat dry. Roll a half slice of bacon around each piece of chicken. Skewer the chicken pieces alternating with the pineapple pieces. Grill over a hot fire, basting with the teriyaki. Grill time should be about 8 – 10 minutes.