Monday, July 8, 2013

There's a Fire in My Kitchen

Nope, I am not even kidding: something's burning!  Summertime living has long been my laziest food prep season of the year and with good reason: the ingredient selection this time of year is so fresh, and the flavors so vibrant, that I don't have to spend tons of time cooking most meals to achieve fantastic results. 
It's hot out and I've stopped using my oven.  Between the grill, the crockpot, picnicking and outdoor gatherings, there's been no need to use my oven for weeks now.  In fact, the last time I used my oven was on Father's Day to make a blueberry buckle; which must've boiled over because there's smoke coming from my preheating oven at this very moment.
What's the cause for the smoke?  Today I am making roasted okra to be used as a TV magic swap-out on tonight's Healthy Living on the Go, a local TV project I've been working on with the Wicomico County Health Department and our local Public Access Station, PAC-14.
Okra is one of those love it or leave it foods that people are typically strongly opinionated about.  This Tart loves nothing more than a challenge and I am often serving up trays food items to people that they never thought they'd like but end up falling in love with.  This okra dish is one that's fun because it's a snacky finger food that is tasty.  Plus, it bears no resemblance to the slimy stewed okra or breaded and deep fried stuff that most people imagine.  What I really like about it is it's nutrient profile, which boasts being high in fiber, Vitamin C (160%), calcium (37%) and iron (25%) to name a few.  If you really want to look and feel your best, getting your nutrients through highly nutritious food is the way to go.  It keeps the fire of inflammation out of the body, decreasing the likelihood of chronic disease and the need to exist on a cocktail of medications. 
Make the food real, and keep it fun!