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Okra Gumbo

When I was a child, my mother never had any trouble convincing me to eat vegetables. Rutabagas, peas, okra, cabbage, turnips, you name it – I loved them all. Okra Gumbo, also sometimes called Vegetable Gumbo or Okra Tomato Gumbo, is a dish from my childhood that I really enjoyed then and still enjoy today. Such a simple dish, but it combines two of my most favorite vegetables (okra and corn). We had it last night for supper and the leftovers were equally delicious warmed up today.

At the restaurant that my family owned when I was growing up (and a lot of other restaurants in our area), okra gumbo was always served as a side dish, but it can also be eaten as a whole meal (which is how we eat it now). It can, of course, be served alongside rice, but I personally love this gumbo with sweet cornbread. The gumbo is better with fresh okra and corn, but it’s still very yummy with frozen vegetables.

4 slices of bacon, cooked (reserve the bacon drippings)
1 small onion, chopped
Frozen cut okra*
Frozen whole kernel corn*
1 Large can of diced tomatoes (undrained)
1 c of water
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
salt, to taste
ground black pepper, to taste
* I didn’t put any amounts for the okra and corn because it’s perfectly fine to use as much or as little of those vegetables as you want, but I usually do one large bag of okra and one large bag of corn. I also sometimes add an extra smaller can of tomatoes.

1) Set aside the cooked bacon until later. In a large pot, saute the onions in the reserved bacon drippings until they become translucent.

Stirring all the veggies together.

2) Then, add in the okra, corn, tomatoes, cayenne pepper, and water. If you need to, you can add a little more water. Allow it to simmer for about thirty minutes or until the vegetables cook down.

3) Season it with salt and black pepper. Just before serving, crumble the bacon and stir it into the gumbo.

Sweet cornbread and okra gumbo. . . Yum.

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