Okra and Heirloom Tomato Salad

The Whole30® Program, created by Whole9

I’m in the final week of my first Whole30! To be honest, it hasn’t been all that difficult, and Pre-Made Paleo certainly helped. (Yes, the long-promised review of Premade Paleo meals is still forthcoming.) Possibly because I tried to stay “close” to the paleo lifestyle even after the nutrition challenge, or perhaps because I’ve done the “no-carb” thing (processed carbs really) a couple of times in the past, but I didn’t go through the carb withdrawal or the “carb-flu” that many experience when converting to paleo or doing their first Whole30.

That is not to say these last few weeks have not been without their challenges. Initially, it was figuring out what the heck to eat – particularly when laziness and exhaustion won over the desire to eat something healthy. Lately, I’ve been struggling with “food-boredom.” A-googling I went, and -BEHOLD!- I stumbled across this amazing recipe for an okra and heirloom tomato salad. Not only did it sound yummy and different, the pictures are divine! Really, go, look! I just needed to find some okra.

I lucked out – a few of the vendors at our local farmer’s market had okra this weekend. My picture isn’t nearly as pretty, but here’s how mine turned out

Okra & Heirloom Tomato Salad

 

Now, I’m not a Whole30 expert, and it is possible that frying okra (even in Ghee and using almond flour) may not be in the true spirit of a Whole30. But, I double-checked the rules and even consulted the relatively new “Official Can I Have Guide to the Whole30.” The use of almond flour is permitted for certain uses – such as dredging chicken breasts (it’s not permitted for other uses – such as making pancakes or desserts). So, if you are doing your own Whole30, make your own decision as to whether this is truly within the spirit of the Whole30 rules.

Okra and Heirloom Tomato Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 lb fresh, whole okra – cleaned and end trimmed
  • 2 cups finely ground almond flour
  • 3-4 eggs
  • salt
  • frying oil of choice (ghee or coconut oil if trying to stay paleo)
  • heirloom tomatoes, sliced
  • dressing (chive aioli – see below)
  • fresh basil, chopped

Directions

  1. Heat approximately 3-4 inches of cooking oil in a deep pan (I used a dutch oven).
  2. Set up dredging bowls: use one bowl for the almond flour and another bowl for eggs. Crack eggs and whisk until smooth.
  3. When oil is heated, dredge okra through egg, shake off excess, and quickly roll through almond flour.
  4. Place okra into hot oil.
  5. Cooking time will vary depending upon heat of oil and size of okra. Use a slotted spoon to turn okra and remove from oil when golden brown.
  6. Place cooked okra on paper towels and immediately sprinkle with salt.
  7. Slice tomatoes and stack. Place fried okra around tomatoes.
  8. Add dressing and garnish with fresh basil.

Recipe Notes – Do not overcrowd pan with okra as it will cause the temperature to drop, and the almond flour will absorb the oil – becoming soggy, rather than crisping up

Chive Aioli

  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 tbsp of lukewarm water
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tbsp chives, finely chopped
  • salt

Whisk garlic and egg yolks in bowl. Slowly add olive oil while whisking. If necessary, use lukewarm water to thin the consistency of the aioli. Add lemon juice and salt to taste.

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