Possible Second Title: "Yes, We Do Eat Fried Green Tomatoes in the South and Other Delicious Fried Vegetables!" Fried okra, green tomatoes and squash are wonderful side dishes southerners love to cook during the summer, but they can sure pack on the pounds! There is a way to reduce the calorie count in fried foods this summer. It is not necessary to use a wet batter or deep-fry your vegetables. Use the leaner method to prepare your favorites with only 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and a vegetable cooking spray, no milk or milk product and no eggs. It is possible to alleviate the vegetable oil all together for an even leaner version.
Information on Green Tomatoes:
(Just wanted to add this bit of information for those of you that have never eaten fried green tomatoes.) One cup of green tomatoes contains only 41 calories before frying. Green tomatoes are high in vitamin C! Be sure to select home-grown tomatoes or purchase fresh from a farmer's market for best taste. I think you will agree, something wonderful happens to the taste of green tomatoes when cooked!
- Okra, green tomatoes, or squash
- ¼ cup cornmeal
- ¼ cup flour (gluten-free variety is fine)
- 1/4 cup almond milk (optional)
- Vegetable cooking spray
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- Preheat nonstick electric skillet or nonstick frying pan, as this is key to frying the vegetables without using a lot of oil. The oil can really add on the calories.
- Add vegetable oil to the skillet or frying pan or again, it is possible to alleviate vegetable oil altogether.
- Wash vegetables, cut off ends and slice okra, green tomatoes or squash. Do not pat vegetables dry as the water will hold the cornmeal and flour mixture.
- Mix the cornmeal and flour together on a sheet of parchment paper, plate or other flat surface.
- Dip the vegetables in the almond milk before the cornmeal and flour mixture for a thicker cornmeal and flour coating; however, to reduce calories, alleviate the milk dip altogether. Without the milk dip, less cornmeal and flour will adhere to the vegetables.
- Dip the vegetables in the cornmeal and flour mixture. You could certainly use one or the other, but I prefer to use a combination.
- Spray the electric skillet or nonstick frying pan just before placing the vegetables in the pan. Otherwise the cooking spray will turn brown rather quickly.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Using a spatula turn vegetables when you notice the edges start to turn a golden brown.
- If you chose to alleviate vegetable oil, it may be necessary to spray the pan with vegetable cooking spray again as you turn the vegetables.
- Cover a platter with a paper towel.
- Take the vegetables up when the opposite side turns golden brown.
- Unplug electric skillet or remove nonstick frying pan from heat source.
Fried vegetables should be served hot or at least warm, although I have eaten left over fried green tomatoes straight from the refrigerator, but don't tell anyone! This will just be a secret between the two of us...okay?
Royalty-free photo courtesy of myrecipes.com.