The Flaming Vegan

A Vegan and Vegetarian Blogging Extravaganza

Yes, You Can Indulge in Fresh Fried Foods This Summer!
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Yes, You Can Indulge in Fresh Fried Foods This Summer!

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
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  1. 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.
  2. Add vegetable oil to the skillet or frying pan or again, it is possible to alleviate vegetable oil altogether.
  3. 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.
  4. Mix the cornmeal and flour together on a sheet of parchment paper, plate or other flat surface.
  5. 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.
  6. Dip the vegetables in the cornmeal and flour mixture. You could certainly use one or the other, but I prefer to use a combination.
  7. 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.
  8. Salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Using a spatula turn vegetables when you notice the edges start to turn a golden brown.
  10. 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.
  11. Cover a platter with a paper towel.
  12. Take the vegetables up when the opposite side turns golden brown.
  13. 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

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  1. Carolyn
    P.S.: The calories in fried green tomatoes will vary due to amount of oil used and amount of cornmeal and flour that adheres to the tomatoes. You can vary these amounts according to preference. The key is a hot nonstick skillet, vegetable cooking spray, type and amount of oil and whether or not you choose to dip in almond milk or other milk product first. Oh, and I trust you are good at keeping secrets and that mine will never escape your lips or computer keys! LOL!
    1. pftsusan
      lol. Voted. This is good. Did you see that they put Gordon Ramsey from Hell's Kitchen for your ad? That's hot!
  2. Veganara
    LOL! Thanks so much for this recipe Carolyn, vote no 2. I didn't expect you to share this recipe so quickly, I am certainly impressed by the speed with which you have done it! They look and sound delicious, but as you say, fattening, so good just for the occasional treat.
    1. Carolyn
      Thanks Veganara for the vote! Yes mam, you know us southerners, we'll share recipes but not gossip! "We're just not the gossiping you'd better listen good the first time!"
  3. evalovesbend
    Voted! I love fried veggies:)
    1. Carolyn
      Thanks Evalovesbend! I appreciate the votes and the comment!
  4. Veganara
    Me too, I am a bit too fond of fried food generally! Carolyn shared this recipe in response to a request of mine on her Yellow Squash recipe, which I only commented on yesterday, so she has been really quick off the mark in doing this! Are green tomatoes a special type or are they just tomatoes which haven't ripened? I will look out for them in future.
    1. Carolyn
      Veganara, they are tomatoes that have not ripened. For Bloggers from other Countries: People living in the southern United States are known for eating fried green tomatoes and grits. As a matter of fact, a t-shirt company has taken off with the "grits idea" and developed a line of shirts titled, "girls raised in the south."
  5. dianabart
    This sounds amazing.. I love green tomatoes.. however,I'm not a big fan of vegetable oil or olive oil, my tummy don't agree with too much of them... instead I use coconut oil and grape-seed oil for cooking. I am on a fast right now, but looking forward to tying this recipe! :)voted and tweeted!
    1. Carolyn
      Diana, does the coconut oil or grape-seed oil change the taste? Thanks for the comment, tweet and vote!
  6. Virtually Homemade
    Virtually Homemade
    I am definitely trying these. I've seen a lot of beautiful green heirloom tomatoes at the farmer's market. Love the idea of cornmeal and gluten free flour (I'm gluten free). Voted, congrats on top posts :)
  7. Sheila Ray
    voted - I've never had fried green tomatoes, but I want to try them!
    1. Veganara
      So do I Sheila, after seeing that film Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Cafe (that's what inspired me to ask Carolyn for this recipe!) and especially after reading this! I think Carolyn should open up her own vegan cafe!
  8. BuddhasDelight
    oh yum, we were just talking about these the other day! i have a giant tomato plant right out my window, still nice and greeen! voted! :)


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