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Lectin-Free Okra Stew with Cabbage Salad

September 30, 2018 (Last Updated: November 25, 2023)
Lectin-Free Okra Stew with Green Cabbage Salad

This simple okra stew without tomatoes, served with a green cabbage salad, makes for an easy, light, but nutritious weeknight dinner.

This meal is packed with nutrients and is Whole30 compliant, low-calorie, lectin-free, and vegan.

Does okra have lectins?

Okra, also called ladies’ fingers, refers to the green seed pods of the Abelmoschus esculentus flowering plant. In the Arab world, okra is a very popular stew ingredient known as bamia.

Okra is, in fact, the fruit of the plant, but compared to other fruits disguised as vegetables (tomatoes, zucchini) which are lectin-heavy, okra has anti-lectin properties. It is the slimy part of okra, the mucilage many don’t like, that makes this fruit so healthy for us.

While most okra is green, there is also a red variety. However, the red color disappears once cooked.

Okra is a lectin-blocker

Often cited as a strong lectin blocker, okra is a source of raw polysaccharide (RPS), a powerful compound that binds to multiple lectins. As a concentrated source of polyphenols, okra extract has been shown to have powerful antioxidant and anti-fatigue properties.

Okra extract is found in lectin-block supplements, like this Lectin Shield from GundryMD.

Ingredients for a simple okra stew without tomatoes

Use a vegetable stock if you want this dish to be vegan.

FOR THE OKRA STEW:

  • 1 qt fresh okra (about 1 kg), washed and dried
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons organic Hungarian paprika
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup stock (chicken or vegetable)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • extra virgin olive oil

FOR THE CABBAGE SALAD:

  • 1/2 green cabbage head, finely shredded
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • extra virgin olive oil to taste
  • apple cider vinegar to taste

How to make lectin-free okra stew and cabbage salad

TO MAKE THE OKRA STEW:

  • Remove the okra stems and chop them into about 1/2-inch pieces.
  • Heat the olive oil in a stew pot or deep pan, add the chopped red onion, and sautee on medium heat until translucent and fragrant.
  • Add the chopped okra, chopped garlic, paprika, cumin, coriander, and bay leaf.
  • Cook for about 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Start adding the stock bit by bit, and continue stirring and cooking on low to medium heat, for about 30 more minutes, until you added all stock and the okra is cooked.

TO MAKE THE CABBAGE SALAD:

  • Finely slice the cabbage, add salt and massage it with your hands until moisture is released.
  • Add extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and pepper.
  • Taste while you season. I like the salad to taste more on the sour side, but it’s not everyone’s taste. Adjust seasoning to your liking.

While humble looking and so simple, this meal provides many important nutrients (see nutritional profile below the recipe card).

A healthier gumbo recipe

One of my favorite ways to eat okra is in gumbo. But classic gumbo is not exactly a gut-friendly meal, especially if made with roux and vegetable oils.

Try this lighter, lectin-free version of gumbo, but still very delicious and satisfying: Seafood and Okra Gumbo with Sorghum.

This post contains affiliated links, which means I get a small commission if you choose to purchase something via one of my links, at no extra cost to you.

Lectin-Free Okra Stew with Cabbage Salad

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By Claudia Curici Serves: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 30-40 minutes

This simple okra stew without tomatoes, served with a green cabbage salad, makes for an easy, light, but nutritious weeknight dinner. This meal is packed with nutrients and is Whole30 compliant, low-calorie, lectin-free, and vegan.

Ingredients

  • FOR THE OKRA STEW
  • 1 qt fresh okra (about 1 kg), washed and dried
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons organic Hungarian paprika
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup stock (chicken or vegetable)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • FOR THE CABBAGE SALAD:
  • 1/2 green cabbage head, finely shredded
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • extra virgin olive oil to taste
  • apple cider vinegar to taste

Instructions

1

TO MAKE THE OKRA STEW: Remove the okra stems and chop them into about 1/2-inch pieces. Heat the olive oil in a stew pot or deep pan, add the chopped red onion, and sautee on medium heat until translucent and fragrant. Add the chopped okra, chopped garlic, paprika, cumin, coriander, and bay leaf. Cook for about 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Start adding the stock bit by bit, and continue stirring and cooking on low to medium heat, for about 30 more minutes, until you added all stock and the okra is cooked.

2

TO MAKE THE CABBAGE SALAD: Finely slice the cabbage, add salt and massage it with your hands until moisture is released. Add extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and pepper. Taste while you season. I like the salad to taste more on the sour side, but it's not everyone's taste. Adjust seasoning to your liking.

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