Southern Dinner

Mashed Potatoes, Fried Okra, Collard Greens, Skilet Cornbread

This meal kind of blew up on me. At first I was like, oh, we have some okra! I should make fried okra. Then,  gee, wouldn’t mashed potatoes be nice with that? And then I had to make gravy, too. What about cornbread? That sounds nice! But, oh, I need more greens. I guess I need to make collards, as well!

See what I mean? Blew right up.

While not one of my healthier meals, it was downright delicious. The fried okra was really fun, especially because I had never had it before. It was quite easy to make, but boy did it fry for much longer than I expected! I thought it’d be done in 3-4 minutes, but I left it in for probably 10, maybe 15, and it was perfect that way.

Fried Okra
Serves 3-4 side dishes

3 Cups Chopped Okra, frozen or fresh (I used frozen)
1/2 Cup Old Fashioned Cornmeal
2 tsp Old Bay
2 tsp Soymilk
All Purpose Flour
Peanut Oil for frying (or other high heat oil)

Heat 1/4″ to 1/2″ oil in a large skillet, I used my cast-iron pan. Mix cornmeal and Old Bay together. Defrost or slice your okra (1/2″ pieces) and place in a large bowl. Toss with soymilk. The okra should get kind of sticky, but the you shouldn’t have a pool of soymilk at the bottom. Drain it out if you do.

Add cornmeal mixture to okra and toss. If still moist, add all purpose flour by the tablespoon full until each piece is coated and relatively dry. Remove one piece of okra and put it in the oil to test the temperature. It should bubble up immediately, but not go totally crazy and begin to scorch. Adjust heat accordingly.

CAREFULLY dump all the okra into your oil, being careful not to splatter hot oil everywhere. DO NOT TOUCH or mix it for a few minutes. Then, gently turn over the pieces. All sides should be brown, and it should be very crispy. You can test the okra by removing one piece. Mine took about 10-15 minutes.

Remove and drain on a paper towel. Serve immediately, with ketchup if desired!


  1. Amber

    I grew up in south Georgia and we used to have fried okra all the time. I have never made it myself, you’ve inspired me to try!

  2. Crystal

    I’m in the south and you get a Tx-sized approval.

    Fried okra and corn bread..and those taters are some of my fav’s. It reminds me of being home.
    Ah women and comfort food.

  3. Gabrielle

    I’ve lived in Georgia almost all my 46 years, and I’ve eaten a LOT of fried okra. Never vegan though – this recipe sounds good.

  4. Rachel

    This all looks delicious! Are we going to get any other recipes from this dinner, or are those for the book/zine? I’d love to make that cornbread.

  5. Lolo

    Glad to see some southerner’s approve! Thanks everyone!

    Rachel – The cornbread was good, but it wasn’t great. Once I get a recipe I really love I’ll be sure to let you know if it’s going on the blog or in the book!

  6. Kimberlee/Saabisu

    I’d be curious to see your refrigerator, if you can just come up with those sorts of ingredients on short notice.

  7. Pingback: midwest neurotica | recipes » Southern Dinner
  8. bethie

    yes, this georgia gal approves! personally, i like roasted brussel sprouts, sprinkle with some balsamic vinegar, evoo, whatever dried spices you like, a couple of tsps of brown sugar, and throw them in the toaster oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. i didn’t think this up, ironically it came from george duran’s ‘ham on the street’ show, but he does have some good veggie recipes at times

  9. Lyra

    This looks perfect except for one thing: where the heck are the black eyed peas? Makes it the complete southern vegan meal and adds some protein to that plate:) I love black eyed peas, they have such a delicious flavour, melt in your mouth texture and lots of history. In Georgia, where my grandma is from, you cook black eyed peas on New Years day to bring in a good year. Usually served with rice, collard greens and a ham hock, but you can always leave out the ham:)

  10. Elise

    Lolo! You are just genius, woman. I’m having carnivores over tomorrow for dinner and I’m going to cook all of this up. I’m a Texas girl born and raised and this is my kind of dinner! I would have never thought to whip up this exact combination, though. My mom makes “smothered” okra, which involves a similar recipe, but you put it in the oven instead….for anyone who’s trying to keep away from the frying pan.

    Your blog inspires me to get into the kitchen. I can’t wait for your cookbook!

  11. Carah

    Did you make the gravy on the mashed potatoes? Or did you find a vegan brown gravy. I have been looking everywhere for a decent recipe and feel like I’m getting nowhere. Thanks :]

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