Vegan Onion Rings and New Years Resolutions

Happy 2012!

Yeah, I know. I’m a week late and I haven’t blogged in a while. BUT, luckily for you I’m back in Bloomington with high-speed internet and so much to blog about!

Let’s talk New Years resolutions. Right before the New Year, I read the book Food Rules: An Eater’s Manuel, written by Michael Pollan. I absolutely loved this book! Not just because it was a super short, easy read, but because I read it and actually thought about what I was reading. The book basically outlines some key rules to changing your diet in order to eat healthier, less-processed food. Rules that I brought to 2012 with me:

  1. Cook (This should be easy).
  2. Don’t eat anything with ingredients a third grader couldn’t pronounce.
  3. Eat sitting at a table (and no, a desk is not a table).
  4. Finally, don’t take the rules too seriously.

Basically, my goal is to read more food labels and think about what I’m eating.

Vegan Basked Onion Rings

Crispy, Juicy, what more could you ask for?

I spent New Year’s Eve in Nashville and New Year’s day in Mississippi, for those of you who were wondering. Cory’s mom gave me fresh pecans picked by Cory’s Brother’s Roommate’s Mom (what a long line of relationships)!

Now onto the good stuff: ONION RINGS!

I know you’re thinking, “But Jamie, what about all those encouraging things you just said!” Don’t worry! These onion rings aren’t greasy, fried, or anything close to it!

For Christmas, my lovely parents got me three cookbooks (amongst other things including all 6 seasons of Lost, my favorite show ever), Cory’s parents got me a cookbook, and I borrowed a cookbook from Cory! I immediately started thinking of all the wonderful food I could make for all the great people in my life!

After reviewing Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s OMG Oven-Baked Onion Rings (featured in Appetite For Reduction) and Lindsay S. Nixon’s Baked Onion Rings (featured in The Happy Herbivore), I decided to do a combination of both recipes to make up for ingredients I didn’t have/for the sake of experimenting. Here’s what I came up with!

THE RECIPE ACCORDING TO THE HEARTY HERBIVORE

Ingredients

1 medium-sized Vidalia onion (I was only cooking for one person)*
1 c Whole Wheat Breadcrumbs*
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 cup cold almond milk* (or non-dairy milk)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper*

Homegrown Pecans

These are the greatest...ever.

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Slice onion(s) into 3/4-inch-thick rings. Separate rings and place medium to large sized rings in a bowl. Cover with a kitchen towel, to keep your eyes from watering.*

Use two bowls: one for the batter and one for the breading.

For Batter:

Sift together flower and cornstarch.

Add half of the almond milk and stir vigorously with a fork, until dissolved. Mix in the rest of the almond milk and apple cider vinegar. Set aside.

For Breading:

Mix together bread crumbs salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper.*

Drizzle in the oil and use your fingers to mix well.*

Making the rings:

With one hand, dip each ring into the flour mixture, then let the excess mixture drip off the ring.

Transfer ring to the breading and use other hand to sprinkle the ring with the breadcrumb mixture, coating it completely.*

Transfer completed ring to baking sheet and repeat. Spray the rings lightly with non-stick cooking spray.

Bake for about 8 minutes.

Flip rings and bake for another 7 minutes.*

THE HEARTY HERBIVORE’S COMMENTS

Ingredients

*It’s necessary to use sweet onions in this recipe according to Appetite for Reduction. She says the texture won’t be as juicy otherwise. Another sweet onion option is Walla Walla.

*To make your own bread crumbs, Place a ripped up piece of wheat bread into a food processor. Process until crumbs form, then on a baking sheet, toast the crumbs at 250 degrees, moving them around on the baking sheet occasionally (The Happy Herbivore).

*Both of these recipes called for almond milk, but we didn’t have any! :( I used coconut milk. They were still great!

*Cayenne pepper was just something I added to make the onion rings a bit more spicy. I’m always in the mood for spicy food!

Comfort Food

Onions. My Favorite.

Directions

*I put the smaller rings in a bag and used them on a sandwich later. They’re too hard to handle when they’re tiny!
*After I made the breading, I realized I could use some more. I eventually made another batch.
*It’s important to only add as much oil necessary for the mixture to have a bit of stickiness. You don’t want the bread crumbs to come together to form a giant ball of breading.
*I cannot express to you how important it is to use two hands when battering and breading. I think that’s part of the reason I had to make two batches of breading. When the breading gets wet, it clumps together to form a giant ball of bread. Not appetizing in the least. Try your hardest to keep the mixtures separated.
*After you flip the rings, it may be necessary to bake them longer than 7 minutes. Some will be crispy, some won’t be. It depends on the thickness of the onion and how much breading is on the ring.
Cookbooks

Can you guess which one Cory's parents got me?! I'll be a Southerner in no time!

THE REVIEW

I’m usually not a fan of fried onion rings. Primarily because whenever I bite into an onion ring, the entire onion comes out and I’m stuck with a handful of fried bread. Weird. These, on the other hand, were nothing like that! That’s because they were baked, not fried, and the breading on my rings was very thin. Another thing I liked about these were that the onion was still juicy and flavorful. I think I’ll be making these again this weekend, along with some vegetarian Skyline Chili Coneys! Boy, do I miss Skyline Chili’s Vegetarian Black Bean Burritos. Yum…Cincinnati.
BEST PART OF THE RECIPE
So my dad has accidentally eaten vegan food once in his life. He ate a veggie dog I had in the fridge because he thought it was a regular hotdog. He didn’t even know the difference, ha! Well, he ate vegan food again! I told him to try and onion ring, and he did. He even said he liked them! I didn’t tell him they were vegan, partially because most people don’t think of onion rings being not vegan. But still, it was a winning moment for me.
Finally, I got to try not one, but two of my new cookbooks! I also tried a recipe out of each of my other books, but more more to come on that later this week!
Happy New Year!
Jamie
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5 thoughts on “Vegan Onion Rings and New Years Resolutions

  1. 3 times your dad ate vegie food. I always tell him my Vegetarian Chili is bean soup and he eats it:) Check out the Quinoa Vegie Burgers on Canyoustayfordinner if you don’t already get that one.

  2. Pingback: Skyline Time « The Hearty Herbivore

  3. Pingback: Happy 100th! | The Hearty Herbivore

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