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These homemade falafel made with canned chickpeas, onion, and fresh herbs are easy, delicious, and healthy. The mix can be made ahead of time, and the patties cook up quickly in a frying pan with a little oil or baked in the oven. Adjust the red pepper to taste: even 1/4 tsp was fairly spicy to me.

1 15 ounce can garbanzo beans
1 small onion, finely chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
pepper to taste

Serve with: pita bread, cucumber, hummus, lemon-yogurt sauce, lettuce and tomato

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans. Put in a medium sized bowl and smash with a fork. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Form into small balls, about 1 1/2″ in diameter and slightly flatten.

To bake: Place onto an oiled baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes on each side, until nicely browned (since it's baked, only the part actually touching the pan will be browned and crispy).

To saute: Heat 1 tsp. olive oil in a large frying pan over med-high heat. Add falafel, cook until brown and crisp on both sides.

Makes about 18 patties.

Original recipe


One of Daniel's easy improvised recipes. Comfort food fast and simple.

1 small onion, chopped
1 package portobello mushroom caps, chopped
1/2 lb. ground beef
2 cans diced tomatoes with oregano
2 boxes wild rice mix (Uncle Ben's)
Italian seasoning
Cook rice according to directions. Meanwhile saute onion and mushrooms a few minutes until soft. Add beef and cook until browned. Add canned tomatoes, simmer until rice is done. Add rice, mix, and serve.

This easy homemade hummus has a slightly sweet, almost Asian flavor from orange juice, rice vinegar, and soy sauce. Goes really well with homemade pretzels.

1/4  cup  parsley leaves
2  tablespoons  chopped onion
1  garlic clove
1/4  cup  orange juice
2  tablespoons  tahini (sesame seed paste)
2  tablespoons  rice vinegar
2  teaspoons  low-sodium soy sauce
1  teaspoon  Dijon mustard
1/4  teaspoon  salt
1/4  teaspoon  ground ginger
1/2  teaspoon  ground coriander
1/4  teaspoon  ground turmeric
1/2-1  teaspoon  ground cumin
1/4  teaspoon  paprika
1  (15-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained

Drop parsley, onion, and garlic through food chute with food processor on, and process until minced. Add orange juice and remaining ingredients, and process until smooth. Serve with pita triangles or pretzels.

Makes 1 3/4 cups (serving size: 1 tablespoon)
Calories:
21 (3% from fat)
Fat:
0.7g (sat 0.1g,mono 0.2g,poly 0.3g)
Original recipe

Cooking the rice in broth with sauteed onion gives it a rich, almost risotto-like flavor. Shelled edamame and sesame oil lend an Asian flair.

1 cup black or brown rice
1 white or yellow onion, diced
2 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 cup chicken broth*
1 package edamame in shells
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbs soy sauce
Heat vegetable oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add rice and cook for 1 minute.
Pour chicken broth over top and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for 20-30 minutes.
5 minutes before the timer goes off, cook edamame according to directions, shell.
In a small bowl, combine sesame oil and soy sauce. Pour the oil and soy sauce over edamame. Add to rice or serve on the side.

Original recipe

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A fresh tasting pasta salad with roasted southwestern flavors. Double the dressing to add a bit more flavor. Add chopped cooked chicken or steak for a full meal.

2  poblano peppers
2  red bell peppers
2  ears shucked corn
4  cups  hot cooked penne (about 8 ounces uncooked pasta)
2  cups  halved grape tomatoes
1  cup  finely chopped onion (optional)
1/4  cup  chopped fresh cilantro
1  chopped peeled avocado
3/4  cup  (3 ounces) queso fresco
Dressing:
2-4  tablespoons  fresh lime juice
1-2  tablespoon  extra virgin olive oil
1  teaspoon  salt
1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
1/2  teaspoon  ground cumin
1  garlic clove, minced

Preheat broiler.

Cut poblano and bell peppers in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand. Add corn to baking sheet. Broil 18 minutes or until peppers are blackened and corn is lightly browned, turning corn occasionally. Place peppers in a zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 10 minutes. Peel and coarsely chop. Cut kernels from ears of corn.

Combine juice, oil, salt, black pepper, cumin, and garlic in a large bowl; stir. Add peppers, corn, pasta, and remaining ingredients except cheese; toss. Top with cheese.

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 cup pasta and 1 1/2 tablespoons cheese)
Calories: 234 (29% from fat)
Fat: 7.5g (sat 1.6g,mono 4.1g,poly 1g)
Original recipe

I'd never had South African food until a few weeks ago at my cousin's rehearsal dinner at 10 Degrees South in Atlanta. The chicken curry was some of the best I've had, slightly sweet, topped with a bananas, onion, and tomato chutney, and sprinkled with shredded coconut. Looking for something similar, I came across this on Tastespotting. The meatballs are lemony, slightly sweet, and full of curried flavor. They are tender and fall apart rather easily, so add a beaten egg if you want a more traditional meatball texture. The banana relish is good, but needs tomatoes and coconut. I think I would try an apple-based chutney next time.

1 lb good quality ground beef
2 large slices of bread, cubed fairly small
1/2 medium onion grated
1/2-3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
zest and juice of a lemon
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp coriander
chopped cilantro (optional)
1/4 c. dried currants or raisins (optional)
milk
vegetable oil
Soak the bread in milk. When the bread is completely drenched, squeeze out the liquid and mix with all the other ingredients. Form meatballs and fry in vegetable oil until cooked.

Banana-Onion Relish
2 large onions - peeled and sliced thinly
1/2-1 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1-2 tsp sugar
vegetable oil
salt/pepper
2-3 bananas - peeled and sliced
Heat the oil in a pan and saute the onions with the curry powder and the turmeric. The onions must be soft, but still holds its texture. Add the sugar and the vinegar and let the relish cook until the liquid is all gone. Should take 1-2 minutes. Taste and season. Add the sliced bananas and let it just stand for a while so that the flavors can infuse the bananas. Do not cook the bananas.

Original recipe

Hearty Cajun flavored rice dish, with turkey kielbasa, dark meat chicken, olives, peas, green peppers, and onion.

 2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
8 ounces turkey kielbasa, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 cups long-grain parboiled rice (such as Uncle Ben's)
2 teaspoons olive oil
8 ounces skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup frozen green peas
1/4 cup sliced pitted stuffed manzanilla (or green) olives
1 tablespoon bottled minced garlic
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp oregano
1 tsp Cajun seasoning

Combine the first 3 ingredients in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Stir in rice. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand for 5 minutes.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add chicken pieces; cook 2 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Add onion and bell pepper; sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Stir in peas, sliced olives, and garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add rice mixture; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated, stirring constantly.

4 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups)
Calories: 428 (24% from fat)
Fat: 11.5g (sat 2.6g,mono 5.4g,poly 2.4g)
Original recipe

Sauteed tofu gets more of a fish style preparation with fresh, tangy Mediterranean flavors: tomatoes, green olives, basil, oregano, bay, and marjoram. Don't skip the pickle juice, it sounds weird, but adds a vinegary tang that makes the whole dish work.

1 14oz package of extra firm tofu.
1 lime, juiced
2 teaspoons butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
4 large tomatoes, blanched, peeled and chopped (or a 28 oz can of diced tomatoes)
2 tablespoons liquid from a jar of sweet pickles
10 fresh basil leaves, chiffonaded
2 tablespoons fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 green olives, pitted
Slice the tofu into four slabs and pat dry. Lay them on a plate and cover with the lime juice.
Heat the oil in a pan and add the onions. Saute for 5 minutes on medium-low.
Add the garlic and saute for 3 minutes more.
Add the tomatoes, turn the heat up a little and saute for 15 minutes, stirring often
Add the pickle juice, herbs, salt, and olives, saute for another 10 minutes or until most of the liquid is cooked off.
Remove the bay leaf.
In another pan, melt the butter on medium to medium high heat.
Add the tofu and fry for 3 minutes on each side.
Remove from pan and top with the Veracruz sauce.

Original recipe
These Turkish-style meatballs are uniquely flavored with mint, cumin, and a little cinnamon, served in pitas with tomato and plain yogurt. They can be made from ground lamb, beef, or a combination.

1/2 cup prechopped white onion
1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1 pound lean ground round
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
Cooking spray
8 (1/4-inch-thick) slices plum tomato (about 2 tomatoes)
4 (6-inch) pitas, split
1/4 cup plain yogurt
lemon juice
Preheat broiler.

Combine first 12 ingredients in a large bowl; stir until just combined. Divide mixture into 8 equal portions; shape each portion into a (2-inch) patty. Place patties on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Broil 4 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Place 1 tomato slice and 1 patty in each pita half; top each half with 1 1/2 teaspoons yogurt and lemon juice.

Original recipe


This chicken dish is highly spiced with coriander, cumin, paprika, and cinnamon, and slightly sweet from a little brown sugar and a lot of chopped dates. Starts out on the stove & finishes in the oven.

Chicken:
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
8 chicken thighs (about 2 pounds), skinned
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/4 cups shallots or sweet onions, peeled and quartered
1 1/4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth, divided
12 whole pitted dates, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
Couscous:
3/4 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 cup uncooked couscous
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted

Preheat oven to 375°.

To prepare chicken, combine first 9 ingredients in a shallow dish. Dredge chicken in flour mixture. Reserve remaining flour mixture.

Heat oil in a large ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 3 minutes on one side. Turn chicken; remove skillet from heat. Combine reserved flour mixture and shallots; add to skillet. Stir in 1/4 cup broth and dates. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until chicken is done.

Remove chicken from skillet. Place skillet over medium heat; stir in 1 cup broth. Cook 1 minute; stir in cilantro. Return chicken to pan. Cover; remove pan from heat.

To prepare couscous, combine 3/4 cup broth, water, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon cumin in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Stir in couscous. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Stir in almonds. Serve with chicken and sauce.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 thighs, 1/4 cup sauce, and 3/4 cup couscous)
Nutritional Information
Calories: 590 (24% from fat)
Fat: 15.9g (sat 3g,mono 7.2g,poly 3.3g)
Original recipe
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