“You made onion rings!?” Sounds pretty daunting, doesn’t it? Well I assure you it really isn’t! This recipe for healthy baked onion rings is suuuper easy, fun and fast. A completely healthy, dare I say sophisticated way, of serving a normally greasy fast food favorite.
Yes I am talking about Onion Rings on a so called “health blog.”
Homemade Onion Rings to be exact.
In Toronto, there is a glorious vegetarian/vegan restaurant called ‘Fresh.’ I worked as a server there for a couple of years, and I am still
addicted in love with each of their meals. If I could afford spending my pay checks on big bowls of vegetables (cough cough), I’d eat there every day. Expensive? Yes. Worth it? ….Yeeeeah.
While I worked there, they introduced a new item: Quinoa battered Onion Rings. Now, this was when I was – quite unknowingly – falling deeper into my eating disorder. The thought of having an onion ring was not even in the picture. I didn’t try one onion ring while working there… not ONE. Sigh. These are the things that have you look back and make you both sad, and astounded at how you once struggled and the changes you have made.
Needless to say, long after I was no longer working there and began karate-chopping down those fears, I fixed this. I tried a ‘Fresh’ onion ring. And holleeeeey sh*t. I swear the heavens opened up (sorta like my first recovery McDonalds hot fudge sundae… or piece of steak…. mmm ) I digress.
Now, these weren’t your average onion rings – these guys were battered with quinoa puffs. A “healthier” version? Perrrrrhaps. I mean they were still onion rings, deep fried and all, but sure, with added nutrient benefits. Why not.
And the miso gravy. Ooooooh the miso gravy. This was something I didn’t even think I liked while I worked there. I’m not sure why/how that changed, but once I tried that first onion ring and dipped it in the gravy, I knew I had just witnessed a pairing of perfection and glory.
Seeing how I can, in no way, afford to go and get these rings of happiness every time my craving strikes, I figured I should give a hand at making some myself.
I scavenged through a few different recipes, trying a few different strategies, and finally created something that I think, at least, did a pretty darn good job. Not exactly like the Fresh rings, but onion rings nonetheless. And THESE guys I can confidently say ARE a healthier version!
Baked, not fried. Only a couple of ingredients. Sooo inexpensive. And super high in fibre?! Whaaaa!?
And, yes, I had to recreate that beloved miso gravy. Have you ever had miso gravy?? This stuff is vegan and packed solid of vitamin B12 due to the marvelous nutritional yeast, and reap all the bacto-gut benefits of fermented miso. Win win WIN in all directions.
Not to mention, this sauce that can also be used – and highly recommended – on steamed veggies or rice bowls of any kind.
I love A&W. But these guys…. you gotta try em.
Optional additional seasonings: oregano, basic, cayenne (use your imagination!)
Slice onion into thick (approx 3/4 inch) rings
Grind bran cereal in a food processor until nice and crumbly, but not a flour. Transfer to a shallow dish and stir in quinoa puffs, if using, and all seasonings. Pour egg whites into a separate shallow dish. Submerge each onion ring into the egg white bath and then dunk into cereal mixture, moving around to coat completely. Bake on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet at 375F for 20-25 minutes until outsides are crispy and golden. Serve with miso gravy (recipe below)
Makes 2 cups
Combine flour, garlic powder, yeast and stock in a small pot over low heat. Whisk to make a thin paste. Bring to boil, turn down heat and let simmer for 1 minute. Add oil, mustard, miso and salt. Whisk until everything is combined and smooth. **Do not let mixture boil once miso is added (the heat will diminish the health benefits of miso and alter the taste)!!** If too thick, add additional water or stock.