Onions: The onion, also known as the bulb onion or common onion, is used as a vegetable and is the most widely cultivated species of the genus Allium. 1 medium onion = 44 calories.



Healthy Onion Rings by Sally’s Baking Addiction


2 large sweet onions, cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 quart (950ml) low fat buttermilk*
4 egg whites
2/3 cup (85g) whole wheat flour (or all-purpose)
3/4 cup (125g) ground cornmeal
1 cup (60g) panko bread crumbs*
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
nonstick spray like PAM, olive oil spray, or coconut oil spray (found mine at Trader Joes)


At least 4 hours ahead of time, place the sliced onion rings into a large dish and pour buttermilk overtop. You don’t have to drown the onions, just make sure they are somewhat submerged. Cover tightly and store in the refrigerator. See my photo above. In this step, you are soaking the onions, which will tenderize them. I strongly suggest soaking them for at least 12 hours for the best taste. I soaked mine overnight.

Once the onions have soaked, remove from the refrigerator. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 425F degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites. Set aside. In a large shallow dish (I used a pie dish), mix the whole wheat flour, cornmeal, bread crumbs, and the seasonings together until combined.

Remove each ring from the buttermilk and dip in egg whites. Immediately submerge in the bread crumb mixture, mixing around to coat the onion well. If the bread crumbs won’t adhere, dip in egg whites and then the breading again. If you find you need more breading, make more.

Lay each breaded ring on the baking sheets in a single layer. You’ll have two batches if your onions were quite large like mine. When all the rings are breaded, spray each with nonstick spray to “seal” the breading, which will prevent the breading from staying raw and allows it to bake onto the onion rings.

Bake each batch for 15 minutes, remove from the oven and flip each ring using tongs. Spray the other side with nonstick spray. Then bake for 15 more minutes. A note about bake time: all ovens are different! And everyone likes a different level of crispiness. I baked my onion rings in my oven for 30 minutes, rotating and flipping once, and they were perfectly brown and crisp. Just bake the rings until they reach your desired level of brownness.

Allow the onion rings to sit out for 10 minutes before digging in. Enjoy immediately.


peppers_0Peppers: I wrote last month about the bell pepper. This month I am choosing the Chili pepper.

The chili pepper is the fruit of plants from the genus Capsicum, members of the nightshade family, Solanaceae. In Britain, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India, and other Asian countries, the word “pepper” is usually omitted. 1/2 cup = 30 calories.


Chili Pepper Pancakes – From Chili Pepper Madness


2 tablespoons chili powder
½ cup olive oil
1 cup milk
1-1/3 cup flour
2 eggs, separated
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder


Beat egg whites until still and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat egg yolks with sugar and salt.
Add baking powder and mix.
Add flour, milk, oil, and chili powder. Beat until well mixed but still slightly lumpy. Feel free to add in more chili powder if desired to taste.
Add egg whites and fold in gently.
Heat a large pan to medium heat and add a couple of teaspoons with a bit of olive oil to pan      per pancake.
Cook about 2-3 minutes, or until sides are bubbling. Flip and cook another 30-60 seconds, or until pancake is cooked through.
Finish the remainder of the pancakes and serve!

Makes about 6-8 pancakes. These go great with jalapeno jelly.


persimmonsPersimmons: Persimmons are the edible fruit of a number of species of trees in the genus Diospyros. Diospyros is in the family Ebenaceae. The most widely cultivated species is the Asian persimmon, Diospyros kaki. 1 fruit = 32 calories.


persimmon_cookiesPersimmon Cookies – by Two Peas & Their Pod

Yield: 3 dozen cookies

Cook Time: 12-14 minutes


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup persimmon pulp (from 2-3 persimmons)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional, we omitted)
1 cup raisins

For the orange glaze:
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon orange zest

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Set aside.

3. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter with the sugar. Beat in persimmon pulp, egg, and vanilla. Slowly add in the flour mixture until everything is combined. Fold in the walnuts, if using, and raisins.

4. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for approximately 12-14 minutes or until cookies are brown around the edges and set. Let cool on baking sheets for five minutes and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

5. To make the orange glaze, in a medium bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar, orange juice, and zest together. Whisk until smooth. Dip the cookie tops into the glaze and twirl the cookie. Set cookies back on wire rack for glaze to harden.