Do you ever wonder why so many of our recipes here at Spend Smart. Eat Smart. have onions in them? Just last week I shared our August recipe of the month, Cool Cucumber Salad, which is another recipe with onions in it. Below I share my top three reasons for including onions in recipes and my top three onion-containing recipes.
I include onions in recipes because:
Onions add flavor. Cooked or raw, onions add flavor to recipes without adding salt or special ingredients.
Onions are inexpensive and available year-round. Since they are easy to store, onions can be found at a reasonable price any time of year.
Onions freeze well. I do not enjoy the tears that come with chopping onions, but I do like that I can chop a large amount of onions at one time and store them in the freezer. Then, when I need onions for a recipe, I just reach into my freezer and dump in some onions.
Cowboy Caviar – The flavor and crunch of a fresh onion is a perfect complement to the milder beans and corn in this recipe.
Here at Spend Smart. Eat Smart. we think onions are a pretty great vegetable and we encourage you to try using one in your cooking this week. If you would like to know more about how to chop an onion, check out the short video above.
When the weather gets hot, I rarely feel like cooking a meal. I want to be able to reach into my refrigerator for something that will cool me off and fill me up. Our August recipe of the month is Cool Cucumber Salad and it is a cool recipe for a hot summer day.
The base for this recipe is chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions. Stir in some feta cheese, oil, lemon juice, and ground black pepper and you have a side dish or a whole meal. I like to let this salad cool in the refrigerator for a few hours before eating it to let the flavors come together. I also tend to have more cucumbers than the recipe calls for, so I double or triple this recipe depending on how many cucumbers I have. This recipe can be stored in the refrigerator for up to four days.
The three vegetables in this recipe are currently in season so they are plentiful in gardens, farmers markets, and stores. If you have a lot of any of these vegetables, check out our produce basics below for information on how to store, clean, and use them.
Do not forget about potatoes when you are looking for a healthy and cheap meal that will fill you up. I especially like baked and roasted potatoes and try to cook extra so I have a good start for another meal later in the week.
This month’s featured recipe is Loaded Potato Soup. When you use already-cooked potatoes, you can have this soup on the table in less than 15 minutes. The recipe calls for peas, but you can substitute other frozen vegetables such as corn, broccoli or mixed vegetables.
The key to this soup and other great potatoes is to BAKE them. Do not steam them by wrapping them in foil to bake in the oven or paper towels in the microwave. Check out our video for step by step directions for the Best Baked Potatoes.
The Healthy Hash Browns recipe calls for Best Baked Potatoes, because one secret to great hash browns is starting with great baked potatoes. We do this by baking the potatoes, unwrapped, at a high temperature. (Save the foil for another recipe!)
You can keep baked potatoes for up to three days. Make sure you let them cool, then place them in a plastic bag and refrigerate. (If you put them in hot, they will sweat in the bag. Soggy is not good. Dry is not either, so do use the bag.)
TIP – Keep baked potatoes in mind when you already have your oven heated to 425°F. You’ll save energy if you do not heat your oven just for the potatoes.
In fact, you can do even more than make hash browns with your extra baked potatoes…
Add to scrambled eggs with some diced ham and fresh spinach for a yummy egg dish