Friday, June 8, 2012

Veggie of the Week: Onions

Onions are native to Asia and the Middle East and have been grown for thousands of years. They were popular in Egypt, being used as currency and as gifts placed in tombs, including King Tutankhamen's. Poor people throughout the world often used the inexpensive vegetable to add flavor to a meal, thanks to its pungency. Christopher Columbus is credited for bringing onions to the West Indies and their cultivation spread throughout the Western Hemisphere.

Onions are high in vitamin C and fiber and are low in calories. Onions can do a lot to help your body including bone support, especially for post-menopausal women, connective tissue and anti-inflammatory benefits, and protection against cancer. Moderate onion intake (3 to 5 servings per week) has proven to reduce the risk of colorectal, ovarian, and laryngeal cancer. Onion is not as well researched in humans as it is in animals, but animal studies have also shown that onions decrease blood sugar levels and prevents blood platelet clotting and bacterial infections. Moderate to daily intake of onions is necessary for all healthy results along with a balanced diet.

Three Onion Potato Casserole

Recipe courtesy Rosalie Rubaum from
Prep time: 15 min.   Cook time: 1 hr.   


2 large packages Hashbrown Potato patties (8) defrosted and broken apart in large mixing bowl
1 can cream of chicken soup or cream of celery (for kosher)
1 large bunch green onions, chopped
1/4 c. chopped onions
1/2 c. Dijon mustard
2 c. sour cream
1/2 c. milk (nonfat)
1 to 2 c. cheddar or Jack cheese (for spicy, use jalapeno jack)
1 small can French Fried Onions, for topping


Mix all ingredients together, except the fried onions. Put into deep casserole. Top with onions. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 1 hour until golden on top. Can be made ahead a couple of days. Do not bake until ready to use. Can also be frozen.

  • ADDENDUM TO THREE ONION POTATO CASSEROLE: To make hash-brown potatoes from scratch:
    Rinse potatoes. Peel potatoes and shred. Soak in water for at least a 1/2 hour to remove starch. Saute drained potatoes in butter or oil until cooked to the 3/4 point Set aside.
    Resume with regular recipe preparation.

    Baked Sweet Onions

    Prep time: 5 min.   Cook time: 2 hr.   Serves: 4


    4 large sweet onions peeled
    Coarse salt and coarsely-ground pepper to taste
    4 tsp. butter
    Traditional Aceto Balsamico (aged Balsamic Vinegear), optional


    Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Place onions into a baking dish with approximately 1 inch of water. Bake, uncovered, 2 hours or until onions are soft when you squeeze them.
    Remove from oven and place onto a cutting board; pull back brown skins and cut them off at the roots. Transfer onto a serving platter and season each with salt, pepper and 1 teaspoon butter.

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