Eating better and being healthier is all the rage right now, but many individuals have to watch what they eat because of dietary limitations. High on the list are people who have to avoid gluten. Luckily, food options for these folks provides great variety in both savory and sweet, and one food that is mindful of providing top-notch flavor is gluten-free french fried onions. They not only provide a tasty option for those looking to maintain nostalgic recipes, but it gives new life to other recipes.
Here are five recipes that can make this crunchy treat a year-round pantry staple:
Black Bean Stuffed Peppers
- Red bell peppers
- Olive oil
- Diced onion
- Minced garlic
- Chili powder
- Garlic salt
- 15oz can black beans (drain, rinse)
- Chopped cilantro
- Cooked rice
- Shredded Mexican cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove tops from peppers & take out seeds & ribs. Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat then add diced onions. Cook about 5 minutes, then add garlic and cook for one more minute. Add black beans, cumin, chili powder, and garlic salt. Mash up about half of the beans. Add cilantro & salsa and cook for two minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cooked rice. Fill the empty peppers with the mixture and put inside baking dish. Evenly put cheese on the peppers and bake for 30-40 mins until peppers softened and cheese is melted. Add french fried onions on peppers before serving.
Crunchy French Fried Chicken Tenders
- Gluten-free french fried onions
- Gluten-free all-purpose flour
- 1 lb. chicken tenders
- 1 large egg, beaten
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine french fried onions with flour in plastic bag and crush. Put chicken tenders into egg then coat them in the onion/flours mix, and bake for 15 mins. Serve immediately.
Mac and Cheese
- Gluten-free shells pasta (about two cups)
- Skim milk
- Shredded cheese
Rinse/drain pasta and add to a saucepan with milk & salt. Put on medium heat & stir constantly until milk starts to simmer. Turn heat to low. Keep stirring until noodles tender (adding milk if noodles have absorbed all liquid but not tender; be sure a bit of milk left in saucepan to make cheese sauce). Add cheese & stir until smooth (adding splash of milk to help make smooth). Cover pan for 5 mins before serving. Add french fried onions right as you serve.
Artichoke and Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms
- Portobello mushroom caps without stems
- Gluten-free Artichoke Spinach Dip
- Grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Remove gills in mushroom caps and put gills up on parchment-lined baking sheet; add salt & pepper and bake for 20 mins. Take mushrooms out of oven & fill with the dip. Crumble french fried onions over each mushroom. Add thyme & cheese. Put back into oven extra 3-5 mins.
Vegan Green Bean Casserole
- Green beans
- Salt & pepper
- Olive oil
- Minced shallot
- Minced garlic
- Chopped mushrooms
- All-purpose flour
- Vegetable broth
- Unsweetened plain almond milk
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Boil large pot of water and salt well. Add green beans & cook for 5 mins. Drain and put in ice water to stop cooking. Drain ice water and set aside. In oven-safe skillet on medium heat, add olive oil, shallots, and garlic. Add salt & pepper & stir. Cook 2-3 mins. Add mushrooms & add a bit more salt & pepper. Cook for 3-4 mins. Sprinkle in flour and whisk to coat ingredients. Cook for 1 minute, then slowly add vegetable stock. Keep whisking. Add almond milk & keep whisking. Bring to a simmer then reduce heat to low to thicken. Cook for 5-7 mins until thick & bubbly. Remove from heat and add some of the gluten-free french fried onions and all of the cooked green beans. Toss to coat well, and top with remaining french fried onions. Bake in 400 degree oven for 10-15 mins. Serve immediately.
Whether its keeping family traditions alive or taking a courageous step off the edge, gluten-free french fried onions provide tremendous flexibility in the kitchen. More importantly, for those avoiding gluten, it helps make life a little more grounded in the familiar and still leaves room to explore the "awesomeness" that is food!