Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Chef's Tip: Sweet Onions Add Flavor And Nutrition While Saving You Bread

(NAPSI)-Stretching your food dollars doesn't have to mean abandoning flavor. That means you can still enjoy cool-weather favorites such as luscious stews, roasted chickens, succulent pot roasts and more, while cutting costs.

The key? Stock up on affordable, hearty root vegetables that add flavor, nutrition and value to the dishes you serve-ingredients that I call "superfoods."

For instance, take the sweet onion. It's even better for you than a normal onion, and, as any chef will tell you, a sweet onion is the ultimate in savory flavor. Plus, adding one jumbo OSO sweet onion-a type of onion grown in the mineral-rich mountains of Chile-can add two vegetable portions to a tuna casserole or your favorite Crock-Pot dish.

Maybe just as important, though, these mildly flavored sweet onions won't make you cry when you cut them and have a longer shelf life than their traditional counterparts. That means putting an end to tossing unused onions that have sprouted green shoots.

Also, anyone with a sensitive stomach will be happy to know that because of their low acid content, sweet onions will not upset your stomach like regular onions.

Cooking With Onions

Add a slice of sweet onion to a sandwich, grilled cheese or hamburger and you'll be instantly eating better. You can also sauté them and add the onions to the mac and cheese you feed your kids to boost flavor and nutritional content, or even toss them in with some canned veggies to help fight off cancer and heart disease.

The possibilities are endless because the onion is used in more cuisines than any other vegetable in the world. Try this delicious dish made with savory sweet onions:

Maple-Balsamic Chicken Thighs

1 OSO Sweet Onion

Vegetable oil spray

6 chicken thighs

Salt and pepper

¼ cup olive oil

½ cup maple syrup

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoons Italian seasoning

Remove skin from onion and cut into 6 slices. Arrange flat in a 13 x 9-inch baking pan and spray with vegetable oil spray. Place each thigh on top of an onion slice. Generously sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix remaining ingredients and generously brush each thigh/onion combo, covering as much of the chicken and onion as possible. Roast at 400º F in middle of oven for 15 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 350º F and roast 30 minutes, basting with pan juices 2 or 3 times.

For more recipes and information, visit the Web site

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