Growing up a Jets fan (I know, I know), I’ve been programmed to hate the Patriots. And since moving to Boston, I’ve had a good time watching Pats games and hoping for New England loss. But now that the Pats are out too, the fun is over. So, of course, I look forward to the food. Super Bowl food is notoriously unhealthy, so every year I challenge myself to make healthy game day food that actually tastes good. Usually, this doesn’t mean making food that is a low-calorie version of something else; it means making something that is inherently healthy and delicious as is (think pastured bacon wrapped dates).
But after having onion rings at our new burger place this weekend, Josh suggested I try a lightened up, gluten-free and vegan version for Sunday. And this recipe fits the bill.
WHY THEY’RE HEALTHY //Almonds are probably the healthiest all around nut, about 60% fat and 20% protein. They are very high in vitamin E and contain some B vitamins. Calcium is also found in high amounts. Brown rice contains thiamine, biotin, niacin, pyridoxine and pantothenic and folic acids. Magnesium, manganese, potassium, zinc and iron are all found in good amounts. If grown in selenium rich soil, rice is very rich in this scare trace mineral. Cayenne pepper gets its heat from a substance called capsaicin, which has been studied for its pain-reducing effects and cardiovascular benefits. Cayenne pepper is also a very good source of vitamin A through its concentration of beta-carotene. Beta-carotene has been known to reduce symptoms of asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. //
These onion rings aren’t just good for you; they’re crunchy, flavorful and addictive. Serve with ketchup, our Best Quick Tomato Sauce or Vegan Ranch Dressing and enjoy the game while nourishing your body.
- 1 medium onion, sliced into ¼ inch rings
- 2 cups non-dairy milk
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
- ½ cup raw unsalted almonds
- 1 cup puffed brown rice (I like this brand)
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- olive oil spray (I used my Misto)
- Make the vegan buttermilk by combining the non-dairy milk with the apple cider vinegar.
- Place the onion slices in a bowl, pour the buttermilk over the top and let them soak for 1-2 hours, refrigerated.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a high speed blender (like a Vitamix) or food processor, blend the puffed rice until a fine flour is formed and set aside in a bowl.
- Add the almonds to the blender and blend until a rather fine meal is formed, being careful not to over blend.
- Add almond meal to the puffed rice powder and mix in salt, pepper, garlic powder and cayenne pepper.
- Divide the crumb mixture in half, reserving the second half for the second tray, which will help avoid too much clumping.
- Dip each soaked onion ring into the crumb mixture to coat well and place on baking trays.
- Lightly spray with olive oil.
- Bake 12-15 minutes or until golden brown and serve immediately.
- Serve with ketchup, Best Quick Tomato Sauce or Vegan Ranch Dressing.