Isa Chandra Moskowitz originally achieved fame for her best-selling cookbooks, Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, Veganomicon, and Vegan with a Vengeance. But she isn’t one to slow down, and has continued to release several more popular titles, including the resolution-worthy collection, Appetite for Reduction: 125 Fast & Filling Low-Fat Vegan Recipes. This book may have been written to help Isa counteract years of cupcake and cookie testing, but the recipes hit on the core of what we all know we should be doing, eating more vegetables. And if that includes baked vegan onion rings, well, who am I to argue?
Note: This recipe for baked vegan onion rings was originally shared here on Go Dairy Free in 2011 (with permissions), but it was hidden in our News section! I’m updating it and moving it into our Recipe section.
At first I was a bit surprised that there weren’t sections for snacks or sweets in Appetite for Reduction … but I guess Isa has those areas covered in her other cookbooks. This collection is all about light meals, and is a completely savory endeavor. Though low-fat isn’t my personal health goal, I greatly appreciate that this cookbook is quite low in sugar overall. Of course, die hard sweet tooth that I am, I went for the Sweet & Salty Maple Carrots first. They actually turned out not too sweet and not too salty, but in fact tasted like very fresh and bright carrots with a hint of what tasted like natural sweetness. But in actuality, most of the recipes are completely sugar-free or very low in sugars (perhaps even sweetened simply by fruit). Anyone who has already inhaled a lifetime’s worth of vegan sweets and processed foods, or who is interested in the vegan diet for health reasons, will probably love Appetite for Reduction.
To give you a sampling of what’s inside, these are the recipes I bookmarked to make:
- Pad Thai Salad with Peanut-Lime Dragon Dressing
- Caesar Salad with Eggplant Bacon
- Silky Chickpea Gravy
- Brussel Sprout-Potato Hash
- Eggplant Dengaku
- Sweet & Salty Maple Carrots
- Lettuce Wraps with Hoisin Mustard Tofu
- Pasta con Broccoli
- Lasagna with Roasted Cauliflower Ricotta and Spinach
- Smoky Split Pea Soup
- Thai Roasted Root Vegetables Curry
- Sweet Potato Drop Biscuits
- and the fabulous recipe below for OMG Oven Baked Vegan Onion Rings, which Isa was kind enough to share!
For those with other dietary concerns, there is a full index of gluten-free recipes in Appetite for Reduction, in addition to indexes for recipes under 30 minutes (for those in a hurry), and recipes with downtime (for those who work at home or are busy working on chores).
Special Diet Notes: Baked Vegan Onion Rings
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan / plant-based, and vegetarian.
For nut-free baked vegan onion rings, simply substitute your nut-free milk beverage of choice for the almond milk beverage.
- 2 vidalia onions (about a pound), or other sweet onion like Walla Walla
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons non-GMO cornstarch
- 1 cup cold unsweetened almond milk beverage
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Cooking spray
- Slice onions into ¾ inch thick rings. Separate the rings and place in a bowl. Cover with a kitchen towel or something, to keep the onioniness out of your eyes.
- Preheat oven to 450ºF. Line a rimmed 12×18 baking sheet with parchment paper, spray with cooking spray.
- Now you’ll need two bowls for batter and breading. If you’ve got large, wide cereal bowls that’ll do the trick. In one bowl, dump in the flour and cornstarch. Add about half of the almond milk and stir vigorously with a fork to dissolve. Add the rest of the almond milk and the apple cider vinegar, and stir to incorporate.
- In the other bowl, mix together the bread crumbs and salt. Drizzle in the oil and use your fingertips to mix it up well.
- Get a conveyor belt going. From left to right, have the onions, the flour mixture, the breadcrumbs mixture and lastly the baking sheet. Dip each onion slice into the the flour, letting the excess drip off. Transfer to the breadcrumbs bowl and use the other hand to sprinkle a handful of breadcrumbs over the onion, to coat completely. This may take a bit of practice. Carefully transfer each onion to a single layer on the baking sheet. Make sure you use one hand for the wet batter and the other for the dry batter, or you’ll end up with club hand.
- Spray rings lightly with cooking spray and bake for 8 minutes. Flip, and bake another 6 minutes. Rings should be varying shades of brown and crisp. Taste one to check for doneness. Serve as soon as possible. With ketchup if you must.