I do believe that I promised y'all some “Vidalia Onion Casserole” goodness a little while back….and I’m finally going to deliver!
Now this obsession-o-mine all started one Sunday afternoon when someone posted on Twitter that they were "so thankful for the ladies church for making Vidalia Onion Casserole"….and my mouth began to water.
So I immediately googled “Vidalia Onion Casserole” and discovered a veritable cornucopia of recipes for “Vidalia Onion Casserole” I chose this particular recipe because it looked like it would be the easiest to prepare, and was easily adaptable to my stupid diet restrictions…humph!
I have taken a few lessons from Barb, and will be posting my own “healthier version” of this recipe in tutorial form…with pictures! Now, you can use the original recipe at the link above if you like, but if you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or you know, chronic kidney disease...you're welcome to try out my version! :)
When I was touring with “The Trinity Singers” to try to recruit students and funds for my college, I had the privilege of tasting the renowned Vidalia Onion at a Baptist church somewhere in Georgia, and so I knew that it was a larger, sweeter variety of onion. Therefore, when I went to my local H.E.B. and didn’t find any Vidalia Onions, I decided that “Texas Sweet Onions” would work just fine…and they do.
Since I did need to alter the recipe to accommodate my low-sodium, practically-no-dairy, low-fat diet, AND since I didn’t use Vidalia Onions, I’ve decided just to rename this recipe completely, and I call it:
4 large Texas Sweet Onions
1 sleeve of “Ritz ‘Hint of Salt’ Crackers” ( real life saver for the low-sodium dieter!)
¼ cup (½ stick) of “Smart Balance 50/50 Butter” (all the butter flavor without all the fat and cholesterol!
2 tablespoons of Coconut Oil (it has less of the "bad" fats, and more of the "good" ones, plus it has a nice sweet flavor)
Grated Parmesan Cheese
“Butter Flavored Crisco Cooking Spray” (or whatever non-stick spray you prefer)
Slice onions thin (I cut my onions into fourths before slicing so I had smaller pieces….just my preference)
Add butter, coconut oil, and onions in a large saucepan and saute over high heat until onions are translucent, soft, and just starting to brown. (Normally, I just use my 14” skillet, but I had loaned it to my neighbor for the evening. J ) This will take about 20-25 minutes…generally.
Crush the crackers until they resemble coarse bread crumbs. (I used a Ziploc bag and a rolling pin the first time I made this, but I used my food processor this time!)
Spray a 2 quart Casserole Dish with non-stick cooking spray.
When your onions are ready, add ½ of them to the bottom of the casserole dish.
Top with ½ of the cracker crumbs, and lightly sprinkle a layer of Parmesan cheese over the crackers. (Because I can’t have much cheese, I just used the Kraft version in the shaker, but I am willing to bet that if you can eat cheese, that REAL GRATED PARMESAN would be amazing!)
Now add another layer of onions, crackers, and Parmesan cheese and bake at 350 for about 25 minutes or until the cheese is brown and toasty! I put the Cooking Spray and Parmesan in this picture because I forgot them in the ingredient photo, and I didn't want them to be left out. :)
Now, this dish is categorized as a side-dish, but at our house, we tend to use it more as a condiment. J
We put it on top of pork chops, steak, meatloaf, and on this particular evening, on baked chicken. YUM!
As you can probably guess, there is a lot of casserole left over when it is only used as a condiment…and THAT is all part of my plan people. For the next week, I will enjoy the leftovers in various forms. Of course, if there is any chicken left, there’s that, but I also top my Spanish beef and rice dish with it...
...and my FAV is to make a plain baked potato and put a healthy helping of the casserole on top and stir it all together. It totally makes up for not being able to eat a loaded baked potato (no sour cream, no cheese, no bacon…you get the point).
So there you have it, my latest culinary discovery! If you decide to try it, please come back and leave me a comment... especially if you come up with something else I can eat with it! :)