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I love onions

February 17, 2008 - Kathie Evanoff
“I don't like shoes that pinch your toes, Or people who squirt you with a garden hose, But, mmm, I love onions.”

Susan Christie sang it proud when she recorded this song in 1966, and I have to agree with her sentiment.

You may have noticed that I often have onions on my sandwiches, in my stir-fries and just about everywhere else I can manage to get them.

About the only time I didn’t love onions was during those awkward teenage years when you want boys to notice you’re alive and without onion breath. But that was a lie. I still loved onions, even when I wasn’t eating them.

As a child, I would pull young, tender scallions from my parents gardens and line them neatly between two slices of white bread with mayonnaise. It was my favorite summer lunch. I do admit; however, that I was never fond of the little pearl onions that my mother would put in with her creamed potatoes. I would leave the onions behind when my parents weren’t looking. I also don’t like onions on pizza, but otherwise, I can tolerate them pretty much every other way.

I enjoy growing onions in my garden. Large bulb onions, if started from seed, must be started now. Otherwise, you will have to buy the onion sets available all spring. I always buy the sets, unless there is a particular onion variety I want besides the usual red, white and yellow. I still plant rows of scallions and baby leeks because they can handle a shorter growing season than full size leeks, although I’ve grown those as well.

Onions are nutrient rich. One-half cup of chopped onions has 30 calories with no fat, cholesterol or sodium. That same half-cup of chopped onion will give you 1 gram of fiber, 16 mgs. calcium, 15 mgs. folic acid, 126 mgs. potassium and 1 gram of protein.

Don’t use this information as permission to run out to your favorite steakhouse and order a deep fried onion with all the fixin’s. Those are deadly heart-attacks on a plate. But don’t be afraid to chop a bit of onion in your salad, grill a few rings for your next burger or create am onion teriyaki marinade for your next stir-fry.

If you have to be around other people, carry a pack of gum or a tin of breath mints, so as not to offend, but by all means, eat your onions.

Saturday was a busy day at home catching up on housework that was neglected during the work week. Floors needed scrubbed and laundry had piled up. Before I started my day; however, I needed some fuel. Unfortunately, I was out of bananas, but I remembered a container of fresh blueberries, so that accompanied my cereal, walnuts and fat-free milk.

Lunch was a whole-wheat roll filled with a turkey burger, provolone cheese and those wonderful grilled onions. I had a bit of spinach left, so that went on as well.

By mid-afternoon, I was getting hungry again, so I had a small whole-wheat bagel with one tablespoon peanut butter and one tablespoon fruit spread with a cup of tea.

My husband wanted a simply pasta dinner, but I knew I needed some extra vegetables. He had a chicken cutlet with melted provalone cheese with his spaghetti and marinara sauce, but I passed on the chicken and instead had a cup of mixed vegetables with beans on my whole-wheat penne pasta.


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Breakfast: 1 ½ ounces grains; ½ cup fruit; 1 cup milk; ½ ounces meat; ½ tsp. oils (30 discretionary calories (tea with sugar)