Lazy cooking for the onion-impaired
August 4, 2013 2:46 PM   Subscribe

Groceryfilter: quick pre-packaged dinners/sauces that don't contain onions?

Inspired by my grocery no longer carrying my go-to for like 1-3 meals a week (this, if you're curious).

So these two things conflict more than you'd think:

1. Some nights I'm just too lazy to make myself a real dinner and too cheap to get takeout, and it'd be awesome if I could just open a packet of noodles or whatever. Yeah, yeah, not the healthiest thing in the world, but everyone does it.

2. Onions make me sick to my stomach. Raw or cooked, only difference is how quickly the hell happens. At restaurants my policy is don't ask, don't tell (although when I get sick afterward I can usually figure out what I ate after the fact), but if it's right there on the label the psychosomatic effect alone is enough to put me off. (Garlic is fine, thank God, as long as it isn't raw or minced or too much of it.)

I've read the other questions on this (surprisingly popular!) issue but they all seem to be geared at recipes. What I'm looking for is packaged stuff -- things where you can open a package or jar and maaaybe dump a can of chickpeas or something in and have dinner. But enough of these have onions so when I find one without it's like striking gold. Any recommendations? (Cheap is good. Relatively healthy is good. Non-sucky is preferred.)
posted by dekathelon to Food & Drink (8 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Frozen tortellini takes only as long as a small pot of water takes to boil. Once it floats, it's done. Drain, add a small can of tomato sauce and some parmasan cheese. Or just butter and cheese. If you're feeling fancy, nuke some frozen peas or spinach or just throw some in with the pasta. Way filling stuff.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 3:08 PM on August 4, 2013

Tandoor Chef has ingredients for all their stuff on their website. It looks like the Palak Paneer, Chicken Curry and Pad Thais (chicken and veg) don't have onions. (It's pretty common for Indian food to not have onions, which is why I checked there. They tend not to be cheap, though.)

La Victoria's red enchilada sauces don't have onions (but green does). I used to make enchiladas when I got home late quite regularly. If you buy pre-shredded cheese, it's turn on the oven, open some beans (or not), get the cheese, combine in tortillas, dump sauce on and stick in the oven. Target brand red enchilada sauce has onion powder (I just checked).

If you ever feel ambitious on the weekends, making your own frozen burritos is pretty easy.

If you have a Trader Joe's near you, they have similar curry sauces, though you'd have to read the ingredients because they're not online

You could do Thai curry with curry paste, coconut milk and whatever you were putting in the curry sauce. I can't find ingredient lists for any of the big brands, though.
posted by hoyland at 3:42 PM on August 4, 2013

You should look into Vedic vegetarian cookery. There are no onions, garlic, leeks, shallots or mushrooms since those ingredients are considered distressing to the body. Lord Krishna's Cuisine: The Art of Vegetarian Cooking by Yamuna Devi is devoted to this style of cooking. It is a very good cookbook and allowed me to learn Indian cookery before leaping into other cookbooks.
posted by jadepearl at 3:48 PM on August 4, 2013

Oh, here is something that is easy for onion avoidance: pork cooked in a slow cooker with either root beer, dr. pepper or classic coke. Yep, just place the 2-3 pounds of pork shoulder into the cooker, pour the soda can/bottle and then let it cook on low for a few hours. Meat will be shreddable and then can be made into pulled pork sandwiches (use your favorite bbq sauce) or any kind of sauce or even pork burritos. Really, this is a the easy way to get pork as a stuffing into some wrapper or carbohydrate containment unit. It gets no easier for producing a protein that is literally dump and walk away. You get to make prepped food the way you want it with assurances that no family allium interfered in your life.
posted by jadepearl at 3:54 PM on August 4, 2013

Sriracha doesn't contain onions.
posted by munyeca at 4:05 PM on August 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

Pasta sauce - Chunky Ragu "Super Chunky Mushroom" has no onions. My husband is onion averse and this is the only store bought pasta sauce he will eat. I always brown ground beef or turkey to go in it.
posted by ZabeLeeZoo at 4:37 PM on August 4, 2013

Amy's Organic makes a golden lentil soup that is amazing, and onions are not listed in the ingredients. I can find it in most grocery stores that carry that brand, and a lot of their other canned stuff is great as well. It's thick enough to enjoy on top of rice if soup alone isn't sufficient. Sooo good.
posted by juliplease at 4:38 PM on August 4, 2013

These Rice Sides and Pasta Sides are good. I imagine they have onion powder in them, but I've never encountered any actual onions. If you can eat things like Doritos or Chex Mix, then onion powder is probably not an issue for you. They are quite salty, so I wouldn't eat them too frequently, but I used to live on them in college, and I'm not dead yet. Throw in a handful of baby spinach and it's like you made it yourself!
posted by melissasaurus at 5:31 PM on August 4, 2013

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