Years ago, when my mother bought a new waffle iron, she gave me her old one. And I mean OLD one. It’s probably from the 50s. My brother loves to tease me about my “fire hazard” waffle iron (don’t worry – it’s not). But I live by the maxim, “They don’t make ’em like that anymore!”
Besides being frugal, I’m a gal who’s hip and cooool (notice the extra “o’s”? – oh, yeah!). So when there’s a new food trend, I’m right there with fork in hand.
The pop-food that caught my eye recently was waffles. No longer just for breakfast, dripping in maple syrup, today’s waffles are topped with ice cream for a hot fudge sundae, made into a Monte Cristo sandwich, baked into a 7-layer cookie bar, ice cream wedged between 2 waffles for an ice cream sandwich. I’ve gained 5 pounds just thinking about those luscious delights.
Since I like to think outside the box, I wondered what if I added veggies to the batter and topped it with caramelized onions, thus creating a dinner (or lunch) waffle?
Epic win! (See – I’m SOOOO with it!) They were delicious, filling, and the calories were quite reasonable since I left out the oil in the batter and the syrup on top.
So grab that waffle maker you have hidden in the back of the cupboard and go make dinner!
DINNER WAFFLES – makes 2½ large waffles
- 2 T cider vinegar plus enough milk (I use nonfat) to equal 1 cup
- 2 onions, sliced
- 2 T butter
- 1/8 tsp salt (this is separate from salt below)
- 1 zucchini, shredded, chopped, or cut into half moons
- 4 mushrooms, chopped
- 2/3 cup fresh spinach, chopped & packed
- 1 egg
- 1/2 T Dijon mustard
- 1/8 tsp dried dill
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup Swiss cheese, shredded
- optional: 3 strips imitation bacon (I use Morningstar), cooked crispy, then crumbled
- oil to grease waffle iron, if needed
Combine cider vinegar and milk – we’re making buttermilk. Let sit as you prepare the rest of the recipe. Why make buttermilk? Because the smallest amount you can purchase is a quart and we only need 1 cup. If you already have buttermilk or need more than 1 cup, then you can just buy it, if you like.
Caramelize onions by melting butter in a skillet at medium heat and frying onions for about 25 minutes – until they’re golden brown. (Don’t worry about the skillet – an SOS pan takes care of that in no time) Stir often. Sprinkle in 1/8 tsp salt.
In a saucepan, sauté the zucchini, mushrooms, and spinach in a drop of oil until cooked.
In a mixing bowl (preferably one with a spout for easy pouring), beat egg and Dijon. Beat in buttermilk. Gently stir in by hand the dill, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and 1/4 tsp salt. Don’t over mix – there can still be streaks of flour. Add in cooked veggies and cheese, and stir just enough to mix everything.
Preheat waffle iron. Brush with oil, if needed. Pour on batter. If using “bacon”, sprinkle on. Close lid and cook.
NOTE: The secret to prevent waffles from sticking to the iron is not to lift up the lid too early. If you do that, you’ll have a big mess on your hands. I set my timer for 4 minutes before I check – by then, the waffle has baked enough to hold together. I usually have to cook it another couple of minutes.
Top with onions and serve hot.