Unusual! Baking the onions along with the meatloaves is a great idea! Makes a wonderful topping. Don't let the use of dates scare you! They make the meat very tasty. I have made it without the dates, but it wasn't as interesting. You can use a larger quantity of onions, too. A Rachael Ray recipe passed on to me by my daughter; it was delicious when she made it for us. Since she was out of dates, she used raisins; I think they made it a little sweeter.