A Savvy HLB Week: Caramelized Onions


A Savvy Week” is a series of weekly dinner menus done right by HLB Admin, Julie. By doing a little prep work on the weekend and using a menu focused on one main ingredient, you will be able to make a week’s worth of great meals without spending a lot of time in the kitchen or money on ingredients.  Julie is sharing the love with this monthly series, A Savvy HLB Week, tackling a weekly menu based on one of Recipe Wednesday themes we’ve featured earlier in the month.  This week, Julie takes one of our recent Recipe Wednesday Ingredient Spotlights for a spin; Caramelized Onions!


A raw onion can be a bit of a bully: rough and capable of making even the most experienced cooks cry if they aren’t careful. But with a touch of sugar and salt and a little gentle heating, a chopped raw onion melts into a golden, nearly candy-like mass that adds a depth of flavor to nearly any recipe. Here, I’ve chosen three of my favorite caramelized onion recipes to eat throughout the week, plus a fun stir-fry. Caramelize all the onions at once on Sunday afternoon, and dole them out over the course of the week for quicker dinners.

A Savvy HLB Week: Caramelized Onions

Monday: Caramelized onion and goat cheese pizza (from Bean a Foodie) with a side salad
Tuesday: Creamy Indian lentils (from Savvy Eats) with roasted cauliflower (from Simply Recipes)
Wednesday: Goat cheese & caramelized onion frittata (from The Honour System) with a side salad
Thursday: Asian veggie beef & snap peas (from Veggie Girl)

On Sunday:

Caramelize all but one of the onions. The best way I’ve found to caramelize onions is on Daily Garnish. Super easy, and you’ll save yourself a ton of time for the rest of the week if you caramelize all of the onions at once!

On Monday:

Make the pizza, using some of your already-caramelized onions (about 1/3-1/2 of them). While the pizza cooks, toss together your favorite side salad.

Total prep and cooking time: 25 minutes.

On Tuesday:

Slow cooker meal today! Start the creamy Indian lentils in the morning, because they need 8-10 hours to cook. Also mix together the naan dough, and cover and refrigerate it for later. Or, use store-bought naan.

Take the naan dough out as soon as you get home, or 1 hour before you want to cook it, whichever is later. It needs a little time to come back to room temperature.

In the last 40 minutes or so of cooking the lentils, roast some cauliflower and cook the naan.

Total prep and cooking time (not counting the time in the slow cooker): 1 hour.

On Wednesday:

Make the frittata. While it cooks, mix together some side salads.

Total prep and cooking time: 25 minutes.

On Thursday:

Make the Asian veggie beef and snap peas as directed. If you are using actual beef instead of Gardein or seitan, you’ll need to cook it through completely in step 2, about 10-15 minutes. If you don’t have peanut oil, sesame oil would work as well.

While the stir-fry cooks, cook 1/2 cups brown rice in 3 cups water.

Total prep and cooking time: 30 minutes.



Grocery List:

5 yellow onions
Salad greens
1 head cauliflower
2 cups sugar snap peas, snow peas or green beans
10 cloves garlic
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
3″ fresh ginger root
1/2 cup halved kalamata olives
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
1 cup tomato sauce
1 package Gardein Beefless Tips, seitan or 1 pound beef tips
1/2 cup light cream
9 eggs
1 cup crumbled goat cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 pound pizza dough
2 cups black lentils
1/2 cup dried kidney beans
1 1/2 cups brown rice
2 tablespoons sesame seeds

Groceries You Probably Already Have:

2 cups + 2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons plain yogurt*
12 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon peanut or sesame oil
3 /12 cups all-purpose flour*
1/2 cup wheat flour*
1 tablespoon instant dry yeast*
1 tablespoon sugar*
6 tablespoons soy sauce
4 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons garam masala
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
Lemon juice
Your favorite salad dressing
Sea salt
Black pepper

* = These ingredients, along with 2 tablespoons of the milk, 1 egg and 4 tablespoons of the butter, are for the naan. If you are going to use store-bought instead, you won’t need these ingredients.

Happy Savvy Eating!

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