In one of its recent issues (I'm sorry, but I don't remember which one exactly), Whole Living featured a collection of recipes by Ronna Welsh called "The Dinner Dozen" - twelve staple recipes to have on hand so that quick, easy and healthy dinners can be put together in a flash. The collection included dressed up staples like balsamic poached figs and braised mushrooms to simple ones like polenta and seared kale. The one that stood out most to me was the caramelized onion jam, both for its simplicity and guaranteed delish-ness factor. I ripped out the recipe and vowed to buy onions.
Fast forward about a month later to last Thursday night. Per my usual, I found myself home after a long day with no plans for dinner and feeling very, very hungry. The only thing in my fridge were some brussels sprouts (slightly worse for wear, to be honest). Pantry? A small bit of quinoa I purchased from the Whole Foods bulk bins (God bless bulk bins). Finally, I spotted a lone onion on the microwave that I had purchased a week ago on impulse. Hello, dinner! Roasted brussels sprouts + quinoa + caramelized onion jam = surprisingly delicious and satisfying (and vegan and gluten-free!). Recipes below:
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- brussels sprouts (cut off the stem, then cut in half)
- olive oil
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. After washing and prepping the sprouts, spread them on a baking sheet in one layer. Drizzle with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Get your (clean) hands in there, and make sure every sprout is coated! Place sheet in oven and roast anywhere between 15 and 20 minutes. Midway through, shake the pan so that the sprouts get evenly crispy.
There are several recipes for quinoa. I've seen a 2-1 water-quinoa ratio and a 1.5-1 ratio (which I used). Basically you just combine quinoa, water (or stock) and a bit of salt on the stove. Heat on high until boiling, then cover, reduce heat to simmer, and let cook for around 15-20 minutes. Uncover and fluff with fork.
Caramelized Onion Jam (courtesy of Whole Living Magazine)
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 lb onions, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup water (or stock - I used water)
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar (the thicker the better)
- 1 tsp sugar (I omitted this - it's completely unnecessary)
- coarse salt
In a medium pot, heat oil over medium heat and cook onions, covered, stirring occasionally until translucent, about 15 minutes. Add water and vinegar (and sugar if you so desire) and cook uncovered, stirring until onions are caramelized, about 30 minutes more. Season with salt. Let cool completely. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.