This Week: Caramelized Onions

Nearly every recipe is made better by the addition of some caramelized onions.  Except for maybe certain dessert recipes.  Though they are sweet, so maybe it would work…

If you make some caramelized onions and do just a few other pieces of prep work, you’ll be eating well all week long.  Here’s how:

Caramelized Onions, Three Ways

The caramelized onions are what ties these three recipes together.  Caramelize them all at once on the weekend, and use them throughout the week.

Monday: Baked Rigatoni with roasted broccoli
Tuesday: Creamy Indian Lentils with roasted cauliflower and naan
Wednesday: leftovers
Thursday:  BBQ Chicken Enchiladas with bell peppers and corn
Friday: leftovers

To save some time and prepare in advance:

Caramelize the onions for all three dishes.  Chop three medium yellow onions and caramelize with a pinch of salt and 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil.  Refrigerate in an airtight container, and use 1/3 of the onions in each dish.

For the baked rigatoni:

Make the meat sauce on Saturday or Sunday and refrigerate in a sealed container until Monday.  You may also want to shred the cheese in advance.

On Monday, just make the pasta and butter sauce, then layer as directed. You’ll cut your prep and cook time down to 45 minutes.

While the pasta is cooking, chop a head of broccoli and toss with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper.  Spread on a baking sheet and bake at 400F for 20-25 minutes.  When I did this, I had the broccoli on the top rack and the pasta on the bottom rack, cooking at the same time.

New Prep Time: 10 minutes
New Cook Time: 45 minutes

For the lentils:

Make the spice paste over the weekend.  Toss the paste and caramelized onions in with the rest of the ingredients on Wednesday morning, and dinner will be nearly ready by the time you get home.

In the last half hour, after adding the butter and milk, roast some cauliflower.  Coat some chopped cauliflower with some olive oil, salt and paprika, and roast on a baking sheet for 20-25 minutes at 450F.  Heat up or fry the naan while the cauliflower roasts (the time this takes will depend on your naan and whether you are making it from scratch or using premade). Alternatively, serve the lentils with some rice instead of the naan.

New Prep Time: 10 minutes
New Cook Time: 8-10 hours

For the enchiladas:

Make the enchilada sauce over the weekend.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

While the enchiladas are baking, prepare the peppers and/or corn to your liking.

New Prep Time: 25 minutes
New Cook Time: 30 minutes

Bon Appetit!