Caramelized onions and mindfulness

January 8

Today’s Tasty Thursday is all about caramelized onions (and I’ll write the description at the end of this blog), but as I wrote the title for this I realized that there are similarities in the slow cooking of onions to transform them into something completely different and the act of slowing down enough to understand what you need.

This morning, my alarm went off at 4:55 am as usual. I turned it off and thought for a moment, realizing I needed more sleep than I needed to get up to jump around with Shaun T. So I did.

And when I got up for real at 5:45, I realized my body was not ready then either. My schedule is a little flexible today, which means I CAN get in my workout later on (not always the case) So I posted in my group that I had a “need a different morning” morning, took my shower, and bustled about the day.

It felt great. Great to acknowledge my mental state. Great to be aware of the “want” and choose that over the “should” – a word that is fast approaching “stupid” as one of my least favorite words ever.

Both caramelized onions and being mindful take some time. They take patience, and an appreciation for what might come. In the case of this morning, for me, it was understanding why I am feeling this way (too little sleep, too cold out, among other factors). In the case of onions, it’s just that it takes time to break down those crunchy layers and reveal the dense sweetness inside.

Go for it. You might be surprised at the transformation. And yes, I’m talking about both. J


  • Slice 2-3-5 yellow or red onions VERY thinly.
  • In a sauté pan, heat up 1 TBS olive oil and 1 TBS butter (or 2 TBS olive oil, or coconut oil, or . . .) over medium high heat.
  • Add in onions with ½ tsp salt, and stir. Then leave them alone for a little bit, so they start to release juice. Stir again, then turn the heat down and cook for 25-45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions have melted down and are gooey and soft and silky and MMMMMM.


  • Remove onions from the pan. DO NOT CLEAN THE PAN!
  • Add in a little more oil, then toss in a pound or so of sliced mushrooms. Splash a little wine, or balsamic vinegar, or water or stock, then stir all the delicious goodness up from the bottom of the pan.
  • Cook the mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms are starting to brown.
  • Stir in 1-2 cloves of minced/pressed garlic and cook, stirring, until the garlic starts to smell unbelievable. Remove the mushrooms from the pan.
  • THEN deglaze (which is a fancy way of saying splash liquid of your choice into the pan and stir until the browned bits are picked up) the pan for a quick pan sauce which you can use on WHATEVER. Mmm. Onions. Mushrooms. Sauce. Yes. Just YES!

I’d love to help you find the time to listen to yourself. Email me, leave a comment, find me on Facebook (Badass Chronicles). This transformation stuff is pretty powerful!

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