Friday, December 14, 2012

Dairy-Free Creamed Onions or Vegetable Au Gratin

Oh lovely readers, most beauteous of anonymous friends, I am happy to be sitting still for a moment so I can write. You see, my life has been rather hectic. Now mind me, I'm not complaining. Someone said to me tonight, "My life is perfect. It's just so perfect and filled that there's no time to relax."

I know exactly what she means.

I recently complained to my sister that my life seemed to be perfect...everything I've ever dreamed of is coming true. So why wasn't I feeling happy?

My boyfriend knew what my problem was. (Mostly because he's the one who sees me drive myself into the ground every day.)

No matter how wonderful everything and everyone in your life is, you still need time spent alone doing NOTHING. You need to hibernate sometimes. You need to steal yourself away from the world and capture yourself in a tower. You need to be a fairy princess (or prince?) and make like Sleeping Beauty. Or beautiful Belle who understood the value of holing away in a library with a book. Or just be like Shrek and slam your door on anyone horning in on your downtime- even if that person is your own guilt.

Especially when it's your own guilt stopping you.

The meaning of life IS NOT WORK.

Let me say that again in a different way.

You were not born so that you could work. Even when it's your passion (as it is for me). Even when it feels like a calling and you love it (as I do).

The meaning of life comes in the small moments that disappear when you're so busy you forget to stop and appreciate them. A hasty kiss goodbye in the morning. The silence of an empty room. The pleasure of lying on the floor and staring at nothing.

Our moments are so very fleeting. Anyone with a baby can tell you how quickly they grow and how precious each minute, each day is. But we forget that while we may look the same from day to day, our moments on this earth are equally as precious as those of a newborn babe.

Work hard. Work with passion when you can, with diligence when passion isn't there. But know that you are more than your work.

And allow there to be more moments of life than there are moments of work.

When you have the opportunity not to work, DON'T. And don't waste any time feeling guilty. Take care of yourself. Live your life. Be happy. Do nothing. RELAX. 

See this guy? Do what he's doing.

And make food you'll enjoy. Food that will make you feel good, in every way.

Dairy-Free Creamed Onions or Vegetable Au Gratin

This recipe came in a moment. Simply made. Simply remade with other vegetables. In fact so simple that I never bothered to write down the instructions.

And I don't need to.

This recipe practically makes itself, so rather than waiting until I had time to make it again, I wanted to get it to you before the holidays are over. Because this, in my mind, is the perfect winter holiday dish.

p.s. Brownie points to whoever notices two random objects in these photos.

Dairy-Free Creamed Onions or Vegetable Au Gratin

1 can full-fat coconut milk (13 ounces)
Enough pearl onions to fill the dish OR sliced vegetables of choice (the photo above used 1 sliced onion, 1 sliced sweet potato, and sliced fennel)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Fresh (minced) or dried herbs to taste

1 8 x 8 inch casserole dish or au gratin dish of similar size

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil your baking dish. 
  2. Open your can of coconut milk and place it into a larger bowl so you can stir it up. It tends to separate in the can, so you want to remix it. Stir in salt, pepper, and any herbs you want to use. I love adding herbs like basil, oregano, and thyme. Dill is also delicious with a potato and onion au gratin.  
  3. Add your vegetables to the baking dish and pour the coconut milk over. It should just cover the vegetables. Cover with foil and bake until the vegetables are tender when pierced with a fork. Time will vary depending on the vegetables used, but assume it will take about 45 minutes. 
  4. Once the vegetables are tender, take the tinfoil off and allow to bake about another 5 minutes, just until the dish begins to darken. Alternatively, you can put it under the broiler for a minute.
  5. Remove from oven and serve hot. 
Note: I made mine without breadcrumbs, but of course feel free to add those if you like! This is your recipe now. Have fun with it.

This post is linked to Wellness Weekends at Diet, Dessert and Dogs


Natalie said...

What a great post! I hope you find happiness and some relaxation! This dish looks so delicious and I definitely plan to make it soon!

gfe--gluten free easily said...

What an awesome post, Iris! As I've said before I absolutely crave my quiet time. I still "work" too much though.

I LOVE this dish. It is so my thing. Simple, healthy comfort food! Makes me relax just thinking about eating some. :-)

I see one random object by not two ... hmmm. Great photos.


Melissa said...


You have a "hidden" pearl of wisdom in this post (playing off your hidden objects and pearl onions).

"Work with passion when you can, with diligence when passion isn't there."

That is so meaningful to me. And I know the importance of taking time to do nothing, although that isn't easy for my personality type. I have to "work" on relaxing. =)

There's a bottle cap wedged in the table slats, the edge of an awesome-looking pot holder peeking out from under the dish, and the man relaxing on the back of the couch is holding something in his right hand.

Great post and your "veggie au gratin" looks amazing. I love non-recipe recipes!

Have a great weekend.

Cheryl Harris said...

LOVE this post! Definitely a time for slowing down.

Ricki said...

Love this type of recipe. Bet it tastes incredible. Bottle cap, and. . . ???

Katherine said...

I cannot wait to try this recipe!! I can't stand the idea of non-dairy cheeses with their bazillions of ingredients and didn't think there would ever be an au gratin dish to try. But tonight - potatoes and broccoli au gratin. We tried your pancake this morning. Delicious.

Aubree Davis said...

I really enjoyed reading your insights on life. The Hubs and I have been having similar conversations lately. And no matter how hard you work, there will always be something more! So we're trying to be more 'purposeful' in doing nothing ;)

Also, the recipe looks wonderful! I think I would really like the addition of sweet potato to the pearl onions!

Iris said...

Melissa, you got it! The bottle cap and the man (who's my boyfriend) holding...a banana peel. Wasn't supposed to be part of the shot!

hunterslyonesse said...

LOVE! :D *big hugs for you*


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