Carrot & Caramelized Onion Soup {Dairy Free}

When we moved into our new house, we decided to join a local Co-op, Outpost.  Every season, they come out with a newsletter, Graze, that tells about some of the items they have in the store, along with really good recipes.  Last Winter, I made their Carrot & Caramelized Onion soup and it was a win.

This week with the forecast only hitting a high of the mid to high forties (EEK!), I thought it was the perfect time to plan some soup into our meals.  I really wanted some onion soup, but didn’t really have time to experiment with French onion soup, so I decided to make the carrot and caramelized onion soup instead.  The original recipe called for butter & heavy whipping cream, and since I’m all for making my meals, especially soups, “Madelyn-friendly” (Dairy-Free) I decided to try some substitutes and it was amazing!  This soup is great to make because it’s so easy and you can freeze the leftovers if needed.

carrot and onion soup

Carrot & Caramelized Onion Soup {Dairy-Free}Serves 10                               


  • 4 tbsp butter (I used Earth’s Balance vegan, organic spread)
  • 1 large white onion, thinly sliced
  • 12 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 in, coins
  • 2/3 c basmati brown rice, uncooked
  • 7 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp thyme
  • 1 cup coconut cream

Melt butter is a stock pot and add onions.  Stir the onions and make sure they are covered in “butter”.  Reduce heat and stir onions until they are soft and gold brown, about 8-12 minutes.  Next, add carrots, rice, vegetable stock, thyme, bay leaf, salt and pepper.  Cook until rice and vegetables are very tender.  Remove from heat and slightly cool.

Slowly transfer the soup to a blender and puree.  After the soup has been pureed, transfer back into the stock pot and add the coconut cream.  Mix well and serve!

Enjoy the rest of your evening!  What’s your favorite cold-weather food to make?  After a good soup, a hearty chili is my favorite!


Veggie Burger of my Dreams

I’ve never been the type of girl to turn down a big, juicy hamburger.  But yesterday, when hubs told me that he wanted to cook burgers on the grill, I wasn’t really feeling it. So I picked up beef burgers for him and I whipped myself up a few veggie burgers.

This is very unusual for me.  But the past few Saturdays, after my long training runs, I get in my head that I can eat whatever I want because I ran so much.  This mentality spirals into the rest of the weekend (which for me ends Monday) and I’m left feeling bloated, lethargic and basically like crap by the start of my work week-Tuesday.  So to keep up feeling good, I opted out of the beef burger this time.

While I was making my veggie burgers, I kept hearing from someone, “Wow that smells really good!”  And much to my surprise, it WAS!  Hubs even said that he’d eat it for a meal (on another night of course).   I topped it with hummus, feta cheese and mixed greens and it was amazing.


Veggie Burgers

Ingredients (4 patties)

  • 2 T Olive Oil
  • 3 T chopped red onion
  • 3 T chopped black olives
  • 3 T red bell pepper
  • 2 t chopped jalepeno
  • 2 T chopped garlic
  • 2 T chopped artichoke
  • 3/4 C black beans (drained)
  • 3/4 C white beans (drained)
  • 1 C rolled oats
  • 1 tsp Curry Powder
  • 2 tsp Garlic Salt
  • 2 tsp Chili powder
  • 2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 2 T breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg


In a saute pan over medium heat, add olive oil and all raw vegetables EXCEPT beans. Saute until done. Remove and put in a mixing bowl.Add the sauteed vegetables to beans and mix thoroughly with hands (easiest). Add all other ingredients along with the egg. Thoroughly mix all ingredients and form into patties, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.In saute pan add 1-ounce olive oil, and cook patties 2 to 3 minutes per side.Top with hummus, feta cheese crumbles, and mixed greens and ENJOY!

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Meatless Monday-Speedy Weeknight Dinner/SIDI

I had the hardest time getting out of bed today.  My weekend couldn’t have been any more fabulous and I absolutely hated to see it come to an end.  My long lost sister and my mom stayed with us the whole holiday weekend.  We celebrated Thanksgiving at my in laws.  This was my first gluten-free Thanksgiving and I’d say that it went pretty well.  My mom & I made the cornbread stuffing, apple crisp and pumpkin pie.  It was all so tasty.  We made two pans of stuffing because I wasn’t sure of how many people would be there.  We ended up bringing one one and needless to say, it was gone by the end of the weekend.  I love that stuff.

Our weekend was filled with lots of food, laughs, Breaking Dawn, and Zoo lights at Lincoln Park Zoo.

Me, my mom & sister having brunch at Chicago Firehouse Restaurant. Highly recommended!

Because I was tired from the weekend & still wanted to do a test run on cookies for The Great Food Blogger cookie swap, dinner had to be effortless, yet delicious (and somewhat nutritious).  I resorted to an old college staple: grilled cheese & creamy tomato soup. 

The soup was a gluten-free kind from Whole Foods.  It was a pretty tasty tomato soup.  I threw away the box before I wrote down the brand name.   My grilled cheese contained a slice of American, provolone, a tomato slice, and pesto all melted together on Udi’s gluten free bread.  That’s what I’d like to call a “grown-up” grilled cheese sandwich.  I easily could’ve had another one, but I refrained.  Udi’s is the only gluten-free sandwich bread I’ve ever tried.  I almost grabbed another brand today, just to shake things up a bit, but it’s so good and I’m scared to try another brand only to be disappointed.  I can’t wait until we live closer to a gluten-free bakery so that I can buy fresh baked sandwich bread…  🙂

For this week’s Say it Do it, I’m going to attempt to follow the TurboFire schedule.  I bought the set from beachbody last spring, right before I fell and sprained my ankle, so I haven’t had a chance to do it straight through.  The TurboFire schedule is a 20 week program where you workout 6 days a week.  The workout times vary from 15 HIIT to 55 ez cardio.  It’s a lot like Tae Bo/kickboxing.  So far, I’ve had a lot of fun doing the DVDs.

Monday: Fire 30 / Stretch 10
Tuesday: Bar Method & HIIT 15 / Stretch 10
Wednesday: Zumba/rest
Thursday: Fire 30 / Stretch 10/Bar Method
Friday:  Fire 55 EZ/Bar Method
Saturday: Fire 30 / Stretch 10
Sunday: Core 20 / Stretch 40

While I think it’s kind of unrealistic (for me anyway) to lose a considerable amount of weight over the holidays (I just love cookies too much!), I would like maintain what I am now or lose a few lbs/tone up. As of right now, my only goal is to maintain. 

And I leave you with this video.  I took this while we were at Zoo lights this weekend.  Dancing light trees coordinated with Christmas music.  My favorite display at Lincoln Park Zoo!  The holiday season is here 🙂

Meatless Monday-An Oldie but Goodie

Today, I’m thankful that it’s a short week. The week following drill weekend is always an exhausting one, so I’m looking forward to relaxing, spending time with family and eating my little heart out.

Because of all the cooking that will be taking place this week, I wanted tonight’s dinner to be pretty easy and low key.  So the black bean & sweet potato chili made an appearance again.  Always so good and the perfect fall, meatless meal! And I made enough for leftovers.

Last week I stayed pretty on top of my workouts.  With the exception of running, I did pretty much everything including random zumba dances in my living room.  It doesn’t even feel like a workout to me because I have so much fun doing it.  So here’s this week’s SIDI.

Monday: 20 minute elliptical interval + upper body
Tuesday: Bar Method + 3 mile run
Wednesday: Bar Method & mom comes to town! Lots of cooking 🙂
Thursday: My own 5k turkey trot
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Bar Method
Sunday: Yoga 

I’m off to drink some wine & catch up on mindless TV (aka-Gossip Girl).  Short blog post, but I’m exhausted!


Meatless Monday: Wok it Out

In an effort to cut down the consumption of meat in my diet & to add in more veggies (and try new recipes), I’ve declared Mondays to be ‘Meatless Mondays’. 
 Tonight we broke in one of our wedding gifts: The Wok.  This was my first attempt at a homemade (not frozen) stir-fry, and I’m pretty sure I nailed it.  I served it over jasmine brown rice, which I boiled in a vegetable broth instead of water and it turned out so much better!
I found the recipe on and made a few minor adjustments.  I overestimated on the veggies, mostly because I didn’t want any to go to waste and I wanted leftovers for another day.   Make sure to read the directions all the way through before cooking.  I mixed most of the vegetables in a bowl as a I was chopping them and then come to find out that they needed to be added at separate times.  Good thing I could easily pick them out. 
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and julienned
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion (I used about 1/2 an onion)
  • 1 cup half-moon sliced yellow squash (used the whole thing)
  • 1 cup small broccoli florets
  • 1 baby eggplant, cut into chunks
  • 8 ounces firm tofu, cut into large chunks
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup GF teriyaki sauce (check the label: no more than 2 grams sugar per serving)(ended up using about 3/4 cup)
  • 2 cups sliced bok choy
  • 1 cup fresh mung bean sprouts
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup snow peas
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil

In a wok or large skillet, heat up the canola oil until the oil is smoking.  Add in the peppers & onions and stir constantly.  After they are browned, add in the broccoli, squash, tofu, eggplant, garlic and gluten-free teriyaki sauce.  Stir constantly and make sure the sauce covers all the vegetables and tofu.  Stir for about 2 to 3 minutes. Add in pepper, bok choy, sprouts, and salt.  Stir this for about two minutes.  You still want the vegetables to be crisp so make sure not to overcook it.  Eat alone or serve over rice.  Enjoy!