Vegetarian Meals

Veggie Tian

 

Think of it as the grand-daddy of vegetarian lasagna!  This dish is so yummy and healthy, not to mention it looks totally gorg on your table!  There are layers upon layers of veggies for you to enjoy, topped off with some grated parmesan and fresh basil. 

Seeing as we’re approaching Holiday season (aka family pot luck season), this dish is beneficial for 2 reasons…

-IT WILL STAND OUT.  Everyone else will likely be bringing a dish that consists primarily of meat and cheese.  Having a totally different option will be refreshing .  Scandalous, am I right?!

-NUTRIENT DENSE.  All three of these veggies have high amounts of Vitamin A and Vitamin C.  Vitamin A supports healthy vision, skeletal tissue, and skin, while Vitamin C helps the body fight off free radicals.  Free radicals are known to cause cancer (boo).  Tomatoes and Zucchini are also known to promote heart health and have anti-inflammatory effects.  Basically, there are vitamins all up in this tian.  

Also, if anyone else is like me and has never heard the word “tian”, let me save you the google search…”a dish of finely chopped vegetables, cooked in olive oil, and then baked”…also defined as, “one of the oldest Chinese terms for heaven”. 

Irony?  I think not!

 

Step 1: Saute onions and garlic, and add into bottom of baking dish
Step 2: Layer in zucchini
Step 3: Layer in sweet potato
Step 4: Layer in tomatoes and spices
Step 5: Add parmesan cheese, then repeat another layer of zucchini, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes
Step 6: Top with fresh basil, cover with foil and bake for 40 min @ 375 degrees. Remove from oven, add cheese, and bake for another 30 min.
Remove from oven, let cool, and enjoy!

 

Serves: 6-8 Total Time: 1.5 hrs (prep time 20-25 min, bake time 70 min)

Ingredients:

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped 
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled
  • 2 zucchini (green and/or yellow)
  • 4-5 large tomatoes (heirloom, beefsteak or similar)
  • sea salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp. parsley
  • handful fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 4-6 ounces grated parmesan cheese

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Spray an 11-in round or 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking dish with olive oil or avocado oil.
  3. In a saute pan, heat 2 tbsp. olive oil and cook the onions over medium-low heat for 8-10 min, until translucent.
  4. Add garlic and sauté a few more minutes.
  5. Take onion mixture from pan and add to bottom of baking dish. 
  6. With a mandoline slicer, slice the sweet potatoes and zucchini.
  7. With a knife, slice the tomatoes into thin slices.
  8. Lay down slices from 1 zucchini over onion layer, then lay down slices from 1 sweet potato over zucchini.  Finally lay down slices from 2 tomatoes over sweet potato layer.
  9. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, parsley, red pepper, and half of parmesan cheese.
  10. Repeat layers with remaining zucchini, sweet potato, and tomatoes.  Top with another layer of salt, pepper, and chopped basil leaves.
  11. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 40 min.
  12. After 40 min, uncover dish, sprinkle remaining cheese and bake for another 30 min.
  13. Optional: Garnish with extra cheese and fresh basil leaves if desired. 
  14. Serve warm.