Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Vegetable Casserole, Deconstructed

We've long been in love with a Tomato-Vegetable Casserole I found on Food Network years ago.  The mix of veggies is perfect in late summer, early autumn.  And made with fresh zucchini and garden tomatoes, the flavor is of the earth and completely sublime.

(A little aside here:  I have always omitted the red bell pepper.  I simply forgot to add it the first time I made it, and we loved the finished product so much, I never dared change it up.  Until now, that is...)

In the last two weeks of the Whole30 program, I've roasted, sauteed, and steamed veggies in all sorts of combinations. I wanted something familiar tonight, and as I thought about making a hash, and wandered around the produce section of the grocery store, I realized I had almost all the components of this lovely casserole in my cart. Minus the russets. And the breadcrumbs. And cheese.

Ok, ok... but I'm getting good at Whole30-ifying recipes in my head, so go with me on this one...

Ahem. As I mentioned, I was wandering around the produce section. I didn't mention that I had kids in tow, and it was already after 5pm, and everyone was hungry. Well, add in those factors and the thought of all that tedious slicing and chopping followed by the hour bake time left me a little disappointed, but ultimately challenged.

I got home and assembled my ingredients (Oops!  Forgot to get the tomatoes out!  No worries. I'll post my whole modified recipe at the end.)

And hey, who has time for extra dishes, right? I just dumped the chopped veggies onto the pan as I was done with them, added a drizzle of olive oil and a big pinch of salt and pepper and tossed. Voila! Ready for the oven!

In the 25 minutes it took to roast this beautiful assemblage of nutritional goodness, I set the table, and cooked some hot Italian-style turkey sausage. Just when the kids began to whine that they were going to nearly faint from hunger, veggies were done!

Doesn't look that different, you say? Oh, but look closely! See that browness on the top of the tomato? That heavenly carmelization? Yeah, that there. That's the good stuff, baby!

So there was dinner. Quick, easy, packed with nutrients. And did I mention yummy?

Vegetable Casserole, deconstructed
    2 medium carrots
    1 small zucchini
    2 small (or 1 large) sweet potato 
    1/2 red onion
    1/2 pint grape tomatoes
    1 tsp. EVOO
    salt and pepper to taste

1.  Preheat oven to 425.  Line cookie sheet with foil.
2.  Peel potatoes, halve tomatoes, and chop other veggies to 1/2-inch pieces. 
3.  Dump veggies, except tomatoes, onto cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Toss the whole mixture around to coat.  (Bonus:  the EVOO keeps the veggies from sticking to the pan, so no need for additional non-stick spray!)  Arrange tomatoes on top, cut side down.
4.  Roast for 25 minutes, or until veggies are desired tenderness, and browning at edges.

Check out this dish and other yummy traditional foods at Traditional Tuesdays on the Delicious Obsessions blog!

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