Squash and Root Vegetable Tian

Squash and Root Vegetable Tian

This is one of the most beautiful dishes out there.  Seriously.  If you are looking for an impressive dish to make, look no further.  A vegetable tian is essentially a layered casserole, but tian sounds much more elegant, so let's go with that.  The variety of vegetables you use makes a rainbow of colors an the layering process creates eye-pleasing patterns.  And the best part is...it's really easy.  Minimum effort, maximum results.

Being winter, the superstar of this recipe is the beet.  I included both red and golden beets because they make the dish rich in color.  Beets get this intense color from phytonutrient pigments called betalains.  Betalains have major anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. They are also packed with Vitamin C, folate, and a slew of other vitamins and minerals.

Beets can be especially helpful with detoxing because the betalain pigments trigger excretion of toxins.  The betalains decrease significantly when cooked so make sure to include raw beets in your diet as well.  Juicing can be an easy way to get these powerful nutrients raw.  And don't forget to use the beet greens.  They are loaded with nourishing health-boosters too!


1 shallot, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 small yellow onion, finely chopped

2 tbsp coconut oil

1 large yellow squash

1 large zucchini

2 red beets

2 golden beets

1 potato

1 tsp himalayan or celtic sea salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 tsp thyme

1/2 tsp oregano

2 ounces gruyere, shredded (optional, but if you're not vegan it's worth it)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sauté shallot,onion, and garlic in coconut oil over medium heat until soft and translucent.  When ready, spread evenly across the bottom of a 10x10 (or similar) casserole dish.

Slice remaining vegetables into 1/4 inch circles.  Alternating colors, arrange vegetables in the casserole dish, stacking them at an angle.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and spices.  Cover the dish with a lid or foil and bake for 45 minutes.

Check the vegetables with a fork to make sure they are tender (especially the root vegetables).  If not, bake a few more minutes.  If they are tender, top with shredded cheese and bake uncovered for another 30 minutes or until cheese is brown and bubbly.