This beautiful weather (finally) has me in the mood for summer flavors. I cleaned the grill i borrowed from my friend the private chef from NYC the other day and set up the rotisserie to make a chicken (LOVE it on my rotisserie!) and made my favorite vegetable side dish to go with it: Zucchini, Tomato and Sweet Potato Casserole. These are the flavors of warm weather and sunshine — fresh, bright, vibrant and oh so good for you.
It’s important to get the sweet potato slices nice and thin for this casserole — so the potato cooks before the other veggies turn to mush. I know some people use mandolines for dishes like this, but why dirty an extra thing if you don’t have to? It’s a good time to practice those knife skills — and your knife needs to be sharp. So slice your sweet potato as thinly as possible. Slice the zucchini thinly, and the tomatoes the thickest, about 1/4 inch.
How to cook it
Spread a little olive oil in the bottom of a casserole dish and layer your vegetables — sweet potato, zucchini and then tomato — so they overlap slightly. Then sprinkle with freshly chopped garlic, fresh thyme, salt, pepper, olive oil and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.Bake, covered, in a 375 degree oven for about half an hour. Uncover and bake for another 25 minutes. Check that the sweet potatoes are cooked by poking them with a fork or knife. Once they are soft enough to be easily pierced, remove from oven and serve.
This dish has fresh flavors, vibrant colors, and lots of nutritious goodness. It’s great served with roasted or grilled chicken.Zucchini, Tomato & Sweet Potato Casserole This easy vegetable side dish is loaded with fresh flavors, vibrant colors, and nutritious goodness.
Add Vegetable Spring Rolls
Vegetable Spring Rolls – What’s Cooking at Dinner ThymeThese vegetable spring rolls are sometimes called bikini rolls. Isn’t that cute? And warm weather is (thankfully!) right around the corner. However, the fact remains that hell’s going to freeze over before I’m in a bikini. Regardless, these little bites of nourishment are definitely worth trying. I love them.
Vegetable spring rolls are an easy and healthy way to get more vegetables into your diet. They’re great as an appetizer before dinner (helps with appetite control!) or as a healthy snack. A basic rule of thumb for healthy eating is the more colorful the vegetables on your plate, the more vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients you’re getting. These babies are colorful!
And you can change it up — use whatever vegetables are your favorites. Some people add rice noodles, shrimp and peanuts. I didn’t include these because I was aiming for a low-cal, super-easy vegetable snack.
Another great thing about these vegetable rolls is when people see you assembling them, they want to try making the rolls too. And then they’ll eat it. So it’s a great way to get kids (of all ages!) away from the electronics and in the kitchen with you. The spring roll wrappers can be found in the international aisle of your local supermarket.
First important note about these little bites of nourishment: only make enough to eat in one sitting — and don’t prepare too far ahead of time. A private chef would never do that The spring rolls dry out. However, you can prep a bunch of ingredients, have them in your fridge, and quickly assemble a couple of rolls when you want them.
Second, you don’t need many ingredients, but you do need to set up an organized work station. Or trust me, it helps. You need a bowl filled with warm water (large enough to dip the spring roll wrapper), your cutting board, and your fillings. I used lettuce, grated carrots, shredded red cabbage and slices of avocado. I usually use strips of cucumber too, I learned this from a private chef in NYC. but I forgot to buy it today.
Here’s my set up:
So the ingredients are ready and lined up near your bowl of warm water and your work area. Soak one spring roll wrapper in the warm water for a couple of minutes until if feels soft (if it tears when you pick it up, you soaked it too long). Lay it out on your work surface and put your fillings in the center. If you can tell from the photo above, the filling is in the center — there’s about an inch or more of empty space on each side of the fillings and more than that at the top and bottom.
Wrap the bottom portion up and over the fillings. Tuck, and then fold in the sides, and continue to roll. You want it tight so the fillings don’t slip out when you slice it later.Slice so they’re about the size of sushi rolls and serve with your favorite dipping sauce. Two suggestions are lime dipping sauce and ginger dipping sauce. You can find those recipes from a private chef here on my blog.…