Cheesy Baked Sweet Potato & Zucchini

We planned a relaxing Easter brunch at J’s Restaurant at the Bolton Winery so that I could have a break from cooking a big meal and try to shake the winter blues (yes, it’s still freezing here).  I must have some sort of guilt thing going because rather than just take it easy I decided I just had to make a major stuffed roast chicken with half a dozen sides on Saturday night.  It might have gone well since I’d prepped almost everything early in the day but after setting the oven temp and putting the chicken inside, I forgot one thing – actually turning the oven ON.  Now there’s not much you can do with a 7 lb. bird when you realize your mistake 2 hours later and the dinner planned for 7:30 pm turned into a 9:30/10:00-ish event with me just trying to keep my eyes open.  If I had been thinking, I should have taken the stuffing out of the bird and cooked that in foil to speed things up, but alas I did not think of that.  I also forgot to embarrass Niki with an old flashback to when she was 5 years old.  So I’ll do it now…

I was in the kitchen when Niki came racing in, back from church with my husband.

“Mom!  Mom!  MOM!!!   Did you hear what they did to Jesus Christ?”
Whoa, this sounded like breaking news. Not sure where she was going with this and was expecting something had happened at Mass, I let her go on…
“Well they hung him on a cross!”
Okay, I already knew that so all I could say was something like, yes that was a really horrible painful way to die.
 Mom, that’s not the worst…they made him carry his cross.”
Oookay…still not sure where this is going but I could tell I was missing the point in this conversation.
“MOM!  The cross was made out of WOOD – like my swingset – I’ll bet he got splinters.  Now those things really hurt!”

Ah, finally I get the picture and I guess what it comes down to is we can only truly relate to what our own experiences are, especially when you’re only five.

But back to  our Saturday dinner, everything did come out fine, especially these cheesy baked vegetables which I had prepped well ahead of time.  I used a large zucchini and two medium sweet potatoes but any type of potato or squash would work.

cheesy veg and bacon fried mashed 011It’s so easy to make and you can have it all prepped ahead of time, ready to pop in the oven for about 20-30 minutes at 375°.
– Dice a medium white onion and 2 cloves of garlic.  Saute onion in butter until translucent – add the garlic at the end so as not to burn.  Spread onion/garlic mixture in the bottom of a small pan (depends on the amount of vegetables you’re making).
– Slice the zucchini and sweet potato, about 1/4″ thick then arrange in layers in the pan, dotting the top with bits of butter.  Bake until vegetables are just softened, then sprinkle the top with parmesan cheese.  Put back into the oven for a few minutes until cheese has melted.
cheesy veg and bacon fried mashed 006

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26 thoughts on “Cheesy Baked Sweet Potato & Zucchini

  1. Oh, I feel your pain with the chicken! At least you were able to salvage it. I’ve done that with the crockpot – veggie soup had to cook all night instead. It is such a disappointment to check on the food and find the oven/crockpot/whatever is still stone cold. But the veggies look fabulous! Going to have to try that soon. Not sure what veggies, but seems like you could do it with almost anything.

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    • I should know by now to double check both knobs on the oven but some things you just do on autopilot & all it takes is 1 interruption.
      You’re right, just about any vegetable would work w/this as long as they’re sliced evenly so they cook the same. I went with those because I liked the color of the sweet potato in there & the cascade effect on the serving plate.

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  2. Oh Diane.. no.. tell me it isn’t so. Hey, I say we are always learning lessons in life, right? Um.. I’ve done some pretty stupid things in the kitchen..so you’re not a lone. Those veggies look amazing.. I must try immediately. Did John eat them?

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    • Judy, it IS so. Well there were a couple reasons why I went with that combination of veggies – Tim ate the zucchini & John ate the sweet potato. Niki & I of course had both 🙂 That layer of onion & garlic on the bottom of the pan just gives a nice flavor to the vegetables on top…and of course the cheese doesn’t hurt either.

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  3. I now have a reason to buy some sweet potato. That looks amazing!
    cute parenthood flashback. Recently my 4-year old asks deep-thought questions such as: Do flowers make sounds? It has wings, Why can’t it fly anymore? (referring to a dead fly on our patio table). And, Why Jesus doesn’t have a car? 🙂

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  4. Pour chicken….it must have wanted to laugh at you and say “Even dead, I win!”….LOL! Sad, but true, we’ve all committed Kitchen Insanity at one time or another. My Mom cooked the little bag of goodies inside the turkey one year. THAT was a site to see – her pulling out the paper full of “parts” from the middle of that turkey, and proclaiming “Yes, before you ask, it’s done!”…grace under pressure, right?!?!

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    • Well that chicken finally learned it’s lesson! Omg, I remember my mother doing the same thing w/the bag of giblets inside – only in those days it was in plastic so of course that all melted but I think your mother handled that one admirably. And if we didn’t make any mistakes in the kitchen we’d be on tv…actually I’ll bet they do enough re-takes too.

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  5. Those veggies look delicious, and once again you’ve shared a hilarious and adorable story! I’d never thought about Jesus getting splinters before — don’t you love all the things kiddos remind us of?

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    • Thank you & I’m happy to say that everyone liked the vegetables. When you think about it, a kid can’t really relate to having spikes driven through their hands & feet but splinters – well, what kid hasn’t had that experience on a wooden swing set? It did remind me that we needed to get out there & sand a little.

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  6. The ultimate nightmare! Our cooker has a timer but it only goes to an hour and a half. So if you use it for something like a roast and forget you take it out the oven and it’s undercooked. Worse in a way because you serve up thinking its done only to find red chicken in the middle – obviously I’m talking from experience here….

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  7. Yum! Something to try this weekend which I hope will encourage my little girl to eat veggies. I’m a big fan of sweet potatoes and the melted cheese is just so irresistible. 😉

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  8. We’ve all been there, Diane. My Waterloo was lasagna. It was 25 years ago and I can still see the looks on my dinner guests’ faces when I had to confess that dinner would be another 90 minutes. How precious was your daughter? There are few things worse than splinters to a 5 year old. This dish is a good one. Easy to prepare and topped with cheese. 2 very important things in my kitchen. 🙂

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    • Thank you John & all of my other readers who’ve shared their same stories. I can certainly imagine your dinner guests being disappointed – I know I would have been ready to dig in to your lasagna as soon as I got my coat off.

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  9. Hi there Diane, been there-done that. You know as moms that whole multitasking thing really goes all wrong when we try to do more than 4 things at once…My kids are completely phobic of splinters as this means the tweezers and then you know how the rest of that story goes. I love your simple dish and perfectly artistically lined up veggies in a row. How delish…take care, BAM

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    • And not just the kids – you should see the drama when my husband gets a splinter! Thank you for noticing my ‘display’ – I was pretty impressed with the fact that I got it out of the pan in basically the same arrangement that it went in.

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  10. My dinners are delayed so frequently — for things just like not turning on the oven — that my guests have begun showing up an hour late. It’s a good thing we all have a sense of humor.

    Those sweet potatoes and zucchini honestly look like a meal within themselves. Beautiful!

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    • Ah, now that you mention it maybe I should have tried to pass off the veggies as dinner.
      I guess we’ve all forgotten that all important thing about turning the oven on & since I’ve been researching kitchen appliances I’ve noticed a few new features. There’s a refrigerator that beeps at you when you leave the door open. I’m not quite sure how that would work & hope it’s on some kind of a timer so you’re not getting beeped at every time you open the door – now how annoying would that be? But then I was thinking, if they have that for the fridge, how about something for the stove like after say 5 minutes, you could get this voice yelling at you …”HEY – you set the temp, don’t you want to turn the oven on by now?”

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    • I wonder…maybe I could talk to marketing folks at GE. Since I’m hoping to replace all of the appliances this year maybe I could convince them to do a prototype & test it out for them. Thing is with just about everything electronic in this house – washer, dryer, coffee maker, microwave, I’ve got things dinging at me all day long. I’d also like to suggest they make those things options rather than what I’m sure they consider “features”.

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  11. Not sure I would have cooked, let alone eaten, poultry with stuffing after it sat in a cold oven for two hours. But, I could have subsisted on your beautiful Cheesy Baked Sweet Potato and Zucchini and the other sides!

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