Tasty Tuesday: Tuscan Vegetable Stack

I have made goals for myself for this new year - NOT resolutions but goals. I don't like the idea of new years resolutions. I don't think I have ever achieved one that I made for myself. So I am setting goals and hope to make plans to try and put them in place for the year ahead. They are hopefully achievable for me to reach because what is the point of setting them in the first place if you don't think you can achieve them!


What are they you ask ....

 I think things like trying to lose weight are good to goals but I am more aiming at getting "fit" and "healthy" for the new year. If I lose weight along the way thats great but I am mainly aiming at eating well and upping the exercise - somehow! Before I had to go through IVF about 18 months ago, I was going to the gym about 4 -5 times a week. Doing weight training, swimming, pilates, cardio etc but all of that fell on the way side as I began multiple drugs and injections etc, which left me exhausted and wrung out. I tried to keep up the routine but something had to give - exercise and unfortunately healthy eating soon went down the drain once I fell pregnant as I couldn't stand the sight of any type of vegetable or salad item. All I wanted to eat was vegemite on toast, muffins, cakes and biscuits - basically carbohydrates! So I have set myself a "fitness" goal to try and run 5km in 30min (or less) without stopping! For all those fitness junkies out there it probably is a punie number but hey I gotta start somewhere.

My healthy eating goal is to try and cut out as much sugar out of my diet as possible. I have already started this late last year so it is really a continuation into the new year. I found the initial stages quite easy like cutting out sugar in my tea or coffe and generally shying away from over sugared desserts, sorbets and lollies. Christmas was a little bit hard but hopefully I can get back on track now that is all passed.

One of my other goals for the year is to try and include more savoury recipes on the blog to entice you with. I know I do a lot of desserts, cakes, muffins, biscuits etc, which are all nice every known and again but sometimes a recipe to inspire you for dinner is needed. I hope this Tuscan Vegetable Stack just does that. Now that I am not pregnant anymore I have dived back into the vegetables and salad and am so glad I can enjoy them again. This stack is really easy to make and you can use whatever vegetables you have in your fridge that need using up. Slice all your vegetables thinly and spray them with a little oil, place them on your BBQ and grill until tender. By cooking them on the BBQ it gives them a gorgeous charred flavour that you cannot get by cooking in a pan.

 Simply line a greased sprinform cake tin with some filo pastry that has been brushed with a little oil or butter in between the layers. Then the fun begin - layering your vegetables in each separate layer.  I also cooked some caramalised onion to sprinkle throughout the layers which really finished the stack off nicely. A few beaten eggs are poured over the top to seep through the cracks. Top it off with another few layers of oiled/buttered filo and roughly fold the edges into the middle.

The stack comes out all delciously golden and crispy. I recommend serving it as soon as possible otherwise the filo goes a little soggy which isn't really nice. I named this a Tuscan Vegetable Stack because it reminded me of our time in Tuscany in 2008. 

I loved Tuscany - the countryside was amazing, the villages were gorgeous and the food was AMAZING! I think I also enjoyed it more with all the red wine I drank as well! HA. The food was simple yet extraordinary and one dish I remember eating was in Florence, it was some really thinly sliced roast beef drizzled with a gorgeous jus`. That was it nothing else apart from some crusty bread and a LOT of red wine!

It may of been really good because I was a little tipsy at the time of consumption! The picture below is before we received our main meals! You see me trying not to giggle! Oh the memories! The other fella in the picture is my brother who travelled with us for 3 weeks in a campervan! Great times.

We enjoyed this stack on a hot day a few weeks back, relaxing out on the deck with a refreshing breeze blowing through. We had heaps left over for lunch the next day - which it tasted even better as the flavours has melded together and devloped more! Make sure you print this out and pop it on your menu plan as it is such a great vegetarian meal!

Tuscan Vegetable Stack

by The Whimsical Wife
Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 1 hour
Keywords: grill main

Ingredients (Serves 6-8)
    Vegetable Stack
    • Filo pastry
    • 3 x med zucchini, sliced thinly length ways
    • 1 small sweet potato, finley sliced
    • 2 large potato, finely sliced
    • 8-10 thin slices of jap pumpkin
    • You can use any other vegetable in this stack
    • 1/2 large bottle roasted capsicum
    • 10-12 Olives (green or black), thinly sliced
    • 1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped/ OR 1 tbsp dried basil
    • 1 tbsp fresh thyme, finely chopped/OR 1/2 tbsp dried thyme
    • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
    • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
    Caramalised Onion
    • 2 x brown onions, finely sliced
    • 1 tbsp brown sugar
    • 4 tbsp white balsamic vinegar/or white wine vinegar
    Preheat oven to 175 degrees and grease and line a 20cm springform cake tin.
    Turn BBQ onto high heat to pre-heat the grill plates.
    Place all of the vegetables into a bowl and drizzle with a splash of olive oil. Rub to coat the vegetables on all sides.
    Place the vegetables onto the BBQ and cook until charred and tender. Remove and place into a bowl. Set aside.
    Place a small saucpan over a medium heat and add a drizzle of olive oil. Add the brown onions and cook for about 10 - 15 minutes until tender and brown.
    Add the brown sugar and balsamic vinegar to the onions and cook until caramelised and sticky. Remove from heat and set aside.
    Remove filo pastry from the packet and cover with a damp tea towel to stop drying out. Remove a piece and brush with a little oil or melted butter, repeat until you have around 6-8 pieces.
    Gently ease the pastry into the cake pan leaving the edges hang over the side.
    Start layering the vegetables by starting with the firmer vegetables at the base such as potato, pumpkin or sweet potato. Alternate each vegetable in a layer including the bottled roasted capsicum. Sprinkle fresh herbs between each layer.
    Half way through the layers place the caramelised onion and half the beten eggs. Contine layering and finish off with the rest of the beaten egg on the top.
    Make another 6-8 oiled/buttered layered piece of filio pastry and lay over the top. Gently roll in the edges around the top and brush with a little milk.
    Bake for 45-60 minutes.
    Serve with a light salad.
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    Have you made any goals you want to achieve for the new year? Love to hear about them!

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