Vegetable Tian

by Deliciously Organic on July 25, 2012

Vegetable Tian via DeliciouslyOrganic.net #grainfree

A few weeks ago I was chatting with Lisa while unloading groceries and our conversation went a little like this:

“What did you buy?”
“What do you mean?”
“Specifically, what did you buy? Have you ever taken pictures of it and posted it on your blog?”
“Umm… no. Why? Should I?”
“Of course! I want to know what’s in your shopping cart! You need to do a post about this so I can see exactly what you buy at the store.”

I love Lisa’s practical mindset. I usually like things looking tidy and neat in my photographs, but she had a point. I took a step back from the “pretty” food photography to show you some of my “real life” food. Last week, after doing my grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s, I placed most of the food out and took photos for you. This is the real deal. This is what it looks like.

Our family has been eating a grain-free diet since last September, so my grocery cart is full of vegetables, good fats, a bit of fruit, eggs, organic meats, whole yogurts, nuts, seeds, and some dark chocolate (We eat as well as we can, but we are human). We recently bought our beef from a local organic farmer, so I have an entire freezer full of pastured beef.

Most meals in our home consist of pastured meats, good fats, vegetables, and usually a little cheese. I truly love the grain-free lifestyle as it has simplified my shopping and cooking. Most of my meals take about 30 minutes of hands-on work and then I let the oven, stove or grill do the rest of the cooking.

While I prefer to buy all raw, cultured dairy and pastured eggs, sometimes I can’t make it to the market, so I buy the best next option. I use the Weston Price Shopping Guide to know which items are preferred at the grocery store.

A vegetable tian is one of my favorite recipes to make when the zucchini, tomatoes and fresh herbs are in abundance. We paired this with some grass-fed steaks on Sunday and it was a complete and filling meal. Years ago, I would have thought cooking with unprocessed ingredients would be difficult. The real thing is far easier than I ever would have expected.

Vegetable Tian via DeliciouslyOrganic.net #grainfree


Vegetable Tian

Cook Time: 1 hour

Serving Size: Serves 4

Vegetable Tian

Adapted from Barefoot in Paris


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced

  • 1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 4 large zucchini, sliced into thin coins

  • 6-7 small yukon or yellow potatoes, sliced into thin coins

  • 4-5 Roma tomatoes, sliced into thin coins

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

  • Celtic sea salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 cup grated gouda or Pecorino Romano cheese


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and adjust rack to middle position. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and salt and cook for about 10 minutes until soft and just beginning to caramelize. Add garlic and thyme and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Spread onion mixture in the bottom of an 10-inch diameter baking dish (I used this dish).

Layer tomatoes, potatoes and zucchini in alternating layers (as shown in photo above). Drizzle with olive oil and season with thyme, salt and pepper. Sprinkle with cheese. Place a piece of parchment paper over dish followed by a piece of foil (I do this because I prefer that the aluminum doesn't touch the food). Wrap the foil tightly around the dish. Bake for 30 minutes, remove foil and parchment and bake for an additional 25 minutes, until golden brown and bubbly. Serve.

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{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

Paula - bell'alimento July 25, 2012 at 12:37 pm

I have a ton of tomatoes and zucchini from the garden this veg tian just got added to the menu : )


Dana July 25, 2012 at 12:45 pm

It is fun to take a look at someone else’s grocery cart every once in a while. We just shopped at Trader Joe’s yesterday and had quite a few of the same items, including the dark chocolate. We are not grain free, but we still do a LOT of fruits and veggies and I really appreciate your recipes when I am looking for something new but still simple. Thanks for all your work!


Deliciously Organic July 25, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Thank you for your kind words! If we ever move to a place without a TJ’s I’ll have to buy a case of their organic chocolate before moving. Those bars are amazing!


MelissaWillard July 25, 2012 at 12:52 pm

looks deeeeelicious, deff gunna try this recipe, zucchini are one of my fave veggies.


Andra July 25, 2012 at 12:53 pm

This is beautiful! I do one with tomatoes, zucchini and summer squash (rather than potatoes.) Since I’m doing The Whole 30, I top it with nut flour and herbs. Simply delicious as a summer side.


Deliciously Organic July 25, 2012 at 3:53 pm

I like your idea of nut flour and herbs. I’ll have to try that next time!


Denise @ Creative Kitchen July 25, 2012 at 1:38 pm

Love peeking into your cart!! I’ve taken pictures of food I purchase for my blog, but sadly it hasn’t made it there yet. 😉


Deliciously Organic July 25, 2012 at 3:52 pm

You should post them. I’d love to see what’s in your cart!


Lisa Leake July 25, 2012 at 1:39 pm

I am honored you took my advice to heart and thrilled to see the pics! :)


Deliciously Organic July 25, 2012 at 3:47 pm

You always have such great advice and ideas. :)


Annie Fitzsimmons July 25, 2012 at 2:33 pm

I love this post! So fun to see what you buy at Trader Joe’s. Would love to see what you end up doing with the chicken this week!


Deliciously Organic July 25, 2012 at 3:52 pm

Thanks Annie! I have to admit, I’m a bit predictable when it comes to whole chicken. I roast it. Every. Single. Time. :) It’s my “I don’t have time to cook meal” Butterfly it, season it, throw it in the oven with some cut up veg, and 45 minutes later we have dinner! I use the leftover meat for lunch, and then use the carcass to make chicken stock.


Tami July 25, 2012 at 4:16 pm

Normally when I roast veggies I opt for a high temp, usually 420. At what temp do you roast this butterflied chicken w/ veggies? And, do the veggies get greasy from the released fats of the chicken? Or perhaps you are roasting in 2 separate pans? I love the simplicity of this meal. Would just greatly appreciate a teeny bit more clarification. Thanks much!


Deliciously Organic July 25, 2012 at 5:05 pm

I roast at 425F for about 40 – 45 minutes with the vegetables in the pan (until the chicken is cooked through). The vegetables soak up the wonderful chicken juices (they also get a bit of the chicken fat on them, but we like the flavor of it), but if you prefer to keep the flavors separate you can roast them in a separate pan. I usually brush the chicken with melted ghee, toss the veg in ghee and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper (http://deliciouslyorganic.net/how-to-make-ghee-clarified-butter/). If you’d like to see everything in complete detail, my recipe for butterflied roasted chicken with red onions is in my cookbook on page 122.


Shanna July 25, 2012 at 4:21 pm

Your Instagram photo of the tian the other day totally inspired me to make a potato one last night. We loved it! There is something to be said for a beautiful presentation. ; ) Also – so fun to inside your cart… which looks so much like ours!


Megan Lane July 25, 2012 at 6:12 pm

How fun to see what a shopping trip looks like for you! I actually buy A LOT of those same things from Trader Joe’s! I’ve never seen that goat’s milk brie, I’ll have to look for that next time.


Seanna July 26, 2012 at 1:52 pm

Looks delicious! I love Trader Joes for anything I can’t get at the market. :)


Adrienne @ Whole New Mom July 26, 2012 at 7:12 pm

Looks wonderful! Thanks!! Some of us are off cheese, but I will sub in nutritional yeast or a DIY dairy free cheese. :)


Stephanie July 26, 2012 at 7:29 pm

Wow, I’m so encouraged right now! I’m pretty new to the real food/organic journey, but most of the items in your cart are the same things I get at Trader Joe’s! So maybe I’m on the right track. :)

That recipe looks fantastic! It reminds me of the movie Ratatouille. :) I can’t wait to try it!


Deliciously Organic July 27, 2012 at 11:36 am

I’m so glad this was an encouragement to you!


Karen July 27, 2012 at 12:48 pm

Wow, your shopping cart looks almost exactly like mine, Ha! Grain free and feeling so much better. I haven’t tried that specific TJ’s chocolate, will have to pick that up today. As usual the photos look fabulous and the Veg Tian, is on my list for dinner tonight. Maybe I will use an eggplant to get the red, white and blue (almost) theme I’m looking for in honor of the Olympics. Thanks!


Anita July 29, 2012 at 7:50 pm

Karen, maybe try purple potatoes if you can get them. Either way, I’m sure it will be delicious! Go Team USA! Thanks, Carrie, for the great recipe – I’m going to try it with my not so vegetable crazy boyfriend.


Krista July 27, 2012 at 4:42 pm

That is gorgeous and is definitely calling my name! We’ve got zucchini and our tomatoes in our garden are just starting to ripen. Yippee!!


Kelly @ The Nourishing Home July 29, 2012 at 2:55 pm

Your grocery shopping trip looks a lot like one of my trips! This recipe looks terrific! Just recently found your site and am enjoying it bunches!! Blessings, Kelly


Carrie July 29, 2012 at 4:08 pm

I have been enjoying your grain free recipes, since we went grain free in March. My husband is recovering from severe pancreatitis, as well as having type II diabetes and high blood pressure. I am a breast cancer survivor that is opting to use dietary changes instead of hormone therapy for a healthy future. The grain free diet has greatly improved our health! I will try this using daikon radish in place of the potatoes, since potatoes make his sugar spike horribly (asleep from the sugar crash within 1/2 hour!). Thank you so much for all that you share with us.


Kristina Vanni July 29, 2012 at 9:26 pm

Not only is this healthy and tasty, but such a beautiful dish! Thanks for sharing!


Becca from It's Yummilicious July 30, 2012 at 6:31 am

OMGoodness… SO pretty, and I love the touch of the onion layer on the bottom. I’ve made similar dishes, but with a little bit of panko breadcrumb on the top for crunch. I’m SUCH a carb fanatic! What do you eat when you’re craving crackers or something similar? Raw veggies just wouldn’t cut it for me. I think it’s the crunchy salty combo or something.


Deliciously Organic July 30, 2012 at 3:03 pm

I bet panko breadcrumbs would be delicious! The most unbelievable thing about being grain free is I don’t have cravings anymore. I used to love sweets and now I rarely want them. I had heard that would happen but I had to experience it to believe it. I do like something crunchy every once in a while and lately I’ve been making these crackers and eating them with cheese and dips. http://deliciouslyorganic.net/paleo-grain-free-gluten-free-crackers/


Erika July 30, 2012 at 7:21 am

Thanks for posting your grocery items! I’m always intrigued by what others buy at the store :)


Rebecca Hallman July 30, 2012 at 1:08 pm

What a neat idea – what is in your shopping cart really tells the story of your diet! Makes you think twice!


Christina Main August 1, 2012 at 2:43 pm

I see A LOT of items we buy on a weekly basis as well!! LOVE TRADER JOES! I’ll be making this tonight, thank you very much!


Linda Kearns from FoodPedia Organics Shanghai August 5, 2012 at 12:08 pm

Your shopping looks amazing, this should be my shopping trolley. Here in China its all but basic in terms of organic. There are only a few options and everything must be collected, you can’t really shop at one place and get it all. We operate an organic farm, so there is plenty of veg supply but all the other thinsg we must collect from a variety of shops. The Tian looks great, will be doing it with dairy free cheese from my home factory :) all the best from China.

Linda Kearns


Jennifer October 1, 2012 at 7:34 pm

This is a silly question, but did you slice the veggies by hand? We are working to increase our vegetables, but I’ve got little ones running about and am looking for a quick way. Maybe a mandolin?


Deliciously Organic October 2, 2012 at 6:13 am

I did, but a mandolin would work well. Since a mandolin cuts the vegetables so thin, I would decrease the baking time a little so you don’t burn the vegetables.


ElizaBeth February 7, 2013 at 2:42 pm

Haha! I didn’t know this had an actually name! My dad made this for us growing up. I called it “veggie-money” because the veggies are cut like coins.


Lynn February 8, 2013 at 4:31 am

I just made this last night after seeing the recipe on Facebook. We live about an hour from Trader Joes & Earth Fare, but remembered our local grocery had organic zucchini & potatoes. I boiled my potatoes whole for a short while before slicing to shorten baking time as we like our zucchini to have a little crunch in them. I didn’t have either cheese suggested, but had some organic mozzarella. We thoroughly enjoyed it! Thank you for sharing! >


Cherie B February 8, 2013 at 7:33 am

That looks almost exactly like our groceries after we shop 😉 That yogurt is our favorite!


Poornima February 21, 2013 at 12:41 pm


I tried this recipe but the veggies and cheese ended up sticking to the glass baking dish that I used. It tasted delicious! Just that I had to scrape out everything :( Should I grease it with butter next time? Also is there only a single layer of veggies in your baking dish – or several layers? I can’t tell from the picture.



Deliciously Organic February 22, 2013 at 8:21 am

Sorry to hear! Yes, I would butter the dish next time. There is a single layer of veggies in my baking dish that are laying on top of the onions, but if you have extra vegetables you can make more layers.


Poornima February 22, 2013 at 11:45 am

Great. Thanks so much. An additional question is, if there are several layers will the veggies still get cooked evenly? Or should I mix them up halfway?


nicksts June 11, 2013 at 7:58 pm

Made this tonight and my whole family LOVED it!!!! Even my hubby who doesn’t like squash and my 8, 6, and 2 year old had 2nd and 3rd helpings.


Ashay August 22, 2013 at 11:51 am

Oh my gosh! I just made this with parmesan cheese and it was so good! My husband who normally doesn’t like squash or onion loved it too! I just found your website through pinterest and I am enjoying looking at all of your great recipe ideas!


Alysia March 12, 2014 at 12:41 pm

My family has recently begun to make the switch to unprocessed and organic foods. We’re not completely converted over, as it is a big change, but we are well on our way to better living. I tried this recipe last night, and it was a huge hit. As a rule, I’ve never been a huge fan of zucchini, but I loved this dish! My 5 year old daughter ate all her vegetables (my 2 year old son boycotted the entire meal). My mother came over today and had (about one bite of) the leftovers and she’s hooked as well! Luckily, I have enough veggies to make another batch! So delicious!


Pamela Hulst July 23, 2014 at 2:20 pm

Hi my son has had IBS since this past October. Could you recommend some good recipes?


Deliciously Organic July 24, 2014 at 6:41 am

Grain-free, nutrient-dense foods are a great place to start. I would check out my grain-free and GAPs recipes as they are nutrient-dense and good for starting to heal the gut. http://deliciouslyorganic.net/category/index-categories/gaps-index-categories/ ; http://deliciouslyorganic.net/category/index-categories/grain-free-2/

IBS is usually caused by inflammation in the gut. Here’s a great post my nutritionist wrote about inflammation (and make sure and click on the link to read about the GAPs diet – some great info there!):http://deliciouslyorganic.net/inflammation-how-to-reduce-it-naturally/


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